Three days after Christmas, I found my brother dead. The coroner, after learning of his existing coronary artery disease from years of smoking, gave that as the cause of death. He was only 61. My family gathered to mourn our loss. Before flying back to her home in Australia, my sister extracted a promise from me, that I would make a serious effort to quit smoking. ??Don??t make me do this again!? she begged. A couple of weeks after she left I got very sick with a respiratory flu. Between feverishly remembering passages from a history I??d read of the 1918 influenza pandemic, I coughed so much and so severely that I strained abdominal muscles, and eventually lost my voice for two weeks. Two and a half months after I??d recovered from the flu, I was still coughing constantly. I had already been told that I was in the early stage of emphysema. I really wanted to quit smoking, but ??cold turkey? had never worked for me, and none of the other methods had much appeal. I had quit once in the past using bupropion hydrochloride (Zyban), but relapsed. When I tried it again some years later I had a nightmarish experience with the drug and had to discontinue it. Nicotine gum made me sick and my teeth ached from it. Then I remembered e-cigarettes. I??d looked into them when I first heard of them some years back, but wasn??t convinced enough at the time to try. I knew that one of my other two brothers was using one off and on (??he has since quit smoking completely), and decided it was time to look at them again. After a few days of detailed research on the options available now, I chose and bought an e-cigarette. It arrived in the mail on April 22nd. I charged up the device and haven??t smoked a single cigarette since. I am astonished. I smoked for more than 30 years and expected a painful struggle with a high probability of failure. Within a week, my constant cough was gone. I still coughed for a bit every few days, but it felt different; my lungs were starting to clear out the product of decades of inhaling chemical-laced burning plant material. I can be around other people smoking cigarettes and feel no inclination to smoke. I can run several blocks without feeling in the least winded, and regularly swim a kilometer comfortably. Last week I noticed that the beds of my fingernails are a healthy pink, instead of permanently tinged with the distinctive blue of cyanosis. My doctor was pleasantly surprised when I saw him recently and told him that I’m no longer smoking. He told me he isn??t particularly knowledgeable about e-cigarettes, but recognizes that they??re infinitely less harmful than smoking and wishes he could convince some of his other patients who smoke to try one. Thinking of my late brother, so do I.