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PSA: Please Stop Smoking, Everybody. Here’s a Cool Gadget to Help!

May 20, 2013

This is a sponsored post.

My father, hugging his twin grandsons.

I want to talk about my dad a minute.

Everyone who has ever met my dad loves him. He’s funny, bright, friendly, and generous. He’s all around a good guy. Click here to see the man in action, a retired homicide detective and TV star! I love him to bits. And last month, we almost lost him, because Dad was a smoker.

He quit smoking cigarettes using the patch and some medications when I graduated high school, but when he joined homicide, he picked up cigars. Up until last month, he was smoking upwards of four cigars a day.

Like a lot of men his age, Dad should have been getting regular stress tests to make sure his heart was healthy, but he didn’t. He also should have quit smoking cigars, but y’know how dads are. So when he was playing with my nephews last month, he felt a tight pain in his chest and a tingling down one arm. He was ready to dismiss it as gas, (seriously, Dad?? GAS??) but thankfully my nurse sister had the presence of mind to drag his ass to the hospital and forced him to stay until they figured out what was wrong.

He had a 99% blockage in his LAD.

If you go to Wikipedia like I did, you’ll discover that heart attacks caused by the blockage of the left anterior descending artery are called “Widowmakers.” You will die if you have a heart attack if this artery is blocked. If my father was home alone and continued to ignore that pain? He’d be dead. He would have had a full blown heart attack that day and I would be without my dad. My sister saved his life. He got a stent, quit smoking cold turkey, and needs to make a few other lifestyle choices to make sure he sticks with us a long time.

Let’s talk about that blockage for a sec. See, Dad appears healthy. He eats pretty good, he’s not overweight, he golfs and bowls for exercise. But he was a smoker. Smoking is a major cause of atherosclerosis — a buildup of fatty substances in the arteries. People who smoke a pack of cigarettes a day (or cigars, Dad) have more than twice the risk of heart attack than nonsmokers. (Source.)

A photo of the Vapourlite starter kitI wish he would have done more to quit earlier, especially now that there are so many more options for smokers. For Dad, the patch and pills worked for a little while before he started on cigars, but today there’s some cool new technology: e-cigarettes, like those made by Vapourlites.

Here’s how it works, according to the BBC:

In one end there is liquid nicotine, in the other a rechargeable battery and an atomiser. When the user sucks, the liquid nicotine is vaporised and absorbed through the mouth. What looks like smoke is largely water vapour.

Because there is no tobacco in e-cigarettes, there is no tar and it is the tar in ordinary cigarettes that kills.

So it looks and feels like you’re smoking. When my mom quit years ago, she used to say that she really missed the sensation of smoking when she was out drinking with friends. It’s that tangible hole in your routine that can’t really be replaced by a sticker on your arm.

There are risk factors, of course. But any health side effects pale in comparison to what smoking does to you. E-cigarettes are not for kids who want to look cool smoking. It’s a tool to help you quit, not an accessory.

So do Vapourlites work? According to one survey of e-cigarette users:

  • 75% of the sample said it had been several weeks or months since their last cigarette
  • 91% said that use of the e-cigarette had ‘substantially decreased’ their craving for tobacco cigarettes
  • 70% didn’t have as much of an urge to smoke

Look, gang. Dad’s close call aside, I lost my grandfather to emphysema, my grandmother to lung cancer, and my other grandpa hauled around an oxygen tank for the last few years of his life. Yeah, this is a sponsored post, but it’s also something that is important to me. I don’t want to see that pain happen to anyone, and Vapourlites was kind enough to send me some samples of their product. Leave a comment below, let me know that you or a loved one wants to quit, and I’ll pick someone at random for some samples. Thanks, and tell your parents to get regular checkups and stress tests!

One Comment leave one →
  1. September 25, 2013 6:05 pm

    My husband has been a smoker basically since birth. He grew up in a smoking home and then took over the habit at 14. He quit cold turkey for a while. It didn’t last. He tried patches and hated the “vivid dreams”. He’s now trying the vapor cigarette. Keep your fingers crossed. We have at least one friend who has been off traditional cigarettes for about 4 months, having switched to vapor. He says his cravings have gone down since starting and he’s smoking less of the vapor cigarettes, too. They are not cessation product, necessarily, but they are certainly the lesser of two evils.

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