As many of you know, CASAA has been collecting testimonials from people who have succeeded with THR, quitting smoking (or cutting waaay down) by substituting e-cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, or other low-risk alternatives. These are people’s own stories, in their own words, and provide a powerful testament to the benefits and effectiveness of THR. This collection has already been used in policy advocacy and we expect that it will play an important role in future efforts to defend THR — stories like these are real scientific evidence, and are just a lot more compelling than statistics in policy debates.
[For those who do not know about this collection, and have such a story, please go to http://fluidsurveys.com/s/THR-testimonial-CASAA/ and add your story to the collection. And if you have already done so or are not someone who personally benefited from THR, please consider taking a minute and pointing people toward this post or that link — we have nearly 600 testimonials so far, but our goal is 1000.]
We will make the whole collection browsable, but we realize that few are going to want to just thumb through hundreds of stories. So we have decided to start posting about one a week here. Today’s was chosen because its content is typical of a lot of the stories, and also because it is short but still very compelling (some are ten times as long, and go into amazing and fascinating detail — again, we want whatever version of the story someone wants to tell). For those of you who have hesitated to contribute your story because it seemed too daunting to try to tell it all, this should demonstrate how you can tell a compelling story in just a few paragraphs.
Gabe from Los Angeles
Short and sweet: I started smoking when I was 16. By the time I was 18 I was good and hooked. I smoked a pack a day, give or take, since then. I started trying to quit seriously in my late 20’s — I tried every single doctor recommended product on the market. Chantix, Bupropion, the patch, the gum, the inhaler, cutting down, cold turkey, juice cleanses, counseling, everything. Nothing worked.
About 2 years ago, I got one of the first e-cigarettes on the market. It wasn’t great, and after it broke I gave it up as another failure. I had come to terms with the fact that I was hopelessly addicted to nicotine, and that I was going to likely end up with a shortened life span and serious health problem. I couldn’t afford patches or more medical interventions that didn’t work in the long term. When I found out that a new generation of e-cigarettes were on the market that delivered better results, I figured I would try them without much hope of success.
After a few weeks of mainly smoking cigarettes and using the e-cigarette just a bit, I switched over to mainly using the e-cigarette. After a few weeks of switching back and forth with primarily the e-cigarette, I decided to cut out cigarettes even further. For the first time in my life, I was able to do so without anxiety, deep depression, mood swings, and an extreme feeling of “fuzziness” in my thinking. Over the past 3 months, I’ve smoked 3 cigarettes. I’m healthy, I feel great, and I’m finally done with the tobacco.
This is a wonderful product, one that actually works in reducing harm substantially, and one that has helped me to personally stop smoking cigarettes. I know that people want to regulate them or just don’t have the information to make a good choice on it. I implore anybody who wants to have a knee jerk regulatory reaction or judgement to please, think of the people like me who have not been able to quit any other way. We’re real, we’re being helped daily by this. It’s life changing.