I smoked all my adult life, more than 20 years, a pack a day. My dad and my uncle died from emphysema, so I felt I knew what the possibilities were, and I didn’t care. I didn’t care if I died from smoking. When cigarettes started being taxed into the stratosphere, I bought them online. They came from foreign countries and they were harsh and made me cough. I didn’t care about that. I didn’t care how it made my furniture and my mattress and my car smell. I just wanted to smoke and be left in peace. Then I started having trouble breathing. It was hard to get out of bed because I felt weak from lack of oxygen. I had to be up for a while before I felt better. I bought a CD that you listen to while falling asleep, to hypnotize you to stop smoking. After a year, that made no difference. I kept smoking. Then my good friends came to town to visit me. Both were off cigarettes for nearly a year, and they were happily vaping. They hadn’t suffered the weight gain you usually get from quitting smoking. They had no cigarette cravings. We discussed how we actually believe in nicotine as a harmless stimulant. I think the research into the beneficial qualities of nicotine, as separate from the carbon monoxide and poisons of burning tobacco, has only begun. Until now nicotine has been conflated with burning tobacco, and the evils of cigarette smoke have all been erroneously attributed to nicotine. Anyway, since my friends, formerly heavy smokers, quit cigarettes with complete success, I decided to try the electronic cigarette. All the myriad of flavors was fascinating. I still love trying new flavors, and reading eliquid reviews and vaping news. So for about six weeks I had two expensive habits, cigarettes and the e-cigarette. I knew that one day I would smoke my last cigarette. It happened on the Saturday morning after Thanksgiving 2012. I woke up and had my first cigarette of the day, with coffee, as usual. A little while later, when it was time for the next cigarette, I picked up my ecig and vaped my brains out. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that it was one very difficult, very grim day, trying to stop myself grabbing a cigarette and lighting up. I said to myself nobody is making you quit cigarettes. you are free to smoke. why are you doing this to yourself? But I persevered through a long, depressing, emotionally turbulent day, and the next day I was free from cigarettes, and I’m free ever since.