Back in May 2013, the Git decided enough was enough and determined to quit smoking for ever and ever, amen. Three things helped:
- Alan Carr’s The Easy Way to Quit Smoking
- A drug called Champix (Varenicline)
- A nicotine-free eCigarette purchased from a local tobacconist
The Git had been assured by his GP that his high blood pressure would return to normal, his sense of taste and smell would return (even though it had never gone away), his shortness of breath would go away etc. Be warned that Varenicline has some very unpleasant side effects for some; the Git was one of them. It was with considerable relief that he finished the course of tablets.
The side-effects of nicotine withdrawal continued through November:
- Panic attacks
- Inability to concentrate
In short, life had become unpleasant to the extent of upon waking wishing to only return to sleep. The Git consulted one of those self-help BBSs that litter the Internet only to be informed that six months was a mere drop in the ocean of time required for life to return to the normality so blithely promised by his GP.
In the meantime, one of the Git’s friends, Denis, had taken up what is called vaping. He was sucking on an electronic “cigarette” that delivered not just clouds of aromatic water vapour, but nicotine as well. Denis persuaded the Git to try out some spare kit he had over Christmas and so the saying goes, the Git was hooked. Most of the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal are in abeyance and the cost of vaping is but a tiny fraction of the cost of smoking.
What Denis had lent the Git were two eGO batteries, a charger for same and two cartomizers. This latter is the working part of the eCig that generates vapour by heating the liquid (juice) in contact with a heating element driven by the battery. Cartomizers are cheap disposable items that can be recharged a few times before discarding them. There are also clearomizers and atomizers with replaceable wicks and coils that are cheaper in the long run. The Git decided to purchase a clearomizer.
Here in the Land of Under, it is illegal to sell nicotine juice for vaping, but it’s not illegal to purchase. The juice the Git ordered from SoulBlue in New Zealand had been manufactured in Australia and the package was delivered to my door from New Zealand just three business days after placing the order. (Most couriers leave packages for chez Git at the local Post Office three miles away). Denis had recommended VapeKing here in Australia for hardware, so a purchase order was placed the same day for a VapeKing Premium Starter Kit. The invoice for payment by bank deposit arrived the following day and the Git thought he had paid for it.
As a long-time computer nerd, the Git is used to copying and pasting via the clipboard for such details as the recipient’s bank account number. The software at the Git’s bank first truncates what was pasted and then deletes the dashes that VapeKing had put in theirs. Thus the account number was truncated by four digits. It took a while for the Git to notice, by which time VapeKing had cancelled the order, though it was resurrected after receipt of the money.
And while on this topic, the order for the juice was paid via PayPal. A few hours later, an email arrived from Soul Blue requesting a delivery address as they could not access this via PayPal! So it goes…
When the VapeKing Premium Starter Kit arrived, the Git was quite relieved. One of Denis’s cartos had died and the other was likely to follow shortly after. The kit was very well packaged with the various parts securely held by shaped cutouts in a block of foam. The Git commenced by Reading The Fucking Manual, a task easier said than done. It is set in 4 point type, 20% smaller than the fine print in contracts that you are discouraged from reading. Fortunately, as the Git’s eyes have declined in power, he has acquired various magnifying devices. The content of the manual was strangely silent about many aspects of using the gear, but it was a simple matter to charge the batteries and try out the clearomizers.
The Git had ordered a large bottle of unflavoured nicotine juice from Soul Blue and the VapeKing Premium Starter Kit included two bottles of flavoured juice intended to be diluted with an equal part of nicotine juice. The clearomizers have gradation marks on the side so measuring the relevant quantities is easy. However, this is where things started to come unstuck. One clearomizer worked well, the other didn’t. Swapping batteries confirmed that it was a clearomizer at fault. An email to VapeKing generated a (prompt) response that the battery needed recharging. When informed of the battery swap and that I had managed to persuade the offending clearomizer to sorta work by loosening the battery somewhat, VapeKing responded by sending a replacement.
The replacement clearomizer arrived a few days ago. Sadly, it doesn’t work. In my original email, I had requested information on how to replace the wick and coil assembly, though there was no response to this request. The manual is silent on this aspect of use. It took the best part of an hour to find the relevant information on the Internet even though the manual states that it is a Smoktech. There were a number of issues. First, Youtube videos being hosted overseas are often very slow to load. Then you have to watch through several minutes of whyat can only be described as blather before you discover that the topic being covered is irrelevant to one’s needs. Mostly, the videos were about replacing the wick and coil from the assembly they are a part of. It was assumed you already know how to disassemble the clearomizer. Then there were some truly bizarre suggestions such as wrapping the jaws of a slip-joint wrench to avoid damaging the device. Man, that wrench would surely crush the device even if the masking tape prevented scratches. Needless to say hammering pieces of dowel also lacked appeal. Finally, the Git found the relevant video.
Having disassembled the clearomizer and carefully washing it, the Git confirmed what he had already discovered with the aid of his trusty multimeter; the device was open circuit. The VapeKing Premium Starter Kit comes with spares and just by chance, the Git noticed that there were two sorts — 2.4 ohm and 1.8 ohm! Something else upon which the manual is silent.
After replacing the wick and coil assembly and filling up a second time, it was still “no go”. This time there was no passage of air through the device. So, it was back to disassembly and washing the device and leaving it overnight to dry. The threaded portion of the wick and coil assembly has a plastic washer and perhaps an extra washer will allow sufficient clearance that the inlet will not be hard against that which was blocking air flow. More on this anon.
It would be sad indeed to conclude this post without having said very much that is positive. The Git now has six flavours of juice (not including the unflavoured juice) and the VapeKing-supplied Honey Nut Tobacco and Royal Blend are far and away the best. A pity about the hardware and manual though.