Vaping Saved My Life
Vaping Saved My Life
I started smoking in 1998 at the age of 16. Not for any particular reason other than out of boredom and wanting to give it a try. My mother smoked for twenty years, and my father smoked off and on for thirty. Maybe it was just in my blood to become a smoker, which was weird because as a child I was allergic to smoke. Anytime I was around smoker it would make me sneeze and make my eyes water. However, for some reason when I tried it at sixteen, it no longer affected me. At first, I wasn't hooked on the nicotine, I just really enjoyed the action and holding one in between my fingers or lighting one up during a conversation. Maybe I felt sophisticated or grown up. Of course, as I continued to smoke the addiction to nicotine became apparent. I was to become a pack a day smoker for the next 19 years.
I knew smoking was bad for my health and wellbeing, but I was young, and I could quit whenever I wanted…so I thought. Of course, family members would always tell me they wished I would stop and didn’t want to see me hurt myself, but I was at a point where I knew quitting would be extremely difficult if not impossible without any help. The issue was at the time there weren’t many options for quitting that I knew of other than patches or gums. To be honest one of my favorite parts of smoking was the smoke. I loved the inhale and exhale which you don’t get with patches or gums. In 2009 my best friend, who also smoked, and I saw a commercial for Blu Ecigs. We both were very excited and had high hopes that this might be the way would be able to quit smoking. Unfortunately, the flavor, throat hit, and overall satisfaction just wasn’t there. We sent them back, got a refund, and continued smoking.
Sometime in 2013, the friend that had tried Blu Ecigs with me came to visit me in San Diego. He brought his new vape with him and said I should give it a try. At the time, vaping was still in its infancy and had large, cumbersome devices without much flavor and were hard to understand. I tried a couple pulls off of it and once again it still just didn’t do it for me. Maybe it just wasn’t my time yet, and unfortunately, he ended up going back to smoking. A couple of years later in 2015 vaping was becoming more popular and had advanced quite a bit. My girlfriend and I, who also smoked, decided to go to a local vape shop and see what options there were. We ended up getting a Kangertech Subox Mini and two 30ml bottles of 6mg juice. We took it home, set it up, and I was anxious to give it a try. By this time, I had been smoking for 17 years and was capable of ripping the filter off of a Lucky Strike and taking a massive hit without batting an eye. I tried taking a pull off our new vape and coughed worse than the first time I smoked a cigarette. It was very humbling, confusing, and discouraging, to be honest. I kept trying it here and there, but once again, I had failed to quit smoking.
At the very end of 2016, there was a new law coming into place in California that would raise the cost of cigarettes from around $5 per pack to approximately $7-$8 per pack. I was also going to be turning 35 and was finally genuinely ready to try and quit smoking. I looked into Chantix, as recommended by my boss at the time, and after reading the horrific side effects people experienced decided that cancer might actually be easier to deal with. Cancer is not a joke, and I just used it to emphasize how awful the side effects I was reading about were. One of which made a man suicidal that had never had any mental health issues before starting Chantix and another in which a woman had to be checked into a psych ward because it was genuinely making her insane.
On January 1st, 2017 my girlfriend and I decided we were going to give vaping a solid try. I had decided to quit smoking entirely and only vape no matter how much I coughed. I saw people vaping all the time and knew that it could be done. We still had our Subox Mini and a couple of coils. We decided to go to a local vape shop to get some new juice and a pen for her. I picked up a couple of 12mg bottles and that day I became an ex-smoker. Within a week we were down to 6mg juice, and after another two weeks we were down to 3mg and have been there ever since. It took some time to get used to of course, but it worked. Any time I felt like having a cigarette, I vaped, and I kept on vaping. The pen ended up not being enough for her, so she inherited our Subox Mini and I joined the thousands of vapers using the Smok Alien Kit.
It wasn’t long before I was trying different juices, watching hours of YouTube reviews and informational videos, getting my first rebuildable, making my first set of coils, and eventually even making my own juice. Today I have an extensive collection of mods, RTA’s, RDA’s, and even a couple RDTA’s. The thing I love the most about vaping, besides the massive benefits to my health, is that it also became a hobby that I genuinely enjoy.
I am a huge advocate for vaping and have personally gotten multiple friends of mine to quit smoking and switch to vaping. I even wrote a paper in school on the benefits of vaping versus smoking. Vaping is now a big part of my life. None of the other smoking alternatives would have worked for me because my favorite thing about smoking was the actions of doing it. The act of bringing the cigarette up to my lips and taking a drag, the inhale, and the exhale. Patches, gum, and prescriptions cannot satisfy that desire, but vaping can. I can talk about vaping all day, obviously, but I do not doubt that without it I would still be a smoker and one day it would have ended up costing me my life.
I know this was rather long and if you got all the way through it, I appreciate you listening to my story. For those of you that need a TLDR: Vaping is amazing and is the only way I was able to quit smoking 😊