Of all people, I will be the first to testify to the destruction that tobacco cigarettes can cause. Some of my first memories were of my father sitting in our red recliner in the living room, chain-smoking his Pall Mall full flavor cigarettes. Up until I was a teenager, this is where I saw my father most times at home. He always seemed fine. It seemed as though cigarettes had no real impact on who he was or his health.
MY TEEN YEARS
Once I reached my teen years, drugs and alcohol began to enter the picture, as they do for almost any sociable teenager. I saw my friend smoking a cigarette at the age of 15, and I felt compelled to try it myself. Almost everyone I knew was doing it; so why not? I asked for a cigarette and was enthusiastically handed one by another young, naïve friend. I lit the cigarette, and by the time I had finished it, I felt sick to my stomach. Trying to remain cool, I attempted to cover my sickness up by telling everyone I had to use the restroom. I vomited in the lavatory and spent the rest of the day feeling terrible. This should have been a sign the moment where I decided that smoking just wasn’t for me.
I became a regular smoker by the age of 17 once I had passed the phase of smoking socially with my friends (and occasionally feeling sick from doing so). Smoking cigarettes still didn’t seem harmful to me; the only side effects I noticed were the occasional smoker’s cough and that I had to spend more time caring for my teeth.
THE EFFECTS OF SMOKING LATER IN LIFE
As the years wore on, I continued to smoke and developed a nasty, chronic smoker’s cough and an ease for getting winded. In my 40’s, I became worried for my health when I found it very difficult to catch my breath in various situations. Even at times when I was merely resting, I would find myself suddenly short of breath. I knew it was time to visit the doctor and find out what was going on with my body.
A series of doctor’s appointments, lab results, and blood work revealed that I was dealing with precancerous cells in my lungs. Distraught with this news, I knew it was time to make a change. I had attempted and failed to quit smoking many times before that, but when my own mortality had been sized up before me in a doctor’s office, it suddenly became very real.
MAKING THE SWITCH TO VAPING
Around the time of quitting cigarettes after discovering the precancerous cells in my body, electronic cigarettes had just made their way onto the scene. I’d heard of smoking e-cigarettes (or “vaping”), but never gave them any thought because I was too pre-occupied with tobacco cigarettes.
I quickly bought my first electronic cigarette kit, and never looked back. Because my electronic cigarette disperses nicotine without the harmful toxins and chemicals that tobacco cigarettes emit, I never thought twice about switching back from vaping to tobacco cigarettes. I get the nicotine fix that my body craves, without the negative side effects associated with traditional cigarettes.
Now that I am an official vaper, I think about what would have happened if I had kept going on my journey to destruction with tobacco cigarettes. Vaping is a very viable alternative to smoking real cigarettes, and in some cases, it can be the difference between life and death for you. I’d recommend that anyone begin vaping; it can be the best decision you ever made for your health and body.
– A Proud Vaper