I remember smoking a cigarette for the first time when I was 16 years old. That was over 20 years ago. Ten years ago I tried to quit. My chest would ache so bad all the time and I had a severe cough that was worsening by the day. I used nicotine patches. It was an awful experience. Even after enduring the side effects from using it, I still wanted to smoke. Some people think that the addiction of smoking is all about nicotine. But it’s really only part of it. At least for me. The act of smoking, feeling that pull of smoke when inhaling, and releasing the pressure during the exhale. The social gatherings, the relaxation, all the indulging comforts that keeps a smoker smoking. That is what kept me smoking for so long. Two years ago, I bought an electronic cigarette from 711. It seemed to work alright. It became my “go-to smoke” when driving. At first, I still smoked cigarettes but was beginning to cut back. I eventually bought a more expensive e-cig that required flavored juice. Once I tasted several different flavors, I quickly adapted to vaping. I recall giving the rest of my opened carton of Marlboros to a homeless guy on the street. The first thing I noticed was the pain in my chest faded away. I wasn’t coughing all the time and my clothes and hair didn’t reek like an ashtray anymore. A couple months later, I realized there was more money in my wallet than usual. Earlier this year, I gave in to the obsessive temptation of smoking. I asked a co worker for a cigarette. I had this idea that I was going to light it up and it was going to be such an awesome experience and feeling. Then I took a long drag off of it and….it was the MOST DISGUSTING thing I ever tasted! I actually coughed so bad I gagged and nearly threw up. I could not (and still can’t) believe I used to crave those things for two decades of my life. If only vaping had been more known and readily available back then. That’s why I say its lucky to be young today. Whenever I see a teenager smoking a cigarette, I offer to buy an e-cig for them. I tell them that twenty years is a long time to regret. Trust me. I know.