In the fall of 2010 I purchased my first e-cig, an Njoy Pro after my Mother was diagnosed with Stage 4 Small Cell Carcinoma. Her oncologist recommended it to me after based on input from some of his other patients who used it to quit smoking. And for the most part it worked to help me cut down.
On January 31st, 2011, my mother passed away due to complications from pneumonia as a result of her cancer. I knew right then, looking at my 6 year old daughter who had just one of the people she loved most in the world, that I had to quit smoking tobacco.
I spent the next few months trying everything to quit. The patch failed as it did nothing to make me not crave a cigarette. I moved to the lozenge on the recommendation of my doctor, but having the ‘candy’ in my mouth for more than a minute would trigger my gag reflex. I tried the gum but discovered that I needed to chew more than I would have spent on cigarettes in a single week to even remotely quell the smallest craving. Support groups didn’t help either. I ended up back on tobacco full force again. I avoided Chantix after watching a friend almost lose his life in a bout of depression, and my doctor agreed that he did not like writing prescriptions due for the med due to the known side effects.
A friend of mine at work purchased a V2 electronic cigarette on a whim. While out on break he let me try it and it worked better than the Njoy Pro I had previously used. I order myself a kit shortly after and used that exclusively for the next month. Due to a miscalculation I ran out of carts a day before my next order was to be delivered. In a moment of desperation I bummed a cigarette off a friend after leaving a movie theater. It was possibly the worst mistake I had made. It was like high school all over again. I took a puff and began to feel dizzy, choked on the second puff and coughed till I popped blood vessels in my left eye. Dizzy, nauseous and defeated, I stubbed the cigarette, went home and went to bed. From that point forward I never felt the need or desire to touch a cigarette again.
Today I enjoy living without tobacco. I understand that while vaping is not the perfect solution, it is far less harmful than burning tobacco. My health has improved – I feel a thousand times better than I have since I started smoke when I was around 17. Even my doctor comments on how much better I look and sound. I enjoy chasing my kid around and it feels awesome that I can now keep up with her and my girlfriends kids without having to sit and rest every five minutes to catch my breath. I like that I don’t get the “You’re a smoker, aren’t you. You smell like cigarettes..” comments anymore. I just feel more alive than I have in the last 15 years that I smoked tobacco.
I just wish my parents had this option a lot sooner when they were alive. It would have been nice to have more than 33 years with them.