RocketPuppy’s Ramblings: Y-I-DIY
Guest writer: RocketPuppy a.k.a Michelle F
Without vaping, I’d still be addicted to my Camel Lights. I might have wanted to quit for my health, but beyond that, I had no interest. Even as the prices in California passed $5 a pack, the increase did nothing to appease my interest in saying goodbye. My smokes were my best friend, and I was convinced that I would be a smoker for life. With my Camels, I was never alone and never bored. I might have smelled like an aged bartender and been breathless after a quick 30 yard jog to catch a bus, but I was a smoker, and I loved it…
…I was content. I was until I fell for a non-smoker. My non-smoker fell for me too, and while it was one of the few habits that would make him turn his back to love, he couldn’t, even when my hair and body had the unmistakable scent of tobacco smoke and every half hour I’d step outside. My non-smoker wanted me to quit, but he never gave me an ultimatum. He just wanted to know me until we were both old and in diapers, which might not occur if I continued.
For two years, my non-smoker put up with my other love. During my twenty year pack a day habit, I tried every method of nicotine therapy without success. When the local fuel station had a sale on cigalikes next to the cash register, I fell prey. I don’t need to discuss their wretchedness, but they were as satisfying as dirt. I don’t know what prompted it, but I knew there had to be something better. Being the super ‘Googler’ that I am, I stumbled upon nirvana in the format of a forum and spent days researching and learning. Like any noob, I bought a Triton and some Tribeca from Halo, and after three weeks of straddling both my smokes and vaping, quitting finally seemed like a feasible feat. After two months, I was done with my affair. Now, don’t think I’m an angel; I still have cravings. Every few months, I indulge, but I am not a smoker and that is just amazing.
After a dozen bottles of Tribeca and spending a few hundred on a variety of other brands, I remembered that on my quest for something better than the cigalike, I happened upon DIY e-liquid and bookmarked the pages for a later date. Because I’m the type of person who rather fix a hole in the roof or bake cookies instead of purchase the bland prepackaged ones, I knew this would be my new hobby. Just like cooking or fixing a shower’s caulk, DIY is not as simple as ordering online or hiring someone else, but the end product is so much more gratifying and easier than many might surmise.
So why do people DIY when it’s easier to pick something up at a local shop or have it delivered to the doorstop? Just like home-made cookies, DIY allows for customization. Some companies make some pretty sublime liquid, but I felt that after each new purchase, they could have been better with more of one thing and less of another. I like my cookies with a variety of chocolate chips, extra vanilla, and a little oatmeal, but it’s nearly impossible to find that in a store. Like home-made cookies, DIY means that I can make my mixes perfect for my palette. It allows me to create it specifically to my PG/VG/Nic ratios and flavour preferences, whether it be organic, Italian, or a home-made concentrate, and it gives me the means to try different variations of these ratios easier and inexpensively.
Another important variable of DIY is the ability to account for quality and knowledge of the ingredients. Many companies tout their products as supreme, but without spec’ sheets or regulations (which I’m not advocating), it’s impossible to know the contents or the quality. By mixing my own, I can choose the cleanliness of my nicotine and purchase flavours by companies that are ingredient transparent. With DIY, I can account for every facet of my mix.
An element that pushes many to DIY is cost. A 30ml bottle of pre-made is approximately ten times that amount in DIY. While some go overboard on supplies, it’s not necessary (and don’t worry, I’ll address this at a later date, too). DIY is the one area where without guilt, I indulge. I might own hundreds of flavours, but I have not spent as much as I would have by purchasing pre-made.
As an almost two-year old DIY’er (I know, I’m still fairly new), one of the most relevant reasons as to why I DIY sounds like something a ‘prepper’ for Armageddon would say. As more and more countries and states continue to raise taxes on all things related to the tobacco and e-cigarette industry, most DIY supplies, beyond nicotine, will continue to be sold without governance. I take comfort in knowing that even if regulations become more stringent, my hoard of DIY supplies will tide me from ever being a smoker again.