My story is like most everyone else in the journey to “not smoking” with an e-cig. I didn’t plan on smoking as a kid, surely none of us did. But – I did. Starting around the age of 9 or so with the neighbor kids – and like many, easily swiping cigarettes from my Father. “Old Gold 100’s”. I’d only grab two or three at first… didn’t want him to miss any of them.
I didn’t realize I could’ve taken more and he probably would’ve thought he smoked them. He eventually switched to Raleigh 100’s… well, I wasn’t having that.
I was already rather fond of the Old Golds.
Looking back – it was pretty simple to go to the convenience store even at that age – and purchase a pack of cigarettes. I was playing Pee-Wee football and would smoke on the way to & from practice. I’d smoke while doing my paper route…. you know ….
I got caught once at about 13. Dad said, “Want to be a man? You’ll smoke a mans cigar!” I was required to smoke – and yes inhale – a rum soaked cigar – with my father – who coincidentally put his out after about 1/3rd of it was gone… I on the other hand, smoked mine to the nub between going green. If it went OUT, he said I’d have to smoke another one. Yes I was sick as a dog. No, it didn’t deter me from smoking. I certainly learned my lesson about cigars, though.
Once I had become “allowed” to smoke at 16, with a job and a die-hard fan of Marlboro Lights… the habit was set into motion.
Married to my wife in 1992- she was a smoker as well. I continued the long standing family tradition of smoking, I’d moved brands by this time, what with a family planned, those faithful coupons weren’t as tempting as they once were, Doral became the brand of choice for price – and taste. Sort of.
Here I was escorting my Gram in to a wedding reception – with her cigarette case in hand. Something about that woman. NEVER met a stranger. She was a rock. She smoked Pall Mall non-filters all my life, and I joked that she was ~ more a man than I’d ever be ~ for doing so. When she did quit smoking, she did it cold turkey. Gram developed lung cancer 15 years after she stopped smoking. I miss her dearly.
Time does fly, along come the kids in 1995 & 1998. Having no health issues myself – thankfully, I kept on smoking – as did the wife.
Guilt set in a little….as a parent, when you’ve got monkeys running around, there’s bound to be some sense of “gottaquit”. The gum & patch, for a lack of better descriptions were used and tossed like the idea of quitting 15 times – or more, and of course it was “for the children™”.
Well into my late 30’s, friends “my age” were starting to pass away. “Smoking related” or not, My own mortality was setting in a bit. You remember – looking at your cigarette thinking – I need to quit.
I’d had their tails removed at birth, but the monkeys were getting older.
Along comes a family event, and all of us had not been together in the same place at the same time in years. Some have or had stopped smoking on their own since with a patch, gum or other methods. At the time of this photo, 5 of the 8 you see here were still smokers.
Somewhere between 2010 & 2013 – I’d “heard” of e-cigarettes…and I believe it was the FDA seizure story – don’t remember exactly “what it was”, but ppppffffft… nothing else worked – besides, the kids were getting older, and I was set to be a life-long smoker. As a co-worker pointed out to me as I smoked two cigarettes to his one on a break one day, I was a “professional smoker”.
May 22rd, 2013. The week of a Nashville wedding, I decided to get a Krave brand “cigalike”. I couldn’t smoke in my work truck and thought – what the hell –
The disposable worked so well, I got two kits the next day, May 23rd, 2013 – and so did my wife. Accidentally. I wasn’t planning on quitting – neither was she. We’d stopped smoking in under 48 hours.
Jan & I were the only one at the gathering in the family to “still smoke”, and with our kits in hand – these cigalikes – were working.
These are the first two photos of me as a non-smoker during that week and didn’t even know it. Neither of us happened to “dual use”. We just stopped smoking. A month later we had ego style kits and had long forgotten we were smokers. Accidentally. This was me three years ago.
With my head in the sand deeper than others, I was b a r e l y on social media. I was dumb & happy – not knowing what evil there was online. I didn’t have a twitter account. I only had family and friends on Facebook – pretty normal – uneventful. More than a year later – towards the end of 2014, I was looking up something about something – and found twitter – within a couple months I was in the thick of “Oh, my”.
Wow, they need to understand vaping works!!! How dare they!!! Those people led to the start of this blog. That led to this survey.
Dad & I in 2006. At almost 70, the absolute die-hard smoker he was – quit cold turkey.
Still craved them, but he had quit.
He knew I had quit with an e-cigarette before he died of lung cancer at 71 in September of 2015.
Of all the things I’ve enjoyed about my journey is that my wife Janice – accidentally quit with me. She didn’t have to. She chose to. A three year journey – times two.
I’ve had opportunity and engagement with most of you who may read this via Twitter & Facebook – every bit of it positive, educational and with some, very personal. I’ve learned more – and still learn daily – from you all. For that, and your friendships, I am forever grateful.
You can find me here on Facebook
You can find me here on Twitter
More to come.
Keep ON #Vaping On.