“I’ll only move in with you if you give up smoking ”
I was actually 10 years of age when I had my first cigarette (Yes 10!) – I grew up in a small village in the countryside and there wasn’t much to keep us occupied apart from kicking a ball around in the park. After playing football, my brother and his friends used to sit and have a fag, at the time this was of no interest to me but after a while I got more and more intrigued. My friends Mum was a heavy smoker, and she used to have boxes of Marlboro Reds all over the house. I remember the day like yesterday, we saw the box laying on the side with a cigarette poking out the top and my friend looked at the box and then looked at me, without a word just slid one out of the box and nodded. I smirked and we ran out of the house, jumped on our bikes and headed to the park. Chuff, cough, chuff, cough. That’s how it started and how it quickly ended. We tried and didn’t enjoy it, the curiosity was squashed and we thought to ourselves why do people smoke.
Unfortunately that thought process didn’t last – fast forward 5 years, all of my friends smoked, my old man smoked, my brother smoked and so I started smoking. You weren’t cool if you didn’t have a fag dangling from your lip. I wouldn’t have said I was a full time smoker at this point, but I was still going through a couple of 10 packs a week. This continued until I found a new love of my life, Beer!, and those packs of 10 quickly turned into 20’s. The two went hand in and hand and the thought of having a beer in hand and no cigarette in the other was daunting and something I could never imagine would happen. I loved the social aspect of smoking and camaraderie amongst fellow smokers. Even after the smoking ban in (July 2007), this wasn’t going to stop me – if anything it made matters worse as the social aspect of smoking got better. Speaking to random strangers outside and the only thing we had in common was that we were smokers, but nonetheless we became best friends until the butt was flicked on the ground.
Now 28 years of age, a (minimum) of 10 a day and nothing to show for the thousands of pounds literally gone up in smoke. I had been with my girlfriend (a casual smoker) for around 3 years and we were looking to buy our first house together. She would constantly nag me about my smoking, but this would just go in one ear and out of the other. The ultimatum finally came, “I’ll only move in with you if you give up smoking” – it took a while but she was finally wearing me down. “Ok” I said “I’ll do it”. To be honest it was no longer a thing I enjoyed just something I needed (or so I thought).
I had tried to give up before, albeit not much effort – patches, gum, cold turkey – and I had bought a few cig-a-likes from the petrol station but my heart was never in it. This time I was going to give it my all, not only did I want an easy life from the other half, but I was about to have a mortgage to pay. The methods I tried before weren’t going to cut it, I knew I needed something with some power.
I knew people that vaped, but my knowledge was minimal. I walked into my local vape shop, and said ‘I want to give up smoking – what is the best kit to start vaping with” so I walked out the shop with a Kanger Sub-Vod. Did I stop smoking straight away, nope! But I had probably cut my daily consumption in half. I still felt this to be an achievement, and in time I knew I could completely cut it out. At first I thought the device wasn’t cutting it, but I tried another flavoured e-liquid and after that I was hooked. Usually the first thing I would want was to spark up a cigarette but now I was craving ‘Nana’s Custard Doughnut’ – not to be misinterpreted.
We’re now 5 years on from when I walked in to my first vape shop, the Kanger is no more and I’m now on something that really kicks out the vapour. I’m not going to go as far as to say that vaping has saved my life, but what I do know is I feel a lot healthier, can complete exercise without wheezing, I can now taste my food and what more no more nagging (about Smoking!).
Vaping may not be for everybody but if you are a smoker and struggling to quit, you’ll never know if it will work unless you try. Trust me it’s the best thing I’ve ever done!