I Quit Smoking! (Yes, you can too!)

Smoking is always a choice.

Yet getting entangled in a trap of dependence and tolerance might make the choice of quitting a little harder. And many ex-smokers have successfully kicked the terrible habit only because of sheer will power.

Unfortunately, some quit just because they have experienced the tragic event of seeing a close relative and a loved one succumb to the inevitable and pass away. Then for others, they quit for the kids and the people around them. The thought of being there in each celebration and reunion is reason enough to shift to healthier living.

We've all seen the statistics and the pictures of those who have embraced smoking as part of their lives. The youtube videos ugly disfigured showing how a few cigarette sticks turn clear water into a murky mess is all too common. Not to mention constant nags from mom and dad to tell you to stop. We constantly trick ourselves on believing that secondhand smoke is harmless to our kids and pets. We see government warnings on every pack and the letters in black and white saying that smoking kills.   

Despite being superior and intellectual creatures that are capable of the most advanced decisions in this world, we still carry on, pulling that fresh pack out of our pocket, opening the plastic wrapper and carefully taking one cigarette. Oh, that first puff seems like all your worries and troubles are taken away. Smoking now becomes a social activity, a must when you talk business or watch an exciting game of MMA. We connect smoking to the smell of dark coffee, seemingly incomplete without a few sticks to charge up our sleepy brains.

To become a winner in this game we call life, we must quit the most devastating habits we do. Live a healthier and better life, physically able to enjoy life's simple joys away from that wheelchair and oxygen bottle. You may say, I'm doing just fine, but were telling you, you ain't seen nothing yet.

You see, nicotine itself does keep most of us at our optimum state. Just like caffeine, this substance pumps up adrenaline and keeps us going in what we do. Whenever we experience pressure at work or in any setting, our compulsion to smoke sets in. At other times, nicotine levels in our system help make us feel euphoric, upbeat and carefree.

Unfortunately though, it’s the nicotine that puts us and keeps us in a trap of perpetual dependence. Its addictive nature can make every attempt to quit smoking futile. But in reality, nicotine isn’t the villain. It's the toxic chemicals in the smoke that that kill us.

In the U.S. alone, there are about 400,000 smoking-related premature deaths each year. And that accounts for about 20% of all recorded deaths across the country. About the same percentage holds true in some other parts of the world. In addition, the percentage of male population that smokes is higher compared to the female population.

With the given numbers, it’s not surprising how easily individuals can get hooked with puffing cigarette after cigarette. And without the right motivation to quit, there seems to be no way out of the deadly habit. Of course, once your body craves the addicting nicotine and increases its tolerance to the drug, quitting becomes an uphill battle.

So, where is the light at the end of the tunnel? Is there still hope for those so dependent on smoking?

Thankfully, my friends helped me find a way out of smoking — slowly and gently — without ever subjecting me to the dreaded cold-turkey stage. Remember, it’s the nicotine that’s addicting. Yet in moderate dosage, it does not do us any harm.

The solution?

Vaping.

Vaping as we all know copies the actions we take when using analogs (real cigarettes). You take a draw from your device and you exhale vapor instead of smoke, just like the old stinkers. The throat hit is the same and you cough and get the nicotine kick as well.

The good thing about using vaporizers or e-cigarettes is the absence of combustion. A heating element vaporizes the dry herb, oil or e-juice to produce thick clouds of vapor that contains harmless particles and sometimes, nicotine (for those that contain the substance). But what makes using a vaporizer even better is that you can try using oils or e-juice that contains just artificial flavors. Talk about fancy vaping.

Vaping is a social activity. By now, you might have heard of massive vaping conventions where fellow vapers from all around the globe flock by the thousands and get to show off their new gear and favorite devices. These folks were smokers and are now converts that are living smoke-free lives. Vapers have YouTube channels and blogs and go on regular vape meetings. They are excited to share their own personal experiences to help a newbie vaper anyway they can.  They talk about it all the time!

Vaping is fun! The learning curve is like a journey into the multitude of options and devices that are currently available today. It evolves rapidly and in itself turns into a hobby. Ask a vaper how many devices he/she has, the usual answer is 3 or more. That short question will spark  hours of conversation and discussion on ohms, mah, and recommended brands.

Getting into vaping is simple. The devices today are much superior to those a few years back. Walk into a store or order online, you will be ready as soon as you have those batteries charged. All the guesswork and choices now are simple. Maybe, the difficult part about it for you today is choosing the color of your device!

The vapers you will eventually bump into has some sort of counting device that reminds them of how many minutes, days or even years they have been smoke free. A year off analogs will always be celebrated with a Facebook or Instagram post. It gives you a real sense of accomplishment of the goal to be smoke free.

So you may ask me know. What is the best e-cigarette for you? My answer is simple. The device that keeps you off the real thing IS the best device. 

Quitting is easier now more than ever.

I am a winner.

Hope soon that you will be as well.