I’m Russell Osborne, General Manager of Retail Operations for Vape Dojo.
I’d like to share with you my vaping journey.
I was a smoker for 27 years. Like a lot of folks, I began smoking as a teenager back in 1981-82. I never occurred to me at the time that I would still be smoking in my 40’s.
For a period of 15 years, I had tried to rid myself of my dependence on tobacco. I was starting to feel the effects of being a long term smoker. FDA approved smoking cessation options including nicotine replacement therapy (patches, lozenges, gums, Chantix, Wellbutrin), you name it, proved to be unsuccessful and left me frustrated and feeling like I had failed yet again.
In March 2011, I discovered “vaping”. Having returned to my job from a 3 month layoff, I noticed that no one was outside sitting in the smoking area. Unusual. I smoked a cigarette and went inside to see 3 or 4 of my coworkers puffing on what I learned were vape pens/electronic cigarettes.
I was quite skeptical on the efficacy of these products having tried so many other FDA approved smoking cessation products to no avail. What piqued my interest though was one particular coworker. He was a dedicated smoker. He smoked indoors at work, though it was illegal by this time, and traveled regularly to a neighboring state for the sole purpose of buying cigarettes cheaply.
When he told me that he had not smoked in the 3 weeks since purchasing his starter kit I was hopeful that this may be the product that allows me to put down tobacco for good. He had an extra backup 510 pen with 24mg nicotine and told me I could use it for a few days to see if I thought vaping could work for me. I took him up on the offer and by the end of the workday, I knew that these products had the potential to replace my cigarette habit while satisfying both my oral fixation and nicotine cravings.
That Saturday I went to the local flea market (since there were no local brick and mortar stores that I knew of at the time), and purchased my first starter kit. The kit consisted of 2 x 650 mAh 901/eGo threaded batteries, 2 x refillable cartomizers and a few 5ml bottles of 24mg tobacco and mint flavored eliquids. Spent the next 6 months absorbing all the info I could find on vapes, eliquids, and DIY eliquids.
That was over 7 years ago. I’ve been tobacco free since. I was sure that I was doomed to be a lifelong smoker, shunned by society and likely to die a horrible death due to smoking related illness. I firmly believe that vaping has saved my life and the most rewarding part of my job is helping smokers transition to vaping successfully with the help of my knowledge and experience.
Since I work for Vape Dojo, I cannot legally tell you that electronics cigarettes will help you quit smoking. I cannot legally suggest that vaping is a safer alternative to smoking. What I can do, as I have here, is offer my personal experience.