I’ve been using electronic cigarettes in various forms since July, 2011 after having smoked about a pack a day for over a decade. Before then, I had been mildly curious about e-cigarettes off and on for several months, mostly due to their novelty and gadget appeal. However, in 2011 when I found out my wife was pregnant, I decided to give e-cigarettes more serious consideration. I refused to expose my daughter to my secondhand smoke. A co-worker of mine, another smoker, had recently had carpal tunnel surgery. Her doctor recommended e-cigs to her, claiming that cigarette smoking slows healing after surgery. He recommended some cigarette lookalikes for her, which she ordered. After recovering fully, she switched back to smoking. She still had the batteries and several disposable nicotine bits left over, which she lent me to sate my curiosity. I discovered why she switched back to cigarettes. The cartridges had dried out, the flavor was weak, vapor was feeble, and the cigalikes offered no satisfaction. However, I could easily see that the potential was there. I scoured the Internet (Thank you, Al Gore!) for days, sifting through dozens of cookie cutter websites offering Blu, V4L, Smoker Friendly, and so on; as well as a bunch of sales sites camouflaged as review articles debating the minutiae of each brand, each offering an opinion on why their rebranded generic feeble Chinese cigalike was best. Occasionally I would come across a forum here and there populated by weirdos talking about vaping on screwdrivers and hacking atomizers with blue aquarium foam, gigantic tubes reminiscent of Mag Lites from Greece, and people generally devoting more effort to their hobby than I was willing to commit. Eventually, though, I came across the Joye eGo-T, a cigar form-factor device with a tank capable of holding an entire day’s worth of juice while still discreet enough to avoid any Freudian accusations. I was sold. It was an excellent decision. Since I started vaping, I have had no more than a single pack of cigarettes within the past two years — and most of those, I couldn’t stand to finish. When a smoker is introduced to a worthwhile device, something more reliable than a cigarette lookalike, I believe that electronic cigarettes are a very effective method of smoking cessation. And I feel better since I quit smoking. I can climb stairs without getting out of breath, I no longer smell like an ash tray. And I no longer waste $90+ on two cartons of smokes per month. (I have no idea how much smokes cost these days. A carton of Winston Light 100’s cost about $45 in 2011 when I was still buying them.) While I would not recommend personal vaporizers to anyone not already addicted to nicotine, I am always eager to give a smoker a toot on mine, demonstrating that they’re not all like the gas station disposables, that you can get warm vapor, solid throat hit, a tasty treat, and an overall pleasurable alternative to smoking that does not leave clothing smelling like an ash tray. Recently there has been a trend of municipalities looking either to ban e-cigarettes or to tax them heavily. The only group who stands to benefit from an e-cigarette ban are the tobacco companies who would otherwise lose smokers and dippers to these electronic devices. Big Tobacco has very persuasive lobbyists, and would love not to lose smokers to personal vaporizers. When you read about the dangers of e-cigarettes, just bear in mind that typical e-juice contains propylene glycol (found in food, medication and fog machines), vegetable glycerin, food flavoring, nicotine, and maybe a small amount of alcohol or water — all components either food grade or pharmaceutical grade. Nicotine is not exclusive to tobacco. It’s found in all the nightshade family of plants, including some vegetables — eggplant, for example. Nicotine by itself in moderation is no more harmful than coffee or cheesecake. Also remember that too much nicotine is harmful, but then again so is too much caffeine. So is too much water, for that matter. I am a proponent of banning the sale of electronic cigarettes and accessories to minors, but I strongly believe that adults should keep the freedom to choose for themselves.