I first started smoking cigarettes when I was 20 (currently 27), well after the age where it was cool to do so. I wasn’t proud of it. It became an outlet to relieve stress. That few minutes outside at work that gave me a break from reality. I didn’t realize how powerful the addiction was until I spent a weekend at my then girlfriend’s place (who I had hid smoking from), getting into fights with her that I wouldn’t have normally fought over and frantically trying to find a cigarette butt in her mothers ashtray that I could get just a hit or two off of. Smoking had become a burden on my paycheck as I eventually turned to rolling my own. My worst fear was getting sick. Even the common cold would leave me continuously coughing uncontrollably for weeks at a time. It would feel like I was ‘sick’ more than I was healthy. I knew I wanted to quit, especially before I turned 30. I had this inner monologue that after 30 is where the health problems would really kick in. I’ve tried cold turkey numerous of times. It always failed. My final straw was during my last attempt at cold turkey, where I was in a small room with friends and I had a severe panic attack. My body began sweating, I was breathing heavily and I blacked out. I didn’t remember anything except buying a pack of cigarettes at the nearest gas station. I didn’t want cigarettes to have that type of power over me anymore. Last year at some point, I met a 36 year old man while singing karaoke at the local bowling alley. He was as average and healthy looking as you can get. He had an electric cigarette. Not a store bought disposable but a sleek looking mod. After chatting with him, he told me that he suffered a severe heart attack when he was 33. He used to be a 2 pack of day smoker and this was a wake-up call to him. His doctor approved of his decision of making the switch to an ecig as a safer alternative. The idea of getting one for myself was there, but I had no knowledge of how it works or where to get one. Shortly before my severe panic attack, I began lurking /r/electronic_cigarette on Reddit, reading the success stories of how much better life is with no tobacco. I watched YouTube videos on different mods and how they were used. After my panic attack and when my taxes came in I went to a Revolver vapor shop and bought a Talon starter kit. It was a subpar kit with subpar juice but it kept me off smoking at first try. I eventually upgraded my atomizer to a Vivi Nova, bought my ejuice from known vendors like Mt Baker Vapor and Vape Dudes and as of the other day I treated myself to an Itaste MVP from Innokin (it blows my old eGo knock offs out of the water!). I’m happy to say that I’ve been tobacco free for over 4 months with no looking back. I feel infinitely better physically and emotionally. I can taste better, breath better, not have that nasty stale tobacco smell on my clothing, my current girlfriend loves not smelling like an ashtray and best of all, NO MORE COUGHING LIKE A VICIOUS PIT BULL! The best benefit I had so far was getting the common cold and had absolutely no lingering cough. I gained a self esteem boost from being able to accomplish quitting smoking, I feel as if anything is possible. Thanks to my switch to drinking water to keep from being dehydrated (one minor set back, but it’s a positive one) along with mild exercise, I’ve lost 15 pounds with more to come. I know that these are short term benefits but I am also getting the long term benefits by reducing my risk of various cancers and heart complications. I would recommend this method of quitting smoking to anybody who has completely given up hope like I have. Now excuse me as I go back to my ruby red grapefruit flavor vape and enjoying a better quality life.