Hello, my name is Aaron Clark and I want to do everything in my power to ensure that personal vaporizers and the freedom to choose life (vaping) over death (cigarettes) remains available to us all. So, let me share my experiences with you. I’m 26 years old, and I started smoking cigarettes at 13. Within a year I was up to a pack a day. Between then and now, I would vary anywhere from 2 packs a day to a half, it would vary based on what I was doing, stress levels, all that jazz. By the time I was 20 I had a noticeable cough, going up stairs would wind me, and I was always hacking up some nasty phlegm. I couldn’t really taste or smell anything. I always stank like an ashtray (not that I could tell at the time) and well, it was rather a turn-off. I didn’t sleep very well, but all these things changed so gradually, it was hard to notice. Until I started using electronic cigarettes. I put electronic cigarette in parenthesis, because I feel it is a significant misnomer, and a big reason for some of the controversy surrounding them. First of all, everyone needs to understand this, they ARE NOT ELECTRONIC CIGARETTES. THEY ARE PERSONAL VAPORIZERS, WITH ABSOLUTELY NO TOBACCO RELATED PRODUCT AT ALL WHATSOEVER. Sure, some of the juices use naturally extracted tobacco, but the devices themselves (and vast majority of the juices) have literally ZERO tobacco material or content. A common misconception, nicotine is not exclusive to tobacco, and on it’s own is no more harmful than caffeine. A lot of people don’t seem to understand that. Anyways, I’ve gotten ahead of myself. From about the age of 20 I decided I wanted to quit. I had a serious problem though; I really enjoyed smoking, the cigarette in my hand, the hand to mouth motions, the 5-10 minute break from life I got every time I lit one up. I knew what it was doing to my body, my health, I was really starting to feel it. But I just enjoyed smoking too much to quit, just for my health. So I decided to attempt methods to reduce both my cravings and my fixation on the act of smoking. I got myself placebo cigarettes, basically just a fake cigarette, for the fixation, and tried the snus for the nicotine. What happened was after trying to light the fake cigarette a billion times, I would just smoke and use the snus for extra nicotine. Obviously, this led to me smoking more, and using snus in situations where I couldn’t smoke. Which meant my attempt to quit had backfired to the point I was doing more harm to my body. Of course, during the initial transition there I was extremely irate, going through withdrawal, and had difficulty concentrating, sleeping, basically functioning at all. This is also a problem that would bring me back to smoking whenever I would try to quit cold turkey. I thought about using the chantix, or the gum, or the patch, but decided against them. I had never heard of anyone I knew successfully quitting with any of those methods, and one friend’s brother ended up in the hospital due to the side effects of chantix. I’ve met more people that STARTED smoking because they took the gum or the patch with a friend, than have used either to actually quit. Obviously, around this point I was discouraged and pretty well resigned myself to smoking until the day it killed me. Then I heard about electronic cigarettes. I’m kind of a technophile, so the concept was immediately attractive to me. I went and bought one of the gas station rechargeable models, a little cigarette sized vaporizer, and gave it a try. I couldn’t believe it. Yeah, it was definitely different from smoking, the vapor had a different texture and taste and throat hit, but it was still amazingly similar. I thought to myself, this just might be close enough to get me off the cancer sticks. Thus began my own personal vapor chase! I started to get into the culture of vaping, doing research, learning about the various available products and the technology behind them. I got into vaping just before it really started to rapidly expand, so it was pretty interesting seeing the front lines of the technology advance into some of the amazing devices we have today. But at the time, it still wasn’t quite all the way there, so I was still smoking cigarettes and using the personal vaporizer, so I did smoke less. This continued for a few years. I was always researching the brand new PV’s (personal vaporizer) to try to find a device to more closely mimic the texture and feeling of inhaling smoke. As I would upgrade to more advanced PV’s I would smoke less and less. It was a gradual thing, but as this continued, I started to notice more and more the flavors in the juices of my PV. I didn’t even realize it, but my senses of taste and smell were slowly coming back. I was sleeping better. I wasn’t waking up hacking up half a lung. I wasn’t constantly having to hock out phlegm. My lungs and body were trying to heal the damage smoking caused. Then one day, (I almost exclusively vaped, but did still smoke; a pack would last me a week or more) I was having a cigarette, and I thought to myself, I really don’t want to smoke. Bingo. Keep in mind, I enjoyed smoking. I always enjoyed the act, the burning smell, the social aspect. It was why, despite the health risks, I was never able to commit to quit. I LIKED smoking, and didn’t want to give it up. But then, that day, that cigarette, that thought hit my head and everything changed. I didn’t enjoy SMOKING. I still loved vaping, the act of it, the tinkering with the components to get a better experience, the whole nine yards of it. But for the first time since my first cigarette, I did not want to smoke, I did not like to smoke. And that was the very last cigarette I had. All thanks to PV’s and vaping. Now I love vaping. It’s more than just a way to get nicotine, or a replacement for cigarettes. It’s a hobby. The tech advances so quickly, it’s fun to keep up. I’ve got devices that look anywhere from a classic tobacco pipe to a cigarette to a lightsaber. Ha, I don’t know if I ever ended up saving any money by quitting, (always gotta have the latest new toy!) but I KNOW my health is improved. I can walk up flights of stairs without losing my breath or needing to take a break. I sleep better. I can smell and taste things that I had always assumed had no taste or smell. I’m not constantly hacking up things that look like part of my lungs. I can breathe easier. I feel better. The quality of life for me has improved so much that I can’t even begin to describe all the ways. All because of vaping. Now, I’ve gone on about the health benefits of choosing to vape over smoking, but I want to make one point clear. PV’s and vaping ARE NOT DESIGNED TO BE MEDICAL DEVICES TO HELP YOU QUIT. As such, they have no business being classified with the pills, patches, gums and inhalers that ARE designed to be, and that resoundingly do not work. The personal vaporizer, electronic cigarette if you insist, was designed for people that want to smoke. That don’t want to quit. It is a healthier alternative, nothing more, nothing less. There is no claim that they’re designed to help you quit, that’s rubbish. I never had any intention to quit smoking, I just wanted a healthier lifestyle. PV’s made that desire a reality. And I have no intention to ever quit vaping. Sure, things may change later in life, and I may change my mind, but as of now, I am one hundred percent content. I get everything I ever enjoyed about smoking, and virtually none of the negative effects. I get my nicotine. The only other ingredients in the juice I use are all food grade materials, approved for consumption. No tar, no cyanide, no formaldehyde, none of those awful lethal chemicals. No cancer. I hope sharing my experiences helps you all to make the right choices regarding the future of PV’s. And I want to make clear, absolutely crystal clear, that PV’s are not designed nor intended to be any kind of medical device to aid in cessation of smoking. They are designed and intended for people like me, people that like smoking, people that don’t want to quit, just want a healthier way to continue doing what we enjoy. This is a major point, and should be forefront in all of your minds while you talk about regulating the industry. These are not tobacco products, and they are not medical devices. They’re a healthier alternative to one of our favorite bad habits. Nothing more, nothing less. Thank you all for your time and consideration.