Alex Brown is a 28-year-old vaper from Nottingham. Here, he shares his story.
I started smoking when I worked in pubs as a way to get more breaks during long 12-hour days. As well as their lunch hour, smokers were allowed extra breaks throughout the day to light-up.
At first, I asked a friend to buy me a packet of Marlboro so I could pretend to smoke, but by the time I was 21, I was smoking a pack every two days.
I’m really into my fitness and would regularly go rowing and visit the gym, but I continued to smoke until a friend gave me one of the old cigarette-style vapes which came in a box that looked like Marlboro Reds.
I realised I could feel a lot better and go out running without getting out of breath every five minutes and I don’t think I smoked again after that.
Within weeks I could breathe better, my sleep and fitness had improved and I got my sense of taste and smell back. I rediscovered new layers of flavour to food and I didn’t get as many colds as I did when I smoked.
I also took up kickboxing, which eventually led to an interest in CBD vaping. A lot of the MMA fighters and pro-athletes use it to help with injury recovery and pain relief.
When I first began vaping, it was completely new. I had no real ideas about it before I started and there wasn’t really a vaping industry or culture at the time.
In the early days of lockdown, when things were stressful and it felt like the sky was falling in, I did pick up some cigarettes again, but I’ve basically stopped that now as I think the worst is over and done with.
Vaping was a really great bridge for me to stop smoking and I don’t think I would have successfully quit without it.
I couldn’t have continued smoking long-term, there were too many health risks and it was limiting what I could do with my life.
Vaping gave me a way out and took all that away.
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