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Old 09-04-2019, 02:32 PM
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No more vaping - until they figure out what's going on, anyway


A recent outbreak of severe lung disorders requiring hospitalization and in some cases even medically-induced coma, has been linked to vaping. There are a lot of news articles about it and none of them can really pin down what kind of vape, if any, is shared in common in these incidents, or indeed what specifically is causing them to happen. But it's worrisome.

I advocated quite strongly for vapes in this thread in Great Debates. I still think it's likely that they are, in the long term, safer than tobacco use because vapor doesn't have the same effects on the lungs that burning tobacco particles have. But with all that being said, for the time being, I am quitting JUUL.

If, after some thorough studies, it turns out that these recent illnesses were caused by a specific kind of chemical that is NOT in JUUL, I will gladly resume using JUUL. If it is traced to some obscure off-brand or home-brewed vapor juice, and can be definitively said to be unrelated to JUUL specifically, I'll use it. But for now I have to hold off.

Still smoke rolled tobacco occasionally (Amsterdam Shag, in a thin Zig-Zag paper) like in the morning with coffee, or during breaks at band practice. I typically don't smoke more than one cigarette a day, if that (weeks may go by where I don't smoke at all), but with the vape gone, I may find myself either compensating with more smoking (hopefully not) or jonesing like a motherfucker for nicotine, because I'm in the middle of a business deal that's unbelievably stressful and full of bureaucratic bullshit red tape, uncertainty, and directly involving a bank vice president who, if you google his name, the first 4 hits involve the words "Paul Manafort", no shit. Every day for the forseeable future until this is resolved, is going to be edge-of-my-seat anxiety. Fuck!
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Old 09-04-2019, 03:20 PM
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The gum is a great nicotine delivery vehicle for those jonseing moments.
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Old 09-05-2019, 09:50 AM
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It’s turning out the culprit is not ecigs but rather counterfeit THC vapes being sold on the street. Buy your legal THC from a licensed, legal, regulated source and avoid the cheap knock-offs the street vendors and flea markets are selling.
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Old 09-05-2019, 10:25 AM
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It’s turning out the culprit is not ecigs but rather counterfeit THC vapes being sold on the street. Buy your legal THC from a licensed, legal, regulated source and avoid the cheap knock-offs the street vendors and flea markets are selling.
I'm not surprised. IIRC, all of these mystery illnesses came from the same general location. Sounded isolated to me at the time, probably from the same batch of god-knows-what, or at least source.
And that is why I make my own damn juice. I know what goes in it (and costs about $70 for 2L)
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Old 09-05-2019, 11:04 AM
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It’s turning out the culprit is not ecigs but rather counterfeit THC vapes being sold on the street. Buy your legal THC from a licensed, legal, regulated source and avoid the cheap knock-offs the street vendors and flea markets are selling.
Cite?
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Old 09-05-2019, 11:12 AM
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I'm not surprised. IIRC, all of these mystery illnesses came from the same general location. Sounded isolated to me at the time, probably from the same batch of god-knows-what, or at least source.
Not according to this:
Quote:
At least 215 people in 25 states have developed life-threatening respiratory illnesses tied to vaping, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
From the same article:
Quote:
The CDC's investigation of e-cigarette-associated illnesses hasn't pointed to any specific products but suggests that many of the people who were sickened used e-cigarettes with liquids that contained CBD.

Last edited by FastDan1; 09-05-2019 at 11:16 AM.
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Old 09-05-2019, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Turble View Post
It’s turning out the culprit is not ecigs but rather counterfeit THC vapes being sold on the street.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Swampwolf View Post
IIRC, all of these mystery illnesses came from the same general location.
The CDC has said that many patients reported using e-cigs with cannabinoid components, but they have explicitly said that they have not identified a single substance that is responsible. They've said nothing about counterfeit vapes.

And cases have been reported in at least 25 states, so I'm not sure "the same general location" is accurate.
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Old 09-05-2019, 11:19 AM
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Counterfeit Weed Vape Cartridges Are Everywhere — and They’re Making People Sick
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Indeed, what happened to the two men in Long Island has been happening across the country. As the dangers of e-cigarettes in general become more apparent, with the CDC announcing last week that it was aware of 193 potential cases of severe lung illness in 22 states linked to vaping (and one death in Illinois officially linked to vaping), the potential long-term health risks of vaping are becoming increasingly clear, from breathing difficulties to eye and airway irritation. And while it’s unclear exactly how many of these cases are attributable to products containing THC, as opposed to traditional nicotine e-cigarettes, Dr. Ileana Arias, senior scientific advisor and acting deputy director for non-infectious diseases at CDC, noted on a Friday conference call that “in many cases” patients had reported using THC-containing products, though the CDC declined to specify exactly how many.
As I'm sure counterfeit THC vapes are more profitable than fake nicotine vapes, it sounds like a good line of investigation.
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Old 09-05-2019, 02:31 PM
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Apparently it's initially looking like vitamin E acetate may be the culprit.

The data is not conclusive of course, but there's clearly a correlation between vape products containing vitamin E acetate and the recent vape-related hospitalizations.
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Old 09-05-2019, 03:17 PM
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The story in the news today was about the second death where they got their THC cartridge from a legal cannabis shop. https://abcnews.go.com/US/person-us-...ry?id=65405350
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Old 09-05-2019, 03:24 PM
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How come people can't be satisfied just packing a little weed into a bowl like the good old days? And how come..
(Aaaaargh! Get offa my lawn!!)
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Old 09-05-2019, 03:53 PM
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I'm not surprised. IIRC, all of these mystery illnesses came from the same general location.
I stand corrected. Still confident in the (comparative) safety of my vape, but I'll be keeping an eye on this as it develops.
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Old 09-06-2019, 06:21 AM
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Apparently it's initially looking like vitamin E acetate may be the culprit.

The data is not conclusive of course, but there's clearly a correlation between vape products containing vitamin E acetate and the recent vape-related hospitalizations.
And from that article (re: Turble):
Quote:
Many of those who have fallen ill say they have vaped products containing marijuana, but others said they used traditional nicotine e-cigarettes. Many report using both. Authorities said they are not ruling out adulterants in nicotine vaping products.
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Old 09-06-2019, 07:30 AM
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We had a ton of them, all at the same time, in Wisconsin. When the first one or two happened, I remember at least one of the people saying that he had used a THC cart, but either wouldn't turn it over to be analyzed or wouldn't tell them where he got it. This guy was on death's door and kept his mouth shut, I have a feeling he was protecting someone. Maybe he got it from a large dealer.
In any case, as more and more cases showed up, some of the news stories would mention THC carts as possibly being connected.
This may be causing some bias for me, but all of a sudden I'm hearing the CDC and other agencies telling people that they absolutely should not use e-cigs because they can do irreparable damage to your lungs while pointing to these cases. In the mean time, I keep coming back to the thought that e-cigs have been around for a while at this point and all these people all got sick and the same time, a lot of them in the same area and there were a lot of mentions of THC carts. If they're using THC carts, it means they're being made/filled/sold clandestine style so there's no control over how they're made, their ingredients etc. To me, it sounds like there's a bad batch going around with something in it causing these problems. To tell everyone they shouldn't use any type of vape device ever without having any idea what caused this is like telling people that they shouldn't ever use a cell phone after a handful of li-on batteries exploded.

I'm not arguing that vaping isn't bad, I'm saying they should wait for some actual results before jumping on this as a way to ban something they don't want anyway. If it turns out that it was just a tainted batch making people sick, IMO, the people suggesting that no one should vape anything ever, should lose credibility pointing to this as a reason.
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Old 09-06-2019, 09:43 AM
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You have to take the reports that some of the people used only nicotine products with a grain of salt. It could be true, or it could be that they didn't want to admit they were using THC.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey P View Post
...In the mean time, I keep coming back to the thought that e-cigs have been around for a while at this point and all these people all got sick and the same time, a lot of them in the same area and there were a lot of mentions of THC carts. If they're using THC carts, it means they're being made/filled/sold clandestine style so there's no control over how they're made, their ingredients etc. To me, it sounds like there's a bad batch going around with something in it causing these problems.
It does seem like the problems started suddenly, but there were probably several cases for a long time that were misdiagnosed and never connected. Once the first doctor proposes vaping as the cause, other cases can be tied together and it appears the incidence jumped dramatically.

As far as black market cartridges, there are plenty of states where these are legally filled with regulatory guidance. It doesn't mean people buy those (black market is cheaper), but the Oregon case at least appears to be someone who bought from a legal dispensary. We'll see if that turns out to be the case. If the cause is the oils in the lungs, it could be a fundamental problem with vaping THC, legit or not. Unlike nicotine, THC has to be dissolved in an oil to vape.
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Old 09-06-2019, 10:03 AM
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As far as black market cartridges, there are plenty of states where these are legally filled with regulatory guidance. It doesn't mean people buy those (black market is cheaper), but the Oregon case at least appears to be someone who bought from a legal dispensary. We'll see if that turns out to be the case. If the cause is the oils in the lungs, it could be a fundamental problem with vaping THC, legit or not. Unlike nicotine, THC has to be dissolved in an oil to vape.
No, there are dry herb vapers, which heat the plant material just enough to release the good stuff but not combust. They were actually going long before nicotine vaping but were generally a table top thing. Modern batteries have allowed them to be handheld.
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Old 09-06-2019, 10:06 AM
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https://arstechnica.com/science/2019...m-skin-creams/

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As Ars has previously reported, vaping liquids containing THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, have been prime suspects in the investigation since early on. THC is the primary psychoactive ingredient in cannabis.

“At least one vitamin E acetate containing vape product has been linked to each patient who submitted a product for testing,” the department said in a statement. Many of the products were counterfeits, the department added, which have been another element thought key to the illnesses.

The health department noted that physicians in the state had reported 34 cases of lung illnesses linked to vaping cannabis-containing liquids. None of the nicotine-based products the state tested turned up vitamin E acetate.
Note that you can buy empty cannabis cartridge boxes by the thousands on Amazon and eBay.
https://www.amazon.com/Distillate-Co...gateway&sr=8-4
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Old 09-06-2019, 09:38 PM
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And a new study indicates that the solvents used in vapes may cause significant damage to the lungs. In a study that compared vape solutions with nicotine to solutions wth no drugs, both found significant lung damage.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/e-cig...mage-1.5270986
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Old 09-06-2019, 10:26 PM
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As a 30 year smoker, 20 as an ex, I am amazed that this revelation about vaping is such a surprise. We have ample examples of severe medical problems from any number of inhalation agents, both particulate and chemical.
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Old 09-07-2019, 04:27 AM
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To me, it sounds like there's a bad batch going around with something in it causing these problems. To tell everyone they shouldn't use any type of vape device ever without having any idea what caused this is like telling people that they shouldn't ever use a cell phone after a handful of li-on batteries exploded.
Actually, it strikes me as being more like "we've got E. coli linked to romaine lettuce and until we can figure out exactly where it's coming from don't eat any romaine lettuce". Clearly, there are serious serious problems linked to vaping at the moment and until someone figures out exactly what's going on maybe dialing back on the vaping is a good idea. I think the vaping companies are concerned because they fear people entirely giving up vaping either because they go back to smoking tobacco or just finally manage to give up nicotine entirely. From my viewpoint, it's up to the individual whether or not to continue vaping, but it would be irresponsible for authorities NOT to mention there is a new and very serious risk at the moment and they aren't sure why. Safest is not to vape, but none of us lives a completely safe life. Keep informed and make your own choices.
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Old 09-07-2019, 06:35 AM
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My office mate, an otherwise very sharp 25-y/o engineer, continues to vape. He started to get back at his parents for smoking. I guess he thinks he's immortal or immune or something.

I worry that one day he won't show up for work because of this stupid addiction.
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Old 09-07-2019, 09:01 AM
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As a 30 year smoker, 20 as an ex, I am amazed that this revelation about vaping is such a surprise. We have ample examples of severe medical problems from any number of inhalation agents, both particulate and chemical.
That is my reaction as well.
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Old 09-07-2019, 09:08 AM
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As a 30 year smoker, 20 as an ex, I am amazed that this revelation about vaping is such a surprise. We have ample examples of severe medical problems from any number of inhalation agents, both particulate and chemical.
As I mentioned in a GD thread, short-term lung damage is one thing, but what about the possibility (in my view, likelihood) of vaping ingredients causing slowly-developing serious lung damage? We could be seeing chronic disease in vapers many years from now.

Last edited by Jackmannii; 09-07-2019 at 09:09 AM.
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Old 09-07-2019, 02:38 PM
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We could be seeing chronic disease in vapers many years from now.
Well, at least for the ones that don't drop dead from it in the near term.
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Old 09-09-2019, 12:23 PM
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Why is anyone surprised that coating your lungs in propylene glycol is going to do bad things to you? Yes, it's inert to the body but the crap that goes along with it isn't. It may be moderately safer than smoking but that's like saying walking into traffic is safer than running.
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Old 09-09-2019, 07:22 PM
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Why is anyone surprised that coating your lungs in propylene glycol is going to do bad things to you? Yes, it's inert to the body but the crap that goes along with it isn't. It may be moderately safer than smoking but that's like saying walking into traffic is safer than running.
The estimates I've heard is that it's probably 5% as dangerous as smoking so I'm not sure that's a useful analogy.
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Old 09-09-2019, 08:21 PM
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And what's the odd for it being more dangerous than not vaping?
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Old 09-10-2019, 08:59 AM
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Oh, sorry. How about vaping is as safe as walking into traffic instead of running blindfolded... When people started smoking cigarettes it was promoted as a health benefit. As more people are exposed for longer periods you're going to see more complications arise. Sucking stuff besides air into your lungs is bad, period. There's a reason masks are recommended to people who work in dusty environments like woodworkers and bakers as even inert substances there can cause pneumonitis.
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Old 09-10-2019, 10:52 AM
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Ok, you got me. For the fifth time I will finally admit there's probably health effects to vaping.
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Old 09-10-2019, 01:09 PM
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The estimates I've heard is that it's probably 5% as dangerous as smoking so I'm not sure that's a useful analogy.
So it's been almost a week now and I have not vaped at all. I used to be a regular JUUL user. I also frequently smoke one hand-rolled cigarette in the morning with my coffee, but this is not consistently practiced. Maybe 70% of days. In the past week though, there have been numerous days where I have smoked a second cigarette later in the day. Either during stressful moments with work, or while relaxing after resolving stressful moments with work. (The real estate deal I mentioned in the OP is shot to hell, and while I am now at least free and clear of it, I missed out on a nice commission.)

I tried nicotine gum but could not take the burning feeling of the nicotine trickling into my stomach when I'd swallow the juice from the gum. It was like when I tried "dip" back in the day and accidentally would swallow some of the juice. Fucking gross.

The media has not done a great job of clarifying whether these vaping illnesses are related to THC oil vape, or nicotine vape like JUUL. Some articles I've seen have implied that the former, not the latter, is the culprit. But I think doctors are still studying it and trying to get to the bottom of the outbreak (so maybe it's not the media's fault - but they still lump all "vaping" together in the articles, when the truth is there are numerous kinds of vaping that are different from each other.) There's a difference between nicotine salt vapor, and THC oil vapor. Oil is pretty substantially different in chemical composition from whatever is in JUUL pods.
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Old 09-10-2019, 02:07 PM
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A bit of a slog, but here. JUUL analysis.
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Old 09-10-2019, 10:55 PM
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. . .

The media has not done a great job of clarifying whether these vaping illnesses are related to THC oil vape, or nicotine vape like JUUL. Some articles I've seen have implied that the former, not the latter, is the culprit. But I think doctors are still studying it and trying to get to the bottom of the outbreak (so maybe it's not the media's fault - but they still lump all "vaping" together in the articles, when the truth is there are numerous kinds of vaping that are different from each other.) There's a difference between nicotine salt vapor, and THC oil vapor. Oil is pretty substantially different in chemical composition from whatever is in JUUL pods.
They lump all vaping together because the investigators have not been able to rule out one method or the other.
There has just been another vape related death reported, bringing the current total to 6, and there are 450 cases in 33 different states that are being investigated.
So far there is no one thing linking all the cases together.
The NY State Health Dept has listed Vitamin E acetate as a likely culprit in most of the cases but cannot confirm a link to all the cases they are studying.
The CDC has not said anything yet about a possible cause. Their latest post is from 3 days ago

Quote:
CDC, FDA, state and local health departments, and other clinical and public health partners are investigating a multistate outbreak of pulmonary disease associated with e-cigarette product (devices, liquids, refill pods, and/or cartridges) use. This ongoing investigation seeks to identify the exposures, demographic, clinical, and laboratory features and behaviors of patients. All patients have reported e-cigarette product use. Some patients have reported using e-cigarettes containing cannabinoid products, such as THC. To date, the investigation has not identified any single substance or e-cigarette product that has been consistently associated with illness.

State health departments are working with FDA to enable collection of e-cigarette product specimens for testing at the U.S. FDA Forensic Chemistry Center.
Even tho this is getting alot of media attention right now, it could very well be that these illnesses have been happening all along and it is just now that TPTB are making the connection. The American Lung Association has been sounding the alarm for about 10 yrs now and in Jan 2018 the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine released a consensus study report that reviewed over 800 different studies that includes these findings
  • A study from the University of North Carolina found that the two primary ingredients found in e-cigarettes—propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin—are toxic to cells and that the more ingredients in an e-liquid, the greater the toxicity.
  • E-cigarettes produce a number of dangerous chemicals including acetaldehyde, acrolein, and formaldehyde. These aldehydes can cause lung disease, as well as cardiovascular (heart) disease.
  • E-cigarettes also contain acrolein, a herbicide primarily used to kill weeds. It can cause acute lung injury and COPD and may cause asthma and lung cancer.
  • Both the U.S. Surgeon General and the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine have warned about the risks of inhaling secondhand e-cigarette emissions, which are created when an e-cigarette user exhales the chemical cocktail created by e-cigarettes.
  • In 2016, the Surgeon General concluded that secondhand emissions contain, "nicotine; ultrafine particles; flavorings such as diacetyl, a chemical linked to serious lung disease; volatile organic compounds such as benzene, which is found in car exhaust; and heavy metals, such as nickel, tin, and lead."
  • The Food and Drug Administration has not found any e-cigarette to be safe and effective in helping smokers quit. If smokers are ready to quit smoking for good, they should call 1-800-QUIT NOW or talk with their doctor about finding the best way to quit using proven methods and FDA-approved treatments and counseling.
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Old 09-10-2019, 10:57 PM
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PS: Congratulations Lamoral on a week clean! Keep it up!

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Old 09-11-2019, 10:17 AM
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I am somewhat chastened by mc's spiriit. Congrats from me as well. Keep it up!

I lost my mother 2 years ago to complications from kidney cancer due to smoking and I have a lot of friends who still smoke. Too many of them have switched to vaping as a panacea, but ultimately anyone who can kick an addiction has my utmost respect.
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Old 09-11-2019, 08:20 PM
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I'm not exactly "clean." I haven't vaped, but I've smoked cigarettes. I've had one hand-rolled cigarette with my coffee in the morning, but no more than that except for last Thursday, and Monday of this week, when I smoked an additional cigarette later in the day. But I used to still smoke one cigarette in the morning and then vape the Juul all through the rest of the day. I was totally dependent on it too - I vaped it constantly. I used up at least a pack of pods each week, sometimes more. I went through five different Juuls - three of them were lost, two were destroyed when I inadvertantly went into the water with them. I thought it would be harder to give it up, honestly, but it wasn't that hard.
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Old 09-11-2019, 09:29 PM
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How many cigarettes did you used to smoke before using juul?

Last edited by CarnalK; 09-11-2019 at 09:29 PM.
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Old 09-11-2019, 11:47 PM
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I went through periods of either not smoking any, smoking one in the morning, or smoking a spliff with a combination of weed and tobacco, and then afterwards, smoking one additional tobacco-only cigarette. On rare occasions I would bum a cigarette from someone, usually at a show, or at band practice. For the past 2 years though, there would be weeks when I smoked one cigarette in the morning with coffee, OR vaped the Juul in place of the cigarette. It varied...sometimes I would get the craving for tobacco, go buy a pouch of Amsterdam Shag, roll one cigarette every morning until the bag was gone or until the tobacco was too dry to enjoy (which would happen sometimes because of the low rate of usage.) But when the bag was finished, sometimes I would just not replace it for a week or two or more. I'd just use the JUUL until the tobacco craving hit again - usually it would hit in the morning. I would sometimes have dreams about smoking that morning cigarette and wake up not having any tobacco and then go buy it.

It's a weird relationship with tobacco. I've been smoking it on and off since age 18 and I'm now 33. And yet I think I could count the number of times I've smoked more than 3 cigarettes over the course of one day, on one hand only. I know, it's odd.
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Old 09-12-2019, 12:10 AM
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Posts: 29,103
Just for an update because I don't know how widespread the news is yet (but it's local, so it's all over the place here). Someone a few counties over from me was arrested for producing THC carts. He and a few others were making something like 3000 of them per day.
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Old 09-12-2019, 02:54 AM
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Broomstick is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: NW Indiana
Posts: 28,899
Yep, that was in Kenosha, Wisconsin, or at least that's where the press conference was held. Big bust, very organized production with 10 employees. Mostly THC cartridges. They're investigating further to see if this operation is in any way connected to the recent illnesses and deaths.
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