Peter Stigaard

I smoked since the age of 16 – and in the last 10 years or so I have tried several times to quit – using all of the approved NRT methods (gums, patches, lozenges), incl. will-power, hypnosis, bio-feed-back and my last unfortunately unsuccessful attempt was with Zyban – a drug that almost made me commit suicide.

Until 2½ years ago (26 years as a smoker of 1 pack a day), I thought I would remain a smoker for the rest of my (shorter) life, because I simply enjoyed smoking to much. The calm feeling the smoke gave me, seemed to ease my entire life, and gave me comfort in times of stress and sadness.
2½ years ago I discovered vaping (e-cigarettes), and I gave it a shot – common sense and a lot of research on the internet, convinced me that vaping was the lesser evil – smoke or vapour. With no clear intention to completely quit, I bought a starters kit – and day one vaping, resulted in day one as a non-smoker. I haven’t touched a tobacco cigarette since – and I’m quite confident in saying, that I will never return to smoking again… unless the product gets stiffled with overregulation that leads to less consumer choice, with products that simply does not work – leading to an opening of a huge black market or the return for many smokers to smoking combustible tobacco cigarettes again.

As a smoker I lived with many of the consequences of smoking: bad breath, smelly clothes/house/car, shortness of breath, migraines a.s.o. But only 2 weeks into vaping, I soon discovered that so many things had vastly improved, by not smoking – and only vaping instead:

• Improved sense of taste and smell
• No stinky odour lingering from my clothes, skin or hair – in my house or in my car
• Being able to climb 4-5 sets of stairs, without being out of breath
• No more headaches/migraines
• A lot fewer pains in my back and legs
• My teeth felt cleaner than ever – and no tartar build-up anymore
• My sleep improved, not having to wake up some nights crawing a cigarette
• I soon realised, that nicotine can not be the only factor for addiction to cigarettes, since I can now go for hours without vaping – the urge/abstinenses are simply not there
• and many more positive side-effects, can be attributed to the switch from smoking tobacco to vaping instead

Vaping has opened my eyes for „politics“, „economics“, „education“, and „exercise“ – four words that wasn’t all that important to me 2½ years ago. Today I’m a vaping advocate, trying to educate the people legislating, the smokers, the non-smokers and the anti-smokers. It seems that we all share the same goal – getting people of smoking combustible cigarettes – and most sane people know, that vaping carries 95% less risks than smoking – but why are vapers (ex-smokers) being met with so much hate, misinformation and misunderstanding – if not for the economics in this matter. Vaping is a personal choice, and should not entirely be left for regulation/legislation. There needs to be an attractive alternative to smoking tobacco – and therefore decreasing availability of the products that consumers request and have success with, can only lead to less smokers switching – and more smokers remaining… well, smoking.
Often the argument has been heard or read: “Follow the money” – and for a long period of time, I refused to believe, that the health of the people was less important than the “economics”/money, that came in from tobacco products. Today I am wiser and better educated.
So – for the love of the people, don’t overregulate vaping – don’t hate vapers for making a sane lifestyle choice – and don’t hate vapers for pointing out their point of view – because:

“Vaping saves lives”…