Jack's Vaping Story
Few things change your perspective on your life as heavily and immediately as finding out you’re going to have a child. If you’re anything like me, you start thinking about everything that’s going to change. And if you’re anything like me you have to actively keep yourself from buying every DragonBall Z onesie you see on Amazon and stay focused on moving furniture and stockpiling diapers. Priorities instantly shift, and if you’re as excited by the news as my wife and I were, it’s a pretty awesome process.
One thing that I considered more seriously than I ever had before was my health. I started smoking cigarettes at the tender age of 14 and never really had a reason to quit beyond the cost and constant reminders that “it’s bad for you.” Those reasons simply weren’t enough for me until I found out we had a baby on the way. I didn’t want my daughter in her 20s to see her father wheezing from emphysema or withering away in a recliner hooked up to an oxygen tank.
I started reading up on the effects of smoking for new parents and their babies, and saying that I had new daddy jitters would be an enormous understatement. I read about third hand smoke and the effects of nicotine on newborns, and started dreading the thoughts of my baby girl coughing or getting used to the smell of a father who reeked like an ashtray. As a smoker I really had no concept of how bad I must have smelled to nonsmokers, and my care-o-meter in that respect always read a steady zero. Once I started considering how my child would sense me, it became an immediately serious issue for me, and I started feeling guilty for the sake of someone that hadn’t even been born yet.
The summer was full of nicotine patches, lozenges, gums and nothing seemed to work. One day I found a coupon in my mailbox for a free starter kit for an e-cigarette. It was awkward, heavy, left a bad aftertaste in my mouth and only made me want the real thing even more. Despite this failure, it sparked an interest. I started looking into vaping. I worked in retail for several years and remembered seeing people outside of my store puffing out huge clouds from things that looked like lightsabers, but had never investigated what they were doing.
September was creeping up slowly and with our due date in December, I decided to take the plunge and invest in a more sophisticated setup than the freebie I had originally tried. Luckily the vape shop a few minutes from my house had a very enthusiastic staff that walked me through the process and I wound up buying a starter kit and a few bottles of 6mg e-juice.
I’m the picky type, and the guys at the shop recommended several flavors that seemed to fit my “dessert-stuff-but-not-fruits-except-strawberry-and-maybe-blueberry-I-guess-but-mostly-cakes-and-cookies” flavor profile. Those gents deserve a medal for putting up with me trying 30+ juices that day and making various recommendations. I’m the sort that likes a sure thing when I make a purchase, and didn’t want to waste time and money on something I was going to hate after a few puffs.
One of the bottles that made it into my bag was Charlie Noble’s Good Cookie. I tried a few puffs from the store’s sampling rig and thought it was something I would enjoy. After taking my loot home, I decided to prime my first coil, fill my first tank, and give it a real whirl. The difference between their simple sampling device and my new mod was INSANE. I couldn’t stop. I went through two tanks before the end of the next day and I’ve bought a bottle of Good Cookie just about every other week since.
Within three days of buying my vape, I had zero desire for cigarettes. I realized then that I had successfully quit smoking. Yes, I was still a bit of a slave to nicotine, but by the time my daughter was born I had cut down to 3mg juices and was far less dependent on steady, consistent doses.
One of the greatest things I’ve discovered about the vaping community is that it created a self-sustained quality control system. Poor quality juices that use unsafe or subpar ingredients are quickly outed and word spreads fast. The health benefits for me and my family were the major draw of vaping, and it’s great to see that feeling shared in the community.
I honestly don’t think I would have stuck with vaping if I hadn’t bought what I did, when I did. Of course my new parental obligations played a large part, but if I had wound up with lower-quality juices I probably would have seen it as something I had to do rather than something I enjoy doing. I believe in getting what you pay for, and if I had bought bargain-bin juices I may not have had such a great experience and wound up kicking myself for wasting money.
As I write this I’m about six months out from when I put down the cigarettes and started vaping. Being an ex-smoker myself I would never talk down to anyone still smoking - I just hope that more people pick up vaping since cigarettes still reign as the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S.
I know that converts typically make the loudest advocates, but I’m sure there are loads of people out there with stories very similar to mine, and hopefully more of those stories are yet to be written.
Full disclosure: Good Cookie is by far my favorite e-juice I’ve tried to date. I randomly decided one day to send Charlie Noble a love note about it, which you can read here. After receiving a lovely gift as thanks, I offered to write this guest post to share my story of why I vape, and how Good Cookie became my favorite juice.