July 1st, 2009 I stopped at my usual gas station close to my store to pick
up a pack of Camel no9 100s, that I’d been smoking for a couple years.
Picked them up, along with a drink, and drove to my store.  Every day when I
get in, my boss and I go out to her Big Brown Van and have a smoke before we
get started with store duties.  However, as I ripped into this new pack and
lit up I quickly realized that these were not the same no9s that I had been
smoking for years.  I tried not to think too much of it, and over the course
of the week continued to smoke them.  They were giving me killer new side
effects- worse then ever before.  Finally, I found out what it was.  The new
FSC chemical that the FDA approved to be put into cigarettes.  After I
figured out that this was not just a off pack, that this was going to stay I
quickly decided that I could not put my self and my body through that
torture for my nicotine fix.

That night I started doing research on alternatives to regular cigarettes.
I had remembered, a few months back, seeing a Smoking Everywhere kiosk at
the local mall.  I googled the name and instantly found myself in a slue of
new information.  It seemed like a dream, finding such a similar alternative
to smoking and I couldn’t get enough information about it.  I spent days on
http://www.e-cigarette-forums.com reading about them.

Soon I figured out a few key things about them.  The lies that the guy at
the mall told me were crazy- one cart will not last me a whole carton of
cigarettes (though with dripping/refilling it actually lasts much longer!),
that the quality of them is hit or miss so finding a good, honest vendor is
extra important (and though I’ve never ordered from ecigexpress, I would in
a heartbeat over the reviews they’ve gotten), and that you can smoke what
ever flavor vaper you want.

I quickly ordered one- more novelty then anything.  I got a Totally Wicked
stainless steel 901 starter kit, and 1 bottle of juice with some LorAnn
flavoring.  Waiting was terrible!  (And there was some drama with shipping
as well) But I managed to get the package just in time for vacation.

After all the research I’d done, and all the videos I watched I seemed to
know how everything worked the moment I pulled everything out.  The battery
screwed together with the atomizer, and the cart popped onto the end of the
atomizer.  With out a doubt, that first puff was simply amazing.  It was
dry, hit me hard, and left me in a coughing fit!  I loved it.  The juice in
the pre-filled carts was not the best at first, and it took a couple juice
flavors before I found something I really liked.  But the feeling was the
same, and I was then determined to make it work.

The three key points about vaping that really hooked me is
1) I can smoke what ever flavor I want, not just limited to flavored
cigarettes I can find, or just tobacco.  I can smoke strawberries and cream,
or vanilla, or blueberry- it just depends on what I feel like!
2) Price.  I was a pack a day smoker, which added up quickly on my wallet.
But I ordered over 100MLs of juice for what a carton costs me- and its been
2 months and that supply is still going strong!  Especially because there
are steps you can take to make the juice go farther.  Cut it with vegetable
glycerin (its like $3 a bottle) and suddenly that 10ML bottle of juice just
became 20ML!  A little goes a long way.  3) Probably my most important key
point.  I have no more painful side effects that the new cigarettes were
causing me.  I could breath again, my head wasn’t constantly pounding, my
chest didn’t constrict- I didn’t feel like I was going to have a heart
attack, and my tummy stopped knotting.  That, to me, was a near magical
realization.  It didn’t take long for these to go away either- just a few
weeks.  I couldn’t be more thankful to the creating of electronic
cigarettes, and to the members of the ecig forum for providing such awesome

And after those three key points set in, I was hooked!   I bought a ton of
DIY juice materials, and started mixing my own flavors, I bought poly fill
and started re-stuffing my own carts, and some syringes and started
refilling them.  I purchased some spare parts, just in case, and a card
wallet to carry them around in.  This was much better then smoking ever had
been.  I didn’t smell nasty, I didn’t have bad breath, and best of all I
wasn’t wheezing/coughing/getting sick all the time anymore.  Its become a
really important part of my every day life- to the point that I’ve gone out
and boughten a couple people who are very close to me PVs and decided to try
my darndest to share this with them.  I’m hoping that, like myself, once
they get into it that they won’t ever want to go back to regular cigarettes
either.  I won’t.  Ever.  I feel like I’ve gotten my health back- and you
can’t ever put a price on something like that.

This is why I like vaping.  It lets me feel healthy again, but doesn’t take
away from the enjoyment that I got out of having a smoke.  I’m trying my
best to convert as many people to vaping as I can- if nothing else for them
to feel healthier again, too.