I was 16 the first — and last — time that I ever smoked a real cigarette. I had cut class with some girlfriends, and we were just hanging out. We were in the fields outside of my high school in rural Texas when one of them pulled out a pack of cigarettes and handed me one.
I didn’t get sick. I didn’t cough. I just wasn’t into it. I could taste too many things — unnatural things — and I wasn’t a fan.
So I never smoked a cigarette again.
So that’s that, right? I mean, I would never be into vaping — it’s too close to smoking cigarettes. Right? Right?
About a year and a half ago, I began writing copywriting for companies and clients online. It’s a great job, one that gives me a chance to hone my writing skills, but it’s also demanding.
On any given day, I’m working with between 3 and 7 clients on different projects. Some projects are more involved than others. Some projects are more laid back whilst others have a massive list of instructions from clients who want to get into the minutiae of the work. In short, it can be a stressful and taxing job.
And it requires focus. There is no multitasking during copywriting — at least, not at the level at which I write. You have to concentrate on the work at hand, because it could make the difference between a client’s website or project making it to the top result on Google, or being buried deep within the confines of the dark internet.
I’m the type of person who can get in the zone, but it takes a while to get there. And that just wasn’t going to cut it for my job. I needed to focus fast, and I needed to be able to switch my focus to any one of the projects that I was juggling.
So I started biohacking. I built a system that would get me to focus faster. I was happy with what I had come up with, but I was always looking for ways to get more focused.
That’s when my husband brought up vaping. As nonsmokers, we knew relatively little about vaping. My husband found out about vaping after doing some research on nicotine, which he found out through a podcast was a cognitive enhancer.
I was sceptical of course. I was wary of anything that remotely resembled smoking. But something about hearing about positive effects of nicotine — and the fact that it had been found to not be addictive — got me to pay attention.
So my husband brought home a vape starter kit, which today would be considered a relic in the advancement of vaping technology. And we started vaping a tobacco vape juice at a 6mg nicotine level.
A week goes by, and my husband asks me if I’ve noticed any difference in my focus. I replied no, I hadn’t. And it was true. I hadn’t noticed any difference.
But then I looked at my work from that week. I had finished over double the amount of work I had stated I would do, all with deadlines far into the future. My clients were all pleased with my work. And I had enough time to work on my own personal fiction throughout the week, all without being stressed.
The only difference that week had been that I had been vaping.
I told my husband, and we agreed that we’d do more research into vaping to see if it was safe. Research is part of my job, so I took the lead — I went to medical journals and other scientific websites to gather my information. I found that not only is it safe, the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages, which are miniscule.
I also found that many vapers weren’t aware of the positive effects of vaping, or even truly understood how vaping works. I found that while the vaping manufacturers and shops battled Big Tobacco, vapers were unaware of the misinformation campaign that was being waged against them.
So now I spend time researching vape ingredients and legislation to help other vapers understand the industry. I use the skills I’ve learned to craft easy-to-read articles that will better inform the vape community. And I’m trying my hardest to educate others on actual facts.
I still vape everyday. In fact, I’m vaping as I write this. For me, the cognitive enhancement aspect of nicotine is enough to keep the habit. And I’m looking forward to opening your eyes to a world where you’re #NotBlowingSmoke.