I was first caught smoking when I was four years old, sneaking half-smoked butts and lighting them just like I saw my folks doing. “So you want to smoke do you?” said my Dad marching off to his bedroom and coming back with a giant stogie, “Well then, smoke this!” He sat me at the kitchen table and offered me a light. I asked for me a mirror, which I sat in front of, doing my best James Cagney impersonation while sucking on the massive cigar, that is until I turned green and the room started spinning.

I didn’t start smoking again until I was fifteen, don’t remember starting but do remember going to school and not checking if my schoolbooks, homework or pens were with me, as long as I had my pack of Lucky Strikes in pocket I was good to go. That was 1967 and I certainly don’t want a counter at the bottom of my page noting how many cigarettes I didn’t avoid. I landed up generally smoking three brands, straight, filtered and exotic, the latter being anything from French, flavored to Indian bindhis. The first time I gave up was 1990 when my daughter was 3 and kept bugging me to stop smoking, so I did. Yeah, that was probably the third time, I’d accomplished that. I subscribed to the motto that I could easily give up cigarettes; I’d done it many times.

In 1994 I had labored the whole day laying down turf in the garden that I had created in our new house. Collapsing in an exhausted ache that comes only from hard layer, a friend looked pityingly at me and said; “Here, you’ve earned this” and handed me a Cuban Cigar. Don’t know why I smoked it, I was nicotine free.

You guessed it, I didn’t just start smoking cigars, and I became a cigar hound. I joined a group who me periodically for what we called a “herf”, a get-together to swap cigars, talk about them and generally create a huge communal cloud of smoke. Every day I was on the newsgroup dedicated to it and checking my mailbox to see if that shipment of Cubans had come in from Portugal yet, (shhhhh). Well at least that was the only illegal thing I was smoking at that time, but that’s another story. I became so good at smoking cigars that I became a taste tester for one of the magazines dedicated to smoking. Every month I’d get a bunch of cigars in the mail without wrappers. I had to smoke them and give a review of them, guessing where there tobaccos came from and what they were, taste, draw, etc.

A few years I decided I’d had enough cigars, mainly because being an ex-cigarette smoker I couldn’t help inhaling a decent amount in my lungs and causing a rather bountiful morning hack each day. Went through cold turkey I and there I was, smoke-free again. For probably 10 months, when I spotted a pack of my wife’s cigarettes which she smoked very occasionally. Grabbed one and smoked it. I know you’re thinking I was immediately hooked and started smoking right away. Well, not exactly. It was menthol and I hated menthol so I went to the store and bought a pack so I could have just one, and yes, now you know the rest of the story.

Cut to 30 days ago. I was surfing on the net and somehow came across the video of Katheryn Heigl demonstrating e-cigs on the Letterman show. I’d heard something about them before but hadn’t paid attention. This time I immediately went online and found a disposable cig site that didn’t want to put me on their book of the month type program, thinking “Well let’s see if this could really work for me”. Four days later I was scouring the web to find more info when I discovered ECF, thinking I’d get on there, find a reputable dealer and give them a call. “Morning ma’am, yes I’d like an E-Cig that looks like a cigarette, tastes like a cigarette, has a very long battery life and doesn’t need much fussing with it”.

Well reading the board clued me in that it wasn’t like that, so I did a huge amount of research, bookmarking all kinds of things, making notes, reminders and finally bought my first Personal Vaporizer called a Go-go which I love. I’ve been vaping about 17 days now. Pretty soon I cut back from about 15 cigarettes a day to 3, even during a week’s travel in Mexico. On returning, I went to 2, 1 and today is my third day at 0. Naturally same as I used to carry different brands of smokes, I’m vaping a little variety of juices each day. I’ve ordered about 70 different juices to test and some to vape. Unlike most new vapors I’m happy with my equipment choice so I’ve been seriously blowing my future savings on juice. I need a different counter for the bottom of my posts which doesn’t show how much money I’ve saved, but how deep my hole is. Honestly, I’m thrilled to spend my kid’s inheritance on it; I’m too old to continue that serious addiction knowing what it can do to my health.

When I was younger, I predicted that when we were old, our kids would probably hook up their brains to some electronic gadget instead of taking chemicals or pot to get high. Well that never happened. When I first saw a game of Pong I could see a future where we’d interact directly with a videogame and play tennis by waving a racket at our TV screen. I foresaw a time when computers wouldn’t take up a whole room and we’d each have one in our homes. I just never foresaw a time we’d be “smoking” a flavored nicotine liquid powered by a battery and blowing out water vapor that looked like smoke. Not only that, but it would be invented in China; I don’t think they’ve invented anything since gunpowder. Thank goodness for things I couldn’t foresee. A few weeks ago I though juice was something that came from oranges and go-go was some kind of a dancer on a pole. Today I’m well on my way to being classified as a vaper.


Gary from Arizona