I was a smoker for most of my life. I started smoking regularly when I was 13 or 14 and didn’t quit until I was 34. At first I only smoked about half a pack per day, but eventually I worked my way up to about 2 packs per day. During that time I tried quitting 4 times. The first two times were cold turkey and only lasted about 3 – 4 days. Then I tried nicotine gum, which lasted 3 days. Next I tried nicotine lozenges. Again, it only lasted 3 days before I needed a cigarette again. About two months ago my brother and his wife Nisha stopped by for a visit. Nisha had recently quit smoking cigarettes and was using an electronic cigarette instead. I wasn’t very familiar with them so I decided to give it a try. The strawberry flavor wasn’t really to my liking, so I handed it back and put it out of my mind. Then, a few weeks ago, I heard that prices were about to go up on cigarettes. That prompted me to investigate e-cigs again, as I was already concerned with what I was spending on tobacco. Don’t get me wrong. I like smoking. I just don’t like the cost or the health risks. I was willing to deal with the health issues at first, but the cost was putting cigarettes out of my reach. I started with a Blu e-cig purchased at a local gas station. It was expensive and had too much nicotine for me (24mg), but it did what I needed it to do. After a few puffs, my craving for a cigarette was temporarily satisfied. That was when I knew I could finally leave tobacco behind. I did a google search for electronic cigarettes and found the e-cigarette forum www.e-cigarette-forum.com. There I read about the various options available along with other people’s experiences with them and decided to give it a try. I finished off my last few cigarettes while shopping online for an e-cig, with the hope that disposable e-cigs from the gas station would keep me going until the order arrived. The adjustable voltage batteries that I ordered made it much easier to make the switch, as it allowed me to adjust the strength of the vapor, and came closer to the feeling that I was used to from analog cigarettes. That, combined with the HUGE variety of e-liquid flavors available, finally did the trick. I’m proud to say that, thanks to electronic cigarettes, I’ve been tobacco free for 24 days now. I started at 18mg nicotine liquids and have already moved down to 9mg. I feel better, I don’t get tired as quickly when I’m out and about, and I’m not coughing every 5 minutes any more. Electronic cigarettes may not be 100% safe, but they’ve certainly made a very big difference in how I feel. They’re also saving me about $200 a month. It’s a win-win as far as I’m concerned. Unless someone can prove that e-cigs are worse for my health than tobacco, I don’t plan on quitting any time soon. I just hope that CASAA can keep regulators at bay so I can continue to enjoy one of my new favorite products without worrying about big tobacco taking over the industry and loading up e-cigs with all the nasty chemicals that they put in tobacco to keep us hooked.