Letter from an ex-smoker

I recently came across a letter written by an ex-smoker turned vaper, Terry Walker. It's a fantastic read that was even printed in the Daily Mail, and really helps give some perspective in to the debate of the ecig ban. Rather than spouting facts and medical figures it provides a more human story in to how E-Cigarettes can, and have, changed lives. This point of view can often get lost as we get bogged down in trying to prove each other wrong.

Here is his letter for you to read and perhaps compare to your own story:

There is a distinct lack of information regarding the effects on the health of people trading e- cigarettes for tobacco products. I now have quantitative, personal knowledge of such effects and feel strongly the importance of sharing such information.

From 1943 until 2012 I smoked 10 strong, unfiltered cigarettes/day (about 250,000 units) 
In 2010 I saw my GP regarding wheeziness keeping me awake in bed and was given a lung function test and referred to a chest clinic. There the test was repeated and I was diagnosed with borderline Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). (Tragically, my only son Paul, died from this disease at the age of 47.)

I then reduced my intake to 2 cigarettes a day. In 2012 I started using an e-cigarette and stopped using tobacco inside one week.                 

I found this quite easy despite being a “hardened smoker.” Many of my friends have also stopped smoking easily.

Two weeks ago my GP carried out a further lung function test and was amazed at the results, which were repeated.                        

Since 2010 my breathing had improved from 50% of normal to 80% of normal. This was only 18 months after giving up tobacco in favour of e-cigarettes.

The wheeziness has gone, allowing improved sleep and although being 82, I feel much healthier and can swim over a length underwater. This demonstrates the body’s remarkable recuperative capabilities in only 18 months despite abuse over 69 years!

In my opinion e-cigarettes are proving to be the most effective nicotine replacement therapy to date.
The reason for this is not difficult to see as “vapers” feel, psychologically, that they have not irrevocably given up smoking but merely changed their type of cigarette to a less harmful alternative.

There can be no doubt that for those of us cannot, or choose not to live without our daily nicotine fix, but wish to continue enjoying  the tactile and psychological elements associated with smoking, e-cigarettes are a much safer alternative. They are orders of magnitude less dangerous to our health than inhaling the products of combustion arising from smoking tobacco.

Those who wish to give up nicotine entirely, find it easy by gradually weaning themselves off by using cartridges containing graded concentrations of nicotine until they are using 0%. Quite a few of my friends are just using fruit flavoured liquids. Contrary to popular belief, it is never too late to stop smoking, as the above results indicate and, more importantly, it has never been easier.

Many do-gooders decry the use of e-cigarettes and urge them to be banned on safety grounds due to lack of testing and effect on health. I doubt that they have ever used them and are ignorant of the health benefits their use can bring by helping smokers abandon tobacco. Over the past 75 years many studies have been carried out on the safety aspects of inhaling propylene glycol (PG) vapours.

Its safety has been proven to the extent that it has even been used as a “carrier” vehicle in inhalers used to supply immunosuppressant drugs to patients undergoing lung transplant!  PG is an antiseptic & in America the EPA re-registration decision in 2007 concluded, “there are no end-points of concern for oral, dermal or inhalation exposure to propylene glycol”.

My supplier has sent me his Quality protocol, and independent laboratory test results.

ASH (2014) reported the results of an international web-site survey indicating that 72% of “vapers” felt reduced craving and withdrawal symptoms, with 96% claiming they had stopped using tobacco products. Even accounting for the source, these are important figures in terms of harm reduction. 
More information of this type is needed—- but who will carry out such investigations??? 
I welcome comments & any new information on this subject.

Terry Walker.

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