I first started smoking when I was 13. I started because the cute, older, neighbor boy smoked and I wanted to impress him. Yeah, first major mistake in my life. I became hooked on the first couple of cigarettes I smoked with him and started using my babysitting money to have older friends buy me packs of Marlboro 100s. As I am now 36, this equates to me smoking a pack of cigarettes a day for over 23 years of my life. I have tried to quit smoking 8 different times throughout the last 23 years. The first attempt to quit was when I was pregnant with my oldest child. It was a temporary situation, and I only managed to last until my son was born, then went right back to smoking. I have 3 sons (ages 19, 17 and 5) and 1 stepson (age 8), and I quit smoking while I was pregnant with my boys, but started up again as soon as they were born. About 9 years ago, when my oldest son was 10, I tried the cold-turkey method to quit smoking. This was an abysmal failure. I kept a pack of cigarettes in a drawer on my desk and about a week into going cold-turkey, I was suffering one very horrible, mood-swing filled day, so my oldest son grabbed the pack of cigarettes and a lighter, handed them to me and said Mom, please! I also tried using nicotine gum, patches, and even anti-depressant medication from my doctor. Nothing worked. The gum gave me stomachaches, the patches caused rashes and made my skin itch, and the anti-depressants turned me into a zombie. I thought all was lost and I would be stuck smoking until I died from it. Then Chantix came along. I asked my doctor for a prescription and tried it along with my husband. Oh the dreams I had when using this drug! I didn’t really have any negative side effects from Chantix, at first. I stuck with the daily pill regiment and was finally cigarette free. I dealt with the weird dreams, but after about 3 months, I started suffering from migraines. My seasonal allergies sometimes trigger migraines, so I know how to deal with the pain appropriately, but these migraines were different. Nothing worked to stop the pain and I was getting stuck in bed in a blacked out room for more and more days. So, my doctor took me off Chantix. I wasn’t smoking when I stopped using Chantix, and my husband also managed to remain smoke-free, so I was able to still remain cigarette free for another 3 months after stopping the medicine. Periodic travel is a part of my job, and I enjoyed traveling without having to worry about finding places to smoke. I also enjoyed not having withdrawal symptoms on airplanes during the really long, cross-country flights. 6 months after I was cigarette free, I was traveling to New Orleans for a conference. My husband was at home with our 4 boys and while I was gone, it seems everything decided to break. First issue was a backed up sewer system. My husband had to deal with cleaning up this mess and getting a septic tank pumper out to the house to drain the tank and fix the problem. Then, when my husband used my car to go to work, the battery died so the car wouldn’t start. This was my husband’s breaking point, and he started smoking again while I was gone. It didn’t take a week after I got home before I started smoking with my husband again. I felt defeated. This was in November of 2009. About 4 months ago, my state decided to raise the taxes on cigarettes to make up for budget shortfalls. The price of cigarettes went from $5.25 per pack up to $6.95 per pack. With a family of 6, our household budget was already stretched thin, and this tax increase would cause my household budget to need to be reduced by an additional $100 a month. My husband and I decided we can barely afford cigarettes currently, so we should try quitting again. My husband first started vaping to stop smoking before the new taxes were implemented on July 1, 2013 and I started vaping within the first week of July 2013 after seeing how successful my husband was at managing the cravings. We started with using Blu Cigs and the pre-filled cartridges with 18mgs of nicotine sold by that company. We both also found out my husband is much stronger than I am. He has absolutely no issues with quitting smoking, but it was rougher for me. The first full weekend I had the Blu e-cigarette system (July 11 – 12, 2013), I tried to use the device the same as I used to smoke. Basically, I tried to match habit for habit to keep things consistent. I only used the cig-a-like every couple of hours; I vaped in the same places I used to smoke; I even used the tobacco flavored cartridges; I tried to keep everything the same as if I was still smoking. I became moody, cranky, didn’t want to be around anyone, didn’t want to talk to my children, I was a downright witch with a capital ‘B’. When my husband offered to buy me a pack of cigarettes to help ease my cravings a bit, I realized I needed to find out what was going wrong. So, I started to do some research. After reading some medical research about electronic cigarettes, I found the amount of nicotine the body absorbs from the vapor is roughly 1/3 of the nicotine the body absorbs from cigarettes due to the size of the vapor particles in relation to the smoke particles. Smoke particles are much smaller, so they can penetrate deeper into the lungs allowing for more thorough absorption of the components of tobacco, whereas vapor particles are much larger and only penetrate the top portions of the lungs. Ultimately, I realized I can’t use vaping the same way as I could cigarettes. Once I realized this, I decided to forgo smoking habits entirely and jumped head first into the world of vaping. This helped reduce the cravings immensely. I also decided to start experimenting with equipment, e-juice flavors, and places to vape. My boss allows me to vape in the office since there is no proven harm from the vapor exhalations, so I now can sit at my desk doing paperwork with my personal vaporizer close at hand. I’m currently using a Kanger Evod kit purchased from an online retailer. It has been almost 4 weeks since that horrible first weekend and I can honestly say I have no cravings for cigarettes. I still have co-workers who smoke and I will go outside with them on breaks, but the smell of cigarettes is rather repulsive to me now. I enjoy the fact I don’t smell like the bottom of a dirty ashtray anymore and I recently realized I love the smell of my shampoo, something I never really paid attention to before as my hair always smelled like stale tobacco smoke. The e-juice I use smells rather pleasant on exhale (I’m liking the fruit flavors most right now, so my office smells like peaches or pears on any given day, sometimes pineapple, and I use 16mg to 18mg nicotine level e-juice), so I now have the smell of fruit or candy or desserts around me most of the day. Will I be successful? I can’t answer that for certain right now. However, I do know I breath easier, I no longer have morning coughing fits, I haven’t spent the $200 on cigarettes it would have cost me before for one month’s worth of cigarettes, and I am no longer fearful of what my secondhand smoke was doing to my children. For me personally, vaping is a win-win situation. Eventually, I will reduce the level of nicotine in the e-juice I use to attempt to get away from nicotine entirely, but I will probably continue to vape as I love the flavors and the smells. It’s better than scented candles in my office and I am more productive at work as I no longer have to take breaks every 60 – 90 minutes to smoke a cigarette.