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Interviews

Dads Who Ditched Deadly Cigarettes

By Emily Malia 15th June 2023 6 Mins
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In an ode to all the inspiring fathers out there, this Father’s Day, Vapouround spoke to Dad’s across the world who made the all-important big switch.

michael redfern holding a caught fish up in the air

Michael Redfearn, Delaware, USA

Being almost 10 years smokefree – after quitting at 30 years old – Michael is now able to say that his youngest child has never seen him light a cigarette.

His main motivation when making the all-important decision to quit was to have more moments with his children, as regular cigarette breaks were taking up the majority of his free time.

Not to mention, he was also concerned about smoking’s impact on his health but he’s pleased to be able to say that years later, his older two children don’t really remember the days of him lighting up.

Michael admits that he doesn’t think he could have achieved this alone, his journey was made that little bit easier by having his wife as a quitting buddy.

He said:

“I don’t think I could’ve done it alone and I don’t think I could’ve done it without vaping.

“I feel that vaping is breaking a generational smoking habit – that’s on both sides of the family.”

One time, when his eldest child was a lot younger, he said he wanted to grow up and smoke cigarettes just like his dad…this was the ultimate wake up call for Michael.

The most drastic difference he’s seen in his life is the amount of time he has to be a present father for his kids.

Michael said:

“I no longer missed out on the small special moments because I was outside smoking.

“Also, the financial savings have helped immensely in raising a family in the modern world.”

 

Toby Green, Manchester, UK

 It wasn’t until his son was three and a half years old that Toby – a father of one – decided to quit smoking after his recreational use of cigarettes over the years.

The realisation came washing over him one night as he was putting his son to bed, counting down the minutes it would take him to falling asleep in order to go out for a smoke.

His son never mentioned it to him, but the guilt still remained each time Toby would come back from his cigarette breaks and felt himself pulling away from his child.

He said:

“I was constantly wary about kissing or cuddling him when I’d been smoking and I didn’t like how it was beginning to interfere with our relationship.”

Since making the life changing switch, Toby is able to focus more on spending intimate, quality time with his son and cherish those moments completely cigarette-free.

He no longer has concerns about the smell of smoke on his clothes or his hands when holding his son and doesn’t find himself in a hurry to go for his next cigarette.

Toby said:

“Vaping has made the transition a whole lot easier and allowed me to feel more confident in quitting nicotine altogether, hopefully in the near future.”

nicholas (nick) orlando profile photo

Nicholas Orlando, Florida, USA

It was close to two years into fatherhood that Nicholas make the big switch from cigarettes and found vaping was the only successful cessation tool for him.

It truly hit home for the father when his child came to him to say that they ‘didn’t want him to die from smoking’, which of course, was difficult to hear for Nicholas.

The biggest transformation he found in his smoke-free fatherhood was being able to partake in his children’s active lifestyle, going on to coach a soccer team for an impressive 19 years.

Vaping played a vital role in allowing him to quit the deadly habit and be the best parent he could be.

After making the switch in order to be a more active father and put his health first, Nicholas was in awe of the power vaping could have on transforming people’s lives.

He said:

“I was inspired by what it has done for me and thousands of others and so I have volunteered as the Vice President of the Florida Smokefree Association since 2014.”

james van alast profile photo with daughter

James Van Aalst, Derby, UK

 His daughter was 11 years old when she moved in with him on a full time basis- making James a single parent for the first time in his life.

It was then that he decided to quit, after all, how could he teach his daughter about the dangers of smoking if he was using cigarettes himself?

He said:

“I didn’t want to be a hypocrite drilling into her that ‘smoking was bad’ but then smoking myself…quitting made it easier for me to encourage her to make good decisions.”

The words ‘Dad you stink!’ had always stuck with James each time he’d come inside after his all too often cigarette breaks.

At the time he worked in a high-pressure role and going cold turkey would have been a challenge as the majority of his colleagues were smokers so vaping seemed to be the logical choice.

 The biggest difference James has found in fatherhood post-cigarettes is the pride he feels knowing that his daughter could go on to say, ‘my dad doesn’t smoke’.

 

Jourdan Wheeler, Arizona, U.S

Jourdan was saved from a lifetime of smoking related issues with the help of reduced risk nicotine products.

After making the switch in 2009, he met his wife who had two children from her previous relationship both aged just two and four years old.

He went in to buy his usual pack of cigarettes and the lady there was using an e-cigarette, after learning the facts from her, he bought one and never smoked again.

Jourdan said:

“Now I didn’t quit because I was going to become a father but I sure am glad I did. I am able to keep up with my kids, and also live longer to share life with them.”

Having lost both his stepdad and mother to lung cancer – caused by excessive cigarette use – Jourdan felt as though smoking stole many years not just from him, but his children.

After smoking from the ages of 11 to age 29 it got to the point where the father of two was out of breath doing routine things like walking up the stairs.

He said:

“I was dying inside and poisoning my body and unable to quit regardless of the resources that were offered.”

 

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Enjoyed this story? Head over to the ‘News‘ section of the website to discover more vaping-related stories.

Or, check out our ‘Breathing New Life‘ feature which shares impactful stories on how e-cigarettes have allowed members of the vaping community to do things that they wouldn’t have dreamed of as a smoker.

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About this author
Emily Malia