Table of Contents
1. How I Started Smoking
I was raised around cigarettes (born in 1959). Folks smoked inside the house, there were no restrictions back then. Around 1976, I tried a few puffs but did not like smoking. So I tossed the cigs, and let it alone.
Around 1982, I was a part-time model. The biggest pay came from wearing skimpy shorts and skirts at rodeos while giving away free packs of cigarettes. (Boy, those were the days). After the job, the reps would take us out for drinks at bars (no hanky panky, I was married), and give us free cartons of cigarettes. I was also attending University, so jumping on the smoking bandwagon was slow. interesting side note, my best friend was named Luane and used her cigarettes to mix with coke, and she became quite the addict (strung out is more like it).
2. When I took a Serious Look at Quitting
I didn’t really try to quit until around 2007. my habit had grown to two packs a day, and the cats were feeling the smoke in the house. I first started smoking outside, then I only smoked 1/2 cigarette at a time. This bumped my consumption down to less than 10 a day. In the interim, I tried patches and gum. The gum tasted horrible, and the patches were not strong enough. Plus, the expense of these nic replacements was more than the cost of the cigs and was designed with ending nicotine consumption altogether.
Our state offered free counseling to quit smoking if you were on Medicaid (the State foots your bill), but not if you were on Medicare (the Feds foot your bill). So, I stuck with my low consumption for years.
3. Introduction to Smoke-Free Alternatives, i.e. Vaping
In 2015, I discovered youtube videos on vaping. Back then, the popular crowd was Indoor Smokers, Rip Trippers, and a few others that have gone bye-bye. I started with Vape pens (cartomizer devices) and ordered some cartridges from Halo Cigs and White Cloud (don’t think White Cloud exists anymore). I also ordered some box mods from Aspire and Kangertech, along with Clearomizers (I tried my hand at rebuilding kangertech tanks). I also ordered stuff to make my own ejuice, cotton, coils, tools, etc. I had quit smoking for 6 months.
Then, I broke my foot. I had to put a 20-year-old cat to sleep. My sister, still an avid smoker (8 years younger than me) came to take care of me. Eventually, I started smoking again. A year later, started working small jobs for Amazon, but didn’t go full-time until March 2017. That six month was the most successful quit I had since I started smoking. In 2021, I was able to quit Cold Turkey, but it only lasted a month.
4. This Past Year. Conclusion
November 2021, I was feeling chest pain when smoking. I knew a younger friend who had been diagnosed with later-stage lung cancer. She insisted on smoking inside a nonsmoking building, which I did not do (remember, by now been smoking outside for 13 to 14 years). She eventually dies, while I tried to start vaping.
Things had changed dramatically since 2015. The Pact Act changed how vape supplies were shipped (though I’ve heard some stores still do USPS). My first three online orders were a disaster. I had to spend more money in the shops to get vape supplies. I didn’t know you needed to pre-soak the coils for pods. But, I eventually settled on some juice and Pod/mods. Went with Smok Novo 2 and Novo 3, and with Smok Nord 50w.
My problems were the strength of my juices. No more were the 12 to 18 mg non-salted e liquids. It was either 6 mg or 30 mg salts. So, my initial brush was touch and go. it wasn’t until I started getting DIY e-liquid mixing supplies, that I was able to quit. My goto vape was 12mg. 30mg made me cough, and 50 mg would give me a headache if vaped too long.
I now occasionally have one cigarette. I have an old pack that just sits there. My breathing has improved (though I am suffering from someone’s crud respiratory illness right now). My kitty doesn’t seem to elicit bad effects from being round vape, I don’t really have my cloud-chasing devices set up. I have coils, RDAs, RTAs sub-ohm tanks, Vaporesso Gen type, Target mods, Geekvape Mods, and lots of cotton. Haven’t broken it out yet. I just know I am glad vaping was there to help me quit smoking.