It is two years since I last smoked a tobacco cigarette. The main reason why vaping has worked to bring me this far is that I enjoy it. I have come down in nicotine levels to 6mg from 36mg in easy stages and I have no interest in reducing that level further at the moment, but then nicotine has never been the issue with smoking. The benefit I get is all as a result of the fact that I’m no longer breathing in smoke and burning particles, no longer breathing in carbon monoxide and all the other products of lit tobacco. My breathing is easier, I no longer need to use my ventolin inhaler, I’ve had no episodes of bronchitis and I can taste my food again; all the benefits of being a non-smoker with none of the drawbacks of having to cease all nicotine use. I was already a nicotine user, so the fact that I still use it is also not an issue. For those telling me that I’ve just swapped one addiction for another, my answer is a resounding, “So what!” because it really doesn’t matter at all, even if I continue to use nicotine for the rest of my life, it is doing me less harm per year than ONE DAY of relapsing to smoking. It is preventing me from relapsing to smoking.
I also haven’t dropped a lit cigarette in two years. Remember how many house fires are still caused by smoking materials? For every scare story about ecigs exploding there are hundreds of unreported deaths and injuries in house fires that are not sensationalised because they aren’t newsworthy, when they should be. In all honesty vaping probably has saved my life. I was a house fire statistic waiting to happen.
In the last two years I have suffered two major bereavements and supported a close friend through a major bereavement and another through a psychotic break. I have survived my (rented) house being completely renovated while I was living in it and I’m about to purchase my first home. These are stressful events in any life, and they hit me as a vulnerable disabled person very hard indeed, remembering that stress levels increase the severity of the symptoms of my chronic illness. Through it all I have not wanted to smoke, because I had a viable alternative that I enjoy more than I enjoyed smoking. The main reason that I enjoy it more than smoking is because of the flavours. Those same flavours that the anti-nicotine puritans say is ‘attracting children’ against all of the research that says that they do not, are the reason why my safer alternative method of obtaining nicotine which is preventing my relapse to smoking is working for me.
So what do you think will happen to me if those flavours are restricted? I will very likely relapse to smoking.
The TPD is also going to cause me huge problems immediately in May. I will no longer be able to buy my eliquids in bottle sizes greater than 10ml. These bottles are too small for me to handle safely. They will also only dispense twenty drops of eliquid a minute, meaning that in order to fill even a TPD compliant 2.5ml tank, I’ll have to sit and squeeze a bottle without moving for well over a minute, whereas now I have a nice big chunky soft squeeze bottle that’s easy for me to hold and it takes seconds to fill my tank. I’ll have to fill more often, from smaller bottles, with more waste, using bottles I can’t grip, that take much longer for me to fill a tank in a way that is practically impossible for me to do.
So what do you think is likely to happen to me in May?
The government don’t seem to realise that the TPD rules are doing actual harm. We need to get this nonsense sorted out, so that ordinary people like me are able to stay away from smoking lit tobacco.