I think I was your typical smoker. I had a pack a day habit, more if I was out drinking. I smoked cigarettes for 25 years. Vape what?
Growing into my formidable teen years in the early 90’s, I started smoking around age 15, during high school, when smoking was rampant. I had lots of friends who smoked, my father smoked, my grandparents smoked (who have all died from smoking related illnesses since). As uncool as smoking is, the vape didn’t exist and I thought it was cool to smoke back then, it took on the James Dean persona; mysterious and intriguing.
Smoking lasted through my teenage years, well into my 20’s, and 30’s. Smoking became an everyday part of my reality. When I woke up in the morning, guess what the first thing I reached for was? Yep, a cigarette. After a meal? Yep, a cigarette, before bed…you get the idea. And smoking did terrible things to my body. It would make me cough and hack, like there was an alien in my chest trying to excise itself. But yet, I would continue to put my body through that misery. Why you ask? The struggle is real. The addiction is real. Cigarettes had a control over my life, they dictated how I operated. When there was something to do, my answer was, ok let me have a quick smoke then I’ll get started.
I’ve tried numerous times to quit, using various methods, cold turkey, the patch, wellbutrin, nothing really seemed to work for me. My best failure was the Army. I was forced to quit when I went through training. 16 weeks, no smoking, that should do the trick, I thought. Well, it didn’t do the trick, as soon as I finished all of my training and was at my permanent duty station, I quickly picked the habit back up the first time I went to a bar with the fellas in the platoon. I’ve actually tried vaping before too, but the setup I had was a piece of overpriced junk that I had quickly tossed aside in favor of a cigarette.
Well now I was approaching 40 and still smoking. Between my wife and I, we were spending close to $600 a month on cigarettes, killing ourselves in the process. We had to try something again, I was ready to try hypnosis. As scary as that seems to me, it worked for my grandmother in the late 90’s. We decided to try vaping again. We have heard of so many people having success using a vape to quit smoking, I was willing to give it another try. We went back and forth for a couple days, planning a day to quit, when on the 22nd of December we actually went to the shop and decided to give it a valiant effort. After some advice from a friend, we went with some mid range priced gear, chose a tobacco flavor that resembled what we smoked and gave it a go. When we got back into the truck to head home, I looked at my wife and said, “That’s it. I am not smoking anymore. That cigarette we had before going into the shop was my last one. I don’t want to smoke anymore!” And guess what?
It’s been 10 weeks today since I had that last cigarette in front of the vape shop. With vaping, I had finally found help in ridding myself of that nasty habit. Within the first few days I noticed how bad other people smelled when they smoked. I couldn’t believe I let myself walk around smelling like that for 25 years. It’s only been 10 weeks, but I already feel better. I breathe better, sleep better, I am starting to taste things again without having to dump a bottle of hot sauce on everything. We are even weening ourselves from nicotine. We started at 18mg and are now down to using 3.
Using a vape isn’t considered a smoking cessation product, why?, I am not sure. I do know one thing though, it worked for us, and we could be happier about it.
If you are serious about wanting to quit smoking, try vaping!