August 9, 2016. Three years ago today, I smoked my last cigarette. While that may not seem like a big deal to a lot of folks, it was a huge change for me. You see I had been smoking for over 42 years at that point. And not just an occasional smoke during the course of the day, but up to 4 packs a day. Yes, smoking 80 cigarettes a day was not out of the question for me. Of course I had, like many others, tried to quit the smoking habit many times in the past, always with no success. This time around, I wasn’t really trying to quit, just curious about this new thing called electronic cigarettes. I had purchased a basic starter kit. An E-Go style battery, a CE4 clearomizer, and some tobacco flavored e-liquid 10 days prior. The tobacco flavor didn’t cut it, so I changed to a much better tasting orange cream e-liquid. I had gradually weaned myself down to 4 smokes a day. At 10 PM on August 9, 2013, at the age of 60, I smoked my last cigarette and haven’t looked back.
So what’s happened since then? The statistics are just amazing! Had I not stopped smoking, by now I would have consumed an additional 87,690 cigarettes at a cost of about $25,867. Of course, I have spent my fair share of cash on vaping related items during these three years, but nowhere close to $26K! I’m not going to make the great pronouncement that ”Vaping Saved My Life”, but I certainly feel a whole lot better than I did back when I was smoking. I’m probably going to be around a few years longer than I would have if I continued the way I was going.
In addition to switching to vaping, many other things have come along that have had a positive impact on me. Prior to discovering vaping, I was not really active on any social media platforms. My Google skills were decent and I soon discovered the world of vaping reviews on YouTube. The guys and gals on this medium were crucial in me learning the basics and keeping me intrigued. That led me to Twitter and what an experience that has been!
Through Twitter, I have made virtual vaping friends from all over the world. I have had the privilege of meeting some of them in person, and I can say that everyone I have actually met has been absolutely lovely! I routinely interact with people much smarter than me, but I feel that what I have to say is at least listened to. I also have made virtual acquaintance with many who are much better at putting their thoughts into writing. (I’m a bit of a hack when it comes to getting things out of my head and into written form.) Some of these folks are “vape famous” and others are just “regular Joe’s” that are passionate about the subject. I try to interact positively with everyone on Twitter, but sometimes the realist in me comes out and I call a spade a spade. (or maybe if I’m in a mood, I’ll call a spade a fucking shovel!)
I have also learned to be a skeptic. The amount of bullshit that is on Twitter and the Internet regarding electronic cigarettes absolutely boggles the mind. I have learned how to go about researching the bad science and do my little bit in trying to educate the sheeple in the errors of their ways. In doing so, I have increased my knowledge of many things related to vaping. Electronics, medical science, physics, and politics to name a few. It is really a great opportunity to get smart on a lot of subjects, if one spends the time to do the research!
I could go on about FDA Deeming regulations, the TPD, and other ridiculous restrictions coming down the pike regarding vaping, but I’ll leave that to those smarter folks I mentioned earlier.
So what is the point of this long rambling bunch of words? Just that the switch from tobacco to vaping can be a life changing experience for an individual, but there can be much more to it. There is a group of like-minded folks from all over the world who want to see these products continue to be available for all the smokers still out there. A group who want to see fair and science based regulations of these devices. And those who are my virtual friends, each in their own small way, can make the life of a 63 year old retired dude in Texas more fun and enjoyable by their virtual interactions, vape related or otherwise.