In a prior study on electronic cigarette (EC) refill fluids, Cinnamon Ceylon was the most cytotoxic of 36 products tested. The purpose of the current study was to determine if high cytotoxicity is a general feature of cinnamon-flavored EC refill fluids and to identify the toxicant(s) in Cinnamon Ceylon. Eight cinnamon-flavored refill fluids, which were screened using the MTT assay, varied in their cytotoxicity with most being cytotoxic.
Here’s my tobacco harm reduction success story I shared at CASAA:
I started smoking around age 16; I am 41 now. When I quit smoking three years ago, I had been smoking for 22 years. That’s nearly a quarter of a century. In fact, that’s very close to a full third of my projected lifespan. For the first year, when I would run around telling people how I was “not addicted,” I would smoke a pack in a few days. By a couple of years later, I was smoking a pack a day. Within a couple more years, I was up to three and a half packs per day. At my peak, in my early twenties, I could easily be into my fifth pack of cigarettes by the time I went to bed. For the last several years of my smoking life, with great effort, I got myself down to about two packs a day. For the longest amount of time however – well over a decade – I averaged two-and-a-half to three-and-a-half packs a day.
I have on several occasions attempted to quit smoking cold turkey. This was always most convenient when I was sick with a flu. It never worked for more than perhaps a day at most. About seven or eight years ago, and over the course of the next few years, I tried lozenges (yuck!), gum (difficult to find cinnamon flavor), Chantix, nicotine patches, and so-called “zero-nicotine” cigarettes. Mostly, it was a combination of at least two, sometimes three, of these methods. The most I was ever able to completely live without smoking was a couple of days. I was a nervous wreck.
Finally, I decided to take a chance on a new idea. A personal nicotine vaporizer, also known begrudgingly as “e-cigarettes”. I can’t even remember where I got the idea or what I knew about them then. I did a ton of research into price-versus-effectiveness, and settled on a brand (Joye) and a vendor (Cignot) which seemed like a satisfactory and trustworthy combination and took the plunge with about $100 – roughly the cost of a week’s supply of Camel Filters. I got two medium-sized bottles of e-juice, a USB passthrough device, a car charger, a PCC (Personal Charging Case), and a box of two Joye 510 personal vaporizers, plus cartridges.
The moment I took it out of the box and assembled my vaporizer, I quit smoking tobacco. I am not kidding. Well, I tried it first. It felt like smoking. It really did. But it wasn’t. It was just delivering nicotine via atomized infused liquid. But the sensation – from the inescapable muscle-memory of hand-to-mouth which all smokers adhere to even after quitting, to the feeling in the back of my throat and in my lungs – was close enough to inhaling tobacco smoke (minus the coughing and burning and infamous “eye-hits” of the secondary smoke wafting about) that I did not have to light another cigarette ever again. I started at around 26mg nicotine; within a few months I got down to 18mg. Generally, I puff all day, when I am thinking about it. Often, I don’t even think about it; sometimes for an hour or more, such is the loosened grip of my addiction.
In one day, I quit smoking cigarettes completely. In three years, I have not had to smoke. I have smoked maybe five times since then, but only to see if I could discern a difference. I could. Compared to vaporized nicotine, burning tobacco was horrible. I could not believe I smoked up to five packs a day for over twenty years. So, maybe five times I tried to see what I had been doing. Five times I only got halfway into a cigarette before I was done. The last one was probably two years ago now.
The biggest changes since I stopped smoking in favor of the low-risk alternative of vaporization has been the lack of waking up with what I call “lead-lungs,” which for years daily caused me to self-medicate with that horrible subtly-pain-relieving smoking tobacco. Every morning I used to wake up and the first couple of cigarettes would eliminate the pain I felt breathing. Now I have zero pain in my chest.
I can smell things – including cigarette smoke, when it’s around (wow – sorry, non-smokers!). I also no longer burn holes in clothing or cars, or singe my hair, or accidentally set small fires by carelessly letting my cigarette burn unwatched in an ashtray. The stigma is gone. I’m no longer a social outcast because of my stupid “cool” addiction. In essence, I’m free, or nearly there.
I do still use my vaporizer frequently, but it’s causing me no perceivable negative health effects at all. If anything, I can run short distances again. As an asthmatic smoker, that used to be impossible. Exercise is something which is no longer practically impossible for me. It has changed my life in so many positive ways. And, as long as this method is legal and safe, I will never have to go back to the slow suicide of smoking, ever again.
This is great for vapers who use variable voltage/wattage mods.
I sent this to a dear old friend late last night on Facebook and thought i might share it here too:
I’ve only found two ways of getting anywhere: either know somebody, or keep plugging away until you’ve run clean out of failure.
The first is the hardest to achieve, unless you’re naturally social and hang out at places where the people you need to meet are.
But the second is the hardest to endure. That’s the way i had to go, because i’m a nasty person with a big fat mouth and most of the people i know who are in positions to help me get to that next rung don’t want to associate themselves with me – and i’m fine with that, because their type are largely assholes, as far as i’m concerned. However, i’ve long been treading water, both financially and emotionally, and it really was right when i was just about to drown that my current job fell into place, EVEN THOUGH i flubbed the interview and honestly wasn’t qualified and nearly failed out of training.
So i think the third thing might be the secret way: want something as hard as you fucking can. If you’re not totally sure what you want yet, that’s cool. Just find something small, and want the ever-living shit out of it. Then want something a little bigger, once you’ve had that small thing for long enough that it’s not enough anymore.
You know about Intent. You know about Will. I don’t think there is anything magical about it at all. I think that whatever it is that a person wants, if they want it bad enough, they will subconsciously find some way to get to it. Even if it’s blood from a stone.
Don’t get me wrong: i’m still in the shits financially, and one of these days i’m going to be doing jail time over it (yes they can do that), and when they ever finally start garnishing my paychecks i’ll certainly be living somewhere even less desirable than where i’m at, and i’ll lose my beloved, cherished dogs to boot. But for right now, i’m surviving as best i can, and in between serious, jolting freak-outs over money woes, i’m pretty happy about where i’m currently at. Because i wanted something really, really hard, and i got it.
I also wanted to lose some weight and get in better shape, and that started to happen, despite my solid history of terrible, crippling laziness and chronic mental and physical exhaustion… because i wanted that so goddamn bad i actually started making it happen all by myself. I am telling you, this shit works! But you got to want something roughly obtainable, and you absolutely gotta want it like you’ve never wanted anything else in your life ever before. I mean, you got to want it so bad you start really punching above your weight class. You gotta get mad to get even; you gotta get motivated by the sheer mind-erasing sadness of existence to start digging in with all of your might and claw furiously at anything in your way so you can get into a spot just clear enough that you can make a break for it. And then run like hell for the other side; don’t fucking pay attention to the bullets or the enemy or anything else. Tunnel vision. That’s what you need to get. Fury. Sheer WILL.
p.s.: This isn’t about wishful thinking, or the so-called Law of Attraction (aka “The Secret”). This is about applying your will to action.
Lately i’ve been thinking of the central question which occupies all of us who seem to be lost: who am i? It’s something which, i think, every great person probably knows, or which every person who would like to have been great, once they reach their end, should know if they want to have accomplished anything at all in their lives. Now i am getting older, i find i need to know who i am, because i never really figured it out; hence, i never finished college and never collected any sort of work history which would qualify me as having ever had a thing like a career. So: who am i?
I have come to the conclusion that this important question boils down to two factors: what makes me who i am, and what is my hidden talent?
So, what makes me who i am? Is it the deaths of loved ones, which forever haunt my ravaged, ragged psyche? Is it that backpacking jaunt around Europe in my twenties? Is it my childhood passion for visual art, now long-since nearly entirely abandoned? Piano lessons, for fuck’s sake? Trips to Kansas with my grandfather to visit his Alzheimer’s-stricken father? What made me?
Was it discovering i’d been born of some woman whom i’d never met? What about when i finally met her, and learned she was a junkie? Does it involve the infant brother my mother killed, or the sister she abandoned to the father’s family?
What made me who i am? Was it my grandparents raising me in the absence of my alcoholic, often homeless father? Or the times he showed up and we rode his yellow ten-speed around before the police arrived to take him away from me again?
Does it have something to do with the period from my late teens to my early twenties, when i expanded my consciousness far beyond the usual, rational psychic horizon with mind-altering chemicals? Is it because i figured out, on long nights with friends, staring into a fire, that the universe is all one thing, and us humans merely a small part of that one single thing?
Is it the terrifying asthma (seemingly a hereditary gift from my father, who suffered from it so greatly it became part of what makes him who he is), or the terrible allergies, these things which caused me to practically grow up in Dayton’s Children’s Hospital, surrounded by doctors with names and specialties i still can’t pronounce?
Is it simply the odd quirk that i consciously avoid using the word “that” wherever possible because i view it as the most superfluous word in the English language?
Was it something terrible, or something wonderful? Is it something equally both?
Does one (the cause) have something to do with the other (the talent)?
When i was in my late teens, i noticed i had a gnashing pain in my left fourth finger. At the time, it took whacking it against, or with, something to make the pain appear. It was like a toothache then. Within a few years, it would be an on-and-off constant pain, triggered by anything from an imperceptible change in g-force to temperature/humidity changes, to tactile pressure. You could feel it, like a hard pea under the skin, although all you could see was a slight mound which you had to stare at to perceive. But the pain… I remember thinking there was no way any woman could feel much more than that during natural childbirth. The pain was sheer; it was literally mind-erasing. Many times i’d end up collapsed on the ground, writhing in powerful agony and curled into a fetal position, grimacing like a victim of some horrible wartime violence. The only pain reliever i’d ever found to have any effect at all was Orudis KT, which was discontinued in the U.S. just a few years after my discovery of it. Just as well; it was negligible at best.
For over twelve years i carried this thing around with me. There was rarely a day without intense pain. Eventually i nearly totally gave up playing the guitar, although i also re-strung a twelve-string guitar with six strings, leaving enough space between the strings so i could play a little bit more comfortably. When i did play, i played Django style, with two fingers, throwing in my fifth finger as a lame substitute for my fourth. I could in fact play nearly anything that way, and when i absolutely had no other choice, i even used that fourth finger.
But the guitar was my greatest love and i had to let it sit for far longer than i wanted, or needed, between playing sessions. That alone did a lot to kill my spirit.
I had to adapt a lot to avoid angering It. Most activities i performed with my left arm at my side, or held up on my belly if too much blood caused throbbing pain. Driving was easy; i’d just hang my left arm out of the window and use my right arm for steering. I lived in Florida for much of this time, and i drove an automatic – no big deal. But i could not endure rapid temperature changes or excessive humidity. I often even stuck my arm out of the shower. Vigorous activity was out of the question.
Often times i thought – very, very seriously, i’m afraid – of cutting my finger completely off. At least the tip. There were in fact many times i was so painfully desperate that the idea seemed absolutely plausible to me. I’d do it myself, if only i could figure out how best to do it, on a practical level. But i’d always back down from it in the end, because i knew damn well i’d be permanently left with one less finger, and most likely a lifetime of phantom pain to show for it regardless.
Early on, i went to see a “sports medicine” specialist, who happened to be the brother of a famous talk-show host. I only went to see him once. His conclusion, lacking any real evidence (i’d only had an x-ray to go on then), was i had tendinitis; his treatment involved putting my whole arm into a stainless steel tub filled with cold water, and plugging the fucker into an electrical outlet. Essentially. It’s called electro-galvanic stimulation. Only i shouldn’t have been stimulating the goddamn thing! This only angered It.
The drive home was… difficult.
From then (sometime around 1992 i believe) until around 2005 or so, i didn’t see any other doctors about it. I knew damn well it was not tendinitis. Eventually i figured i had gout. After all, avoiding certain foods seemed to cause less pain, or to extend the period between “events.”
But at some point, the pain was just too much to be constantly bearing. I finally went and had some good images taken and the verdict was far more accurate. I had a glomus tumor.
So i had the fucker cut straight out of my finger. The pointed, mind-numbing ache i’d felt for a dozen years was replaced for two weeks afterward by the searing pain of rent flesh. But i got over it and finally started playing guitar like a normal goddamned human being again (although i still often find myself favoring my other three fingers). The doctor said glomus tumors often grow back. It is. I can feel it; it feels much the same as it did when i first began to notice that that finger seemed to be slightly more susceptible to pain than any other. Oh well. At some point, i’m sure i’ll have to deal with it again. However, i know better now, and i will deal with it much faster this time around.
Oh yeah, my hidden talent: i can do nearly anything using only one hand. Not incredibly useful, you might think, but it comes in very handy when i have both hands full and need to, for instance, open a two-liter bottle while simultaneously holding it. I can’t think of any way to capitalize on it though, outside of being maybe an astronaut or something (but my eyesight isn’t good enough for that i’m sure, among many other flaws in my character, detriment, and intelligence).
So i guess, until something better comes along, that’s who i am. My one-sentence biography is that i am a guy who stupidly lived for over ten years with the most painful and debilitating tumor a person could ever have, and adjusted as best he could to it, and tolerated it about as much as a human being could, and ultimately overcame it to live a normally-abled life again.
I’m pretty sure whoever reads this will immediately want to get into a pissing match with me over it, whether consciously or not. “That’s like the time I hurt my leg” (not, it is not), or “It couldn’t have been worse than when i broke my arm in half” (i bet it could), or whatever. That was a time. Mine was close to fifteen fucking years of horrible blood-curdling pain. No doubt a great many people have had much, much worse to endure than i. However i am not interested in comparing or contrasting my personal hell with anybody else’s. (So if you even start in with it, be prepared for me to just get up and walk away, or to say something unacceptably impolite about it to your face.)
Everyone has had something happen; everybody goes through shit. This, i’ll warrant, is precisely why we should all be kinder to one another, to think about each other’s stories, to consider how our actions might affect somebody else who perhaps may be going through hard times and not be completely able to cope with things as well. Perfectly good, decent people who may not have even done anything to deserve having to go through things worse than one might be prepared to imagine. So take care, always, to think of other people as not only having to go through the same horrible shit you do, but also having to endure very personal hardships of their own. Everybody has an intimate relationship with some form of personal inner torture, whether physical or mental, or both. Walk softly. And carry a big heart. Perhaps some extra ibuprofen.
(Hopefully something better than this will come along.)