Quit Smoking and Switch to Vaping Series - Part 1
Quit Smoking and switch to Vaping - Part 1
A personal insight into a switch from smoking to vaping
Part 1 in our 'Quit Smoking and Switch to Vaping' series takes the personal experience of one of our regular customers Paul and in their own words gives you an insight into their journey from being a heavy smoker to a happier vaper.
'If vaping didn’t exist, well, neither, most likely, would I'
The long-term effects of vaping are beyond my ken. The long-term effects of smoking, however, are well known.
I started smoking in my mid-teens.
I was a cross country runner for my school and my county as well as playing football for my school and a local team. My lungs being of paramount importance in both pursuits.
In to my twenties. No cross country, but still a keen footballer. 'I’ll stop smoking before I’m thirty', I thought.
In to my thirties. Still a keen footballer, but hack-hack-wheeze, started to worry a bit about being out of breath/coughing. 'I’ll stop smoking before I’m forty', I thought.
In to my forties. No more football. Hack-hack-cough-splutter-wheeze. I’ll, hack-hack, stop, cough, smoking, splutter, before, wheeze, I’m, hack-hack-hack-hack, fifty, I, gurgle, thought.
I got to forty-seven. Coughing up revolting brown whelks. Am I going to get to fifty, I thought? Then – drum-roll – I discovered vaping.
I smoked rolling tobacco: strong stuff. Capstan Full Strength. Park Drive. Senior Service etc. I put myself in the hands of a clown at what was once my local vaping shop.
He started me off on the ‘pens’. Even though I was on 24mg juice, I simply could not get a decent drag. I told the clown that I wanted to ‘upgrade’.
I got a tiny device the size of a matchbox. Same problem. I ‘upgraded’ again: a slightly bigger matchbox.
He was, the clown later told me, concerned that due to my age – forty-seven – I would not be able to handle a beefy bit of kit. These experiences with inferior devices almost put me off vaping. A valid point, methinks. Another vape shop opened. I took my custom there.
Things started to get better although I was Still on feeble minor devices and using 24mg liquids.
I am not technically minded. PG? VG? I asked for some juice I fancied from the shelf of my vape shop. I was then told that my device was not suitable. Eh? Something to do with PG/VG so I asked for a device that was suitable.
Bingo! I was told that 6mg was the maximum strength juice advisable for such devices. I wavered: would that assuage my nicotine habit? I got some 6mg juice.
However, on returning home, I discovered that I had two bottles of 24mg juice in the cupboard. It won’t hurt, I thought. Ye gods! The stuff blew my throat to bits. I went on to 6mg. Hello? Still too strong. I went down to 3mg. Bingo!
To be honest, I can’t recall any of the devices I used before getting my hands/lungs on my first really decent bit of kit: the Smok G320 Powerful Marshall. This is what I had always wanted. One big drag filled a room with vapour. I felt fulfilled. I needed two devices, though, really: one for getting knocked about whilst out and about, and one for at home.
I was then, in my local vape shop, rubbing shoulders with people half my age or less, as an equal: I had a decent device. Anyway, I was then shown a Wismec Reuleaux RX300. Ha! Just my cup of tea. This was before the T.P.D. debacle. So I got myself a giant Ornate tank; well, I actually got myself three; a wise move indeed.
The coolest vapers at my local shop were all ‘drippers’. They told me I should do it too. I demurred. I am a reader. I sit and read for hours and hours. I fill my giant Ornate tank. I sit myself down. I sit and read and puff – well, billow – away for aeons. Drip-drip-dripping all the time is not practical for me.
Putting my book down and dripping. Picking it back up again. Billowing. Then having to do it all over again. Nah.
Back to my health: I, aged forty-nine, took up the martial art taijiquan. I went to five lessons a week. And a four-hour ‘workshop’ once a month. I cycled to all classes (I now have private lessons with the sifu).
I, being an established vaper by the time I started, noticed that I seemed fitter and more full of beans than 90% of the other students; regardless of age. I was, for decades, fitter and more full of beans than most people; I sort of took it for granted.
Oh, I didn’t mention: I had a massive heart attack aged forty-one. Would have killed most people, so I was told by the cardiac surgeon. I shrugged it off. Anyway, I have always taken my health and fitness for granted. I have spent 99% of my life in rude health. I sort of forgot about the hack-hack-hacking. Forgot about sneaking out of the cardiology ward, along a corridor, two floors down in the lift, along another corridor, out into the carpark, and puffing away on a roll up behind a Portakabin. Taking my toothbrush and toothpaste with me. Cleaning my teeth on the way back. ‘Smoking, nurse? Smell my breath…’.
In a nut: since vaping, I don’t cough up revolting brown whelks any more.
I don’t – hack-hack-hack – cough.
I don’t get short of breath;
I took up running again, at the age of fifty-two.
My flat doesn’t stink of smoke. I don’t stink of smoke. No smelly ashtrays.
I don’t have cravings.
I spend a hell of a lot less on vaping than I did on smoking.
I vape, yes: I enjoy it; but I do it because I want to – not because I need to. I spend many, many vape-free hours; I don’t even think about it. No, ‘I’ve got to go out for a fag’ urges. Smoking was never a choice: it was a necessity. I had to get my nicotine through smoking hyper-regularly. Two hours without a smoke was an ordeal.
Has vaping saved my life? Hmmm.
Has vaping improved the quality of my life? Yes, yes and thrice yes!
I feel as fit and full of beans as I have ever done. Even with the arterial thrombosis I came away with from the heart attack. I tried patches, inhalers and crap to stop smoking. I (ha!) had an allergic reaction to the patches. I wouldn’t have stopped smoking before I was fifty. It was a (excuse the pun) pipe dream. I genuinely don’t think that I would have got to fifty had I continued to smoke like a trooper. I couldn’t deal with my martial art as a smoker. Just cycling to lessons would have been all the exercise I could have took. I am massively keen on taijiquan. It has myriad health benefits in itself. Apart from stopping me binge drinking; the cause, so I was told, of my massive myocardial infarction. Had I not switched from smoking to vaping, well, I wouldn’t be practising taijiquan for hours in a daily basis. Wouldn’t be running. I would most likely be dead, or a coughing and spluttering wreck. I, personally, think that vaping has saved my life. If vaping didn’t exist, well, neither, most likely, would I. Res ipsa loquitur.