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Testimonials

Real People. Real Stories.

The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA) is collecting successful vape stories and testimonials from smokers who used smoke-free alternatives to quit or reduce their smoking. The testimonials are posted publicly on our website for everyone to see, and may be sent to lawmakers to fight anti-vaping legislation.

This public collection of successful vape stories is a powerful response to those who want to restrict access to e-cigarettes and other smoke-free products. Our goal is to present a large collection of compelling individual reports that will make it impossible for anyone to claim that substitution of low-risk alternatives (e-cigarettes, snus, and other smoke-free tobacco/nicotine products) is not a proven method for quitting smoking.

You are free to write your own story and include or exclude any details as you like. However, if you would like a few suggestions, below is a list of questions to consider:

  • How long did you smoke?
  • How long ago did you start using a smoke-free alternative?
  • Exactly what type of smoke-free products do you use (please do not include company/brand names), and has this changed over time?
  • Do you still smoke, and if so how much have you cut down?
  • Did you both smoke and use the smoke-free product for a time before quitting smoking entirely (if so, how long?), or did you switch immediately? Did you stop tobacco/nicotine entirely for a while and then start using a low-risk alternative?
  • What methods (NRT, Chantix, counseling, etc.) did you use to try to quit smoking before switching to a smoke-free alternative? How long were you able to go without smoking using these other methods before starting again?
  • What changes in the quality of your life (both positive and negative) have you noticed since adopting the smoke-free alternative?

You may prefer to write your story in a word processor and paste it here. You need to enter your entire story at once – you cannot start it and come back. There is no maximum length. Please remember that by submitting this, you are agreeing to have it posted online.

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Latest Testimonials

All Testimonials
# Name Testimonial Experience Date
35
Amanda Dunn from Knoxville, TN
My name is Amanda Dunn and I am a 32 year old mother of 4. I started smoking cigarettes around age 14. A few years later I became what I would consider a true smoker. Meaning that I was addicted to the nicotine and always made sure that I had a steady supply of cigarettes available. In the beginning my cigarette of choice was Marlboro Reds. By the time I was of age and able to buy my own cigarettes I was smoking about a pack a day of Marlboro Lights. I smoked throughout my first two pregnancies. In 2004 I switched to Marlboro Light Menthol cigarettes. Prior to finding out that I was carrying twins with my third pregnancy, I had never even attempted to stop smoking. Considering the high risk nature of that pregnancy I stopped smoking cold turkey. Every single day was a struggle not to buy a pack but the motivation of 2 healthy babies got me through. I was back to smoking before the twins were 3 months old. I slowly increased the amount I was smoking once I became a stay at home mom. I reached my peak and stayed pretty consistent at a pack and a half a day. My sister told me about “vaping” in January of 2013. I immediately dismissed the idea because I had no interest in quitting smoking. A couple of weeks later I decided that it was worth looking into just for the sake of the money that I could save. At this point, I was spending $200 a month on cigarettes and also tired of freezing my tail off smoking outside (I had smoked outside since 2002). I spent 2 days doing research and talking to my sister who had already started vaping. I was so overwhelmed with information that I decided it would be best to visit a local shop and talk to them. I walked into Mike’s Electronic Cigarettes on February 4th and walked out with my first “eGo starter kit” and some 12 mg nicotine juice. On the way home I smoked half of a cigarette, threw the rest out the window and have not smoked a cigarette since. I upgraded fairly quickly to longer lasting batteries and I am not at a point where I feel that my equipment can keep up with me. I have also moved down to 9 mg juice since my favorite manufacturer does not make 12 mg. My children have even said how I smell better and not like cigarettes. My asthma is more controlled and I have noticed that seasonal allergy infections are not escalating into bronchitis like they always did before. Since I stopped smoking I can probably count less than a handful of times when I have felt that I “needed” a cigarette. The feeling passed pretty quickly on those occasions. During my exploration into vaping my husband became curious as well. He stopped smoking over 10 years ago and has been dipping on and off since then. He is now a “vaper” as well and no longer dipping. In addition to the obvious benefits of not smoking, “vaping” has also introduced me to a community of some of the nicest people that I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. It has allowed me to interact with others outside of my own home and improved my mental health by doing so. As much as I love the availability of support and knowledge from Smoky Mountain Vapers, I strongly feel that I can remain not smoking even without the support. “Vaping” truly does make it that easy. I understand completely that the healthiest solution is to not have nicotine in my body at all and maybe sometime down the road I will have the courage to attempt that. But it will not be anytime soon. In the meantime, I provide my body with the nicotine that it is accustom to, but without all of the countless carcinogens, tar and other chemicals that cause so much harm to our health.

05/23/2013

34
Jeff
E-cigarettes have saved my life. I smoked at least two packs of non filter cigarettes everyday for 36 years, from the age of 16 to the age of 52. I tried to quit using various methods including cold turkey, nicotine patches, nicotine gum, nicotine inhalers and even hypnotism. Nothing worked until I tried e-cigarettes last October. I have stayed away from regular cigarettes for eight months now, with no withdrawal symptoms. I no longer have the phlegm and lung congestion that had developed over the years. My smokers cough is gone completely. I can run and exercise without getting out of breath. I can smell a smoker from twenty feet away now, and it stinks. I'm ashamed to have subjected family, friends and strangers to that smell for so many years. I have gone from the highest 24mg nicotine level that is available from e-cig liquid manufacturers, and stepping down to 18mg, then 11mg, and now to the lowest 6mg. My next step is the 0 nicotine content vapor, and then to quit completely. I use the1000mah Ego Twist type batteries with the refillable cartomizers, tanks or clearomizers. I use liquid/smoke juice from various U.S. high quality suppliers.

05/23/2013

33
Tabitha Jackson from Leland, NC
I am a 38 year old single mother of 3. I first tried smoking when I was 13-14 years old, because I thought it was cool. I started smoking somewhat regularly at the age of 15 and by the time I was 18 I was a pack to a pack and a half a day smoker. I smoked during my pregnancy with my son, and with my daughters I managed to quit for about 2-3 months of each pregnancy. But I couldn't deal with the daily stresses of life...a bad marriage, 3 kids 5 and under. By the time I was 26 I had a 2 pack a day habit..sometimes even more. My children learned the dangers of smoking in school programs and begged me to quit but I was never emotionally ready to do so. Smoking was my crutch. I started smoking outside about 4-5 years ago and this significantly dropped the amount of cigarettes I was smoking during the week, but if I went out with friends I would easily consume a pack in an evening. I decided earlier this year that enough was enough. I was huffing and puffing when I tried to run, my blood pressure stayed high to the point that I nearly had to go to the E.R. for it on several occasions. I ordered my first E-Cig on March 5th, 2013. Received it in the mail on March 8th, 2013, and gave away the half pack of cigarettes I had left. I have exclusively "Vaped" since then. I have had an odd craving here and there, I've actually lit up a cigarette once, only to discover that the taste was disgusting and put it out after a puff or two. I feel better, I smell better, my under-eye circles are disappearing, my children love that this has helped me to quit smoking "stinkies". In the past I tried the gums, the patches, even cold turkey. None of these methods worked for more than a few weeks. The E-Cig has been the ONLY thing that has helped curb the cravings without any nasty side effects. I love that I no longer smell like a walking ashtray and that in the future years to come I will be able to run and play with my grandchildren without being winded. I have several friends as well who have either significantly cut down on regular cigarettes due to the E-Cig or have quit altogether as I have done. I currently use an eGo battery with a Vivi Nova tank as my setup, and my e-liquid is around 18mg in strength. I for see this nicotine strength becoming lower in the very near future. I feel so much healthier and with the money I don't spend on cigarettes I can spend extra on my children. It feels amazing to finally be able when someone asks me for a cigarette or a lighter, "Sorry, I don't smoke"!!!

05/23/2013

32
Jeffrey Gallup (Jagellpuff) from Tacoma, WA
September 12th 2011 was a big day in my life, that was my first day of not smoking, and the day that I became a vaper. I started experimenting with smoking around the age of 9 or 10 when i would steal cigarette butts out of my Dad's ashtrays and go in the woods to smoke. At the age of 15 I began to carry a pack and continued to do so for 25 years. Over the course of my 25 years smoking I tried to quit, cold turkey, the patch, gum and pills. The longest I made it was 6 months via cold turkey, and then one day I felt I deserved a "treat" for doing so well and bought me a single cigarette. That ended that quitting streak, within days I bought a pack. In August of 2011 I began to look into eCigs. I eventually bought a disposable and tried it, and realized there was something to this. Then on Sept 12th, 2011 I found a vape shop in my town and went in to learn more. I walked out that day with an eCig kit in my hand and a new life smoke free. After a few weeks of watching me vape and not smoke, my girlfriend had me take her to that shop, I bought her a kit and she too became smoke free. As of today May 23rd, 2013 we have not had a cigarette since and NO desire to ever light up again. We both started with a standard 808 pen style eCig. Eventually we switched to EGO style eCig, but my curiosity with vaping grew and I discovered mods and rebuildables. For me and like many others vaping has become a hobby. Why did vaping work for us to quit smoking versus the other options out there? Simply put, vaping has given me what I enjoy about smoking without smoking. The act of smoking, now vaping, I find to be relaxing. Non-smokers only feel that we are addicted to nicotine and that is why we smoke, and it couldn't be further from the truth. As that may play a part of it, the act of smoking is a main reason why i did it. As odd as it may be, I just enjoyed it. The differences I have seen in my life since quitting have been incredible. I breath better, do not get winded walking up stairs, find that I have more energy, no more horrible coughing in the morning, but the best change was sleeping soundly! Now others in my life may say the best change was not smelling anymore. That too I must have to agree has been a huge change. Now I know why people say smoking stinks, it does. That said, no one that I vape around ever comment about it. My mother who never smoked in her life, lets me vape in her house. She is so happy that I have finally given up smoking. I have many friends who have put down the cigarettes and have done so successfully by vaping. And I am sure many of them would say the change it made for me helped to influence them. I have met many ex-smokers since vaping and the funny thing is we all smile. I watched my Dad quit a few times, and he was the typical ex-smoker, angry, frustrated and if he had to quit everyone else should. I do not see that with vapers, we know the struggle it is to quit, but have found something that makes it so much easier, and we are all smiling! Everyday more and more is said about vaping, local and state governments are debating the topic of how to handle it. The sad part is I see that most of these discussions are about taxing it, or banning it, or greatly restricting it. I rarely see any of the decision makers asking does it work. In my town, the Pierce County Health Board decided they needed to act with regards to vaping a couple years ago, and they were positioned to ban it just like King County did. Thankfully that little shop owner stepped up along with some other vapers and opened their eyes to what vaping is. They realized that for lack of scientific data why should they ban something that may work. So they didn't ban it or tax it, they made some common sense restrictions to allow establishments to decide if vaping would be allowed, and to revisit the topic of vaping every couple years. I couldn't say how many people now in Western Washington vape instead of smoke, but I know daily more and more make the switch. If the goal is to help smokers quit smoking, then all options should be on the table. September 12th, 2011 will always be a big turning point in my life. I never could imagine a day I wouldn't smoke, and now I am smoke free! It is my hope that more and more people will discover vaping as an alternative! It works!

05/23/2013

31
David Gelb, Cherry Hill NJ
I am 59 (5/21/54) years old. I started smoking in boarding school, with written parental consent when I was 11. I haven't had a cigarette since October 2010. I was on my way to becoming a victim of Emphysema. 3 to 3.5 packs a day. I was spending money like a heroin addict too. I tried the patch 3 times. Once alone & twice with drugs (Wellbutrin). I hate it, they itched & burned my skin & always needed surgical tape to keep from falling off. They did work great, for 14 weeks I didn't smoke a single cigarette. All 3 times at the end of the 14 week program, I'd buy a pack & start smoking again. I tried electronic cigarettes, not liking them right away. tried over & over. The third time I tried it was good & I liked it. I haven't smoked in over 2.5 years. I hate the smell & taste of smoke now. My wife is trying to use electronic vaporizers too, but hasn't quit yet. I hope she does soon! The money & smell are 2 very good reasons. I recommend electronic cigarettes to everyone who smokes! If they became unavailable I know I would start smoking again.

05/23/2013

30
David Embrey
My Story: I'd been smoking analog cigarettes since I was 14, I'm now 49. I'd gotten to the point that I was smoking a pack a day. I'd tried other means of quitting; the gum, the patch, cold turkey, hypnosis, and nothing worked. I personally switched to e-cigarettes on March 29, 2010 (my daughter's 8th birthday). One day, a couple weeks before my daughters birthday, I walked into a smoke shop here in west San Jose, CA to pick up a carton of smokes, and as I was opening the door I noticed a small sign I hadn't seen before. It simply stated, “Ask us about our New Electronic Cigarette." So I did just that, and the store owner explained what it was, and how it worked. I asked quite a few question, i.e., "Would it help me to stop smoking? His response was, "It's not meant to, it's meant to be a safer alternative." That's what sold me, SAFER! Within those two weeks, my daughter asked me again, "Will you quit 'smoking' for my birthday?". She's asked this multiple times before. But this time my response was different, "YES", I said. The look on her face was priceless, then she turned away slightly and put her hands to her face. I asked what's wrong as I turned her back toward me, she had tears rolling down her checks. All she said was "Daddy…Thank You!…Thank You!" Being a dad, I couldn't help but get a bit emotional too. Being able to say that to her effected me on multiple levels. All of which are positives; • Knowing that I'd overcome something that has been a burden for 3/4 of my life • Not subjecting my friends and family to second-hand smoke • Not smelling like cigarette smoke • Being able to smell all the wonderful, and not so wonderful smells around me • Being able to taste the food that now tastes even better • Being able to run/walk up a set of stairs and not be winded • Saving money (since quitting, 675 days ago, I've saved over $4,046.00) • Giving my daughter a good-night hug and kiss and having her say, "You smell like wintergreen Lifesaver", then giggling! Sincerely, David Embrey San Jose, CA

05/23/2013

29
Andrew Moss from Costa Mesa, CA, USA
I smoked cigarettes for over 20 years, a pack and a half a day. I have had quite a few failed attempts to give up smoking in that time. Prescribed medications (Wellbutrin) where I went back to smoking after the course of medication ended. Dummy devices like clove (and you think cigarettes stink!). Nicotine replacements. Cold turkey. All unsatisfying and ditched within 6 weeks at most. I now have a young son and decided I needed to quit and had to make it stick. I spent 2 weeks investigating e-cigs online, reading reviews and health studies. 16 weeks ago I used my e-cig for the first time. It was also the last day I had a real cigarette. 16 weeks on and I have more energy, no cough, no wheezing, better taste and smell. I cannot believe how easy it was (for me). Thing is I loved nicotine, it had great benefits to my concentration and focus. Switching to ecigs worked. Quitting cigs (and therefore nicotine) never did. Oddly, the need for nicotine is a lot less now, I never think of popping out in the middle of a movie for a vape, I always did when I smoked. Which tells me that nicotine is nowhere near as addictive as I was led to believe.

05/23/2013

28
Chris Coyne
I have made significant changes in my life recently. Extracting myself from my hometown in Northern Kentucky to Knoxville, TN being the most representative of change. That change in turn presented me with the opportunity to make another adjustment to my life. Smoking. Nearly thirty years of it. It was not a habit, it was a necessity, as much as food and water. Without it I could not function at a level that I found acceptable. By that I mean, I was a complete ass if I did not get my recommended daily allowance of carcinogens. Quitting was a pipe-dream, completely out of reach. IMG_0090 Or........... images Somewhere around two weeks into my crash landing in Knoxville, I was invited by the friends who have been kind enough to put up with me to attend a vape meet. A vape meet is a gathering of people who have embraced the "vaping" lifestyle. Adopting the use of electronic cigarettes or E-Cigs in lieu of tobacco. The meets are both social and functional. Vendors also attend meets to promote their product, educate and make connections with customers and other vendors. This particular meet was sponsored by Smoky Mountain Vapers, Smokey Mountain Vapers is a local group that started in 2011 with just a few members who met to learn more about vaping and meet others who had made the switch. Since then the group has grown to over 250 members and continues to grow and promote the vaping lifestyle. SMV Admittedly, I was surprised at the amount of people in attendance. I was later to find out that over a hundred people had attended the meet throughout the day. To me this was impressive, until that day I knew of only two people who vaped. That changed quickly. Within five minutes of being there I had met at least two dozen people, all of them very friendly and welcoming. It was a very communal atmosphere. I felt at ease and comfortable despite my rookie status. Touring the vendor booths proved to be an education, for I had absolutely no idea what I was looking at. There were also a lot of phrases and terms being thrown around, I understood none of them. "Atomizer", "cartomizer", "E-juice" and my personal favorite, "TH" or "Throat Hit". I had yet to try any of the vaping products, in fact I still had a pack of "Pall Mall Blue's" in my pocket. It's not that I was opposed to trying something different, I just wasn't sure I was ready to abandon my "old friends". After all, I had known them longer than anyone there, save one. Turned out that he would be the catalyst for what happened that day. After wandering around for a bit to socialize, check out products and sample free stuff we took to a table. Soon after that a man appeared on the stage. Glenn Cate, the organizer of the event. I should mention that Glenn has a lot of good people who are vital to the vape meets and without them would probably not be possible. Glenn put forth a challenge to any smoker that was there. Join him onstage and stomp the tar out of their cigarettes. Anyone willing to do this would in return receive a vaping starter kit. It was then that my friend Jeff got Glenn's attention and pointed me out to him, in his normal subtle fashion. I didn't feel pressured, more like compelled. I was still having doubts about such an abrupt ending to a lifestyle that I was so accustomed to, yet there I was, about to stomp on a nearly full pack of cigarettes. I brought my foot down on the pack and the place erupted. I felt like I had just hit a "walk off" home run in game seven of the World Series. I felt good and regretful at the same time. I knew it was the right choice but was unsure if I could follow through on it, even after such a dramatic gesture. My uncertainty was soon put to rest by the support and encouragement from the club members. I spent the rest of the afternoon vaping on the "mystery juice" that came with my starter kit. To this day, it has not been identified. That day was over a month ago and since that day I have been "analog free", and I intend to stay that way. Smoking-And-Lung-Cancer- Gnarls

05/23/2013

27
Thuy Nguyen
I'm 35 years old and smoked since I was 15. I finally quit smoking two years ago after trying out my first e-cigarette. Prior to e-cigarettes I was spending close to $200 a month on nicorette lozenges which was semi successful but very expensive. Quitting has improved my life drastically. I no longer feel tired throughout the day and I no longer schedule my day around cigarette breaks and purchasing cigarettes. E-cigarettes is what saved me and I continue and will continue to use them indefinitely. Nicotine has become a part of my life and it would be very difficult for me to quit using it all together. Luckily e-cigarettes has provided me with a safer alternative than cigarettes. To members of CASAA, keep doing what you are doing. The things you do and what you stand for really make a difference in peoples lives. Without your organization who knows what unfair laws would be put in place that would benefit big tobacco and big pharma groups out there that would like to see e-cigarettes off the market in order to keep their own profits high without any regard to public health. Thank you again.

05/23/2013

26
Dave Chase
To put it point blank at 18 I tried out blueberry flavored cigars as the very first tobacco product other then trying a puff on a cigarette at age 9 when an older friend snook one out of one of his own parents packs left open where he could get at it. I gagged on the first inhale! Once out working while on lunch breaks I would puff on the Mureal blueberry cigars and occasionally cherry flavor when one store was out until the blueberry were no longer being sold. Then years passed without any tobacco at all until the late 70s came along working long hours at night with long breaks too! Due to having severe allergies since about age 9-10 I had an urge to grab a pack of KOOLs out of a vending machine one night and made a biggie! I found the menthol helped control the hay fever and other environmental allergies while not wanting to rely on pharmaceticals once I finally got in to see an allergy specialist! Seldane then prescribed was soon taken off the market while I had figured why bother with that when I was still lighting 3 packs a night! Now we are here in the year 2013 and things have seen a change! After discussing looking into alternarives to help quit tobacco products entirely with a friend who still is not set on that we agreed to look into electronic cigarettes as a viable and cheaper option. The first disposable ecigs weren't going to do it! An ecig with blank refillable cartimizers at first before getting additional information on clearomizers and larger eGo batteries which have now collected! a new eliquids vendor as well as the few flavors of eliquids sold by the next ecig brand went over much better! At the personal level a sibling who belongs to a wholesale club picked up an additional carton of KOOLs despite being told they would no longer be needed since vaping menthol with or without nicotin at all was proving to control the constant struggle with allergies and was actually working out better since lighting up a KOOL at this is repulsive as if you were lighting up something else loaded with chemicals were are being far more noticable! The idea for still lighting up however is to leave "BAD MEMORY" in the long term memory since back in 1980 I had quit smoking entirely for 7-8months when someone I was dating wanted me to. When that didn't go anywhere and still out in the clubs on weekends at a time when everyone was still lighting up the Bad Habit was picked up on again! "shame on you!" Not only has the amount of smoking over time proceedingly already having gone from 2-3 packs daily down in time over the years to only a half pack as the daily average. Price inscreases as well as taxes and simpy not having as much as the urge has been a factor for the most part. Once the vaping started however I was soon down even further to only 5-7 daily by the end of 2012! And yet NO NICOTIN WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS showing there is a lot of Media Hype on nicotin while the real addition besides the smoking experience is the aditiives tobacco companies lace into their products which some have already been proved to be carcinogens! At this time only a few packs are left being weaned off at 2-4 only aa day until gone and the pain and tightening in the chest area as well as room spinning and bitter taste as well as smell is making that a "Can't wait until it is finally over!" type situation! Vaping has revealed the samage to lung tissue already seen by smoking tobacco products and need to urge others to at least cut down on their consumption if not able to quit entirely! The 2012 Xmas gifts for some were easy items to pick out namely electronic cigarette starter kits for some long time smokers! One of them certainly needs to cut back being a chain smoker and constantly coughing while another just had major surgery involving arteries! Here I started suffering the symptoms of PAD feet back in late spring 1990 which would come and go at first over that entire decade but came on full force and feet remain swollen since 2002! Any eliquids ordered for personal use whill now no longer see any nicotin level while I still may be testing some samples for a recent family owned startup type eliquids business since I invested in a variety of ecig batteries in various sizes. My New Years resolution however will soon be realized of no longer seeing any tobacco period! Once the last few packs are gone I toss the lighter and call it a GOOD DAY!!!

05/13/2013

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