Hey everyone, I'm Brandon. Since I began working at Vapor4Life, I have been sharing the story of how I switched to vaping with anyone who would listen. I'm 21, graduated college three weeks ago, and am a die-hard Cubs fan.
I started smoking in high school. I wasn't trying to be one of the "cool" kids or trying to fit in, I actually despised smoking. My mother always encouraged that I read, so I read medical journals. Every article about cigarettes convinced me that there was nothing beneficial from smoking. Seeing ads, diagrams, and documentaries on smoking scared me. When I was younger, my dad was the only smoker I knew. I hated it. I would even give him lectures on why he should stop. I was a living anti-smoking campaign. I always told myself I'd never touch one. Well, that lasted seventeen years. So how does a guy like me end up smoking?
At age 17, my first real girlfriend broke my heart when she dumped me. I didn't know what to do or where to go. I didn't know how I would get through the pain. My best friend smoked Parliament Lights. I hated that he smoked, but he was kind enough to not smoke around me. He ended up being the one who gave me my first cigarette. I remember it vividly. I met up with him after my girlfriend dumped me to express my frustration and confusion. I probably made it seem worse than it actually was, but my friend had a solution. "Here, take one and smoke it." Of course I did, I thought this would be the cure. "Flick" - I light the cigarette and took a drag. For a split second my head went rushing for the first time and I felt at ease, relaxed, euphoric. The exact feeling I needed to cope with the stress of the moment. He ended up giving me the rest of his pack.
I wanted to smoke everywhere I went. It seemed harmless because I was smoking simply because it was something I could do. I bought a different brand each time, just to see if I could try them all. My new hobby quickly became an addiction. I knew I had a problem when one pack just wasn't enough. I started buying cartons because I knew I was going to buy more packs eventually. I needed a cigarette with every routine task. All through college if I didn't have a cigarette I'd bum one. I felt pathetic.
Cold turkey is extremely hard and didn't last long for me. Now, I didn't go off right away to buy cigarettes, but I did buy a pack of nicotine gum. The gum helped but not as much as I expected, and it was really nasty tasting. The gum just lengthened the time between cigarettes. I still bummed coworkers for cigarettes often. I never tried the patch or lozenges. I just went cold turkey again.
What a strange coincidence that I began interning for an electronic cigarette company at the same time I decided to make a change! On my first day I tried a bunch of products. When I started it felt like cheating. It was too real for me. "The heck do you mean I'm gettin' a buzz off of a battery!?" I had much to learn. After a few months I found myself not craving real cigarettes. For once I felt like in control and that feeling is what made me fully commit to vaping.
Vapor4Life has done a lot for me. When I first met Steve, it was pretty memorable. He saw me in an aisle looking at all the flavors and I remember him saying "Hey baby, just grab it, take it and use it. I want you off of that stuff." I could tell he meant it. That first impression really showed me what V4L was all about. Since then I have made a full switch and I feel great. I love vaping and V4L.