Switching from smoking to vaping can provide many benefits. Once I made the switch to vaping, I don’t stink (unless you think strawberries stink). It also saves me a lot of money compared to when I was smoking. Best of all, I can vape inside as I’m writing this article. Today, I’m going to tell you my journey of making the switch. So, strap yourselves in, and grab some popcorn. An epic journey, it is.
I started smoking when I was 14. Cigarettes weren’t hard to get; there was a place that would sell them to my friends and I with no ID. This was 13 years ago. And for 13 years, I was a slave to them. Around 16, I tried to quit a few times with no success. I’d give my pack away to a friend, hoping that would be the end of it, but I couldn’t escape the temptation.
Strangely, at 18 (and was able to buy them legally), I decided enough was enough. I tried to kick the habit. I struggled with smoking the most when I drank. To really give smoking a kick in the pants, I gave up drinking. That was successful for me until I turned 21. Everyone was going out to the bars, and demanded my presence. I figured, “I’m 21 now, I deserve a drink.” That’s where I became addicted again. More specifically, I had never lost the addiction. Once that first drink was in me, it was game over. I had a sensational craving to smoke, and (of course) my friends were more than happy to oblige. So I said to myself, “Ok, I’ll only smoke when I drink. I don’t drink that often, and it’s not going to kill me to do it a few times.” With my new rationalization in mind, smoking was ok for the night. I ended up having four or five cigarettes.
Before I knew it, I was looking forward to any possible time I could have a drink (usually weekends), thereby validating my guidelines, and enabling me to smoke. I couldn’t wait until the weekends, but I didn’t want to drink all the time. I started smoking regularly again, and soon I was buying packs and smoking around ten a day. This bugged me, but I couldn’t help it. I enjoyed the act of smoking, but (truth be told) not every smoke was enjoyable. Most of the time I just felt like I was doing it to do it. The thorn in my side was cigarette breaks at work.
I had a buddy that I hung out with (basically every day) who was a fellow smoker. We grumbled about the inconveniences of cigarettes. One day he said, “Have you seen those electronic cigarettes? We should try that.” He had never tried one before, so we went to the store and had a gander at the products. We both bought contraptions called “disposable hookah pens.” I got a melon flavor that (as much negativity as this tier of products get nowadays) was actually quite tasty. We vaped them all the way home, thinking how awesome they were, and how we finally had a better alternative. Well, I found out later that night why these products get so much flak.
Upon repeat draws, I began tasting a little plastic, which worsened over time. These things were supposed to last a few hundred puffs, and I didn’t think I’d reached that. Sure enough, that very same night, it produced no vapor. The light on the end blinked at me, tauntingly. I promptly gave up, went outside, and had a smoke. While I smoked, I calculated that at $9 a day, those pens would cost me more than cigarettes. If money was no object, maybe that would have worked for me. Unfortunately, money was a huge object.
I gave up on the idea for a few weeks, until my brother told me he got a job at Mt. Baker Vapor. In my mind, I pictured a giant facility that manufactured those hookah pens. As far as I knew, that was the only kind of ecig. He explained a few things to me, and he showed me his device. A 1100mAh Ego battery with passthrough and a CE5 with some Moo Juice in it.
I was thoroughly impressed: It produced a lot more vapor, was refillable, and rechargeable. This is what I needed. I bought one along with my first flavor ever, MBV’s Orange Dream Bar. This worked for me a little while. I found out the coils burn out easily, and I regularly had to replace them. It was still costing me less than smoking, but I still smoked occasionally while I was waiting for the coils to arrive. I had managed to cut down to 2-3 cigarettes a day.
After a couple months, there was a position open at MBV. I didn’t like my current job, and I thought it would be great to get into this new industry, so I switched. Oddly enough, though I had nearly infinite product choices available to me at a discount, I still couldn’t shake my three smokes a day. Some of it was the social aspect. After a while, I decided I wouldn’t buy any more packs. If I was going to spend money, it would be on upgrades to my ecig, which I did regularly. I ran the full gamut of products that have come out in the last 2 years, from cartos to protanks to RDA’s, mech mods…. you name it. Unfortunately, that didn’t stop my friends from bumming me smokes for my cravings. This turned into a huge pattern with a very generous co-worker of mine. I would go out every day and she would give me one. We were both trying to switch fully, so we settled on sharing one every break, instead.
It didn’t seem to matter what ecig I had. Every break, I was unable to resist the urge to go out and smoke with her. This continued for a long time ,until two things happened: One, I got a Goliath V2. This was the first RTA that allowed me to build coils, and (by some magic) it could handle Max VG (my preferred blend). Everything else wouldn’t wick right, which would lead to lots of rebuilding and frustration. Not surprisingly, I smoked when my device wasn’t working well, tasted bad, or I didn’t have time to rebuild. Very close to this time, Mt. Baker Vapor announced a relocation to Arizona. I decided early on to go with the company, but smoke break girl wasn’t coming.
I shared one final cigarette with her on my last day in Washington, and haven’t had one since that day. I successfully made the switch! The brain is a powerful thing, and once removed from the cycle, I’ve been vaping exclusively for around four months now. I don’t even miss smoking, and Goliath V2 is still my trusted daily driver. I now use my breaks to read, eat, or do something productive.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story. I hope that by being candid, I can help provide some insight and encouragement to others who may find parallels with my journey. Vape on!
Something to think about:
What advice would you give to new vapers, now that you’ve made the switch?