Chris, age 65, Poster Child for Vaping and Electronic Cigarettes

There's hope to convert cigarette smokers to vapers.

Four years ago, I would have told you that electronic cigarettes were the solution to the cigarette plague. Compact, high-powered batteries had made it possible to make a tiny, glowing, smoking cylinder which puffed like a cigarette and administered a measured dose of nicotine. They look like a cigarette!

Unfortunately, they look too much like a cigarette. This perfect substitute looks so much like a real cigarette that they inherited all of the negative health associations of the real thing!

I am a huge fan. The carbon monoxide is gone, there is no burning material to inhale and no fire hazard. But it seems like a lot of people believe the new cigarettes are just as bad as the old cigarettes.

I'll admit, it would be a shame if electronic cigarettes helped recruit a new, young batch of smokers into the habit. I think the optimum path would be for non-smokers to continue to not smoke, and for all current smokers to convert to the safer e-cigarettes. But could that happen? Is vaping apparatus too technical and gadget-y to be adopted by established smokers?

After meeting Chris, I have new hope.

I met Chris while I was in Old Sacramento Historical Park, taking photos for the Smoker's Age Chart. She quit smoking and uses e-cigarettes. She loves it!

She smoked her whole life, from age 14 to 63, and only quit while she was pregnant. After seeing what looked like a band of musicians smoking drugs on the streets of Sacramento, she approached one and asked what he was doing. He told her about vaping. A few days later, she bought a vaporizer for $66... and never bought another pack of cigarettes.

It's been two years since she switched to vaping, and she loves it. She was spending $200 a month on cigarettes, and now spends $13-$16 per week on nicotine "juice". She tried fluids with a few different concentrations of nicotine and settled on an 18% mix.

She also helped her son switch from smoking to vaping. She admits the $66 investment in vaping equipment is probably a hurdle for some smokers, but the long-term savings are undeniable, and the health benefits need no explanation. It worked. She has quit smoking forever.