I tried my first cigarette on a dare when I was 12 or 13 years old and smoked maybe one or two per year when I felt I needed to prove something to someone but it wasn’t until I was 16 that my smoking picked up any real regularity. It was what my friends were doing and they seemed to like it, and it didn’t seem to be hurting them after all… By 17 I was smoking upwards of 10 cigarettes per day, and by 18 I was a full-on pack-a-day smoker. That part of my story has been told many many times in countless individuals’ testimonials, articles, and abstracts, as it is so commonly how people get started with tobacco use. It is my hope that the rest of this story takes on the same commonality as electronic cigarettes and other smoke-free alternatives gain popularity. I had tried to quit many times over the years but always found my way back within just a few weeks or a month at best. I tried cutting back my use gradually, quitting cold-turkey, nicotine gums and lozenges which irritated my mouth and tongue, and a brief run with over-the-counter trans-dermal nicotine patches which were uncomfortable and made me quite nauseous. Eventually I would always return to my pack-a-day habit. After seeing some print ads and in-store advertising I purchased a Blu electronic cigarette (e-cig) kit mostly to use on a road trip since I couldn’t smoke in the vehicle I had borrowed, but with the thought in mind that if it worked for the trip then maybe it would help me kick the cigarettes for good. While I found that using the Blu product took the edge off and I could drive for longer periods of time before stopping by the side of the road for a cigarette, it did not allow me to stop smoking entirely. Because of this experience, I was hesitant to try a similar product and expect different results. However, after reading reviews, testimonials, and blog sites like those operated by Steve K., Phil Busardo, and other promoters of vaping, I realized that there were much better options than the Blu kits. My interest was once again piqued and I decided to give it another try. At the age of 35, after smoking regularly for over 19 years, I ran out of cigarettes one day and instead of buying another pack of Winstons, I bought an eGo style e-cig kit from a local vendor. I’m happy to say that I have not smoked a cigarette since that day over two months ago, but better yet, that I don’t want one. I immediately found vaping to be more enjoyable as it tasted better, smelled better, and was significantly less expensive than smoking cigarettes. I feel like I have more control over my nicotine intake, and have already started reducing the nicotine levels in the liquids that I am using. I hope to completely quit my nicotine use within the next few months and I believe this is an attainable goal. This has been by far the most successful alternative to traditional cigarettes that I have tried, and I regularly encourage other smokers I know to give it a try. I’ve helped 12 of my friends and co-workers successfully transition to electronic cigarettes and stop using tobacco cigarettes entirely, and another three have significantly cut back on their tobacco use with the help of these products. One of my friends has described vaping as the magic bullet to finally shut tobacco completely out of our society, and I agree that it has that potential. I hope to see many more success stories in the years to come as people are able to take back control over their lives and leave their tobacco use behind them!