I had started when around 13-14 years of age in the 1960’s…..I thought it was pretty cool then, and everyone agreed, it was socially acceptable to smoke…..geeze Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Becall did it, and it was beautiful!! I hid my activities from my parents until I reached 16,…by that time, I was earning my own money, and no one was going to stop me, from doing anything I wanted to do! My smoking increased, as the years passed, with no apparent harm to myself….two packs a day throughout the 70’s and 80’s, however, the cost of smoking started to impinge on other aspects of life…..Late 80’s brought a recession with our own version of thre dot com bust, and money was tight. Smoking was culled to one pack (20) a day. Smoking started to lose it’s public appeal, and my wife was nagging me it’s like kissing an ash tray!!. Well I was happy to cut my smoking down even further…..right down to around 10 – 12 a day, but I was never able to get it down under this number for any appreciable time. Now I tried all sorts of remedies, to assist in curing this habit. Nicotine replacement therapies, in the form of tubes and puffers, and the imfamous patches. None of these came close to assisting me, and I tried several times at great cost (as these therapies were not recognised by the Australian Health Authorities at the time. I tried Champix a few years ago, and it was a revelation!! I actually forgot to smoke for almost 3 months…..It was fantastic….but something sinister was going on in my head….and without going into detail……I had to be taken off. (Good thing that the Champix therapy was conducted under medical supervision!!!) Well that was 3 years ago, and I had continued smoking since, still around 12 fags a day. On May 5th 2013, my brother and sister, whom both smoke, bought me an Ego T, electronic cigarette. They too had bought one each….let’s try this out, and see if it works! My brother had met a guy at Parklea Markets, an area, on the ouskirts of Sydney, and this guy was selling these like hot cakes (such is the desire for smokers to either reduce or give up smoking). Well it’s been just over 3 months. My brother has drastically redused his tobacco intake, and now smokes about 5 a day (down from 7 – 10 day), My sister has stopped completely with the exception of having 3 smokes a month ago. As for myself, I haven’t touched a smoke at all…..not one. Now this is not the most amazing thing…..! Our e cigs, are basically nicotine free….! So you get the picture? Our habits, and I suspect this for many others, are not based so much on a nicotine addiction, but on ther physical habits of smoking, something in your hands, and sucking on something, and blowing out smoke, and the semblence of some agreeable flavour in your mouth. Now sure, I’m a little edgey at times, and liable to be short / curt / irritable etc, and I’v put on nearly 7kg, but hey, I feel better, I’m sleeping better (less snoring, so my 3rd wife tells me), and my kids are off my back! My GP says, we will know in another 3 months, as this, she feels, is the litmus test….to stay smoke free for 6 months. As for the activists who declare; 1 – No studies have been performed to gauge the long term effects of vaping 2 – No studies performed on the 400 odd dangerouschemicals in the vaping liquid 3 – No regulation in the industry as to the quality and the nicotine delivery systems 4 – No regulation as to the quality of the vaping liquids 5 – Fear of younger generation taking up vaping Who’s side are you on??? Get real!! Vaping has been around since 2005. The overwhelming evidence suggests electronic cigarettes are the lesser of two evils. Will we allow those with either vested interests in the tobacco industry, or those misinformed do gooders, resign the smokers of this world, to the removal (or delay), of a viable alternative to smoking. Do your studies, do your tests, fill out your paperwork, and follow your red tape for the years it entails, but follow the lead taken by the USA, and allow the e cigs to be sold and used under any cuurent applicable guise. Geeze, if you want to save lives, and improve health, go ban alcohol, or gambling.