A Whole Year…
Many Happy Returns of the Sun
by Charles Sammut
In a couple of days it’ll be one year since I bought my first vape and made a solemn vow not to light up another cigarette again. I am pleased to announce I have so far succeeded in the mission.
It was much easier than I thought it would be.
Wind back thirteen months ago an old and dear friend of mine, let’s name him, Jake Lloyd Jones started pestering me about this vape thing that got him off the smokes and saved him $1000 in the first month. The thing with Jake is that as much I love him to bits, I never know if he’s full of crap and pulling my leg. I mean, he’s a tight arse for starters and I, therefore, didn’t think he smoked THAT much. We’ve both been smoking rollies pretty much since I first met him 30 odd years ago.
He pestered me so much I spent a month reading up on this vape thing as I never heard of it.
Vaping…pfft! What a load of rubbish. I remember thinking.
I met up with him to check on this vape thing and had a toot on his Nautilus. I almost choked on the Ribena flavoured vapours and the high mg of nicotine which gave me a nice buzz and a little head spin.
I don’t know if the vape made me cough. I, by this time, was well on my way to a chronic chest issue. So much so that I could have easily turned into a recluse to do anything to avoid laughing for the fear of breaking out into a coughing fit in front of someone. Some of my work colleagues had already complained about my cough.
It was that bad.
I avoided getting things medically assessed. I was in complete denial. I knew something was wrong.
I was one of those smokers that would rather die than give up the smokes. I tried doing that many times before and I hated the process more than slowly dying…yes..it was that bad.
Jake has a way of getting to you and as a friend I thought there be no harm in reading up on it. So I hit Google.
I had to dig around for a bit. Past the “Battery explosion” stories. The “Popcorn Lung” stories. The cool dudes and ultra sexy tattooed women posing with wafts of lush clouds drifting about. The claims and the counterclaims. I spent hours and hours reading and watching videos in the first couple of “research” weeks and the more I read the more I was leaning towards giving it a go. I was living on my own and money was tight. While the financial benefits were singing louder in my thoughts I couldn’t see any health benefits. Till I hit on a couple of websites from Europe and the UK where vaping was not only legal but in come countries the Government actually encouraged vaping. I read scientific studies. Lots of them but the stuff that hit me the most were all the personal stories of people that have been vaping for a while.
It was worth spending a couple of hundred dollars to give it a go. So I started shopping.
I settled on a couple of devices. The Nautilus, just like Jake’s one or the Vaporesso Target Mini. I could give it a go and spend less than $200 to set up.
I ended up spending $240 on a Vaporesso Target Pro Starter kit, probably the ugliest mod ever. A couple of bottles of e-juice. Spare factory coils (ceramic), batteries and a charger. I felt like I was done over as despite having practised the vape lingo in my head many times there was a lot I didn’t know.
Undeterred, I went home and ordered a bottle of nicotine from New Zealand as instructed. Till its arrival 3 days later I vaped on Vanilla Milkshake flavoured juice while smoking some Rollies.
The moment the nic arrived and I mixed my first batch of 18mg strength nicotine juice I had a weekend to make up my mind before going back to work on Monday.
I was anxious about going to work and the vaping failing to control my cravings. That weekend was …OK actually. I quickly took to vaping and the first two days of no tobacco, despite leaving my Rollie pouch in full view next to my coffee machine, I hadn’t felt like rolling one up….not even in the mornings.
Still anxious but confident. The first week of vaping while working was a breeze. I probably went crazy with the “vape breaks” but my boss was supportive and her boss was interested to see how I go.
I did have to exercise some willpower. There were times when I could hear my brain getting all confused and try and hit me with a bout of cravings but I persevered with the vape and worked out some strategies and tactics. I turned those strategies into a couple of early articles in this blog series. Go and read them if you get a chance.
Within a week my coughing stopped and my energy levels rose. I no longer got puffed out walking. My teeth were brighter and my skin looked better after a couple of weeks. Almost like going cold turkey….except not wanting to go on a killing spree in the bus.
Vaping for me turned a cycle of negativity into a cycle of positive encouragement. I did save money and I did feel a lot better thanks to vaping and in the last year, I have met many many other vapers with similar stories to mine. I’ve also met lots of very nice vapers and joined vaping communities where I spent many hours sharing my experiences with those taking their first tentative steps. This vaping community is just awesome.
I’ve also seen how some vapers are so excited and passionate about what vaping can do for people they started vape shops as their way to move people away from very harmful tobacco smoking to a much less harmful way of delivering nicotine.
Yess…I own it. I’m still wanting nicotine. I’m on less than half the dosage of nicotine that I started on and I enjoy vaping these days for the experiences and for the flavour and mood more so than the nicotine. I can see ahead where I will one day be vaping without nicotine.
Which is why…when a few days ago it was announced by the Liberal Federal Government that they will sit down and examine all the evidence about vaping rather than a blunt and unscientific “NO WAY” to legalising vaping with nicotine. I thought….wow, that’s actually a huge shift in thinking and it might not be long before we come into line with the UK, Europe, Russia, the USA and New Zealand and many parts of the world where it’s estimated that in the UK & USA alone there are 10 million less tobacco smokers. The proof is out there and the proof is here too.
Just imagine how many less national health systems will be clogged up with diseases already known to be associated with tobacco smoking? Just imagine the fiscal benefits to the nation’s budget if there are less sick people and a vibrant Vape industry, Our very own Australian Vape industry!
It’s a no-brainer for me whichever way I look at it.
This last year has been exciting for me thanks to vaping and the people I have met and the associations I have made that allow me to do things like this blog and help other people quit cigarettes.
I can categorically assert that vaping has not only improved my physical self but mental one too..oh…while I have saved lots of cash I’ve also spent some of that on vaping stuff…a desk full of it…but it is more or less a hobby for me now. It gets like that if you let it. Either way, I’m still way ahead and in a place, I never thought would be possible.
Cheers and keep it cloudy!!
* We mentioned nicotine so I am obliged, in this disclaimer, to encourage you to be familiar with the Vaping with Nicotine laws in your State or territory. Be informed and be smart.