Over two years ago, I quit smoking tobacco cigarettes.
For those of you who have tried – and failed – at quitting smoking, I’d like you to take a moment to read this report. This is a snapshot of my two years of being smoke-free and using electronic cigarettes in place of tobacco products. These products have changed my life, and I spent a lot of my time journaling talking about how I felt when I made the switch to e-cigarettes. If you take the time to read this entry and find it a good read, please share it on social media sites like Twitter & Facebook. Email it to friends. Bookmark it. However you can help spread the message, it’s appreciated. A lot of time went into this, and if I reach one person, I’ll be proud. If I reach thousands, I’ll be ecstatic.
First off, in case you didn’t read about me, my name is Dale Hanson and I live in Sunrise, Florida. Sunrise is a Fort Lauderdale suburb and home to the Sawgrass Mills Mall, one of the largest discount shopping outlets. This exact mall was the first place I saw an electronic cigarette being used. There was one mall kiosk selling a few products from one of the large maker’s of e-cigs that offer different brands under one umbrella. Two years later, there has to be five, maybe even six kiosks at this mall. There are also numerous smoke shops in my county that offer electronic cigarette products. My point is, the industry has really taken off, and somewhere along the line I decided the products were so beneficial for society that I took the time to create this website. While you may not agree with all of my reviews or may not even smoke the same brands that I’ve tried, I believe there is an e-cigarette for everyone’s budget, taste preferences, and smoking habits. I think the devices are so beneficial, so advanced, and so society-friendly that I urge every smoker out there to at least give them a shot.
I’m very pleased to release my official report and reflections on electronic cigarettes. This wasn’t the easiest thing to compose at first, but I cut and pasted the highlights from my journal and placed them below. I also added some thoughts that were on my mind at the time of publication just to further weigh in on how I felt.
I hope you enjoy the report, and again, please share it with others.
After spending a few minutes at a presentation on just what are electronic cigarettes at the Sawgrass Mills Mall, I was intrigued with the devices and wanted more information. Naturally, I took my search to the Internet, where I encountered numerous brands with various price points and all sorts of sales copy talking about why their devices were better than the other ones on the market. I tried to weed out the hype and get down to brass tacks. When I did, I made a decision – I wanted to buy a two piece electronic cigarette.
I returned to the mall and asked the vendors there if they offered these types of e-cigarette batteries. With the answer being “no” – they lost me as a customer.
There are numerous advantages of the two piece e-cigs. Mainly, it’s an easy device to run and operate. You simply screw in a cartridge and your in business. This alleviates the concern of always having an atomizer on hand – another thing to keep track of, right?
Note: As of 10/9/12 the best e-cigarette brands are all two piece devices. In the past there were many companies who were behind in the development process and made their e-cigs with three pices.
I bought a brand that had good reviews online: Green Smoke. You can read my thoughts on that iconic brand if you click the link. Green Smoke was the best brand around at that time with the two piece design, so I went with them and ordered their most comprehensive starter kit. I was immediately impressed with their flavor selection, their customer service, and ultimately, their product.
My friends and family all thought it was a bit bizarre I was “vaping” all the time. Really, I was so impressed with e-cigs and more so that I could fill my nicotine addiction at any time, any place, that I toted my e-cig around like it was a beeper and I worked in the ER.
I immediately felt like I had more wind when I ran. That is, when I would jog, I wouldn’t feel so gassed and out of shape. The nasty taste of cigarettes wasn’t in lungs and that’s what I think really helped me.
November & December of 2010:
I continued to smoke the Green Smoke brand exclusively. I loved everything about the brand except one thing: the price point. They have since lowered their prices, but back then Green Smoke was really a high-end product with a high price of refilling cartridges. This was a little bit of an annoyance to me, so I looked around for other brands with more competitive prices.
I began to run 5, even 6 miles instead of my typical 3 to 4 miles. This may be coincidental, but I feel credit goes to e-cigs for helping me NOT have a bad taste in my mouth and the fact that I didn’t cough and wheeze throughout the duration of my run.
January of 2011:
I began to smoke V2Cigs brand. This brand literally shot out of a cannon and came to the forefront of many websites that talk about e-cigarette smoking. I liked their price point and the fact they had acrylic batteries vs. the standard plastic ones I was used to. I really liked that and when I received them, I found out the vapor was really impressive. I didn’t think vapor could get that thick! This brand really changed the landscape of e-cigs, that’s for sure.
Around this time I felt it was time to really encourage my friends to use e-cigarettes, so I started this website and really started spreading the message about the products. A few months later, some other brands reached out to me about my thoughts and wanted me to try their products. Wow, this was cool, I thought! Free products and the ability to give opinions on something I was quickly becoming an expert on – what’s better than that?
Meanwhile, during the NFL playoffs and all the times I was at bars and house parties watching the Packers on their epic run, I was able to enjoy my nicotine intake amongst friends and not bother a single person. The most touching moment was when my friend’s ultra conservative wife, who previously would not allow their children near me due to the stench of cigarettes and the thought that I would “infect them” – had done a 180 and let me not only smoke e-cigs in their household, but they bragged to their children about how I changed my habits!
Spring of 2011:
I really ramped up my efforts as I tried to get my site popularity. Certainly this would change lives so I spent nights blogging about e-cigarette topics and trying new brands. I really thought going viral with the information would create a better society, but found that just going in public and letting people ask me “what is that” was a better approach to creating awareness. The web is a competitive place and little old me can only do so much! (So help by sharing this page please!)
Note: I had lost 10 pounds since starting e-cigarettes due to my increased exercise regimen.
Summer of 2011:
I decided to try Bull Smoke. This brand caught my attention with it’s incredible branding and down home approach to e-cigs. This is currently my choice as the best e-cigarette brand. I smoke Bull Smoke because their batteries are just like the famous V2 Cigs batteries. Loads of vapor, yet a more simple and original approach to smoking instead of all the futuristic stuff that V2 pitches. Don’t get me wrong – I love V2 but I prefer Bull Smoke. Call them equal but a preference to work with a company that suits my style.
I continue to feel better, have zero “bad taste” in my mouth – even after blasting through two cartridges per day on some days. I’m a heavy smoker so I puff on these quite rapidly. I really like the 24 mg by Bull Smoke. Not many other companies offer this high of a nicotine conent – 2.4%.
My website starts to get 50+ visits per day. Nothing to brag about, but I’m starting to see the light and hope that out of that number of people, that I really affect one person enough per day and make a positive change in their habit by convincing them to smoke e-cigarettes.
Fall of 2011:
I scrap the “tree of satisfaction” image I built because I’m seeing some brands (Safe Cig and Blu Cigs) really fall off the map with consumers. Poor customer service just doesn’t mesh with being in the tree of satisfaction and while they may have nice products, consumers are first. This image was a “tree” with the brand I recommended the most sitting at the top and other brands along different branches. I felt this would show the top tiers of brands in the e-cig space. However, if I had to constantly have a friend who does graphics change it, it would become a mess to manage. So, I felt scrapping it was a good idea.
I also was approached by numerous e-cigarette brands to review their product. Since I’m a fair guy, if a brand gave me a product I absolutely hated, free of charge, I didn’t publish the review. I’m not out to make enemies and I like to share the best brands without pulling any punches, so while I appreciated the products and ability to correspond with some big wigs in the industry, I didn’t always publish the stuff about their brand on my site.
Spring of 2012:
I ran my first marathon! This was nuts, and by far one of life’s biggest accomplishments. How come I didn’t accomplish this before? Easy, I was a smoker. Cigarettes put me in such a poor mood that I never really got into training the way I could.
One of the things I realized in my career is that I didn’t have sky high bills each month for dry cleaning. Without second hand smoke, why would I need dry cleaning? This was a nice little tertiary benefit to smoking e-cigs.
Summer of 2012:
I reached out to the brands on my site that I really like and think should be used by different consumers. They all agreed with my mission and gave me discount codes that my reader’s could use. I would like to think I saved people tens of thousands of cumulative dollars across many customers. I also launched a humourous part of my website where anyone can weigh in on their grievances with e-cigs and the companies that make them. It’s called “electronic cigarette festivus.” Follow that link and air your grievances, please!
October of 2012:
Life has never been better. I’m more fit than I’ve been in 30 years. I love life. My friends, families, and co-workers appreciate the fact that they don’t have to smell my second hand smoke. They don’t have to spend time cleaning out ash trays or looking at cigarette butts on their lawns after I visit. E-cigarette brands continue to evolve, and I continue my mission as the information guy who spins the e-cig news with a twist.
That’s my two year electronic cigarette report. I’ll continue to update this as time passses and share my experiences with you all.
Thanks for reading!