I’m an Australian 35-year, (minimum of) a pack of 40-a-day smoker who hasn’t picked up a cigarette since the day my second-gen vape pen arrived from New Zealand on October 7th, 2017. I??m not quite evangelical about vaping, but it wouldn’t take much to push me over that line. Vaping has returned to me, at nearly 50, the ability to climb stairs, keep up with friends and colleagues when walking, and even the ability to walk and talk simultaneously. Horrifically, I calculated just now that vaping has saved me more than $23,000 in 18 months. Not a typo. $23 THOUSAND, calculated at 547 days by $43.50 a pack of 40, the current Australian price of the low-quality cigarette brand I used to smoke. Day one was hard work. I coughed and coughed. I even had that feeling of ??I don??t think this is going to work for me,? because of the cough on inhale. A few hours of Googling made it apparent that coughing was a common side effect for new vapers, but that I would likely learn to suppress it in short order. I’m glad I persisted, trying different inhalation techniques other vapers had shared on the internet. I had tried everything other than hypnosis and pharmaceutically-assisted pill-based quitting over the years. Patches, gum, embryonic cold-inhale ??puffer?? therapy, cold turkey, reducing to quit – and the rest. The longest I??d gone without a cig was a bit over two weeks on a cold-turkey attempt. But I had ultimately failed each time because of a lack of mental strength over the chemical and habitual elements of smoking. Vaping gave me something to do with my hands, the familiarity of inhalation and a comfortingly similar hit of nicotine. . I did have to challenge myself, at first, to persist through the cough, and secondly to not fall back into the mindless habit of picking up and lighting a cigarette. I knew I was no longer a smoker no more than three or four days after starting to vape – enough time for the accumulated chemicals from smoking to have subsantially left my body, and for cravings and urges to pick up a cigarette to have all but vanished. I was a death-case. Smoking as much as I did for as long as I did was killing me, and would have killed me. Whether it was cancer, emphysema, heart and/or vascular problems like stroke, smoking would have gotten me in the end. I do recognise that smoking??s side effects may still claim my life. As may any as-yet undiscovered long-term detrimental effects of vaping. But I was dead anyway, so I am more than happy to volunteer myself as a longer-term guinea pig to evaluate the full health effects of vaping. I am fitter, richer, smell better. Ordering my first pen-styled vape and some juice was the single most important and effective health decision I have ever made. I??ve even had fantasies about one day putting down the vape and going nicotine-free for the first time since I was 13. That was an incredible catharsis for someone who was a committed, rabid smoker until the age of 48. Vaping won??t ever be for everyone, but I hope that my – and others?? – success stories help even just one more person to free themselves from the health and financial nightmare that is smoking. Thank you for reading.