Johnnie Walker

I am 64 years old.

From the age of 18, I was a heavy smoker for 23 years when I finally managed to quit with the aid of Cold Laser treatment.

I was smoke-free for 15 years and, during that time I socialised in all types of environments, most of them smoky, but the idea of having a cigarette never crossed my mind.

Then, in 2006, the Scottish government of the day banned smoking in pubs etc. From then on, whenever I was socialising with relatives & friends, most of whom still smoked, I had the choice of spending a lot of the time sitting on my own, or going outside to the smoking area with them, to continue our conversations. In that atmosphere my resolve gradually weakened and, to cut the story short, I started having an occasional puff and eventually became a regular smoker again.

This lasted until early January 2015, by which time I was smoking 30 a day. I was, by this time, retired on a modest pension and the cost of the cigarettes was in danger of jeopardising my financial situation. That and the fact that I was feeling lousy.

I had tried the supermarket version of e-cigs (the ones that actually look like cigarettes) and they were no help. I was beginning to despair of kicking the stupid habit.

Then, prompted by my Brother-in-Law, I bought a proper vaping kit. The effect was immediate, on two different levels: Psychologically, on the way home from the vape shop, I had the strong feeling that I had done something positive: Physically, as soon as I took my first puff, I knew that the vape stick gave me exactly what I needed, and that I was finished with cigarettes.

I am now feeling much healthier and saving a fortune. I am pleasantly surprised at the number of establishments locally which allow vaping without a quibble. And I’m disappointed by the number of public bodies who adopt a totally-uninformed and knee-jerk ban.

Johnnie Walker. Wishaw, Lanarkshire, Scotland.