Five years. It has been five years since I started to get serious about ending a cigarette habit that started when I was eighteen.
I have been smoke free for four of the five. The picture above is my non-cigarette history starting back in 2010.
The two tubes on the far left were partial successes. I still smoked while experimenting with those…they just didn’t cut the cravings enough.
The very first black ecig, a generic EGO battery and cartridge did the trick. I remember that day as if it was yesterday. I took one hit of the ego with attached cartridge…walked to the kitchen with a half pack of American Spirits and crushed them in my hand. I then said, “good fuckin’ riddance” and dropped the mangled cigarettes in the trash. That was how GOOD that ecig worked, and since July 2011 I haven’t had a cigarette…or the craving for one.
Of course, looking back, it didn’t work all THAT well…but it delivered enough nicotine to kill the cravings, and I was on my way.
By 2013, I was using gear that didn’t even resemble a cigarette, and now cannot imagine going back.
Over the course of the years the vaping experience, and the gear have evolved. Better performance, better eliquid, better choices. The community has become very sophisticated, and range from folks like me who just want stuff “to just work”, to the hobbyists who experiment with homemade builds, from the coils that heat the liquid, all the way to the electronics powering the devices, and to the guys who started mini-careers doing reviews of all of this stuff on youtube.
I shout out here to the three guys most responsible for keeping me on track:
Nick Green The first reviewer that caught my eye when searching for information.
Phil Busardo The technical side of things, Phil’s videos drill down the gear like no other.
Dimitris Agrafiotis General vaping reviews, and the most tireless advocate I have ever seen when it comes to the intricate and insane mess that is regulatory government. (Sorry Dimi, I couldn’t resist the text color. :-D )
Along the way I have also been sickened to discover that in my country and around the world, there is a backlash of epic proportions by governments and corporations who stand to lose massive amounts of money because this method WORKS TO GET FOLKS OFF OF CIGARETTES. What a surprise, right?
Groups like CASAA are working overtime to get the message out about the benefits of vaping, and taking the fight to the nanny state governments who are knee jerk reacting to this growing phenomenon.
Now there will be some out there who ask the question, “Well then, why don’t you just quit?”
My answer is simple. “I LIKE nicotine.” I always have from that first pull on a cig in bootcamp back in 1980. It suited me. Then I discovered the pure unadulterated joy that is COFFEE + CIGARETTES.
Cigarettes have been referred to as “an aide to thought”, and there is some evidence backing that claim up.
I wanted to quit not because of nicotone, which is no more harmful than caffeine in the doses that cigarettes/ecigs provide…I wanted to quit because cigarettes are FULL of carcinogens and chemicals that ARE HORRIBLE for the human body.
Ecigs/vaping provide my nicotine with four ingredients. Whether they are “completely safe” is irrelevant. They are a zillion percent safer than smoking.
The term for this is “HARM REDUCTION”…a simple concept that the bizarro-world “anti-vaping” crowd needs to figure out. (Some of them won’t because they are financially invested in products that are in competition with vaping…and this is a sad thing.) Getting people off of cigarettes should be the goal, not protecting one’s turf.
I will say one thing here, lest I get lumped in with the nanny-staters myself. FREEDOM means you should have choice. If you CHOOSE to smoke, that is your choice. When I say, “get people off of cigarettes,” I mean, specifically, to provide a viable alternative. Force is for socialists, fascists and busybodies who think it is their right to force people to do what they think is right.
So here as I start year 6 of NOT smoking, I hope that all of you out there still sucking on the cancer sticks give this alternative a try.
I no longer stink of smoke.
I no longer have ash and stained walls or gummed up windows.
I DO have my lungs back.
I DO have my tastebuds back! (woot x 10 here! :-D )
I have my NIC. (For me this is a good thing.)
It worked for me! :-)