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Many of you don't know me, or know me only from other areas of the Fool. That's because I never really wanted to quit smoking; I was just scared of the consequences of not quitting.

I smoked an even pack and a half a day for forty-five years, having begun in the times where doctors would sit down and have a smoke with you to discuss your mother's lung cancer, free cigarettes were included with your complimentary airline meal, and packed in K-Rations for the soldiers. It was as natural to smoke and drink as it was to eat.

Times change, but addictions just get worse, or more ingrained. To those who have the courage and character to quit without crutches, I salute you. You are heroic in more ways than you may know. Being made of weaker stuff, I resigned myself to continuing as I always had.

At the end of last year, a friend shared a link to an e-cigarette site, knowing I'd tried Eclipse cigarettes earlier, and liked them until they became unavailable in my area. The package arrived December 31, and that was the day I smoked my last tobacco cigarette.

So, all sweetness and light now? Nope. I'm still addicted to nicotine, and terrified the FDA is finally going to succeed in outlawing the e-cigarette, at least anything related containing nicotine. But at least I'm not dealing with the smoke, the ashes, and the butts. And maybe more importantly, neither is my non-smoking wife (of course she was a smoker too, it was just second-hand - all the negatives, none of the pleasure.)

For this smoker, the e-cigarette was a way to quit smoking tobacco - instantly. And if you knew the depth of my addiction, that was moving a mountain. It's not the best of all possible solutions, but a palatable one. Even my doctor is furious about the pressures by corporate interests to squash the budding industry. If the e-cigarette gains wide popular acceptance, it will have a large effect on big tobacco and big pharma revenues.

Thanks for reading this far, I wanted to get it off my chest for a long time ;-)

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When Life Gives You Lemons
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