Recently, we asked customers to share their vaping success stories. A few hours later, we were overwhelmed by the number of people who took the time to send in their personal narratives on how the freedom to vape has improved their lives.
Without further ado, this is Rich’s story:
A long time ago in a land far far away…
I grew up in a smoking family, so I guess I have been smoking since before birth (if you believe the cancer associations). Every adult, relative or not, seemed to smoke (Lucky Strike, Camel, Marlboro, Pall Mall) and every star on TV smoked. The TV ads even claimed that four out of five doctors smoke Camels. It seemed to me, that if you wanted to be (or appear to be) an adult, you best learn to smoke. Mom kept her cigarettes (Mulebugger Reds) in the refrigerator door (she said tobacco was a vegetable ), so it was easy to kype a pack about once a month and she wouldn’t miss it. I was 12 when I started doing that. But I don’t count those years as being “a smoker” because, well, a pack a month isn’t really smoking, and I only did it when I could hide somewhere and not get caught. I puffed in private for several years, but in public I appeared to be a non-smoker and rarely even admitted to smoking to my friends (except those who also smoked).
Upon high school graduation, Uncle Sugar’s Army got it’s hands on me (Vietnam draft). So I quickly went across the hallway and enlisted in the USAF instead, where I was sure I could continue my education rather than just having an M-16 shoved in my hands and be told to go shoot people. During basic training, when the marching stopped and we all stood at parade rest, the drill instructor said, “Smoke ’em if ya got ’em.” Smokers could then relax and move slightly, while non smokers had to stay at parade rest. So I bought a pack of Camels and didn’t stop. That was 1967.
We currently live out on the remote prairie of South Dakota and the nearest real shopping is over 100 miles from home (the “big city”). It takes $50 worth of gas and all day to do the whole month’s shopping, so I only do that one day every month. Because we stock up on everything to make it a whole month without a trip to the store. I was buying six cartons of butts for Wifey and five or six for me. I never smoked more than two packs a day; my average was one carton per week — sometimes less, sometimes a wee bit more.
A couple shopping trips ago, after we had briefly talked about e-cigs, I bought the usual six cartons each at the butt store and also came home with one of those little cig-alikes. It was a “one use and throw it away” type – no flavor available other than tobacco. It said it was equivalent to 40 cigarettes, but my guess is it didn’t last longer than about 8-10. But we both tried it. Wifey wanted to search out more information while I remained quite skeptical. She found the ecig forum and, after talking with several of the fine folks there, ordered an EVOD online from Mt. Baker Vapor. I was still doubtful. Besides cigarettes, I also occasionally smoked cigars and a pipe, so I figured to enter this “vaping game” on the e-pipe end of things and ordered a 618 e-pipe online, which took over two weeks to get here from China. It did not have an “on” button like Wifey’s new toy, but was suction activated, and, as I told someone else recently, the suck required to turn that thing on could have ignited a ram jet. Needless to say, I was not having a pleasant vaping experience. I sucked it in front of the boob tube after evening chores, but the rest of the day, kept smoking cigarettes. Wifey was already a total convert. I needed more information (I’m a data junkie) and more incentive.
I also joined the ecig forum and asked a bunch of questions and found some new friends. Between them and Wifey, I got convinced to buy the cheap iStick and when it got here, I quickly learned to enjoy the vaping experience. I didn’t like the tobacco e-juice I had for the pipe (and Wifey claimed it smelled like burned maple-flavored bacon), so I mixed some other flavors with it and added a bit of straight VG and came up with something that would keep me happy.
I would like very much to be able to lie to you and tell you that I haven’t touched a cigarette since, but the fact is, I tootle puff in exactly the same manner that I smoke and I am a major Scrooge about wasting money. I still have a ciggy butt or two every night, and will until the last of my butts are burned up. I refuse to throw away what I paid good money for. Wifey, on the other hand, quit cold turkey and still has five cartons on the shelf. I will not smoke hers, nor would I ever suggest that she finish them. She’s extremely happy to be a tootle puffer, and in that sense, I’d rather have her here than back on the butts. And when I finish sucking my stinkies, I won’t buy any more because I already know I don’t need them. At 2-3 butts a night (while the iStick recharges), it will only take a year to finish what I used to smoke in a couple weeks… for almost 50 years!
We would like to sincerely thank Rich for offering such a heartfelt story about what vaping means to him.