Chatting with Shawn

My Electronic Cigarettes. Photo Taken by Me.

My Electronic Cigarettes. Photo Taken by Me.

I recently had the opportunity to chat with Sean, who is a fellow Ball State Student and a Vapor. I was able to ask him a few questions about his experiences with electronic cigarettes.

Amy: How did your journey with electronic cigarettes begin?

Shawn: I saw a lot of people around me using electronic cigarettes. I was curious, so I decided to pick one up at the gas station to see if it was something that I would be interested in. The disposable

I picked up from the gas station was okay, but it wasn’t quite what I was looking for, so I ended up reading online to see what other options were available.

Amy: How long have you been vaping?

Shawn: Around a year and a half.

Amy: You have a lot of experience with vaping, so do you have any advice for newer vapers?

Shawn: Do your research. The most expensive electronic cigarettes are not necessarily the best ones. There are juices and devices in all price ranges. The most important thing is to find something that fits your lifestyle and your budget. This isn’t a competition, the most important goal of electronic cigarettes is to find something that works well enough to get you to quit smoking real cigarettes.

Amy: You discuss doing research. Are there any particular resources that you would recommend?

Shawn: I think that Reddit and E-Cigarette Forum are good resources for beginners. There are a lot of people on these forums that have many years of experience and can help with questions that beginner, intermediate, and advanced users can benefit from.

Amy: How do you feel about the fact the new smoking ban on campus also includes electronic cigarettes?

Shawn: I think that people need to become more informed about electronic cigarettes before they make decisions such as this one. It is easier for them to group smokers and vapers together in the same category than to do research to find out more information about e-cigs. I really dislike going to my car to vape, but even more I hate standing in an area with a bunch of smokers because I don’t like the smell on my clothing.



Alexander the Vape Review

Our haul from Alexander the Vape.

Our haul from Alexander the Vape.

So I recently had the opportunity to visit my first electronic cigarette store.  I have in the past always ordered my equipment online due to the fact that there was not an electronic cigarette store nearby where I live.  I heard that a new store opened up in Castleton, and I needed to drive that way to pick up a few things so my husband and I decided to check out the place.

First of all, it was pretty easy to find because it is in a shopping center near the mall.  There was plenty of places to park and upon walking inside we were immediately welcomed by the owner.  The layout of the store was very modern and also the displays were simple yet visually appealing at the same time.

There was quite a bit of different equipment from beginner kits, to more advanced equipment.  There were also many different e liquids and a taste testing bar to try the different flavored offerings.  After trying a few liquids and chatting with the owner, we ultimately purchased a few bottles of e liquids.  The owner was very friendly and his prices were in line with many of the online stores I had previously shopped at.  He also had many products that were only carried on the west coast so many hoosiers now have access to products that no longer need to be shipped.  The owner also had his own e-liquid line that was very reasonably priced with three bottles for fifteen dollars.  He also chose a special of the day that changes daily where he offers a percent off of a particular product.

Overall it was a great experience in the store, and next time I’m in Indy I will definitely stop by and recommend that you do the same. 

E-Cig Health and Safety Advice

An electronic cigarette on a charger, taken by Masur.

Although this blog is about electronic cigarettes and issues regarding them, sometimes we have to think about health and safety when using these devices.  First of all, I am not here to encourage people to use electronic cigarettes.  That is not what this blog is all about, it is to inform people about a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes.  Here are some health tips that I have come up with to keep vapers safe

1. Don’t share electronic cigarettes with others.  Germs can be lurking on drip tips and mouth pieces of these devices.  If you feel the need to share, take a look into these. They are relatively inexpensive covers that go over the mouthpiece of your electronic cigarette if you want to let other’s try it out.

2. Be safe with your liquid nicotine.  Find the best level of nicotine for your cravings and don’t over consume nicotine.  It can have side effects of being jittery, having headaches, and rapid heart rate.  Nicotine can be absorbed by the skin, so be careful when handling nicotine.  If you decide to attempt to make your own liquids, the nicotine used is highly concentrated so be extremely careful.  Also do your research in order to do this safely.  Make sure to use gloves and safe handling procedures.  Nicotine poisoning can occur and is very dangerous.

3. Battery Safety: Make sure to use chargers that are made for your device and read the manual in order to figure out the proper amount of time that a battery should stay on the charger.  Many chargers change colors when the device is charged.  For advanced users, battery safety is even more important.  If you begin modifying equipment, it is important to really look into battery safety and what types of batteries are the safest. Don’t rush into anything and make sure that you understand ohm’s law and how to make sure you aren’t overloading your battery.  Dangerous things have and can happen if you haven’t done your research.  If you don’t properly understand something, don’t do it.

4. Always keep nicotine and electronic cigarettes out of the reach of children and animals.

5. Make sure that you are ordering quality nicotine liquid. If you order from a new vendor, ask questions.  Good vendors will answer any questions about ingredients that they use and how they handle and make the liquid.  They will know exactly what is in their product, and many even have pictures or videos showing you the cleanliness of the environment that it is made in.  Make sure to tell them about any food allergies that you may have to avoid any potential reactions especially regarding foods and flavoring.

On August 1st, 2013 Ball State instituted a new tobacco policy. The policy made the campus smoke-free and made smoking only allowed inside vehicles and in designated areas on the days of home football games. The punishment for violating the tobacco policy is a fine of 100 dollars per incident for students, and 75 dollars per incident for employees.

Upon reading this policy, it appears that Ball State has grouped electronic cigarettes in with tobacco products, although electronic cigarettes do not even have tobacco in them. Ball State is not the first or last place that includes electronic cigarettes with tobacco products. I’m assuming that the creators of these types of policies do not understand exactly how an electronic cigarette works and exactly what is contained in an electronic cigarette. If policymakers were properly educated or had been given some research studies to read about electronic cigarettes, there is a strong possibility that an electronic cigarette would not be grouped along with tobacco products. The study above is quite interesting because it has a vast number of participants and has results of participants reducing their number of cigarettes smoked daily, or quitting smoking all together.

These types of policies make things difficult for many people that use cigarettes and electronic cigarettes. I personally chalk up those types of policies to those that do not understand how electronic cigarettes work and how they contain no tobacco. The policies that are more alarming are those that give designated areas, because many people began using electronic cigarettes to quit smoking. When having to go to a designated smoking area to use their electronic cigarette, the person using an electronic cigarette is now exposed to all of the chemicals that they are working so hard to avoid. It is our responsibility in the electronic cigarette community to educate, by providing scientific proof to back up claims about electronic cigarettes, not to chastise those that do not understand electronic cigarettes.

Coffee and An E-cigarette

Coffee and An E-cigarette by pixelblume from flickr

I was introduced to the electronic cigarette a little over two years ago. It all began when I worked with a lady that was attempting to quit smoking and she purchased an electronic cigarette, and really disliked the experience. I remember going home and talking to my husband about it, and he was intrigued because he loves electronics. Not soon after we ordered our first electronic cigarettes, which were very basic models because there weren’t a lot of choices in electronic cigarettes. They all looked like a regular cigarette with a light on the end. The biggest plus that there was no tobacco and when you exhaled there was water vapor that looked like smoke and we were able to get all of our nicotine without the tobacco. Although it wasn’t quite the same as smoking, we both began feeling better and having more energy after smoking for several years.

Although we used them for a few months, it was a relatively frustrating experience. Many of the issues that we experienced were quite frustrating and due to leaking nicotine juice, having to use syringes to fill them, and the wait time to have all of the products mailed to us, eventually we were back to smoking analogs (real cigarettes) full time. However, I was very disappointed in myself. This year, things changed. People around me were all smoking electronic cigarettes, and the difference was that technology had finally improved. There were more options and an overall less frustrating experience for those that vape (slang for “smoking” water vapor). Liquid nicotine now comes in bottles that can easily and without any mess fill a tank of liquid that will last all day instead of having to carry around multiple pieces of equipment.

Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) have been getting quite a bit of media attention lately. One particular study from the Center of Disease Control got my attention recently “E-cigarette use more than doubles among U.S. middle and high school students from 2011-2012” ( Basically a survey was conducted and it was determined that 10 percent of teenagers had used an electronic cigarette in 2012, whereas it was less than 5 percent of teenagers that attempted using an electronic cigarette in 2011 and many of these adolescents had also used regular tobacco cigarettes during this time period. The conclusions that the study drew was that because teen e-cigarette smoking had doubled, they believed that there was a possibility that an electronic cigarette was a gateway drug that made teenagers want to smoke regular cigarettes.

This article is a bit troublesome to me personally, because it is difficult to draw conclusions based on a survey of this type and the fact that other media sources are attempting draw other conclusions based on this survey. Honestly, the question was never posed as to whether or not the teenagers smoked cigarettes before the electronic cigarettes, or if it was the other way around. Also it is important to note that an electronic cigarette only has nicotine and no tobacco included, whereas the study is referring to them as a tobacco product.

About Me

My name is Amy and I’m a senior at Ball State University. My major is general studies with minors in criminal justice and psychology. I am writing this blog as a requirement for my english 104 class. This blog is going to be about quitting smoking which is something that I am very interested in and passionate about.