Mark Searle

Had been smoking tobacco since I was 14 years of age and lived a crazy lifestyle experimented with recreational drugs in my late teens from about 1989 until about 1997. Stopped everything else but smoking weed as well as tobacco was a habit I just couldn’t shift. In 2001 I lost my dad through a heart condition he had and at that point decided to throw myself in at the deep end and go to uni and study music technology as I had always wanted to produce music. Got through 5 years of education with success but still carried the same habits of smoking in fact more than ever as it went hand in hand with the music industry I was involved in. Carried on this path until I was 41 when one morning in 2011 I woke up and couldn’t feel one side of my face and couldn’t balance on standing, I drove myself to hospital were after investigation into my symptoms I was told that I had suffered a stroke. This as you can imagine was devastating. I had to stop working and sunk into a state of depression and relied on smoking weed and drinking to escape from a world I didn’t really want to be a part of anymore. In June 2012 I was preparing for a rare night out and I suddenly felt servear pain in my left arm and neck and chest it passed after 2 or 3 minutes and I carried on with the usual smoking drinking that night and went out , I was walking with a stick at this point due to the stroke the year previous as well arthritis I had also been diagnosed with which had knocked my confidence but this was one night I thought fuck it and carried on regardless, I had also ignored all advice to give up smoking and believed it was a habit I just couldn’t shift. The next morning after that rare night out I got up rolled a spliff and started doing some tidying up and the pain down my left arm returned my girlfriend was so concerned about how I looked she called a ambulance and they advised I go to hospital to get it checked out. I got to A&E and „bang“ I had a massive heart attack experiencing the pain I had the night before and that morning but 10 times worse. I truly thought I was going to die. I was told to say my goodbyes to my family as I might not pull through. Well I did pull through having a stint fitted and made a recovery and eventually was discharged from hospital. I had no choice now I had to give up smoking. It was at this time I was even more stressed as you can imagine but tried to give up but found it really hard. And one day my friend bought an electric cigarette around and this was a revelation to me and I started using it. Anything had to be better than smoking right. Well I persevered with it and found better devices as time went on and I am still vaping today and I enjoy it. I had two more surgeries and one more heart attack since then but these were caused by the first stent I had fitted and not vaping. I did slip a couple times when it came to smoking weed but didn’t like it !!!..its been nearly three years now completely smoke free and I know I wouldn’t have stopped without discovering vaping. I had a strong habbit I can tell you that. Vaping saved my life, gave me a new life with my family I wouldn’t of had and I am so grateful for that. I have also been discharged from my heart specialist now and he knows I vape but said this is far better than smoking. I know without vaping this story would of ended a lot different and I would hate to think that someone who otherwise wouldn’t give up the killer habbit of smoking wouldn’t get the same options I had with vaping because of regulations thought up and applied by people who don’t see it as real as it is.
Mark Searle Somerset UK.