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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
Denise Menckowski
I smoked off and on for 22 years. The only time I did not smoke was while I was pregnant. I started smoking around 14 quitting at 20 when I became pregnant. After having my first child, I only smoked during social outings. I began smoking again at 28 after my divorce due to stress. At 40 years old, I picked up a electronic cigarette and have not smoked since the day I started. From 28 to 40, I tried using nicotine patches, therapy, nicotine gum & lozenges along with cold turkey and candy. These worked for about 2 weeks, but when time to buy a new batch, I would go right back to smoking cigarettes. I have used 16mg of nicotine for two years, less than 2ml a day out of my electronic cigarette. I use a larger battery and a clearomizer tank to get the satisfaction I need. When I first started out I did try prefilled cartridges, but it just didn't seem to do the job. March of 2011 was my beginning of a whole new way of life. I do not have any current health issues with regards to lungs, but will say I can make it through an 18 hour day without being totally exhausted. I love not smelling like cigarettes. I do have a panic disorder, so when things get really bad instead of striking a lighter on an analogue cigarette, I just puff a little more on my electronic cigarette to find the relief I need.


Jennifer Askew
I have been a pack to a pack and a half a day smoker for 16 years. During those years, I have tried to stop smoking numerous times using approved NRTs, like the nicotine patch and cold turkey. None of them gave me any satisfaction with regards to the behavioral aspect of my addiction. I could not get on the medication, because it would interfere with my medication regiment. I constantly craved tobacco, and whenever I saw someone smoke, I wanted to smoke. Watching a smoker pull a fresh cigarette from a pack, packing it down, and lighting it and watching them exhale smoke made me want to smoke. The e-cigarette satisfied some of these aspects of smoking which has helped me in dealing with my dependency for tobacco. I have been using an e-cigarette since March 18, 2012, and I have finally broken my addiction to tobacco. A week before March 18th, I quit cold turkey, but because the withdrawal symptoms were so uncomfortable, I wanted to buy a pack of cigarettes. Then, I remembered seeing my brother using his e-cig during a visit with my parents, and instead of buying a pack of cigarettes, I went to the mall and bought myself an expensive cigarette look-a-like kit. In the first month, I still craved cigarettes, but as I continued using nicotine in my e-cigarette, I slowly started to break the cravings for a real cigarette. I started my quit with a nicotine level of 24 mg and gradually lowered it to 6 mg. I smoked menthol cigarettes, so naturally I started with some menthol e-liquid. After the first two weeks, I noticed that I could taste better, and I started vaping some dessert flavors. I started appreciating being able to taste these delicious flavors since for so long I had not been able to taste anything so intense. I smell better. I can walk around my college campus without getting out of breath. When I smoked, I got bronchitis at least 4 times a year. I have not gotten bronchitis this year. I no longer cough out mucous. My family is quite happy I made the switch as well. They no longer smell like cigarette smoke, and they enjoy the smell of the vapor I produce when I exhale. If I vape a fruity flavored e-liquid, my family said it smelled like yogurt and suddenly got a craving for some. My doctors are also very happy I quit using the e-cigarette. Since then, I have given my first e-cigarette kit to my partner's sister, and she has been smoke-free since June of 2012 and an ego battery with a ce4 clearomizer and a can of snus to my Dad. He has not completely quit smoking, but he has cut down to less than a 1/2 a pack of cigarettes a day from being a 2 pack a day smoker for over 40 years. I got a friend who was a 2 pack a day smoker for 20 years to quit by taking him to an e-cigarette convention, Vapercon, in Richmond, VA. His fiancee has also quit smoking using an e-cigarette as well. I now own 3 eGo Twist batteries, 2 Bolt mods, 2 Lavatube version 1 mods, a Vamo, and an e-pipe. I have met some wonderful people vaping in public. Most people are curious as to what I am doing, and that starts a dialogue regarding my quit. If someone truly has a problem with me vaping near them, I can "stealth vape." This is when I inhale twice and hold the vapor in long enough, so that no vapor is exhaled. It isn't just smokers who benefit from my talk. Non-smokers benefit, as well. We all know someone in our lives who smoke, and I hope they pass the cards I give them to their loved ones who smoke. If I can save one person, it would be worth it.


Darla McGahan Hendley, Nebraska
I started smoking cigarettes when I was a freshman in Highschool 1972, I thought it was cool and felt pressure from my peers that already smoked. By the time I was out of highschool I was totally addicted, smoking a pack a day. I went for the next years just smoking, not thinking anything about it. In 1984 started working in a pharmacy, where I worked for 21 years and started seeing people with smoking related health problems,seeing this bothered me but I kept saying " this wont happen to me". At that time we smoked in the pharmacy.When the first of the NRTs came out I was certified in smoke cessation, and helped people on their journey to quit. I saw many that would quit for a short period of time and go back to smoking, then atime later would try again, fail and return to smoking. A very large amount of people I got started with NRTs failed and went back to smoking. It had put a bug in my ear to think about trying the whole quitting journey. Having seen the very high failure rate with NRTs I decided to try wellbutron, I craved more for cigarettes, and was very allergic to it. I had to stop. Having not stopped smoking for even a day. I tryed going cold turkey, but the addiction was just way to powerful even when the nicotine was out of my system my cravings for the cigarette were still very powerful and I failed. After all that even the thought of quitting would trigger a panic attack. Let me explain my craving, its not the physical addiction to the nicotine I had the problem with, it was the overwhelming, all consuming, feeling in my brain that would cause panic attacks even with the thought of quitting, the constent voice in my brain telling me to get a cigarette and it took over my life.I couldnt function normally. Over time I tryed all the NRTs, the patches caused me to crave more for cigarettes, lozenges had its own set of side effects, but I did get the farthest with using them, I went 6 months without a cigarette, but I still had a horrible craving for the cigarette and no matter what I did it wouldn't go away, even with a lozenges in my mouth I would crave a cigarette. I found I couldnt function at all, the littlest things in life became hard to do, I was clumbsy, cranky, and depressed. I had a car accident ( my fault) that is all it took to send to buy a pack of cigarettes. None of the NRTs worked. The craving was always there and upfront in my mind all the time. And I found everytime I tryed quiting I would end up smoking more when I went back to cigarettes. So I gave up on quitting. I had heard about e-cigarettes but I didnt know anything about them and figured it was just another NRT type product that wouldnt work. Fast forward a few years, 2012, I was in a corner gas station and saw a display of Mistic e-cigs. I got wondering if they worked, this was the real first time I had saw one. But really kinda put it aside in my mind. Then not to long later saw a display in walmart. I started wondering again if they work or not, my health was getting pretty bad, I had a constant cough, thick mucus all the time, having a hard time breathing many times a day. I couldnt make it up a flight of stairs without getting totally out of breath, or the walk to the mail box id be huffing and puffing. I was having worse problems with circulation to my feet and hands. I was starting to be allergy triggered more and more often. I really was getting scared for my health and I knew from working in the pharmacy what all this was.My fiance also was smoking and had been for 26 years was having breathing problems also. We were so discouraged from our failed attempts that we never thougth we would beable to stop smoking. So while in walmart we decided to try the mistic e-cigarette, this was November 2012, we went about a week using them and still smoking some but we were using the e-cigarette more than smoking. But the taste ( tobacco) was pretty gross tasting but we stuck with them. At a point before Christmas we were back to smoking. We started to research e-cigarettes because we were not happy with the mistic, we ordered a better battery and flavored juices from a company off the internet which we started on Jan. 2 2013. I quit cigarettes the day I started the new e-cigarettes and have not had one since. I thought I would need to have tobacco flavor, but I found I hated the tobacco tastes and did everything I could to cover the taste with chocolate flavored e-juice. The first month was I think the most difficult. I had an adjustment period the first days from the amount of nicotine I was getting from about 25-30 cigarettes a day to the 18mg/ml in the e-juice. I went threw some withdraw symptoms the first 2 days were the worse till the new nicotine levels evened out in my system which took about 7 days. I was still craving cigarettes, but I used the e-cigarette threw the cravings. They started slowly getting better. I tryed not to substute food for cigarettes like I had other times I had tryed to quit, in the past I had gained large amounts of weight. I found my hunger was stronger, but would just eat at the right times of the day and it got better also. Side effects were and some of these were from oral nicotine because I had them with the lozenges to, sore mouth,gums, hickups,cankor sore. Headaches, nerviousness, anger, brain fog would be from the adjustment period of nicotine withdraw, I had the same with quiting before. They went away after the first 7 days. BO,smelly feet,not feeling well over all, I believe was having to do with detoxing all the thousands of chemicals out of my body. From day one to the end of the first month my mind craved the cigarette, my mind even would play tricks on me to get me to smoke, telling me that the e-cigarette would not work, at one point in my minds eye I saw dancing cigarettes, my mind did everything it could to get me to start smoking again. Threw all of this I vaped threw it, telling my self this is it, this is the only way its going to get its nicotine. I had to be more stubborn with my self as my brain fought back. Little by little the feeling started going away, the brain stopped fighting. On Febuary 14, 2013 I had my "AH" moment. We had gone out for valentines to town 1 1/2 hours from home, and my battery died 1 hour into the trip. I did have a panic attack, but the first thing I thought of was to buy a disposible e-cigarette, not a pack of cigarettes. I was in store that sold cigarettes to find a disposible ecig but they didnt have any, at no time did I think of even buying a pack even when they were right infront of me. I mangaged to get threw the rest of the day and night using my fiances e-cig. but that is when I realized I had broken the "cigarette mental addiction". It has been all up hill since then, I have not wanting for a cigarette, I dont get triggered anymore at all. I can stand next to people smoking and not get triggered at all, this would not have happened with the NRTs. I had many many triggers and I can do all of those activitys now without being triggered. My second "Ah" moment was standing in a grocery store line with a person that smelled like smoke, I breathed it in, I even tryed to trigger my self by breathing her smell of smoke in deeply, but there was nothing, no trigger, not even a trigger for my e-cigarette.The effect from the smell was inert. The first time in 40 years I no longer have a craving, I dont even crave nicotine, the only way I know I havent had enought is I get cranky, and nervious. But there is no craving because the craving for the cigarette is gone. The true craving that your mind tells you is the "cigarette" not the nicotine. After the first month I started vaping less and less juice naturally, the need lessened by its self. I went from needing to vape about 3ml a day now im at 1 to 1 1/2 ml aday. My health at 4 months is so much better, I can breath better, the cough is gone ( at 17 days in) the thick choking mucus is gone totally,slowly its all getting better, but I know from smoking for 40 years its going to take years to have lungs repair totally. I have more energy,the nicotine keeps me from having the foggy brain, infact my memory is better, focus is over all better. I feel comfortable and havent had anymore panic attacks having to do with cigarettes. My over all mental health is good. I dont have the depression I would get from quiting smoking like I did before. I have left using tobacco flavors back the first month, I find I gag with the taste of tobacco now, I use many different flavors, Big red gum is one of my favorites, summers breeze ( fruit combo) licorice, grape, pomagranate are just some that I use. I find I like to switch up my flavors during the day. I have also graduated to a larger ego style mah battery that last charge wise longer. I use what is called cartomizer/tank that I fill myself. My e-cig of choice doesnt even look like a cigarette. I believe deep in my heart that if I hadnt found e-cigarettes I would and my fiance would still be smoking and would have continued to smoke, we would have probably died smoking. Nothing else worked for us the way e-cigarettes have worked. I feel very strongly about what e-cigarettes can do for the future, how it is helping many many people free themselves from smoking. I believe this inovation is the way of the future. I can say this with confidence having worked in the pharmacy and with my own experience, that nothing else works like the e-cigarette. At this point I plan on staying with nicotine, but in the future I can see working down off nicotine and just having the e-cig as a support tool to reinforce the retraining of my brain. As of right now I belive there is no going back to smoking at all.


Charlene Haste
I had smoked since I was around the age of 9-10. Yes hard to believe. I had quit cold turkey, I had used the patch and the gum at different periods of time, and finally I tried Champix. Oh yes the miracle drug! However it caused me to have stomach problems that I have never been able to get rid of. Did I quit with it? Yes for 3 weeks each time, but when I couldn't endure the pain and nausea any more, I went back to smoking. Then in the spring of 2011 I happened upon the Electronic cigarette. Much to my surprise after using it I didn't want to smoke. It took me about 4 weeks to completely remove regular cigarettes from my life. I use mostly eGo type batteries with clearomizers. As well I use a larger battery called a mod. I had been diagnosed with COPD in 2007, was told by the respitory therapist that I would be on oxygen without a doubt in about 5 years maximum. My lung capacity was in bad shape. I had been on advair, a puffer, and various other "lung" improvement medications. Once I put the regular cigarettes down in 2011 I had not used my "puffer" once, until two months ago I got a severe cold and it was the first time I had picked the darn thing up. I had to renew my prescription as it was out of date and didn't have any solution left. I have not used advair once! MORALE of the story: If these things had been around 30 years ago, I would not have acquired COPD, and I would not be sitting here typing out this story! ---- My husband had NO desire to quit smoking, NONE! After trying mine he said, "I think I would rather use that then a cigarette". Needless to say, he has not smoked in 2 years now either! Thank you E-Cigs for saving our lives! AND rescuing me from a oxygen bottle!


Debbie Guardino (pageanmoon) Chicopee MA
I began smoking when I was 13 years old. I am now 48 and have been using an electronic cigarette since March of 2011. I have not smoked tobacco since May of that year. I have spent thousands of dollars on pharmaceutical products to quit smoking but none of them ever worked long term and I always returned to smoking. Due to other health issues my doctor's would not even consider prescribing Chantix to me. Since I began using these devices, my husband has not suffered from a single sinus infection. He experienced severe sinus infections throughout his life, having lived with and been around smokers, and it was only when I stopped smoking tobacco that we realized that not only had my health improved, but his did also. I freely use these devices in my home and vehicles without causing him any discomfort or sinus issues. My health has also improved, I have more energy, am more active and no longer wake up coughing and wheezing.


Kimberly Biggs from Rockford, IL
I started smoking when I was almost 19 years old, it was just something that I wanted to do because I could. I started getting a smoker's cough around the age of 22, however I never attempted to stop smoking. Over the years, I moved from smoking a pack a day to just about two packs a day by the time I decided to quit. At 37 years old, on September 13, 2012, I smoked my last cigarette at 7 pm. I never tried to stop smoking in the 17 1/2 years that I smoked. I realized that if I did not stop before I hit 40 years old, I would not live to see 60. Most of my relatives who smoked were considered lucky if they lived into their 60's. My mother had been using an e-cigarette for about 2 years so I decided to try one as well. The fact is, I loved to smoke. I loved the hand to mouth action, the inhaling and the exhaling of the smoke, the feel of the smoke in my lungs. I knew that my only shot at quitting smoking was to find something that would help me with all of the above listed aspects of smoking along with the nicotine addiction; e-cigarettes were the perfect answer. I still miss smoking every day, but knowing I have my e-cigarettes makes it so much easier to not light a cigarette up. I was never a dual user, when I switched to e-cigarettes, I stopped smoking completely. My hacking smoker's cough stopped completely a month after I started using an e-cigarette, it has never returned. I can breath better and deeper, exercise without any problems and I can now actually smell the fresh cut grass and the trees when I step outside. I started using my e-cigarettes with 24 mg nicotine juices, I am still using that mg; during stressful times, I will occasionally use 36 mg to help stop my cravings for an actual cigarette. I have no intention of lowering my nicotine at this time, it is what I need right now to ensure that I do not go back to smoking. I initially started with a pen style e-cigarette, but that did not last long. The pen style device did not help with cravings since it wasn't powerful enough to deliver the feel of vapor going into my lungs, the inhale/exhale process that I love. I quickly moved to larger mod batteries such as the Vamo and Innokin iTaste SVD, as well as using refillable tanks like the Protank and the Kanger T3. These new devices allow me to feel the vapor as I take it in, and to see more vapor coming out as I exhale; they fully replace that part of smoking that I loved and keep me from going back to it. I love my smoke-free life! Yes, it is a struggle every day not to smoke, but e-cigarettes have helped to sooth that struggle. I am able to keep the aspects of smoking that I loved, while utilizing a much safer and harm reducing product; I can honestly say that without e-cigarettes in my life, I would still be smoking.


Amanda Campbell
I started smoking at age 16, at the time of coarse minors were not supose to be able to purchase cigarettes but i had a pack a day starting at age 16 of full flavor marlboro. Im 34 years old now. At age 32 after trying to quit cold turkey of smoking i finally went to a pulmonologist because i was having trouble breathing. I had developed asthma and COPD at age 34 after being around two parents second hand smoke my whole life and smoking myself for 16 years. My Doctor said i had to quit or my breathing would get worse. I tried his way , with a specialist to help me quit smoking. Took home some litrature and a prescription for welbutrin. After two weeks of smoking sessation program I was still smoking and couldnt put the cigarettes down. Then i googles electronic cigarettes one day as a final measure to save my life. My mother had died of lung Cancer at age 63 from smoking since she was 16 smoked two packs a day of winstons. I realized i was not too far from age 63 and with two kids and a husband i had to quit smoking somehow. I ordered my first electronic cigarette. I put alot of faith in making this work as i did with the prescription. Three days into using an electronic cigarette i was no longer smoking with it. After a week i had completely stoped smoking and buying cigarettes. After two weeks the changes started happening in my life after being smoke free for only two weeks. For two weeks i coughed up some really horrible phlegm, I was not liking the change of coughing so much stuff up, almost went back to smoking to make it stop. Instead i kept with it and did alot of research. It was on the 18th Day that i woke up in tears of joy! It was the first morning in 16 yrs that i woke up and didnt go into a coughing fit and bronical spasm from smoking. I sat up took a deep breath in and out. And i started to cry. I cried because i forgot what it was like to wake up normal without coughing and gasping for my breath. Thirty days after i quit smoking i went back to my pulmonologist. I had another breathing test done. The results as he said and showed were 99% improvement in lung function. I know longer was using spiriva inhaler or my rescue inhaler daily. I used only the rescue inhaler if necessary. The doctor asked me how I quit smoking. I told him i bought an electronic cigarette. I explained to him what was in it, He wrote in my chart continue use of electronic cigarette. He said just keep doing it, because the diffrence is amazing. I have now been smoke free for two and half years using electronic cigarettes. My husband started 30 days after i quit and he is also now two years smoke free. We both continue the use of electronic cigarettes as our nicotine replacement and as long as it keeps us from the dangerous chemicals and carcinogens with real cigarettes we are happy and healthier for it. I really do believe with evidence in doctors reports that tobacco harm reduction product such as an electronic cigarette has given more time on this earth with my family. Im very greatful for finding Electronic Cigarettes it saved my life. The only down side of electronic cigarettes is , there is less nicotine in them than regular cigarettes and i have gained weight in the two years i quit smoking as most former smokers do. Mainly because food taste so much better now, and my senses of smell and taste buds after quting smoking have come back to me...


ed west/castello, cupertino, ca
I smoked for over 35 years. I started vaping 1 and a half years ago. I started with regular cigarette sized e-cigs for about 2 weeks and moved on to larger batteries with atomizer tanks. I have not smoked cigarettes in almost a year. Previously I had tried the nicotine gum and patches with no success. I breath better and no longer have a smokers cough.


Thad Marney (DevilsThadvocate)
Raised in a traditional Christian home, I first tried a cigarette when I was about 18 years old in rebellion against a friend who would not keep her promise to stop smoking. It wasn’t until several years later when I got my first job as a Technical Support Analyst that the occasional cigarette with a coworker grew into an expensive habit that I immediately wanted to quit. I tried to quit cold turkey, and then I tried using a nicotine patch, gum, lozenge, and even hypnotherapy. Each time I would have some success, but eventually life’s stressors or my own stubborn ADHD brain would bring me back to cigarettes over the next 15 years until I discovered an invention called “electronic cigarettes…” I was immediately fascinated by the gadgets when I first saw them in Clackamas Town Center shopping mall, and threw several hundred dollars for “starter kits” for myself and some friends. Unfortunately, some of the parts were lost within a few days so it mostly sat on a shelf for about a year until one day my (then 7-year old) daughter objected as I was stepping outside for a cigarette, and said “Daddy, isn’t that ‘pretend cigarette’ better for you? You should use that instead.” Inspired by her pure intentions and desire to keep her daddy alive and healthy, I began researching electronic cigarettes and tobacco harm reduction. Within a few days after finding a better model and trying some different flavors and strengths, I found that I could customize “vaping” into an experience that I enjoyed as much if not more than smoking. I wasn’t planning or expecting to quit smoking but was happy to drop to just one or fewer cigarettes a day, but eventually my senses of taste and smell improved and I lost interest in smoking. One day it occurred to me that I couldn’t remember when I’d last had or wanted a cigarette. I stopped smoking the same way I started: As an unintended consequence of spending time with techies! In order to have a calendar date to point to, I intentionally smoked one cigarette on New Years’ Eve, Dec 31, 2009 and I haven’t had a cigarette since.


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