I can recall a few very vivid images and moments in my life regarding cigarettes. I remember my grandmother walking through her living room stopping to light up, my uncle stepping outside during the middle of winter to squeeze in a few drags, a babysitter hand-rolling and sealing tight her own cigarette.

I remember seeing parents in their cars waiting to pick up their children at school blasting puffs of smoke out their windows. I remember my fifth grade buddy bragging how he smoked some cigarettes with his older brother in their attic while playing cards, he even brought a king of spades for us to smell as proof. I remember sneaking around the building during a sixth grade dance with a few other guys to smoke half a pack of cigarettes a pal had swiped from his mom.

I remember watching the hottest girls in high school scrambling to their cars after class in order to light up and drive off without getting caught. I remember keeping cheap cologne in my car, thinking it would mask the smell of smoke and fool my mom if I sprayed enough of it on me. I remember smoke breaks being the best part about working long shifts at the local diner. I remember a friend at college telling me, “You know, I’ve never seen you without a cigarette in your mouth.”

I remember girlfriends telling me that they thought smoking was cool and it didn’t bother them only to take it back months later.
I remember the sun streaming in through my darkened dorm room and wisps of smoke forming the most dazzling display against the light. I remember coke cans and wine bottles filled with cigarette butts.

I remember singeing my girlfriend’s arm when I hugged her with a cigarette still in hand. I remember burning holes in jackets, pants, and shirts. I remember coughing late at night and struggling to breathe. I remember being winded walking up a flight of stairs. I remember putting back some groceries so I could afford a pack of cigarettes. I remember the patch, the gum, the pills. I remember how I felt when I realized that smoking would kill me and that I was too weak-willed to do anything about it. I remember resigning myself to a life of smoke slavery.

I remember Greg.

I remember he walked into class one day. He pulled out a cigarette and puffed away as he lectured. There was an awkward silence, one that he addressed when it became uncomfortably evident in our eyes. “It’s an electronic cigarette.” He said this proudly and it didn’t make sense to anybody. He explained how no tobacco was burning and vapor was what we were seeing and it wasn’t lit but the orange l.e.d. gave it the impression. It sounded crazy, it looked crazy. It seemed too good to be true, almost like a magic trick.

I and a couple of smokers caught up with him after class and he showed it to us more thoroughly. He explained how you dripped into a cartridge and charged a battery to keep it running. He let a few of us try it. I didn’t use it. He told us he picked it up at the mall and that it cost $100. That price was high enough to make me forget about it for six more months.

It wasn’t until I was surfing online that I saw an ad for electronic cigarettes. “I’ve heard of these,” I thought to myself. I did a quick search and found a kit. It was more than $100 but I was desperate to quit smoking by then. I charged it to my card and received it a week later. Piddling vapor clouds compared to cigarette smoke. I read some reviews and found out I could have gotten more for my money. Luckily, I was able to return the kit for a refund.

I picked up a kr808 kit with some cartomizers because it seemed simple. It arrived and I loved it. I ordered a 510 kit for my brother, who was also struggling with cigarette addiction. He loved the 510. We moved on from those first devices, following the pattern of other e-cigarette users: 3.7 volt devices, low resistance atomizers, tube mods, d.i.y. box mods, juice feeders, variable voltage. We’ve tried many of the popular juice makers, finding a few favorites but always on the look out for something better.

I remember suggesting an e-cigarette to a friend’s mom. I remember her calling me on the Fourth of July to say thank you.
I remember giving out old e-cigarette kits for buddies to try and the heartfelt look of gratitude on their faces, I don’t want to sound sappy and say they looked at me with faces of freedom or realized salvation, but they did have expressions that said more than just appreciation. I plan on giving out two more 3.7 devices to a couple of family members to try out, hoping it will help them with their struggles with smoking.

I’m not anti-cigarette, I’ve smoked since switching to electronic cigarettes, but I do appreciate what electronic cigarettes have done to help me separate myself from cigarettes. I enjoy the flavors, the throat hit, the inhale/exhale action, and (most important to me) the visual satisfaction of seeing the vapor.




Brian from Oklahoma