My view ...

The private blog of Andy Prevost. My experiences, my words. On any topic ...

Zero NIC

Many years ago I chose to use electronic cigarettes as an alternative to smoking regular tobacco cigarettes and cigarillos.

I initially started with a kit and a tobacco E-Liquid that had a taste similar to my regular cigarettes. At the time, I was smoking about 30 cigarettes a day (a large pack of 25, plus five more – on average). The vaper that helped me pick a starter kit suggested starting at 24 mg/ml nicotine strength. That's what I started at. About one week later, I reduced that to 18 mg/ml. I think the initial strength of nicotine was too high, 18 seemed to be ok for my needs at the time. I also switched to fruit flavors. After about five days off of the tobacco products, my sense of smell and taste returned. The tobacco flavor I had picked initially no longer appealed to me ... but quite a few of the fruit flavors available did.

Over a few years, I managed to further reduce nicotine levels. When I was at 12 mg/ml, I had a "mini-stroke", a TIA. The doctor suggested dropping the nicotine level down (nicotine is a vascular constrictor) ... I did the next day, down to 6 mg/ml. Now I was at one-quarter of the nicotine strength I had started with, and in roughly one year. I even made an attempt to drop to zero nicotine ... but an unfortunate and rare issue cropped up: in my case, nicotine withdrawal increased insulin resistance (that's the exact opposite to what is supposed to happen). Despite the  high blood sugar levels, I persisted at zero nicotine for over 10 weeks. I was concerned enough at that point to re-introduce nicotine to get my blood sugar levels in control. I returned to 6 mg/ml and blood sugar levels returned to normal. After much research, I decided to wean myself off of nicotine by reducing the nicotine levels slowly and over a longer period of time.

The first drop was to 3 mg/ml. That lasted for about nine months and then dropped to 1.5 mg/ml. After about four months, I dropped that to 1.0 mg/ml. And after a few months, dropped to 0.75 mg/ml. Again after several months, I dropped that to 0.5 mg.

At each increment downwards, there was really no change in how I felt, or increased desires for nicotine. There was an adjustment period where the amount of E-Liquids increased. That leveled off after several weeks, though, and returned to "normal" E-Liquid consumption.

After only about one week at 0.5 mg/ml, I decided to complete the journey and switch to zero nicotine.

As I write this on June 14 2016, it has been exactly one week ago that I switched to zero nicotine. Over that week, I tested blood sugar levels more often – and the result has been absolutely no change in blood sugar levels: they are at acceptable levels (meaning nearly normal for a diabetic).

What are the next steps? I'm not sure at this point. I have handled the nicotine addiction portion of smoking to a point where I no longer need the nicotine. With all my other health issues, though, I'm not sure how much effort I want to put into dropping the entire physical manifestations of vaping ...

I do want to point out that nicotine is additive, but it is not harmful. There are quite a few health benefits to nicotine. Here's a few links where you can consider these benefits:

You decide for yourself ...

Categories: Tobacco Harm Reduction

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Thanks for dropping by

As I write this (June 12 2016), my plans are to close down all of my websites and focus on conveying my experiences with tobacco harm reduction, health, and some other thoughts here on this blog.

I'll do my best to organize my views (the articles) in a reasonably logical manner with appropriate categories to make it easier to find stuff.

To those reading my health articles with the hopes of quickly finding my self-treatments – forget it. I found too many commercial websites carrying my self-treatment programs as commercial products. Where my articles suggest that you source products local to your area and save yourself some money, the commercial products based on my self-treatment programs are charging from $60/mth and up. That's pretty much three times what it should cost. I'm weary of having my research and results stolen by the integrity-challenged based on profit motivations.

As usual, wherever possible, I will post citations to medical reports, research papers, and scholarly texts to support a point view.

Your comments are always welcome, feel free to post a reply or comment any time you wish. Be aware that all comments are moderated. They will not display to the public until approved by the administrator (me). That means it could take some time before I get to it, read it, and approve it. It also means that junk and spam can't make it to the public. Also note that I may be editing the comments, particularly  removing any email addresses and links to other websites ...

Categories: General

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