Vaping is becoming one of the most debated subjects around now, with people typically on the polar opposite scales of the argument; you’re either “vaping is a great alternative to smoking” or “vaping is horrible, just like smoking”. There appears to be very few people who sit in the middle of those two ideas.
That’s why I wanted to talk about why I vape, and what got me started. Whilst I have touched on this subject in previous posts, I think I might be able to help this ongoing argument a bit if I explain the reasons behind my use of an e-cigarette… Maybe seeing the actual person behind the vape might help people understand why it can be a really good alternative (but not always). So, I guess I’ll start with “the beginning”, as it were.
The Smoking Chain
I started smoking when I was a young teenager… Let’s get that confession out of the way first. I was a complete and utter idiot who fell for peer pressure and got addicted.
In fact, there was a time when I would get through a pack of 20 Marlboro Reds in one day, if not more. The whole idea of chain smoking had grasped me and would not let go. Going more than an hour and a half without a cigarette was torture for me, so things like going to movies often ended with me rushing outside and lighting up a cigarette immediately as the credits started to roll. And of course, I stank of smoke as well (although I never noticed it at the time).
This carried out, and indeed, intensified when I moved abroad and met my future wife. You see, we were both living in Bulgaria at the time, where smoking (at least then) was still just “something everyone does”. So, naturally, my habit (or rather, addiction) grew stronger. I would sail through packs of the strongest cigarettes I could get my hands on, without really thinking of the consequences.
It wasn’t until I was 25, married, and we had moved back to the UK that I really started to think about things. However, even then it probably wasn’t the right thing to think about… You see, I started calculating how much I was spending on cigarettes. I don’t remember the figure I came to, but it was horrendous.
So I started looking for ways to cut that down, and found e-cigarettes. That was how I first moved across to them.
The Quitting Game
However, because I was basically using e-cigarettes to cut down on costs, I would still have the odd pack of cigarettes or rollies. So, this mix between vaping and smoking carried on for a while, until my wife and I started really talking about our future. That was when I started thinking about how much of a future I’d actually have if I carried out the way I was with cigarettes.
I tried stopping smoking before by going cold turkey, but it never worked. I’ll admit that I don’t have the willpower to do that, and many of us don’t. Patches also didn’t work for me, as they kept falling off as soon as I got even slightly sweaty. So I needed a different way to quit smoking.
That was vaping.
I did a lot of research into the effects of vaping, and the ingredients in e-cigarette liquid, and was very impressed. Whilst they are not 100% risk free, the actual liquid is made up almost entirely of the same stuff that’s in an asthma inhaler… Just with flavourings and nicotine added too. But since nicotine itself isn’t harmful (it’s the tar in cigarettes, along with all of the other random stuff, that is), they are infinitely healthier than smoking.
And so it was that I decided to just vape, instead of mixing vaping and smoking.
My decision was also helped by the fact that, unlike with smoking, there’s no second hand smoke problems for others around me. You see, with vaping, the name comes from the fact that it is just water vapour that you breathe out after inhaling. There’re no harmful chemicals that you are spewing into other people’s faces.
Becoming A Family Man
Since making the switch to vaping, and basically stopping smoking in the process, I have become a Dad (obviously). So now, more so than ever before, I am looking at my future and wondering how much of it I’ll actually get… I want to be there for all the best moments of my daughter’s life, and to support her through all of the worst ones. And that means I need to take care of myself more. I’m not a teenager anymore, after all.
So I’ve be using e-cigarettes to cut down my nicotine intake bit by bit. I started on 24mg of nicotine per bottle (which is now forbidden anyway), but have now cut myself down to just 6mg per bottle. That’s a huge drop in nicotine intake, but you know what? It hasn’t given me any of the side effects that going cold turkey does.
Instead, I feel far better in myself. I have less headaches, fewer coughing fits and general feel more alive.
It may take a bit longer to cut down to 3mg and then give up nicotine entirely, but thanks to vaping, I’m getting there… And thanks to vaping, there’s more chance I’ll get to see my daughter grow up and live her life.
And That’s All Folks
If you’re a smoker, I have to say, I don’t understand why you don’t make the jump to vaping. E-cigarettes are so much healthier than “real” cigarettes, but you’ll still get that hit of nicotine you’re craving. It can be a slow process to bring down your nicotine levels, but honestly, vaping is one of the best ways you could go about stopping smoking.
What are your thoughts on vaping? Has this admission of mine helped you understand the reason why so many people are vaping, and how it can help you? Let me know in the comments below.