Diary of a ‘Near-Dead’ Smoker: How Did Electronic Cigarettes Save My Life?
Yes! You all read it correctly- I almost died smoking tobacco cigarettes. I’m sure many like me may have undergone near death experiences but my case is slightly different. Smoking almost took my life not once but TWICE!
While the first time, my stroke (heart attack) was a minor one, requiring just 2 days of hospitalization, the second one (that struck me 6 months later), left me paralyzed from the left side up, for a good 8 months. The pain I experienced during my second stroke cannot be expressed or explained in words- it can only be felt by the individual suffering from it (and that individual was me). Besides, I was lying on the hospital bed like a vegetable, fed by drips. I was running medical bills that I simply could not afford. My medical insurance could cover only 6 months of my total hospitalization expenditure and I had to pay 2 months from my own pocket. Believe me- it simply broke my back- I was literally bankrupt and in constant pain!
My second stroke that left me paralyzed, occurred just 6 months after I had switched from tobacco cigarettes to pipes. This is when I decided to spend some time on serious research work. To my utter surprise, I found out that a single tobacco cigarette contains over 700 ingredients that emit more than 7000 harmful chemicals when lit. The American Lung Association also stated that out of the 7000 harmful chemicals, over 69 cause cancers of various kinds in human beings. So, I was inhaling 69 different kinds of carcinogens with each cigarette- this is simply mind-blowing. When I did my math for the day, I was shocked to find that I was pumping 1380 carcinogens into my body each day (I smoked 40 cigarettes daily).
After my first stroke, I tried replacing my cigarette with hookah, pipes and cigars, hoping they would be healthier options to fulfill my nicotine hit. But I was wrong again! As per the National Cancer Institute, cigars have more toxins, carcinogens and tar than regular cigarettes. Even hookahs produce more second hand smoke and carbon monoxide gas than regular cigarettes. So, as you can very well judge, I was bound to have another heart attack soon.
Even as I recovered from my paralysis, I was simply craving for more tobacco- I was so addicted to my daily dose of cigarettes that they completely overshadowed my will to survive. My doctor made it plain and clear- “You smoke another tobacco cigarette and I will not be able to save you. It’s now your choice- pick either your LIFE or your CIGARETTE.”
As days passed, my craving for cigarettes grew four-folds. On the 4’th day of leaving the hospital and quitting sedative medications, I was in so much pain from the lack of tobacco that I was sure I’d have a third heart attack. This one, I was certain, would take my LIFE!
I panicked and emailed all my buddies, asking them for the most suitable alternate to regular cigarettes. I also spent days surfing the web, hoping to find a cure. I tried nicotine patches, gum etc but they all failed. After trying in vain for 6 days and staying without smoking a single cigarette, I finally gave up. I took out my pack of Marlborough and struck a match.
Even before I could light my cigarette, my landline phone rang. The shrill ring shook me and I dropped the cigarette from my hand. With a curse, I picked up the phone and was pleasantly surprised to hear the voice of my long lost buddy. It seemed my friend had received my email and he had found permanent a solution to my problem.
“I’ve found a miracle cure buddy. It’s a permanent solution to your tobacco cravings!” he said.
“What…really…seriously!” I was overjoyed.
“Yes, and it works instantly.” He said. “Besides, you can start smoking again, without suffering from any adverse health problem.”
He did not say much but promised to be at my place in an hour and discuss the miracle solution with me in details. In fact, he had said, he would be carrying the solution with him in his pocket.
“Just have a cup of coffee ready when I arrive.” He added with a chuckle before disconnecting.
I was in shock. My smoker’s heart pounded with excitement and my brain as bombarded with questions.
Could there really be a miracle cure for curbing the urge to smoke regular cigarettes? (After all I had already tried the available solutions but failed to get any respite.)
Could a chain smoker like me really benefit?
Could I quit smoking and still smoke without damaging my health?
I sat down in my chair and with baited breath and waited for my friend to arrive with his miracle cure.
Robert Makes an Entry with an Electronic Cigarette
My long lost buddy Robert finally made an entry and in his hand, he had a nice looking, cylindrical shaped e cigarette. We exchanged pleasantries, like all buddies do, especially if you are meeting each other after several years and sat down to have a chat. Instead of whiskey, we had green tea instead – after all, we were now focusing on our healthier side of life.
“So, tell me about your miracle cure – how did you manage to quit smoking tobacco cigarettes?” I quickly asked the million dollar question, giving him no chance whatsoever to warm up.
Robert, as though expecting my question, was not at all surprised at the initiation of our conversation on such a classic note. “I went through hell.” He explained. “But I was saved in time by electronic cigarettes.”
“E Cigs! How did e cigarettes save your life?” I was a bit shocked, as in my vocabulary cigarettes are cigarettes, whether it is an electronic cigarette or a tobacco cigarette. Nonetheless, I was wrong.
“There is a vast difference between an electric cigarette and a regular cigarette.” Robert explained with a straight face.
I would not indulge in explaining the discussion that ensued, after which I comprehended the real meaning of an e cigarette. I also understood how an e cig is different from a real cigarette. Nonetheless, Robert did a wonderful job at explaining the reason how e cigs actually helped him quit smoking.
How did E Cigarettes Help Robert Quit Smoking?
1) The Nicotine Factor – The main reason why Robert was addicted to regular cigarettes was because cigarettes contained nicotine. This is one chemical compound that has an uncanny ability to get you hooked on to it for good. A single cigarette also contains over 7000 highly toxic chemical compounds that are deadly for the human body. By switching to e cigs, he was able to fulfill his nicotine cravings while letting go of all other toxic chemicals found in regular cigarettes.
2) The Slow but Sure-Shot Tobacco Removal Method – In a recent medical report, Robert’s lungs could be seen coated with a layer of black tar, which apparently was a resultant of smoking regular cigarettes. He therefore switched to e cigs that were devoid of tar, which in turn helped in removing the layer of soot from his lungs. Although the tar is still present within his lungs, it has reduced drastically over a period of two years (since the time Robert quit smoking cigarettes).
3) Slow Process of Removing Nicotine Dependency – When Robert started vaping, he began with extra strong nicotine content e cigs. After every few weeks, he began reducing the nicotine consistency before completely depending on the flavors. In a span of 6 months, Robert had quit his nicotine addiction and was vaping zero nicotine content electric cigarettes. Ironically, he had been to de-addiction centers at least 11 times in his 20 year career as a seasoned heavy smoker but availed no benefit from the act.
4) Happy Feeling without any Stress on the Heart – The most amazing fact that Robert disclosed was that after getting hooked to e cigs, he was able to derive the thrill of smoking without damaging his vital organs in the act. On the contrary, when he smoked regular cigarettes, he was constantly coughing and complaining of severe chest pain.
5) Hooked to the Flavors – Robert was a tobacco addict, which in turn implies that he could not lead a single day without his cigarettes. Apparently, the taste of tobacco on his tongue brought a smile on his face. Now that he had quit smoking tobacco cigarettes, Robert had found a suitable alternative to derive the same taste by choosing “Tobacco Flavored” e cigs. “These taste simply fantastic.” He explained with a smile, “Just like the olden days!”
6) The Cost Factor – What satisfied Robert the most regarding his act of quitting regular cigarettes was the savings factor. He was able to save a tenth of his yearly bill on cigarettes by simply switching to e cigs. This amounted to thousands of dollars on an annual basis.
After listening to what Robert had to say about e cigarettes and their benefits, I too decided to take a step forward towards leading a healthier life. While I could not quit cigarettes as quickly as Robert had done, I managed to reduce my daily cigarettes intake from 35 cigarettes a day to about 5 cigarettes daily.
I am now in the process of vaping e cigarettes on a daily basis, along with my daily dose of 5 regular cigarettes. My taste buds have now begun to respond to the mild taste of electric cigarettes. I am pretty confident that within 6 months, I would have quit smoking regular cigarettes permanently.