This is a guest blog post by VaporVamp.
I’ve been a secret prisoner of cigarettes for almost 15 years. I smoked the first thing in the morning. I would smoke any chance I could during the workday, even smoking at my desk since I work from home. Sometimes, I would wake up in the middle of the night and smoke. I always had to make sure I had enough cigarettes and lighters. Despite my dedication to smoking and my resistance to quit, I was constantly worried about the smell offending others (and I knew the health risks). I left my doors and windows open at home as often as possible. I bought about 25 different perfumes, all purse sized, so I could carry them with me and use them right before I met people. I had a whole routine of putting on hand cream and a dab of perfume and popping a breath mint before meeting friends for lunch or coffee. I didn’t want to be the “stinky smoker.”
I first heard of e-cigarettes in 2009 and bought a starter kit from a well-known brand. I was not impressed. I had to draw so hard on them to get a good drag that my jaw hurt, and they didn’t satisfy my nicotine cravings. The kit quickly ended up in the back of a drawer. I had been hearing more about electronic cigarettes in the news and online and in 2012 read a really comprehensive article reviewing several brands by Gizmodo. That was where I first heard of Vapor4Life. I started checking out the Vapor4Life website and there were a lot more options than the brand I had tried years before. On the recommendation of the Gizmodo article, I ordered the Titan Auto Starter Kit.
When I started vaping, I didn’t immediately try putting down my cigarettes. I was doing both. I did have some added incentive to kick the habit, though. I had just remodeled my first home and didn’t want to smoke inside, but with the forest fire danger in my hometown being so high, smoking outside is prohibited with a $500 fine if you are caught. You can’t toss your butts out your car window for the same reason. It was getting more and more inconvenient to be a smoker. After a couple of months of vaping and smoking, I became more serious and started checking out the Vapor4Life forum and YouTube videos reviewing more advanced products. I decided to give tanks and liquids a try and that was a real turning point. Once I tried a flavor I could vape all day (RY4 is my personal favorite), I invested in a Dial-A-Volt automatic battery. The combination of the DAV and a tank really gives me a great vape that rivals smoking an analog cigarette.
I started cutting back on cigarettes and got down to smoking twice a day. I was happy with my progress, but knew I wanted to completely switch to vaping. I found out I was going to have to have reconstructive surgery on my ankle, and if I was still smoking, I would have to follow a protocol to avoid getting blood clots in my leg. Not wanting to make the surgery any more difficult than it was already going to be, I gave up those last two cigarettes a day and completely switched to vaping. I ordered another Dial-A-Volt battery to celebrate. As of today, I have been smoke-free for 24 days, and in all honesty, it hasn’t been that difficult. If I had found good vaping products sooner, I may have been able to fully switch years before. I have become an advocate for vaping, telling all my friends who still smoke (whether it is occasionally or a pack a day) the benefits of vaping over smoking. I no longer have to worry about hiding my habit with perfume and breath mints. I no longer have stinky ash trays stashed in every room of my house. I don’t have to worry about people coming over and thinking my house smells like smoke. Most importantly, I know my body is detoxing from all those years I put chemicals in it, and I can work on healing from my foot surgery without having to worry about getting a blood clot.
My only regret is that I didn’t make the switch sooner. I have already saved over $100 on cigarettes. My pets are not being exposed to cigarette smoke (something I always felt guilty about). I can vape around my mom, who has bad asthma, and not worry about negatively impacting her health. I can vape outside without getting a fine or starting a fire or I can vape in my new house without turning the newly painted walls dingy. Vaping represents a new start to me, a healthier, more honest self. No more sneaking around to smoke. I vape in front of everyone and I’m not embarrassed to be doing it. Sure, there are people who don’t understand it and still think it is the same as smoking, but part of my goal is to educate others on the benefits of vaping over smoking and let other smokers know that there is a better alternative out there. I was always ashamed to be a smoker, but I’m not embarrassed to be a vaper. To me it is a triumph, not a crutch, a decision to be healthier and live a better life. Now that’s something to be proud of.