I've been blubbering about this for a long time. Today is my one year anniversary of being smoke-free. On April 9, 2013, at about 11:30 pm, I got the call that my grandmother had died of COPD and a stroke. She had just turned 70 and had smoked for decades. At 11:53 pm I went outside and smoked my last cigarette. I finished it at 11:57 pm and then headed inside. I marched to my drawer, pulled out the rest of the carton of cigarettes I had left, about 6 or 7 packs, and threw them away. A week or so previous my uncle had given me a Blu disposable ecig. After the first puff I knew that I would quit smoking. However, I figured I would smoke the remaining packs I had left first. I was more concerned about wasting money than I was worried about my health. The passing of my grandmother gave me the power to transition to ecigs immediately.
I smoked my first cigarette when I was 15 or 16. However, I didn't become hooked until I was 18. Back then one pack of cigarette was only a buck and change and lasted me a week or longer. I used to buy a pack of Marlboro reds and Newports and then rotate. I only smoked one or two cigarettes a day. I smoked one at lunch and usually one later at night. I loved cigarettes. Then I started smoking in the car and it quickly got the point where I was unable to start the ignition without lighting a cigarette. Next thing I know I was smoking a pack a day. I did that for 20 years. When I went out I would smoke even more. It wasn't uncommon for me to smoke 2 or 3 packs a day on nights I went to the club. When old friends would call me I would go outside and chain smoke throughout the conversation. I remember telling one friend that I didn't ever want to quit but only wanted to cut down to how it was when I first started smoking. I had tried quitting years before but was unsuccessful. I tried the gum but it tasted nasty. The patches caused my heart to race. I almost tried the inhaler but learned that people were getting sick because you inhale a powder. I didn't try the pills because I learned that some people were killing themselves due to them. I even tried magic. I did a semi exorcism where I lit a cigarette and then dropped it into a glass jar, blew into it, sealed it up with wax and then buried it. It worked for about a week. Then the demon kept whispering to me, tempting me to smoke and finally I caved in. I had reached the point where I just accepted that I would never quit and would end up dying from a smoking related illness.
When ecigs came on the market in 2007 I wasn't paying attention. I don't even recall hearing about them until 2009. I was a dummy then and it didn't even dawn on me to try them out. If only I had switched to ecigs in 2007. I would have been smoke-free for nearly 7 years now. However, at least I'm smoke free now. Too bad my grandmother didn't transition. She was still smoking up to the very end.
Being smoke free doesn't come easy. Quitting smoking has it's own associated problems. Most people don't tell people that when they quit smoking the number one complaint will be inability to breathe. Tobacco smoke contains a chemical that opens up the airways. This masks the damage caused by the smoke. So when you quit smoking you no longer get that chemical and the true extent of the damage is revealed. There were times where I couldn't walk to get the mail, let alone walk downstairs. With time this will pass, unless one is in the beginning stages of COPD. Unfortunately, some people freak out over not being able to breathe and go back to smoking cigarettes. Sad.
Wow. One year. I'm still in shock. One year without smoking a cigarette. I couldn't go a day without smoking before. I couldn't even go a couple of hours without smoking. I made it an entire year. So to celebrate I went out and bought a pack of Marlboro lights. LOL....just joking.
Every now and then I like to spend time reminiscing about smoking. I can't believe so much of my past life evolved around it. I miss all the family members and friends I've lost to smoking. I miss the good times, the parties, the clubs, the hanging out with friends who smoked. So many good memories. At least I'm smart enough to know that I don't have to light up to remember. I can remember what it was like. I can even smell it and hear it. Right now as I'm typing I can literally remember the smell of clothing reeking of cigarette smoke and the sound of a zippo lighter. I can even smell the zippo fluid. I can even remember what a smoker's high feels like, that dizzy sensation when you smoke to much. I can even smell the tobacco of the cigarette, before lighting it. All of these memories don't drive me to smoke because I know they exist only in my past, as memories. I don't need to smoke to recall them. I can simply remember what it was like.
I am not a smoker. These words seem so foreign to me. This chapter of my life is over. All I have left is memories and I take joy in my memories. Smoking at the restaurant. Watching the wispy bluish-tinged smoke from my grandfather's pipe waft through the air. Having my best friend Kevin constantly bum cigarettes off of me. All of it is memories.
R.I.P. Smoker Me
If you are a smoker then please consider switching to ecigs. If you invest in the right model then your vaping experience will completely satisfy you. You are not addicted to cancer-causing tar. You are addicted to nicotine. You don't love the tar, the stink, the constant coughing, that much that you can't easily transition. It will save your life. The key is to invest in a model you will like and enjoy using. The cig-a-likes, the one that resemble cigarettes, are appealing to smokers but they really don't satisfy. I would suggest new vapors start out with something like the eGo C Twist below. I recommend getting the kit so that you have everything you need to start vaping. This kit below comes with one 10ml bottle of ejuice. I would suggest purchasing a couple more extra bottles. (Just for the record, I'm in no way associated with this company. This is merely the company I purchase my vaping supplies from.)
To all the family members and friends I've lost in part due to smoking, I miss you. If only ecigs were available decades ago then you might still be here today. I love you.