About our founder (Howie)
My E-Cigarette Story (testimonial):
My name is Howie, and I started CanadaVapes.com in September of 2010. I am 41 years old, and the father of two beautiful children.
I started smoking cigarettes early in high school as a way to rebel and gain independence. Back in the late 80’s there wasn’t as much negativity towards tobacco as there is today, and therefore it wasn’t considered a ‘big deal’ for me to smoke. In fact, there were still smoking patios at the high schools where teens went for their cigarette breaks! I enjoyed smoking very much, and had no thoughts of quitting throughout my teenage years and into my early twenties. I was not experiencing any negative effects of smoking, and still remained active in sports.
It was in my mid twenties when I really started thinking about quitting smoking. I had heard all of the data on smoking and cancer, emphysema, etc, and as the warnings on the cigarette packs grew, so did the negative stigma surrounding cigarettes. With more and more places going smoke free – restaurants, malls, and even bars – I wanted to be free from the burden of going outside every hour for my nicotine fix. I still enjoyed cigarettes, but was now starting to wake up on occasion with a sore throat, and cough up yellow phlegm. I tried to quit cold turkey a number of times throughout my twenties, but was never successful for more than a few days. I tried the patch, which made me itchy & moody, but it did not work at all. I lasted one day and all I could think about was a cigarette. I tried nicotine gum, which tasted terrible, gave me heartburn, burned my throat, and worked for about two days before I returned to cigarettes. The price of smoking had been going up since I started, from $2.50 a pack to $7 a pack, and it seemed every few months the government was issuing some additional surcharge on cigarettes just to drive the price up & up.
I finally tried Zyban, a prescription drug that had a slightly higher success rate than patches or gums. I lasted a long time with the Zyban, going several months without a cigarette. The only problem was that the drug was causing me to not be able to eat –not a bad thing as I could lose a few pounds — but I literately would go into a restaurant starving, take two bites of my food, and feel sick to my stomach. I had to stop Zyban, but I actually started smoking a pipe for several months before eventually returning to cigarettes.
When I entered my thirties, I could really start to feel the effects of fifteen years of smoking on my body. I would wake up every morning with a build-up of phlegm that would need to be coughed up before I could start my day. Most evenings I would get a tightening in my chest, and a sharp pinch when I inhaled deeply. I was easily winded, often needing to catch my breath just walking up from my basement to my kitchen. I had an aggressive smoker’s cough that made me sound like I had bronchitis all the time. I was also spending nearly $10 per pack of cigarettes, and smoking around a pack a day. I felt I just had to find a way to stop smoking before it was too late.
In 2009 I saw an ad for an electronic cigarette on a website. I had seen e-cigarettes before a few years back, but the kits were several hundred dollars, which I just couldn’t justify spending at the time. I did some research, and found someone selling e-cigarettes in my town locally, and picked up my very first Starter kit. Unlike some people’s success stories, my moving from traditional tobacco smoking to e-cigarettes was not an instant or immediate result. I continued to smoke, but would vape as well. I slowly (and unconsciously) over the next few days started vaping more often, and smoking cigarettes less. Being the winter, I would often find myself sitting in my den, having my vape, and thinking how cold it was outside. I would notice a longer and longer time between cigarettes as I started to vape more.
One day, about two weeks after getting my Starter kit, a strange thing started happening. I actually started preferring the taste and feeling of vaping, over my cigarettes! I actually started disliking the taste in my mouth when I had a cigarette. When I woke up in the morning, reaching for my e-cigarette was the first thing on my mind, instead of going out for my morning cigarette. I decided about three weeks after getting my e-cigarette that the next day, when I woke up, I was simply going to go as long as I could without a cigarette, using only my e-cigarette. Well, I lasted through the day without any problems, and the next day the same thing, and the next.
After just a few days being cigarette free, I really started noticing the terrible smell of cigarettes when I would be with someone who was smoking. My jacket still smelled like old cigarettes, so I washed everything I had. I found I could wash my hands in the morning, and they would smell like soap for hours! I would put on cologne, and I could smell it all day. The first physical change I noticed was that I was coughing less and less throughout the day, and that the pinching feeling in my lungs had stopped. I still got out of breath fairly easily, but could definitely feel an improvement in my breathing and lungs. I found I slept better, and overall just felt so incredibly free all the time. I no longer needed to don a big coat and step outside into the Canadian Winter to get my puff on. I could vape anywhere. I remember going to my parents house on a Sunday for lunch and pulling out my e-cigarette, and puffing a big vape. My mom’s jaw dropped. After explaining to her how it works, she was very excited and supportive of it. Of everyone in my life, my mother was always the one nagging me to quit. Her father passed away from lung cancer when I was just a little boy, and she had always hated cigarettes & smoking.
It has now been nearly 10 years smoke free, and I have absolutely no desire to smoke traditional cigarettes. I am so happy to be free from the burden of cigarettes in my life. Not having to have smoke breaks every hour, and not walking around stinking all day has been a huge plus for me. I’m feeling more energy and vitality as my body continues to heal itself from years of abuse. Words just can’t describe the appreciation I have for e-cigarettes, nor how incredibly happy I am that I found them.
Please have a look at my E-cigarette Store if you can relate, and see for yourself how vaping can help.
Get your vape on,
Howie Founder, CanadaVapes.com