I'm very fortunate to be married to a wonderful guy who has never smoked a cigarette in his life. Brian doesn't vape, either, but as a non-smoker who put up with me smoking in the house for 10+ years he appreciates the fact that vape (TPR, all the way) helped me quit smoking. Switching to vape helped me regain my senses like smell and taste, so now the smell of cigarettes grosses me out. I have no idea why he put up with that from me for so long. He must really love me! I've often apologized to him for all those years of smoking in our home. I feel really bad about it. But it will damn sure never happen again.
I'm the pink shirt :)
How long have you been vaping?
Almost 5 years.
Why did you start vaping?
Well, I was tired of reeking like a chimney. I've wanted to quit for years and tried lots of different ways but I always just assumed I would be a lifelong smoker, like my parents. I thought it was in my DNA. But when my sister discovered e-cigs she showed it to me and I was amazed. Suddenly everything changed. I knew that this would be the thing that finally works for me. It also worked for my mom, btw, which is awesome.
Did you smoke before? If so, for how long and how many ppd?
Smoked since I was at least 14. Every adult I knew smoked. It was easy to steal from any of the various packs laying around without arousing any suspicion. By the time I was 18 I was up to at least a pack a day, usually more. And it remained that way for the next 10 years or so.
Was it difficult, easy or “in-between” to make the transition from smoking to vaping?
It was SO easy to switch. The day I got my first e-cig all to my very own, cigarettes were dead to me. I don't even think I finished my last pack. I'm pretty sure I threw them away. I went from 1 1/2 packs a day to 0 overnight, with no withdrawal symptoms, whatsoever. I know some people still struggle to quit smoking even after they try vaping, but for me, it was the dawn of a new era. I had no more excuses to keep smoking. Once I knew vaping existed I just couldn't rationalize the money, the smell, the mess... any of it. I knew this was my chance, so I seized it, and I've never regretted that decision.
What was the most difficult part of transitioning?
The learning curve. There are so many different options out there. Equipment alone requires hours upon hours of research. Not to mention the flavor options. You can't just walk into a vape shop, buy the first ecig you see then go out and boom you're done. I've spent a lot of time and money on trial and error. I have an entire junk drawer of equipment that I'll probably never use again. At this point, after 5 years, I am happy with my set-up and routine. I have my good old Provari (Brian calls it "The Last Provari on Earth" and he cringes every time I drop it) with a Nautilus tank. It's not a monster, it's absolutely not top-of-the-line, but its dependable, and I'm comfortable with it. I know what is going to happen every single time I press that button. But again, it took me a long time to settle on that aspect, and yes, it cost a lot of money to make those mistakes.
As for flavors, well, that was the easiest part of all. About 4 months after I started vaping I stumbled upon the Plume Room. The flavors blew my mind. I just can't even describe. They are better than the real thing. Andrea, is an artist. She has a gift. I'm not just saying that as a fanboy (which I TOTALLY am), but I have the receipts to prove it. There is just no comparison to the depth of her creations. It's crystal clear that whoever made these flavors put thought into every last detail. Nothing was left to chance. She manipulates these liquids on a molecular level down to picture perfect precision every single time. In 5 years I have never once - not ONCE - had a problem with an order. Every single bottle has been perfection. And the packaging is good for the Apocalypse. I've never had a bottle so much leak. How many businesses can you say that about these days? Even Amazon can't boast that level of service and reliability.
Have you noticed any benefits from vaping over smoking?
Every. Single. Day. People who never smoked take breathing for granted. Only people who smoke or used to smoke understand that the simple act of breathing oxygen is a struggle. I love being able to breathe, its something I didn't even know I was missing out on all those years. Like, imagine being 36 years old and JUST discovering bacon. It's like that. Pure air is awesome, and only ex-smokers really appreciate it.
Quitting smoking has also allowed me to take a new lease on life. Making one good decision (switch to vape) led to even more good decisions, like eating healthier, and getting more active. I never in my life thought I could exercise, but now I'm going to the gym, working out, and getting active like a normal person. I walk an average of 5 miles a day. I could never have done any of that while I was smoking.
Have you had support form your doctor when discussing vaping?
No, I haven't told her. I just told her I quit smoking and I left it at that.
Have you tried FDA approved products? If yes, did they work?
Yes, tried them all; patch gum pill. None of them worked for me. I almost tried hypnosis, but, I mean... c'mon.
What are your favorite type of eliquid flavors: Tobacco or Fruit/Pastry/Beverage, etc.
I stay in the fruit area more than anything else. I do enjoy an occasional Tobacco flavor, but the moon has to be very blue. I like the smell of the fruit flavor. It's like having my own little air freshener.
Favorite TPR flavors:
Impossible question. That's Sophie's Choice. All of them. Depends on the day, my mood, where my moon sign is currently living. I keep a full stock of Strawberries and Cream. That's a given. Same goes for Banana Pudding and Banana Mint Milkshake. Must haves, both. Creamy Chai, I always have to have that on hand. Creamy Chai actually ruined real chai tea for me. Now, whenever I actually drink Chai Tea I get mad that it doesn't taste as good as TPR's. Lemon Chiffon Pie was a late addition to my rotation. I didn't care for it for a long time then suddenly I couldn't get enough of it. It's an easy all-day vape for me.
Angel Sauce. Ok, let me tell you about Angel Sauce. This flavor is magical alone, granted. However, you can add Angel Sauce to ANY fruit flavor from TPR to give it a super-charge flavor shot. Adding a little Angel Sauce to Strawberries and cream = Strawberry Daquri. Adding Angel Sauce to Summer Peace - a little bit of heaven. And don't even get me started with Angel Sauce/Banana Pudding combo. You'll die. Sometimes, I like to drop a little bit of ALL the fruit flavors into a tank and just let the party happen. That's part of the beauty of TPR flavors. They are all compatible. You can mix them into any combination you want to unlock flavor combinations that will blow your mind.
On that note. Try mixing a little Candied Cavendish with Bannan Mint Milkshake. Another favorite of mine is Creamy Chai and Creamy Mint. It's a sin.
I better stop. I could seriously talk about TPR flavors for hours.
Do you feel that the media portrays vaping honestly?
No. God no. Vapers get a bad wrap. I try to be as stealth as possible because of the bad press. I'm not the kind of guy you will see walking down the hall puffing on a vape. My general rule is: If smoking isn't allowed in an area, then vaping isn't allowed either. Vaping in areas where smoking is prohibited is rude, in my opinion, and it doesn't do any good to further our cause. It makes us all look like jack-asses. I vape at home and in the car. For me, pretty much everyplace else is off limits. It all goes back to how much I enjoy pure oxygen now. I know that people who don't smoke or vape probably don't want to breathe in my second-hand vape - no matter how yummy it smells.
I know that there are people out there who quit cold turkey. Good for them. I know there are people out there who quit/are trying to quit on the gum patch or pill. Good for them. But for ME, switching to vape was the thing that got me to quit smoking, and after 5 years of vaping, I do not FEEL like a smoker at all. I know the difference. Having lived the both sides I am fully aware of the positive impact vaping has had on my life. Its like night and day. And I have never been under the illusion, nor have ever told anyone that vaping is "100% safe". But the evidence I have witnessed in my quality of life is proof enough for ME that vaping is LIGHT YEARS better than tobacco. Yes, not smoking OR vaping would be the "ideal" situation. Duh. Anytime you breathe in anything other than pure oxygen you are doing something that probably isn't healthy. However, I am living proof that there is absolutely a difference, health-wise, between myself when I was a smoker, and myself after I switch to vape. Bottom line: Don't smoke. But if you have to smoke, vape instead.