Like many young people, I wanted to fit in with the friend group I had. They were a misfit group and they all smoked and swore and I was excited to be part of their group. Over time I started smoking to fit in with them, and I kept that habit for nine years. From the age of 13 to 22 I smoked daily, and at times I was smoking over a pack a day. I would sometimes try to quit and make it maybe two days without nicotine before I gave up.
At the age of 19 I was introduced to chewing tobacco. I actively chewed for three years along with my smoking. With constant nicotine in my blood stream it was obvious quitting cold turkey was not going to work for me. I was breaking two physical habits along with the actual addiction.
A few of the men I worked with were using vapes, and I started asking them questions about how it made them feel, if it quenched their cravings and they all said it did. Now I realized the vape would not allow me to break the physical habit, but it would allow me to ween myself off the nicotine. My lungs had becomes constantly tight, I had an awful cough every morning and phlegm constantly coated my throat. I knew my health was suffering due to my choice to continue smoking and something had to be done about it.
I decided to quit in circumstances where I would be less tempted to break. I waited a few weeks until I returned to school, where we had limited smoke breaks and it was very inconvenient to go out for them. There was also only a few smokers there, most people were also vaping. This really did help limit my exposure to temptation.
The hardest part for me was while I was driving in the morning. I have had the unfortunate habit of chain smoking while driving, and the vape really helped me with that. Every couple minutes I can pull a drag of the vape instead of constantly inhaling smoke.
Now over time I have brought down my nicotine content in my juice. I started with 30mg, and am now down to 3mg. I rely less and less on the vape now, and can comfortably go more than half a day without any nicotine. I plan to continue weening myself off the nicotine.
This whole journey of quitting has taken 2 months to date, and has been the most successful method for me.