Jill C Baldwin

In 2011 I was smoking up to 60 cigarettes a day, having smoked for over 30 years including a reduced number of cigarettes through both my pregnancies. I ended up in hospital for what turned out to be 6 weeks with dermalogical and gastric problems. I was advised that smoking was exasperating my gastric problems and I should give up smoking. My reply was that I couldn’t give up whilst in the hospital but would try when I got home.11.3.11 GRHMy long stay in hospital was relieved by going outside daily to smoke and this also socialised me with other smokers from other hospital wards. The first week of my stay, visitors were banned because of the outbreak of Norovirus in the hospital. When I ran out of cigarettes, I got so desperate, that even though I was wearing hospital gowns and had slippers I had bought in the hospital shop, I booked a taxi and went down to the local garage to buy a large supply of cigarettes. After a couple of weeks, if I was ever low on cigarettes again, I had got to know staff that smoked and could bring me in cigarettes on their next shift. Anyway, I survived, able to keep smoking until I left hospital.

Once home, at my next GP appointment, I discussed giving up and started on a 9 month run of various NRT treatments, including Champix, but to no avail. It was then Christmas time and my specialist nurse advised my that my stress levels were getting too high and I would be much better off for a while if I forgot about trying to quit for a little while and just kept smoking.

It was now January 2012 and I was in the local supermarket, at the tobacco kiosk, when I saw some disposable electronic cigarettes. I saw no harm in buying one to try and was pleasantly surprised that I could vape one and not miss a cigarette whilst doing so. So I researched on the internet and found what appeared to be a good vendor and subsequently bought a starter pack of cig-a-likes with spare batteries and cartridges. I started on them the day they arrived, after I had finished the last cigarette I had, and later in the day it dawned on me that I had switched and was not missing my cigarettes or getting any withdrawal symptoms. After a short while, my breathing became less laboured, my taste and smell improved and my skin glowed rather than look grey.

It is now August 2015. I still vape but use completely different devices to what I started on. My nicotine strength has gone down from 18mg/ml to 6mg/ml and I have met some amazing people in the vaping community from all over Britain, some of which I can now call friends rather than just acquaintances.

Jill C Baldwin