Part 2: Modern Vapor – My First Kit
Part 3: Modern Vapor – My Second Kit
Part 4: The Flavor Challenge
Part 5: Traceable Costs
I never really blogged about this but thats because I was afraid it would turn to another failure. I am going to change the date of this article to match when it really started, then do a progress report each time I place a new order for supplies.
Over the years I have tried numerous times to stop smoking and failed. I have to admit, smoking is the ONLY thing I have ever done in my life that I regret. You don’t realize it until its too late how harmful it is, not only to yourself but to those around you. Even knowing the dangers and signs, you still continue to smoke…..why? Because nicotine is a drug, and you are the addict.
First, lets start from the beginning since this looks like something I will be able to update progress with.
I tried smoking when I was probably 13. My parents permit me to smoke when I was 16, roughly 1985. I figure their thoughts was they would rather me do it in front of them than behind their backs. My mom actually got me an ashtray for my birthday. It was an open-hand in the form of a “middle-finger”. And although I thought this was cool that I was allowed to smoke, and I thought I was cool because I smoked….what I can tell you today is I wish they would have just shot me dead right then and there when they found out I smoked.
Over the years though, I tried to stop numerous times beginning at about age 25 or so. I first tried the patches and they worked for about two weeks. A few years later I then tried wellbutrin, which didnt work at all. There was some other miracle pill similar to wellbutrin that the doctor switched me to after wellbutrin failed that I tried and again was a total failure. Then when I was probably 32 I quit cold-turkey once for about three months. Then at 39 I tried chantix which almost killed me after 6 weeks of usage. And I am now on e-cigs. Everything except the e-cigs (which I have been on for 15 weeks now) has failed. All of my efforts usually began with good intentions and end under some addition of abnormal stress in my life.
Lets talk about why I want to quit now, after smoking nearly 27 years. When I was younger, I ran track and I played football plus baseball. I lifted weights. I was in great shape. Even after high school I played drums in numerous bands over the years, and trust me, that is exercise similar to doing aerobics for hours each week. In my mid-20’s I started to notice that while playing drums, I had to restrain myself while playing to not get tired as easily. I was often short on breath during playing. I basically had to not play as hard or fast as I wanted to play……and I continued to smoke. It was about this time I tried the patches.
By the time I was 30’ish, I noticed that I felt like I was dying if I even tried to run a short sprint (and in track, I ran 100 yard dash, 1 mile relay, I played football and baseball) so when I mean short sprints, I am talking 50 yard dash. My chest would feel like it was going to explode and for those few seconds of running, it would take me several minutes to get my breathing back under control…..and I continued to smoke. It was about this time I tried the wellbutrin and other wonder drug that both failed.
When I was 35’ish and playing a show on stage, I think I had a heart attack during a strenuous section of a song….but I continued to play. These symptoms felt like….someone was sitting on my chest who was over weight and crushing me. I couldn’t inhale or exhale. I felt my eyes rolling back in my head. And finally the song ended….I had severe cotton mouth, and I couldn’t talk but luckily a friend of mine in the crowd saw my motion to bring me something to drink, and I was able to finish out our set…maybe two more songs. After the show, I was totally exhausted. I just wanted to sleep….but I continued to smoke. Shortly after this I quit smoking cold-turkey which lasted about three months.
I started a new job and moved into an apartment that was on the second floor when I was 39. Just a few weeks before this I almost committed suicide while on chantix. There is maybe 10 steps to get to my apartment. My job was in an office on the third floor of a building, and luckily they had elevators but sometimes when I felt brave I would take the steps. I say felt brave because my chest was thumping so hard by the time I would reach the third floor, that I often waited just outside the door for a minute or two to catch my breath before I actually entered the office hallway (avoiding people I worked with who might be coming out of the elevator)…..and I continued to smoke.
By the time I was 41, I was starting to even be out of breath just coming up my steps to get to my apartment, about 10 steps (I think I will count them tomorrow to be sure). If I was carrying groceries, it was a horrible feeling. I knew deep down inside that at any day my life was going to possibly end with a heart attack. At this time, I knew it wasn’t a matter of if….but when….and I continued to smoke. It was that summer I started to notice a lot of other things. Some of those were: I sweat profusely for any reason. As an example, I would break a sweat in an air conditioned apartment with the thermostat set on 70 carrying a load of laundry from my bedroom to the laundry room….about 30 steps on level ground. I would sweat just walking from my employers building to my car, usually parked close the entrance. If you are familiar with this area, I would feel like I was about to die with a simple walk from Kings Island gold pass parking row 58 to the main entrance of kings island….by the time I would catch my breath and enter kings island, I was out of breath before I got to starbucks inside. I knew if I did not make a drastic change in my life…..what was left of my life was likely going to be short.
One of my co-workers tried e-cigs. When he told me about them, I just assumed they were a gimmick. I mean, he still smoked regular cigarettes too. He said he cut down, but I didnt really see any difference. About 4 months later, another co-worker tried them. I could see that he reduced his smoking drastically. I really wanted to give it a try so I started doing some research. Everything I read online seemed to support the fact that it was healthier than smoking because it seems the harmful part of cigarettes are not the nicotine but all the other chemicals used to bleach the paper, prepare the tobacco, etc. Matter of fact, they claimed nicotine by itself was not even a cancer causing agent and with a little research I found medical proof that seems to be the case. I decided I would try it…..who knows, maybe it would work or maybe it would just fail…..but at least I tried.