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I was a long time smoker who was really ready to quit due to escalating health problems. I knew that I wanted to quit, but I had also almost given up on ever being able to because I enjoyed it too much and was highly addicted to nicotine. I had tried the nicotine gum, the patches and even very strong prescriptions that did nothing but make we want to smoke more. And then one night I met a woman at an indoor neighborhood gathering who was sedately puffing on what looked to be a cigarette but I knew was not. There was no acrid odor, and the cigarette emitted no smoke from the tip and glowed an electronic red. Immediately curious, I asked her what she was doing–playing at smoking?! "Hardly," she said and grinned. "But there is no smoke coming from the end of the cigarette and the end doesn't look real!" I responded with a laugh. "That's because it's an electronic cigarette," she said. "I am getting a puff of nicotine every time I inhale, but without the carbon monoxide, all the cancer causing carcinogens and tar of a real cigarette. It's changed my life. I was a heavy smoker for over 40 years and nothing I ever tried to quit helped. This did. I haven't had a real cigarette in over three months. And the best part is that I can BREATHE again. And I have energy and think I may have even saved my life. I was on the brink of emphysema and had chronic bronchitus, and now my cough is almost gone. Plus," she added with a wink, "I can smoke it anywhere, since it's not a real cigarette and produces no second-hand smoke." Well, long story short, as anxious as I was to quit smoking but still enjoy the pleasures and nicotine punch real cigarettes deliver, the very next day I went online and bought a starter kit from one of the most popular companies, and within a few weeks, I was no longer smoking real cigarettes.