I started smoking cigarettes at the age of 15, or 24 years ago. For the first year I did not inhale since I was worried about lung cancer, but still wanted a place to fit in socially. I finally started to inhale when a couple of friends made fun on me for not inhaling and thus began 22 more years of lung damage and 4000 chemicals being introduced into my body 15 to 20 times a day. From the age of 28 until the a couple weeks after I quit, my presence could be identified by a single cough every 2 or 3 minutes, whenever I was awake. Twelve months ago, a co-worker told me that he and his wife, had quit smoking and now only used e-cigarettes. They showed me their equipment and explained that his wife had quit almost completely and now only used zero nicotine juice on a rare occasion when a craving hit. He explained that he was using a low nicotine juice and never smoked anymore. They both told me how much better they felt after less than a year. Eleven months ago I got my first e-cig kit in the mail along with 2 or 3 flavors of juice. I finished my pack of cigarettes on July 31st 2012 and moved to e-cigs immediately and exclusively. The only time I have smoked a cigarette since then was 2 times a short time after I switched, out of curiosity to see if cigarettes produced a different feeling. I have also had a single cigarette on a few occasions while drinking with friends. My total number of cigarettes smoked in the past 11 months is fewer than 15 or less than 3/4 of one pack. From the middle of August 2012 until January 2013, I smoked 0 cigarettes. Since I have quit, my blood pressure has dropped from 145/95 to 130/88, my cough disappeared over a 3 week period and my ability to exercise vigorously, has improved dramatically. 2 days ago, I climbed a 14 thousand foot mountain peak without difficulty, something I would have struggled greatly to do last year. My lungs have cleaned themselves out in a dramatic way and my ability to efficiently provide oxygen to my body is nearly on par with people who have never smoked. I have used e-cigs heavily and daily during this entire time, so the improvements have occurred while using e-cigs. If that isn’t reduced harm when compared to a cigarette, I don’t know what is. In fact, if you ask me what negative effects e-cigarettes have, I would be unable to tell you of any that I have been able to notice. I have told many smokers about my experiences and several of them have tried to do the same thing that I have. Results have been varied and with the biggest complaint being that e-cigs are just not the same as real cigarettes. They are correct when they say that. A regular cigarette is not just the nicotine and it shows. There are additional chemicals that make them much more addictive. After an hour without a cigarette, I would begin to feel deep cravings. With e-cigarettes, I can go for multiple hours without feeling any need to get a hit. The habit has been reduced to one of my choice rather than dictated by my chemical craving. I have found, that this method is the only one that has broken my smoking habit as I have tried the patches and gum in the past with very quick failure rate. The difference with e-cigs is the vast choices of nicotine levels, flavors and the fact that you are still performing the familiar task of picking something up and inhaling a vapor that feels a lot like smoking. Over a short period of time, your body cleanses itself of all of the chemicals found in cigarettes and you are left with just the nicotine. If you have a mindset to stop smoking immediately and permanently, e-cigs make it very easy. My mindset was to switch and stay that way, however, I think that I could quit completely if I wanted to. The effort and discomfort would be considerably less that quitting cigarettes. If you are a government official or politician considering banning e-cigs, I implore you to back off and leave this product alone. This product is a prime example of the free market bringing a solution to a problem, at a far cheaper price, than the highly regulated pharmaceutical products previously offered. Adding regulation to this product or high levels of taxes will eliminate the motivation for some people to use this product and therefore eliminate one path away from cigarettes. To make any assertion that e-cigs are not less harmful, is simply an uninformed, unintelligent and politically motivated statement. The science simply doesn’t support banning this product.