I bought my first Vape pen almost exactly one year ago, and I really had no idea what a change to my life that would be.
It was a chance purchase, not planned or considered. The last thing on my mind was quitting smoking. I bought it for one simple reason and one reason only, a LAUGH.
A few mates had tried them and waxed lyrically about them, but I didn’t want to quit smoking so I wasn’t really interested, so it really was a fluke that I bought one at all. I was bored, and wandering around a city centre on a Saturday afternoon when my eye chanced on an advert in a shop window.
“E-cigarette kit with 2 flavours – £10”
It was cheap enough and I though the flavours looked like a giggle so I wandered in. Roughly an hour later after much testing of flavours, I wandered out with my own little vape pen and a bottle of cherry and a bottle of honeydew melon. I though I might cut down the number of cigarettes I used maybe, and I was looking forward to giving it a blast. Where that spontaneous purchase might take me I had no idea.
So a year has passed and my kit is now a bit more advanced than a CE4 and an eGo, I have stopped smoking, and I feel healthier, but those aren’t the real changes in my life.
The last week has been a roller-coaster of things I would have simply never imagined myself doing.
I started the week as I have started many weeks lately, running a social media campaign getting information out to the vaping community about the threats to vaping and how the government, the pharmaceutical industry and the tobacco industry are working in concert to take away our right to vape.
On Thursday I got up, packed the car, voted and drove to Barnsley where I stood outside a polling station for several hours taking an exit poll of the departing voters. I then spent the whole night in the company of politicians and the media, at the election count for Barnsley. Now, in the past, I haven’t been the most political person on the planet, I can’t say I have ever written to an MP, or met one until this year, in fact I can’t even say that I always voted in the past. Yet knowing that if I don’t do something then the thing I accidentally came across on a boring Saturday will be lost has spurred me to action.
On Friday I drove to London to meet, for the first time, two people I have talked to nearly every day for the last few months. There were a few comments of things like “you’re taller than I thought you were”, but we have spent so long in each others company that the fact we had never met rapidly became irrelevant.
On Saturday morning the 3 of us stood on a stage in a room filled with thousands of people (though not all were listening lol) and gave a talk. It was nerve-wracking and scary in lots of ways, but we got through it and I only forgot my words once. There was a camera crew filming the whole event, and all the way through I was thinking. “Is this me? Am I really doing this?”
I’m not someone you would expect to be doing things like this, I work in sales in a DIY store, I don’t have a degree in media or politics, half the time I’ve no idea if I am doing the right thing, the best thing or just banging my head against a brick wall. One thing I do know it that for me doing nothing isn’t an option, I will not let them destroy vaping without a fight, not just for me, but for the millions of smokers who have yet to be bored enough on a Saturday afternoon.