My name is Eric Hollopeter, I live in Kendallville Indiana U.S.A. and I started smoking when I was in high school. It started as an occasional thing of smoking one when I was out with friends but was smoking a pack a day by the time I graduated. As I moved into the workforce and was surrounded by smokers and working in smoking establishments my smoking was kind of a „normal“ thing. I wanted to quit but had real problems breaking the cycle. Patches, gum, and even the generic cig-a-like e-cigs didn’t give me enough to break my two to three pack a day habit. I never lost the desire to quit but felt I’d exhausted my options for nicotine replacement until my friend introduced me to vaping in a different way. February 6 2015 he took me into Epic Vapes of Fort Wayne Indiana and had the opportunity to look at some starter kits and try some juices. I purchased a starter pen kit and plenty of juice. I was skeptical but had the desire to quit and my friend had been two weeks without a cigarette so I figured he was probably onto something. After 4:30 pm on 6 February 2015 I never smoked a cigarette again thanks to vaping.
I’m almost seven months cigarette free and I’m alternating between 0, 1, and 2 nic juices trying to see if I’m ready to eliminate nicotine all together. I feel better at 36 than I did at 26 or even 21, the change has been amazing. I’m not saying that the road was always easy but it’s been worth it. Initially it was a little rough working in a smoking environment because everyone that knew me would try to hand me a cigarette, I would politely decline and explain that I’m trying to quit. Then there was withdrawing from the tar, ammonia, and all the other chemicals in cigarettes. The first week went well but around day number 12 I had the typical itchy gums, I was really concerned but checked with a few others I knew that were vaping and they said it was normal and would pass in a few days (it did). At this point my lungs started to feeling better and was able to taste more so I moved into a more advanced kit. I have moved into the „advanced vaper“ category now and do whatever I can to help others on their road to getting off of cigarettes. In some of my free time I hang out at vape shops and do what I can to help out. A few of the owners know me well enough to have me behind the counter when they get busy. I’ll help setup new kits, talk new vapers through any questions, and let them know some of my personal experiences and what’s ahead.
I’m proud to say that vaping is the reason I’m tobacco free and look forward to helping others break the cycle of addiction.