I started smoking in college. I had some friends who smoked, and I was dealing with a lot of stress from family and teachers, and I had been struggling with depression for years even before college, so when someone offered me a cigarette, of course I took it. I found smoking to be very relaxing, and I loved taking long walks around the area surrounding my dorm and smoking to unwind from a long day. Before too long, I became a pack-a-day smoker and I loved it. I didn’t care what health effects it might have later, because I honestly didn’t think I’d make it past 30 years old anyway due to my depression.
I started vaping because it was convenient. I went to a private Christian college and smoking was banned on campus, so vaping allowed me to get a nicotine fix without having to walk away from the dorm. My best friend had been a smoker and switched to vaping because it was healthier, and he let me try his ecig when he visited me on campus. I loved it and quickly bought my own.
I started out with an eGo starter kit, but it wasn’t enough to make me quit. I eventually upgraded my ecig, and found myself smoking less and less. I wasn’t trying to quit, I just liked vaping more than smoking.
I started researching ecigs, trying to figure out how to get the best vape, and along the way I learned a lot about the health benefits of quitting smoking, and so I decided to completely switch. Once I made that decision, I found it incredibly easy to quit smoking because I had already been vaping for months and gradually tapering off without even trying.
I never had lung cancer or anything like that. The only health problem I had from smoking was shortness of breath and I can’t sing as well as I used to. I’m fortunate to have quit within just a few years of starting so I don’t have a 40-year habit to overcome. Still, the change was noticeable. Now that I’ve switched from smoking to vaping, I can play with my nephews without getting out of breath, and I don’t feel like dying when I exercise. Vaping saved me from continuing smoking, and for that I’m extremely grateful. I’ve also met some great people through The Vaping Forum and in vape shops, and I’ve become more involved in politics as I learned how vaping is being mistreated in government and media. I want to share my story so that other college kids might decide to make the smart decision and quit smoking before you do irreparable damage.

Michael, from Chattanooga, TN