I’ve been smoking since I was 14 or 15 years old — nearly 20 years. A non-smoker friend of mine had gotten a free gas station e-cigarette and gave to me since I was a smoker and she thought I might enjoy it. I wasn’t particularly fond of its flavor and/or its nicotine level, but the e-cigarette had a website tattooed on it so I thought I might check it out to see if there was any more to it. Until then, I was very ignorant about the various equipment, flavors, etc. — mostly because I had no intention to quit smoking. Not only was I addicted to nicotine, but I loved smoking. As I researched, I got more and more excited to learn about all the different flavors, methods, equipment, etc. I placed my first order less than 24 hours after having received the free e-cigarette (I had already killed and recharged the battery several times and had blown through two of the cartomizers). I bought a starter kit with two batteries, two different clearomizers and a few 10ml bottles of e-liquid. After receiving those in the mail, I was no longer a cigarette smoker. I have to stress that I had no intention to quit smoking, but the variety of flavors available were much more appealing to me than being pigeonholed into receiving nicotine only from the combustion of tobacco — regardless of brand, tobacco still tastes like tobacco (even though I did have my favorites) without a whole lot of variance in flavor (Pepsi and Coke definitely taste different and one might have a preference, but they are both still obviously cola). I’ve used snus and snuff a couple times throughout the years, but I don’t think I ever used up a whole can before it dried out — because I just didn’t like it. Smoking was my preferred method of nicotine delivery because I love the taste and feel of inhaling smoke. I had joked from time to time that even if cigarettes didn’t contain nicotine, I would probably still smoke them. The health benefits of vaping are a great side-effect. It’s also worth the enhanced cost to me. I rolled my own cigarettes and spent only roughly $40 a month on tobacco. I have spent well over $300 on various equipment and e-liquid in less than a month of vaping. Over time, I’m sure this might balance out, but it’s also become a hobby to me — one that I don’t mind spending money on. I will likely continue to buy new equipment regularly, will certainly continue to buy different flavors from various suppliers and look to start making my own e-juices over time. In the first week after I started vaping, I smoked four cigarettes — all because my batteries had gone dead (a problem I no longer have as I have purchased enough batteries and chargers to make sure I always have at least one ready to go). I still have a whole can of tobacco that I had purchased a few hours before I tried the e-cigarette — it doesn’t tempt me at all — and it has possibly dried out by now. I’m thrilled to have discovered a smoking alternative that delivers the (harmless as caffeine, perhaps even more-so) nicotine I want in a vehicle that so closely resembles smoking (a process I’ve always loved) that I don’t miss the smoke at all. It’s also nice to be able to vape virtually anywhere because it gives off nothing harmful to the people around me. I can settle down to drink a cup of coffee in my mother’s house and not have to go outside to enjoy a cigarette. My mom, a vehement non-smoker, even loves to taste the different flavors I have. I can use my devices at work without having to go outside and take a cigarette break, which frankly makes me much happier and even more productive an employee. I had never seriously considered other alternatives for nicotine delivery, because I loved to smoke and had no intention of quitting, despite the known and noticeable effects on my health. After only three weeks of vaping, I find myself riding my bicycle to work more often because I can handle the hills of Pittsburgh (of which there are a few between my house and my job) much more easily and I have even decreased the amount of time it takes me to do as such by about 25% — and this is just the beginning. I wake up every morning more energetic and much more capable of breathing and also find myself relying less on energy-boosters to get through the day. I am also in a better mood and much more productive. Overall, vaping has (very serendipitously, if that’s a word) become a very important part of my life — and has perhaps prolonged it. Cheers!