I’ve been vaping for the past seven years and I can’t put into words how this has changed my lifestyle. Before I took up vaping, I was a 15-20 per day smoker, but after switching to vaping I would never go back. Not only has it improved my health dramatically, it has also saved me a lot of money too. Thanks to vaping, I will never smoke again.
Keith, Firhouse, County Dublin
I started vaping about three or four years ago. I had tried everything else in my attempt to quit, but always failed miserably. Previously, I had smoked menthol cigarettes, but now I’m able to use a menthol-flavoured e-liquid instead. Where before, I would have easily smoked a pack-a-day, now I no longer have that urge. I owe a great deal to vaping as I am exercising more than ever, I have a new lease of life and I have even lost weight as a result.
George, Clarehall, County Dublin
I still remember the day I bought my vaping starter kit. Over 10 years later, I still haven’t had a cigarette despite the fact that I used to smoke 30-a-day for over 40 years. Unfortunately, as a result of smoking that much and for that many years, I was finding even the simplest of tasks, like walking up the stairs, was taking its toll and leaving me breathless. I tried to quit using patches, books and even hypnosis, but none of it worked. Now, I can proudly say that this is no longer the case, thanks to vaping. Best of all, with the money I now save, my husband and I enjoy an extra holiday each year!
Aoife, Clondalkin, County Dublin
Mel Souter, a chef from Edinburgh, has been living in Ireland since 1999. He said the only reason he took up vaping was to quit smoking.
I have been smoking fifteen years, since I was in my teens. I was going through 30 Marlboro Lights a day and all my efforts to quit failed. I tried Champix programme, which involved taking a series of tablets. It worked for a while, but I ended up back on the cigarettes. I suppose I was missing the habit of smoking.
I had heard about vaping and how it could help me with the habit. To be honest, I was a bit sceptical as there was a lot of things involved in vaping including the liquid, the tanks, cartages and charging the battery. At that time, you had to adjust the vape all the time. As time went on, they got upgraded and we got more useful liquids.
Vaping was coming on the scene in Ireland. People were talking about vaping and there were those who quit thanks to vaping. I decided that it was time I started as I was smoking more and more. Initially I was reluctant to be seen with the vape in my hand and I kept it in the house. Then I decided that I needed to bring the vape with me as the urge for cigarettes was growing. The more I vaped the less I needed tobacco. I was surprised how easy I was to keep off the cigarettes.
Vape worked because I still get a little bit of nicotine. Logically I am getting less nicotine than before and vaping takes away the edge. It also allows me to keep my hands and mouth busy.
Today, I am not vaping as much as I smoked. I suppose I could phase this out, but I am not ready for that yet, to be honest.
I am feeling infinitely better since gave up smoking. I am back playing football as I had not played since school, I had tried when I was smoking but I ended up puffing and panting . Now I feel much better.
Mel, from Edinburgh, living in Ireland
Nigel McKeever from Blessington, Co Wicklow has been vaping for the past eight years. He likes the triple menthol flavour.
I took up vaping to give up cigarettes, its as simple as that. I was smoking twenty John Player Blue every day for almost twenty years. And if I was out for a drink, I’d smoke another twenty that night.
It got to the stage that I was on an antibiotic three times a year for chest infections caused by smoking. So, I had to get off them.
Over the years I tried everything to stop. The gums, sprays, the patches and I even tried hypnosis. But nothing worked. They did not give me what I needed to quit. I think the nicotine level was too low.
Then I heard about vaping and how it was helping people quit and the shops selling them were popping up everywhere. So, I gave them a try and have never looked back.
Since then I have never had a cigarette. And I don’t need to vape as much as I needed a cigarette during the day. I am in sales and if I was in traffic, I’d use the vape, but if I am busy it never comes out.
I think vaping works because there is just the right amount of nicotine, without the tobacco. I also think that having it in my hand is similar to having a cigarette in the hand. When you put all that together, it worked.
Nigel says that when people say that vaping is dangerous, he looks at the facts.
In the eight years I have been vaping, I have never had a chest infection. So I am a lot healthier and I am off the cigarettes. And believe me when I tell you, if I can give them up anybody can.
Nigel, Blessington, County Wicklow
I have smoked for 20 Years. Off cigarettes 4 months by vaping (flavours) and have tried: Patch, Gum, Spray, and even hypnosis even though I was giggling the whole time. Vaping stops you smoking.. Why is it so hard to see that logic? It’s amazing to have my taste buds back, and to be able to climb stairs without wheezing.
I have been vaping for the past five years in order to quit the fags. I had started smoking at 15 years of age and was up to twenty cigarettes a day. That rose dramatically if I was socialising. Indeed, If I was still smoking during this pandemic, the boredom would have me smoking an awful lot more.
Efforts to quit cigarettes over the years had failed. I tried the gums and the patches to no avail. Then I heard about the success of vaping in helping people to quit. A local shop began selling them and I decided to give vaping a try.
It took about six weeks to get used to them. After that I had no urge to go back to cigarettes. They taste totally different to cigarettes and I have got use to the flavours. I tried a few and now use the apple flavour.
Vaping works for me because it has a small amount of nicotine to stop the craving and replaces the physical action of smoking as well. I think that’s why the gums and patches failed for me. Smoking is an addiction and it is known that those with addictions are committed to the rituals as much as the substances. Vaping provides the less harmful physical ritual of smoking without the tobacco.
When I started, I was only vaping every now and then. There were times when I was out driving and did not have the vape with me and was very close to stopping at a shop and buying cigarettes. Thankfully I didn’t, but I now bring the vape with me and used it when I need it.
Today, I don’t need to vape as much as I did in the beginning and I am certainly not vaping as much as I smoked cigarettes in the past.
I am feeling much healthier now and I am also saving a lot of money the cost of vaping is much less than cigarettes.
I want to make it very clear that people who do not smoke should not start vaping. There is no doubt in my mind, however, that we should encourage smokers to try vaping as a way of quitting tobacco.
I think it is dangerous nonsense for any Government to treat vaping the same as smoking in terms of health and addiction, as they are very different. I strongly urge those working on the proposed legislation on vaping, including TDs, senators and public servants, to read the facts from every sector, at home and abroad, and to listen to the people, like me, who have finally given up smoking thanks to vaping.
As most smokers in Ireland are in the low-income bracket, it would make sense for the Government to get smokers to switch to vaping. The benefits would be significant in terms of improving their health and reducing the need for medical treatment.
The savings gained by switching from cigarettes to vaping are also significant for the individuals on low incomes and, indeed, for their households. This has been backed up by international research.
Michael, Gorey, Co Wexford
A friend of mine, who was a heavy smoker, used vaping to quit. I was working in the Middle East at the time and I came home for Christmas. He said to me that he got off the fags by vaping. I told him that if he was still off them when I came back to Ireland in August, I would try vaping and it worked for me.
I was smoking sixty Major a day before I went to the Middle East. I switched to Marlboro as they were very cheap and you could smoke in pubs and restaurants over there, so I was up to 80 cigarettes a day.
I realised that I had to give them up. I managed to stay off them for seven years, then I ended up back on them. A friend gave me a cigar one night, and in no time, I was smoking five and six cigars a day and went back on the cigarettes. It got to the stage that I needed to knock the cigarettes on the head.
I tried everything to get off the cigarettes. The hypnotic therapy and the sprays and patches just did not work for me. But vaping got me off the cigarettes. And I am still off the cigarettes six years later.
The only time I would take a cigarette would be if I had not got my vape. I would smoke one as a stop gap. But I will never go back on smoking. Using the vape and fumes and holding it worked for me. It took the edge off. I loved a drag of a cigarette with a cup of coffee and vaping gave me that feeling.
I have no side-affects from vaping. I don’t know how safe they are. I can only go on my own experience, and that if there are side effects they are far less than those I had when I was smoking.
I recommended vaping to a few other people to help them quit smoking. One was successful the other chap is still working on quitting and hopefully vaping will get him off them.
Derek, Clane, Co Kildare
I quit cigs in 2015 using vaping and have never looked back. Since then I have only smoked 2 and a half cigarettes in my first month but haven’t touched nor wanted a cig since quitting. Jan this year I am 5 years cigarette free and feeling so much better because of it. One thing I wasn’t expecting was the amount of money I had in my pocket. I knew I’d save money but was surprised at how much. Finally, it really is that easy to quit smoking.
I want Respect Vapers to make sure politicians know about how vaping helps smokers quit. It is also important that vapers, like me, are told what’s happening.
I was able to give up cigarettes by changing over to vaping. It has been life changing for me. Now I see in the media that the EU and the Irish Government wants to stop vaping.
I can’t get the politicians to change their minds on my own. We need to come together to show that vaping is a success and stopping it will be a political failure.
Laela, Artane Dublin
I would like to tell you about my quitting smoking. I started smoking when I was 15 years of age and up until three years ago, I was still smoking. Throughout the years, as everybody has, I wanted to give up.
I tried different things and none of it really worked – patches didn’t work, gum didn’t taste very nice, it made me feel dizzy and a bit sick in the tummy and it just wasn’t good. And then a friend of mine suggested that I try vaping and I got a little device from a shop, and I got some flavours and I started vaping.
And I stopped smoking the next day. Vaping was the one thing that helped me to stop smoking. What is nice about vaping is that there are different flavours. You don’t need to just have nicotine, you can try lots of flavours. My favourite flavour is blackcurrant.
Without vaping I would probably still be smoking. It helped me and I have told other people that smoke about vaping too. I hope that this helps somebody.
Vera McManus from Finglas in Dublin had a stroke on 10th May 2018. She fell and banged her head. The following day Vera lost her peripheral vision and was admitted to hospital, where she stayed for four days.
While in hospital, she struggled to stay off cigarettes, as she was used to smoking up to 20 of them every day.
I was given the Nicorette patches in hospital and they helped. However, when I came home, I found it very difficult to stay off the cigarettes because I was back in the house where I usually smoked.
Then some of my neighbours and friends said that they were vaping to stay off the cigarettes, so I tried them.
Before her stay in hospital she was smoking up to twenty cigarettes a day and never once tried to quit. Since switching to vaping, Vera has never looked back. It was the first time she stopped smoking in over 50 years.
I am glad to be off them for the past five years. My breathing is much better and the doctors in the stroke clinic say I am in good health and breathing much better.
I am also back working fulltime in a large department store. So, I am lucky that vaping has helped me quit for my health and also for the money I am saving.
Vera M., Dublin
I have been vaping for 3 years now. Without it I would still be smoking. Why is the British government giving everybody who smokes that comes into A&E a free e-cigarette to help them stop smoking and here we are trying to ban it. I guess the Irish government doesn’t really care about people and just want the tax.
Erika started smoking when she was 14 years of age. She tried on many occasions to quit but failed.
I remember I got so bad without the cigarettes, my boyfriend threw a packet on my head and told me to open it as I’d be better off smoking.
Smoking was costing her over €90 a week and as she did not have that amount of money to smoke, she was forced to make the effort to quit.
My older sister was a smoker and used vaping to quit five years ago and told me to try it So, after Christmas, I got enough willpower to stop and used vaping to help managing the cravings.
It was very tough during the first few weeks. I could not sleep and very restless, but the mixture of willpower and vaping got me through it. I would not even think of a cigarette now.
I am a different person today. Because I am only spending around €10 a week on vaping, I have an extra €80 in my pocket. I am now able to save money as well as being able to live better.
Erika said that you need the willpower to stop smoking. When she got the cravings, she’d tell herself to wait one more hour before giving in, then another hour until the craving went.
Thankful that vaping helped her through those difficult times, Erika strongly rejects the suggestion that vaping attracts people to smoking.
That’s not true. Anybody I know is using vaping to give up cigarettes, not to start smoking. Vaping backs up your willpower and gets you over the cravings.
Now that she is off the cigarettes and the COVID 19 restrictions are lifting, Erika is on the lookout for a new job in marketing and sponsorship. Having worked for Focus Ireland seeking sponsorship for their services, she is confident that these skills will help her find a new career.
Jackie is married with four grown up children. She is a childcare manager with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Degree in Early Childhood Education and Care.
I started smoking when I was in school. As I grew up, I was smoking 20 a day and much more when I went out at the weekend. It was costing me up to €150 a week.
Six years ago, I thought I was having a heart attack from cigarettes. I went to the doctor and thankfully it was only a chest infection. However, he told me I had to quit smoking.
A friend suggested she try vaping, as it had helped her give up smoking. And it worked.
Sometime later I had to go back to the doctor for a check-up. When he asked if I had quit smoking, I told him that I was now vaping. He said: ‘I’m not worried about you vaping, once you are off the cigarettes.”
Jackie had already quit tobacco, back when the smoking ban was introduced. She saved up the money she was spending on cigarettes to go on holidays to Spain.
However, when I was in Spain, I got a load of duty free and went back on smoking. I tried the patches and the doctor also gave me tablets to help me quit again. But they just did not work. They did not take away the cravings.
The vaping works for me. I started on 20ml strength and I have reduced this gradually since then. I am still off the cigarettes and I don’t have to vape as much as I smoked. I am much better now. I don’t have the regular chest infections every winter like before.
As a mother of four, she regards the suggestion that vaping attracts kids to smoking as ridiculous. She says that kids would not go around with a vape to look cool. Vaping gets you off the cigarettes.
I went to college in 2016 to study for my degree. I left school early and it was stressful going back to study. If that stress failed to get me back on cigarettes, then nothing will in the future.
Jackie C., Clondalkin
Sean Gibbons (52) from Finglas, Dublin, has vaped for the past 4 years to quit smoking. All other efforts, including using patches, failed and he was smoking up to 40 cigarettes a day since he was 16 years of age.
I needed to give up cigarettes for my health and also for my job. I was developing asthma and when I’d get a cold or a chest infection it took weeks to clear.
I also found that, as a bar manager, I was wasting too much time nipping out for a quick smoke.
Sean decided to stop smoking on New Year’s Eve. So, at midnight he went outside with his last two cigarettes. He gave one to his colleague and smoked his last one. Since then, vaping has helped him to successfully stay off them.
Efforts to give them up over the years never really worked. And if I was off them for a few weeks, I’d start overeating and putting on weight.
Until the COVID-19 lockdown, I’d have a quick puff to kill the nicotine craving during the day and I was vaping less than smoking. Now I am out of work and I am vaping a little more as I wait to get back to work.
My health is much better. My breathing is better and unlike the patch, I did not put on much weight.
He is feeling much better in himself and if he does get a cold or a chest infection, they clear within a few days rather than weeks.
Sean, Finglas, Dublin
Ruth and her son are healthier and wealthier quitting tobacco.
Ruth Phoenix (33) from Dublin says that her health and increasing costs of feeding her smoking habit, forced her to give up cigarettes.
I was buying 20 cigarettes a day and I could not afford €100 a week to buy them. I also suffered with breathing, having smoked for over 15 years. The doctor kept telling me to quit smoking. But I did not have the willpower.
I had to quit. But it was very difficult. I tried the patches and the gums, but they did not work.
Six years ago, a vape shop opened in the area and I decided to give it a go. Vaping worked for me because the vape was just like holding a cigarette.
Ruth, who is healthcare assistant and a carer, started with vapes that had 18 mls nicotine and she is now using only 6mls strength and has not had a cigarette since. Responding to media coverage about the Government putting extra tax on vaping, Ruth said that it would be ridiculous to do that.
People use vapes to give up smoking and save money. I am now spending €16 a week instead of €100 on cigarettes. That makes a big difference to me in paying the bills.
For Ruth and her eight year old son, vaping has given them a new lease of life. She now enjoys better health and wealth having quit tobacco.
I wanted to quit but I just didn’t have the willpower. I was really getting tired of the cost, and of having to run out at 1am to get cigarettes. At an event, a coworker began vaping and told me about it. I got a basic pen type set up, and really liked the idea I could be tasting raspberry instead of smoke. I soon quit cigarettes entirely.
I’m asthmatic, I developed it late into adulthood. I was already a smoker since I was very young. Since switching to the vape I no longer suffer from asthmatic attacks frequently. The other major benefit is its far cleaner. You walk down the street and you see fan butts everywhere lying on the grown as people discard them. You don’t see that with vapers.
I gave up smoking 7 years ago after 45 years at it. I smoked between 40-60 non tipped Players a day. I started Vaping at noon one day but also had a couple of cigarettes. 24 hours later I couldn’t stand the taste of them and never had a cigarette since. Without vaping, not a chance I would have given up. Four weeks later my wife quit and about 8 other friends and relatives, when they saw that I could do it. Most wouldn’t even try and told me later, if you can do it, anyone can.