In 2013, I did Stoptober. I wasn’t feeling overly confident about my ability to stop smoking, but I wanted to try.
I had my first cigarette when I was 16. My friend smoked and asked if I wanted to try and so I said yes. I would smoke maybe 4 cigarettes a week. Some weeks none. Some weeks one a day. For the next few years, I mostly smoked when I was drinking.
I went to university at 19 and went out more than ever. I was smoking more and more. At the end of my first year of university, I decided to stop.
I stopped for about a year before I started to have the odd one from a friend when we were out. I socially smoked during my second year. Then I went to France for a year. It was dirt cheap to smoke over there so the amount I was smoking increased.
I tried to stop many times through the years. I’d manage a few days here, a week there, but nothing stuck.
I started to feel really embarrassed about smoking. I was getting worried about my skin, teeth, and hair. I was worried for my health long term. Smoking just didn’t feel good. Although I would feel the urge to smoke, when I did smoke, I often got light headed and felt a bit stick.
At first, the vaping wasn’t doing it for me. I did get ones with a bit of nicotine in, but they didn’t hit the back of my throat to scratch that itch like smoking did. But I carried on. After around 2 weeks, that changed and it was starting to feel similar.
After a few weeks, I moved to vape liquid that had no nicotine in. After a few months, I was vaping less and less.
I got to the point where I was just taking it out with me when I was drinking, in case I felt the need for a cigarette.
By June, I had completely stopped using it. 9 months after quitting.
I’ve not smoked since.
Vaping is a great way to quit smoking. A lot of people think it’s replacing one addiction with another, but for me, it was a way to cut down.