Cigarette smoking is one of the top health risks in America today. For over 20 years, I have exposed myself to the ill effects that smoking causes. From yellow teeth, shortness of breath, constant coughing, damage to my heart and lungs. Not to mention the disgusted looks I would get from non-smokers in public. The smell of cigarette smoke on my clothes must have been a real turn-off, but I didn’t know, because smokers have a stunted sense of smell, and do not realize how bad the smell really is. Smokers defy all logic by braving the elements to pick up a pack from the local convenient store, just to drop $10-$20 dollars, and the taxes on cigarettes are still going up. For over 20 years, this all made sense to me. After all, I didn’t want to be a “quitter” (a phrase I used in jest with my smoker friends), now did I?
I was a teenager in the days of Joe Camel, the Marlboro Man, and when cigarette companies employed covert tactics for cigarette advertisers to push their brands on the young and impressionable. I was impressionable! The common phrase of any addict, “I can quit anytime,” was a belief that I thought was true. But as many smokers can attest to, nicotine won’t let you quit. It grabs a strong hold of you and creates an itch you can’t scratch until your next cigarette, and then your next, and then your next…
There are many remedies I have tried over the years; Nicotine gum, nicotine lozenges, Welbutrin (originally an anti-depressant, that someone realized may help ease cigarette cravings), nicotine patches, and Chantix; a drug that causes very weird dreams, and potentially suicidal behaviors?????? None of the above remedies helped me over my tenure as a cigarette smoker.
So, nearly five months ago, my brother (now a former smoker) introduced me to the Northbrook, Illinois based company, Vapor 4 Life. I walked into what seemed to be an unassuming office space, and was introduced to the friendly staff in their “vaping lounge.” They immediately asked me what kind of cigarette’s I smoke. I told them, and they suggested an appropriate nicotine strength to start with. Their nicotine strengths go from 36 mg. down to zero mg. I started with 18 mg. at their suggestion. From there, I tried many flavors, from fruits, to deserts, to coffee flavors, to menthol, and finally tobacco flavors. They have over 150 flavors, from some not so great to I could have this all day long. But I discovered from other customers that they really like some of the flavors I wasn’t too keen on, so I guess every ones tastes are different.
The staff set me up with a rechargeable battery (much like charging a cell phone), along with several flavor’s that I really liked; caramel mocha frappe, grape, and traditional tobacco. This was after trying as many flavors I wanted in their vaping lounge. The total purchase was around $80 for the three flavors, battery and charger. It may sound expensive, but each 30 ML costs about $12.50, and will last between the equivalent of 20-25 packs of cigarettes. Compare that to $80 a week or more, which is what I was spending (80 x 4[weeks]=$320)
After starting to “vape,” I noticed that I wasn’t reaching for the few cigarettes I had left in my (what was to be) last pack of smokes. I kept reaching for the mocha frappe, the grape and tobacco. Eventually, I tried the last few cigarettes I had, but after several days of vaping, the taste of cigarettes that I was so used to, began to taste like chemicals and dirty ashes, not what I was used to. It’s as if a switch in my head turned off to them. After a week, the heavy feeling I had in my chest, from a days-worth of smoking, subsided. The haze and smell in my apartment and smoke stench on my clothes was nearly gone. But what was most amazing, was my workout at the gym became more efficient. Where I couldn’t go for long periods of time on an elliptical-machine, now seemed effortless. I wanted to keep going. I wanted to keep vaping, and more importantly, I didn’t want to smoke cigarettes anymore.
I had no cravings, because I was still getting the nicotine, but without the smell of smoke the tar, dirty ashes, and the hundreds of toxins you get from traditional cigarettes. Instead, the nicotine I craved was being delivered through water vapor, which mimics the smoking effect you see and feel. You get the throat feel and vapor plume you would expect from smoking real cigarettes.
Vapor 4 Life was founded by Chicago native Steve Millin in 2009, and has been providing smokers with an alternative to smoking since 2009. He has been a pioneer in the vaping industry in order to help people with their addictions to cigarettes. Vapor 4 Life in that time has gone global, and will ship their product almost anywhere in the world.
Looking back on these past five months, I have noticed that I feel cleaner. My breathing is much easier. I can climb a stair case without huffing and puffing. I’m not embarrassed to stand next to somebody after I just vaped, and I have saved over $1000 since I started vaping (which includes the purchases I’ve made at Vapor 4 Life). My sense of smell has started to come back. I can smell cigarettes from a block away, and trust me, after 20 plus years, they don’t smell very good. Foods taste better. More importantly, I don’t like cigarettes anymore, and get a laugh when I pass the gas station I used to buy my cigarettes from. I do realize that I’m still addicted to nicotine, it’s a powerful drug. Vapor 4 Life and I do not claim that vaping is safer, because it still contains nicotine. Instead, it is an alternative to smoking, much like all of the other products out there that aim to curb the desire to smoke. With this in mind, I am down to using 8 milligrams of nicotine. My goal is to get down to zero. I’m almost there!
For more information on Vapor 4 Life, check out:
Smokeless Lounge and Store Hours:
Location: 4100 Commercial Ave. Northbrook, IL 60062
Published on Dec 12, 2012