I am not a smoker but I have tried e-cigarettes and I like the effects nicotine has on me. It's good for my anxiety. I am at the point where I probably need to stop or I will become addicted.
The known health effects of nicotine don't scare me. None of the cancer-causing chemicals are present and there is no smell or impact on other people.
What do the nicotine addicts think?
I tried them...but I was still a smoker at the time. I thought they would help me quit, but didn't. I finally quit smoking about two years later.
If I were you, I wouldn't bother with them, especially since you aren't a cigarette smoker. If its anxiety that bothers you...take medication.
I am a former smoker who has pretty much exclusively used ecigs for 4-5 months now.
While they were a great thing for me and other smokers, the main benefit is that it is healthier than smoking and eliminates the public health problems. No one would claim they are harmless.
I wouldn't encourage you to start if you didn't already have the addiction, but obviously it is your body and your health.
I wouldn't start it either. It may be healthier then cigs, but Nicotine is is addictive! It's harder to quit than heroin.
[quote] If its anxiety that bothers you...take medication.
Nicotine is medication. It has been shown to be helpful in a variety of illnesses including depression. 50% of people suffering from major depression and 95% of schizophrenics are smokers because they are self-medicating.
[quote]No one would claim they are harmless.
The known risks of nicotine are elevated blood pressure and increased heart rate. New research raises concern about the effects on blood vessel health.
It's not just the nicotine. The flavoring agents in ecig juices (they are a combination of nicotine, propylene glycol/vegetable glycerine and chemical flavorings) have not been studied with long term inhaling.
They use materials that are considered safe to ingest but that is a different biological pathway than inhaling into your lungs.
As I said, I use ecigs and I feel so much better than when I smoked, but there are real unknown questions about them.
But it seems clear OP that you want to do it, so start if you wish, you don't need our permission.
Of course I want to do it. I wouldn't be asking otherwise. But I'm also reluctant to get addicted to something. I've never been an addict. I'm not really looking for information that can be found on the internet. I'm looking for personal experiences with nicotine. How it affected you. What do you like and dislike. What withdrawal feels like.
Dr. Andrew Weil co-authored a book years ago called "From Chocolate to Morphine: Everything you need to know about mind-altering drugs."
I saw him on a call-in show where he answered questions about drugs. (I came away with a great deal of respect for him, because he was completely non-judgmental.) One of the things he said that day was that nicotine was known to be the most addictive drug on the market. When audience members expressed surprise and disbelief, he said people often become addicted on their first pack of cigarettes. It's also a very physically destructive drug and difficult to kick.
Having that kind of information at your disposal, OP, I cannot imagine why you would want to go down that road.
Do what you will, OP, but please take care of yourself.
The reason they're criminalizing smoking like they are is because nicotine is actually beneficial to thinking and even helps relieve symptoms is diseases like Parkinsons.
It counters the effects of fluoride which is zombifying in the long run. The reason it's in our water, and so many drugs.
Did Weil say nicotine itself was "very physically damaging" or was he talking about smoking tobacco?
R7, I read that book years ago. I loved that book! Very informative and non-judgmental. As an ex-smoker, I'm not so sure nicotine is harder to kick than heroin, although it is hard to kick (I have no experience with heroin).
As for OP, I don't understand why you would want to smoke e-cigs if you are not already a smoker. No doubt they are not as bad as smoking regular cigarettes, but why even start? They're basically for smokers who want to quit or cut down.
What about natural cigarettes? The ones with no additives. I've heard they give you twice the kick. Cigarettes like American Spirit.
[quote] I don't understand why you would want to smoke e-cigs if you are not already a smoker.
Because they make me feel better.
Well, then go ahead, R12/OP. You have my blessing! You can always taper up and down with the nicotine and even go nicotine free if you want to. Just be careful because from what I understand (I've never smoked e-cigs) if you smoke too much of the e-cigs with nicotine you will feel sick. Kind of like a nicotine overdose.
[quote]As an ex-smoker, I'm not so sure nicotine is harder to kick than heroin, although it is hard to kick (I have no experience with heroin).
I don't recall that Weil said nicotine was harder to kick than heroin. I only remember him talking about ease of addiction.
I've kicked both. Heroin is more painful but the effects last for a much briefer time. Nicotine withdrawal is a bitch, and its associated habit patterns are much harder to break. Both addictions were easier to kick than benzos.
OP, I was a 4-5 pack a day cigarette smoker. I quit smoking when I was a little more than a year clean and sober and I used a variety of tools, some I learned from 12-Step programs (AA, NA, etc.), some I learned from a friend's Smokenders literature and some from the Lung Association. It was all very helpful and I think more of it is available to the public than it was back then.
Mostly I got really disgusted with myself as an addicted smoker. An incident happened one night that gave me a moment of clarity into how addicted I was, and that was the end of my smoking. I realized it was a really stupid thing to do.
I quit smoking 10 years ago, but I chew nicotine gum from time to time. I like how it feels.
Go for it if you want an addiction. Eventually you will wake up for a fix. At a meeting or where you can't get your fix, imagine the pleasant anxiety of wondering when and where you will get your next smoke.
What you describe, R16, doesn't seem to affect everyone. Plenty of smokers are not chain smokers.
Why, look, everyone. It's the ignorant/ naive thread troll.
OP, it's interesting to me that you're getting such benefit from nicotine. I'm one of the smokers with depression and anxiety and the benefit we get from smoking is not from the nicotine but from the MAOIs in the tobacco; the only niquid that works for me is Whole Tobacco Alkaloid juice which has those MAOIs in it.
Nicotine has been proven to help those illnesses already mentioned, but also improves memory function and lessens and even eliminates asthma in some cases.
The MAOIs are short acting painkillers and anti-depressents. They are much more effective than the long acting ones which were turned into pharmaceutical antidepressents and pretty much phased out because of lack of effectiveness and side effects.
Although I have a hard time understanding how a stimulant is helping you with anxiety, if it makes you feel better, why not use it?
Nicotine is both a stimulant and a relaxant.
Nicotine's mood-altering effects are different by report: in particular it is both a stimulant and a relaxant. First causing a release of glucose from the liver and epinephrine (adrenaline) from the adrenal medulla, it causes stimulation. Users report feelings of relaxation, sharpness, calmness, and alertness. Like any stimulant, it may very rarely cause the often uncomfortable neuropsychiatric effect of akathisia. By reducing the appetite and raising the metabolism, some smokers may lose weight as a consequence.
When a cigarette is smoked, nicotine-rich blood passes from the lungs to the brain within seven seconds and immediately stimulates the release of many chemical messengers such as acetylcholine, norepinephrine, epinephrine, vasopressin, histamine, arginine, serotonin, dopamine, autocrine agents, and beta-endorphin. This release of neurotransmitters and hormones is responsible for most of nicotine's effects. Nicotine appears to enhance concentration and memory due to the increase of acetylcholine. It also appears to enhance alertness due to the increases of acetylcholine and norepinephrine. Arousal is increased by the increase of norepinephrine. Pain is reduced by the increases of acetylcholine and beta-endorphin. Anxiety is reduced by the increase of beta-endorphin. Nicotine also extends the duration of positive effects of dopamine and increases sensitivity in brain reward systems.
Stop comparing ecig nicotine with commercial cigarette addiction potential, it's off base.
Commercial cigarettes have decades of fine tuning and dozens of added chemicals specifically to increase addiction potential and withdrawal symptoms.
Tobacco and Tobacco smoke also has additional pleasure and addiction inducing properties (alkaloids, MAO, etc.) that aren't present in nicotine, which is figuratively sterile in comparison.
There are studies alluding to this as well as our now-widespread experience with a variety of nicotine replacement products. (And nobody yet holding up a CVS to get a trunkload of patches and gum.)
Nicotine products would never have been made OTC if nicotine was 'as addictive as heroin' or anything close to it. That's not a guess, it's known, it was examined by the FDA in making the decision.
Abstinence proponents deliberately conflate and confuse data about commercial cigarettes with every other issue remotely related to tobacco or nicotine because doing so enhances their position. They took a lesson from Big Tobacco and left science behind long ago.