I Am a Vape Tweeker

I Am a Vape Tweeker

If you missed Jazzy Redd’s classic, I Am A Dope Fiend, perhaps all of what follows will have less impact, but I doubt it. I just think Jazzy Redd was way before his time—you know, because rap and hip hop is all so new. It was introduced to me while under heavy sedation at a nightmare Course in Miracles retreat where the facilitator felt that repeated listening to Jazzy Redd’s song could create real transformation. In any case, I have a confession to make. I am a vape tweeker.

Yes, I said it. I don’t mean that I am vaping all the time. I am just constantly trying to find the right vaporizing device and e-liquid to help me quit smoking. Now, for those unaware, vaping is a term used for the act of inhaling vapor from an electronic device that heats a liquid with nicotine in it so you can fool yourself into thinking that you aren’t inhaling dangerous carcinogens into your lungs. Well, that isn’t quite the truth. E-liquid doesn’t contain the cancer causing chemicals that Big Tobacco still uses to treat their tobacco. All it has in it is nicotine, glycerine (either vegetable or propylene glycol, the stuff in antifreeze that makes it less toxic), and god knows what else to create the plethora of flavorings available. You are still inhaling something other than the wonderful blend of atmospheric chemicals natural to the air in your home town. That can’t be good for you. But the argument is that is can’t be worse than smoking a cigarette, and of course smoking these days is a sign that you are completely insane. I admit it. I have not quit smoking yet; after all these years, after fatherhood, after the turn at the ninth hole for the back nine of life. So I decided to try this vaping thing, because denying myself pleasure is just not my cup of tea. Quitting smoking without all the trouble of actually quitting smoking. Sounds good, sign me up.

So a couple of years ago I bought an e-cigarette and some e-liquid. Not bad, but I found it hard to switch over completely, so I joined a forum online for fellow vapors and ex-smokers, so I could get more information and support. I discovered that there is more to know about this vaping thing than I ever care to want to know, but in the quest for the perfect drag I educated myself as best I could. I had to basically learn OHM’s law to discover how to vape properly, at least in theory. In practice, it was an obsessive quest to find the right device, the right atomizers, the right tanks, the right liquid. I started with the basic e-cig. I quickly upgraded to a 3.7 volt device, then had to try a thing with a tank on it because I was always refilling the cartridges with liquid from a dropper. Finally, because of course none of that felt like a stupid Camel cigarette, you know, with all the wonderful effects of oxygen deprivation I was going for, I purchased a “variable voltage bottom beeder box mod” known as the MonkeyBoxx. I tried tobacco flavors, fruit flavors, dessert flavors and candy flavors. And then I got pissed off and just chain smoked for a year.

Recently I decided to try it again. I had a lung thing happen to me. The idea of worrying about my next breath hit me while I was struggling for air one night. I glimpsed a life filled with daily, chronic, real panic about my next breath. My son saw a guy with emphysema on one of those great American Cancer Society ads and asked me what his problem was. I thought that somehow I might have not explored this vaping thing enough. I got the band back together. Shopped around for a better rig, a juice that I could live with as an All Day Vape (as they say in the vape tweek handbook). Atomic Cinnacide. Creme Brulée. Coffee and Cream. Vanilla Chai Latte. Honeysuckle. Black Cherry Marshmallow. Rice Krispy Treats. I am smoking Rice Krispy Treats. Excuse me, vaping. I am vaping Rice Krispy Treats. Stay tuned.

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