I am a vaper. That’s not a confession, by the way; it’s a statement I’m proud to make. I used to smoke and now I don’t. For many that’s a difficult journey, but it doesn’t have to be. Electronic cigarettes make it easier to quit smoking than it’s ever been. At least, they do now. That might change in the near future thanks to bad laws, which is a pretty worrying thought.
My father smoked cigarettes until I was 16, and the day he decided to quit (for the last time) was on the Sunday he began having chest pains during church. I always swore to him and my mother that I would never start smoking, but I found myself buying my first pack of cigarettes when I was a few months shy of 19. I smoked a pack per day for eight years - several times I had tried to stop, but every time I tried I lasted no longer than an hour before lighting up again. Around late February 2014, I’d been hearing more and more advertisements on the radio for the local vape shops. I found myself almost looking forward to going into one - mostly to see what the adverts were all about. March 12, 2014, I finally got my chance: I was soon set up with two Evod tanks, an eGo-650 battery, and two flavors (one a fruity candy, the other green apple). Once I tried my new gear I knew I’d never smoke another cigarette; what I didn’t know was just how much my life was about to change.
It wasn’t long until I found my home on Twitter among the family of vaping advocates from around the world. As my vape gear progressed, so did my passion for fighting the lies that were being told by trusted “health organisations” and spread by the unquestioning media. It became an everyday occurrence to be attacked and/or blocked on Twitter by biased educators and respected journalists being paid to demonise vaping, and even by ordinary people who had fallen for the lies and didn’t understand why we were defending vaping. “They tried to bury us. They didn’t know we were seeds.”
I want to do everything I can to prevent vaping from disappearing. It changed my life and the lives of millions of others, and has the potential to change millions more. Everyone deserves the same chance I got.