I bet , as a smoker, you will have thought about quitting or have tried many times but failed.
You are not alone!
Let me take you on my journey and it will most likely ring a few bells for you and at the end I will tell you about the only method that has worked for me and all of my smoking family and friends.
I started smoking because I thought it looked cool, I was 18. I stupidly sat at the back of the bus one day on a school outing to London. The “bad” kids where all there and for some reason I thought it would be a really good idea to join in on the action.
Being a straight “A” kid was not getting me into what I thought was the cool brigade.
Intelligence counted for nothing, hormones ruled and my desire to “look” over took my ability to think logically. We have all been there..admit it.
When I look back I still remember how bad it felt to take that first drag and I think back as to how the hell I found the money to buy cigarettes whilst I was not earning but studying full time. If I could go back into time I would certainly have had stern words with myself that day.
Since then I have had a yo-yo journey trying to give up smoking. I have had some success.
I gave up for 3 years, cold turkey but fell off the wagon. I have no idea what made me go back to it but I was hooked again.
I have used patches, gum, lozenges and sweets. All work for a while but you end up being dragged back to the stench pit that tobacco has created.
The one reason for going back to cigarettes for me was the habitual aspect. I was never one to claim that I enjoyed smoking. I knew that each time I took a drag I was reducing my life span and the worst thing was that I was paying some one for the privilege.
That is the definition of insanity.
Lets fast forward, 2011 - I have been married for 3 years and we have a boy to take care of.
I knew then it was crunch time. I was preparing myself for the trial that was about to take place. My jury would be nicotine patches, gum and inhalers who all knew that I was guilty of failing to use them. The honourable Judge Willpower would ensure that I was to be given the full sentence if I failed again.
As with necessity, it will invent. In my case it invented the only method that has kept me off cigarettes since 2011. I know that I will never go back to cigarettes again but with one huge caveat. I will have to wean off nicotine at some point.
I bought some e cigarettes, I was living in Spain at the time and cigarettes were and still are cheap to buy. Far cheaper than e cigs, at that time anyway.
I ordered about 50 of them, no-one was selling them locally and I thought if it worked I will sell them on to my friends.
Here is where it get crazy!
I quit tobacco as soon as I took my first puff with my new e cigarette.
The e liquid I chose was vanilla, I wanted to stay away from tobacco flavours.
Some sensations are very rare the older you get, this was one of them. Imagine being 40+ and never tasting chocolate before. One day some one give you a bar and you take a piece. Guaranteed you will eat it all.
It was the same with my sister an cheesecake. She lived a sheltered life and when I told her that the cake in the fridge was New York cheesecake she replied “ auuuuurrggg!!”
In her eyes it was blasphemous to make a cake with its main ingredient being cheddar.
At 30 I thought she would have had a piece at some point in her life and I was right. That point was later that day. It was her very first slice and she has never looked back. She is always on the hunt for a new flavour of cheesecake - she even makes her own.
This is what it is like to be a vaper, we look for new flavours that will bring us back to the first time we tried it. It was a moment that I can not describe really.
Almost like a brand new sensation, yes...I had never tasted vanilla in such a way. I was breathing vanilla...it is very hard to explain.
Since then I have moved along from the cigalikes to vape pens and not to devices that let me blow my own weather patterns into the atmosphere.
I have moved on from e liquids and e juice that was 24mg to zero mg. I just do for the flavour now and I do not really need it. I am no longer addicted to nicotine.
I do still vape though....strange yes...I use a zero mg ejuice and a huge mod. I suppose that you could say its a hobby now.
Who would have thought that the act of inhaling and exhaling would be called a hobby ?
In all fairness, as long as I never use tobacco I am happy with my status as a vaper, so is my wife.
As with all things health I am “ back in the gym” ( not with the Hodge twins ) and I am not afraid to say that vaping has probably saved my life.
One last note to end this story, I was convinced I was doing the right thing all those years ago...when one of my friends said , after I was telling them to quit smoking and vape, that they did not want to look like an idiot and use a vape pen.
I replied that you will look more like an idiot after you visit your Doctor complaining about a pain in your chest and turns out to be the big C.