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Why I Vape

December 29, 2015

One reader tells of how as a former lifelong tobacco smoker, switching to vaping allowed him to kick his cigarette habit completely with no withdrawal symptoms whatsoever.

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by Andrew Gomez

Lately, whenever I have had a free moment, I usually ponder over the following two questions:

1) Where did cigarette-smoking originate from?

2) Who were Rey’s parents and exactly how high is her midichlorian count?

We may have to wait for May 2017 when Star Wars Episode 8 is released to find out the answer to question 2.

As for tobacco-smoking? Well, this can ultimately be traced back in history to the Native American Peace Pipe; that was the origin of tobacco usage in all its forms today.

For me personally, as a tobacco-smoker for over three decades, that seems to be something I can relate to. Tobacco-smoking did have a calming effect on me, especially during those times when I needed to think.

Undoubtedly though, any positive aspects of tobacco-smoking today are far outweighed by the numerous downsides of this filthy habit. I sincerely wish I had never started smoking back when I was a teenager.

Nicotine is reputed to be the most addictive drug known to humankind and I don’t dispute that.

Over the years, I had attempted to quit smoking for good. Aside from going cold turkey, I tried the patch, inhalers, even the Nicorette chewing gum. Sadly for me, none of these attempts worked to wean me off my nicotine addiction.

Sometime in 2012, my sister Sharon handed me a weird-looking plastic cigarette. “Eh, what’s this? I asked her. “An e-cigarette,” she replied, “Just inhale it like a ciggy.”

Result? My mind was blown. It mimicked almost precisely the act of cigarette-smoking. The vapour I exhaled looked and felt like I was blowing cigarette smoke. There was a cigarette smoke taste and I even felt a nicotine rush. This was a game-changer for me.

It has been a few years since 2012 and I’ve tried various vape devices and juices in the meantime. I started with the cigarette look alikes, then moved on to CE4 / Protank vaporizers on Ego batteries. These days I am fully satisfied with my iJust 2 vape device. I have quit tobacco-smoking for good. It has been months since I lit up a tobacco cigarette.

My health seems to have improved. Food tastes so much better to me. My stamina during exercise has increased tremendously to the extent I have started riding a bicycle again. That is all the more amazing to me since I’m almost 50 years old now.

Aside from that, I no longer reek of smoke. Nor do I have to deal with disposing of ash and cigarette butts. I do not pollute the air of those around me.

In other words, as a former lifelong tobacco smoker, switching to vaping allowed me to kick my cigarette habit completely with no withdrawal symptoms whatsoever. Yes, I’m still addicted to nicotine and I’m still feeding that addiction daily. Vaping to me is a replacement nicotine-delivery method, just as the patch or Nicorette gum is a nicotine-replacement method.

Just the other day, a young friend asked whether there was any marijuana in the ejuice I was vaping. I laughed because there was none; I vape tobacco-flavoured 24 mg. nicotine liquid only. In fact, I didn’t know such marijuana-laced liquids even existed. I have to this day never seen any such illicit liquids being sold either online or offline.

All of the people I personally know who vape only use nicotine-infused e liquids. They are all former tobacco-smokers who have kicked the habit.

It does trouble me to know that a great technological tool such as a vape device could in theory be used for illegal purposes. As I see it, however, technology itself is neither good nor evil; it just exists. It is benign.

For example, one can use the internet to spam or harass others or to download porn. Or one can connect with friends and loved ones on social media, pay bills online or do internet banking.

Similarly, a knife can be used to chop vegetables. Or it can be used to stab someone.

Who wants the internet or knives to be banned, though?

Like any tool or technology, a lot depends on how this tool is wielded. For purposes that are good. Or otherwise.

In a few days’ time, vaping will be banned in my home state. Then, if I am unable to vape, maybe I will have to resume smoking tobacco cigarettes again.

These days, a pack of cigarettes in Malaysia costs RM17. Back when I smoked cigarettes, I used to smoke 2 packs a day.

Now that I only vape, though, my “smoking” costs me just RM40 a month.

Oh well. *sigh*

Andrew Gomez is an FMT reader.

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