Looking back on one year of vaping About a month or so ago I passed a big milestone for a vaper, the one-year vapeaversery. For the uninitiated, a vapeaversery is the date on which a person has not had a traditional tobacco cigarette for a month, six months, a year, and so on. It was a big day for me. Switching to e-cigarettes is a major life-altering experience, and coming to the realization that it worked, I mean it really worked for a whole year, was amazing. To celebrate, my wife and I had a nice evening out without the kids, and of course I purchased a Provari, which every elite vaper just has to have. Since my one-year vapeaversery, I’ve been seriously thinking about vaping and the impact it has had on my life and those around me. Where would I be had I not discovered them? Has it always been a positive thing for myself and my family? Where is this headed? To answer these questions, first I need to take you back to how this all started. Below is an excerpt from my very first post on ECF. For those that may not know, ECF is the e-cigarette-forum which is on online forum where people discuss e-cigarettes, and many new vapers land there first. For the ECF veterans, I recommend going back and reading your first posts too. My how time flies. I’m having a garage sale one day in your average suburbia America, and my neighbor comes over. He says, here hit this. I thought he was handing me a pen. What is it? I said. I know you smoke cigarettes dude, this is an e-cig, try it. Okay sure. So being the hot-boxing smoker that I was, I took a long, slow, four-second drag off of what I now realize was an eGo/dual-coil carto/super-juice setup. Damn that was good, and real! I said. My Dad, who was a very heavy smoker, tried it too. He went to the local vape shop and bought us both eGos that very day. I received some good advice to get started, which was to go with a high nicotine level, and if you feel like a real cigarette, have one. Don’t stress over it. In hindsight I still agree with that. I had been stressing myself out for months, if not years, over needing to quit this time. I was only perpetuating the vicious circle. I did my research on the health and medical basics, and decided I wanted to commit to e-cigs. So I took my eGo, a mediocre carto, and Camel 36mg juice and started vaping. For the first couple of days I still had urges for an analog, particularly in the morning. So I had one or two. But I vaped most of the day, and never had more than a few. This alone was a huge relief! I used to have this half-brained goal of getting myself down to just a few cigs a day, and then in one shot I was there, stress-free. Throughout the first week I still burned up an analog here and there. I mean, I just bought a $50 carton of Camel Lights! They were sitting there, staring at me. This was a good thing actually. With each analog I had, vapor tasted better and better. I slowly became aware that I liked e-cigs more. How was this even possible? Cigarettes had been the bane of my existence for so many years. Now they were meaningless to me. Back then I don’t think my neighbor could have guessed at how badly I needed him to come over that day, and the difference that him walking across the street and sharing his e-cig with me made. Surely he never thought that we would help start this club [Hoosier Vapers]. Just like that, cigarettes had become meaningless to me. Had he not come over I would still be smoking them today. I know it. My wife would still be infuriated by the stench. My health would still be on the decline. I would still be stuck in the vicious (Big Pharma and FDA Approved) stress – quit – relapse cycle. Vaping has been nothing but a positive force in my life. Am I a bit consumed with it at times? Likely, but it’s not a bad thing. I love it. My wife loves it. My Dad loves it. My friends are converting. I have absolutely no regrets about switching to vapor. I truly believe that smoking would have driven my family apart and destroyed our lives. Maybe not by now, but eventually it would have. The future is wide open, but I expect vaping will always be a part of mine. People sometimes ask, Do you plan on quitting vaping? That is a great question which really calls for self-reflection. My answer is a loud resounding NO! I work every day to reduce my nicotine dependence, but that doesn’t mean quitting vaping. My goals now are to be that neighbor taking a walk across the street to share an e-cig with a smoker, to remain smoke-free always, and to spread the truth about tobacco harm reduction, e-cigarettes, and vaping culture.