I was submitting my Electronic Cigarette website url to an online directory listing – In the description of the site it said to ‘Be interesting and detailed about what makes your site special’. I started writing and what came out was the story of how I quit smoking and made an e-cigarette affilate website. I’m reprinting it here as an ex-smoker who cares very deeply about the future of and the issues surrounding the Electronic Cigarette.
Well, I suppose that most would see Electronic Cigarettes Central as a standard affiliate site. But to me it was created as part of being freed from a 37 year long tobacco addiction. In other words, I smoked for 37 years from the age of 13 until the age of 50. As so often happens, a series of coincidences unfolded where I started out to do one thing and wound up doing another thing. I like to try and look at all things positively and this is a fine example of that. You see, my wife and I decided to try and sell our house in the summer of 2009. The reason for that was to find a cheaper house with a smaller payment. So we put it on the market and did a bunch of fixing up and painting and cleaning and spent a whole lot of money. As people started viewing the house, we would receive comments from them through the realtor service. The number one sentiment was – great house, priced about right, would never buy it because of the smoke smell that permeates the residence…’
Ugh! We had prospect after prospect tell us the exact same thing. My wife and I said to each other ‘What is going on? We only smoke upstairs in the one bonus room!’
Well, I know now, going on a year later that long-term smokers have very little sense of smell left but I’ll return to that shortly. To try and get the smoke smell out, we opened the windows, only smoked in the garage or outside, hired a (fairly expensive) cleaning service and repainted the upstairs! This was all during the hot humid summer of North Carolina where we live. In mid September 2009, after about 2 months of smoking outside and in the garage, I just had it. It was obvious that no one would buy the house with the smoke smell, unless we got extremely lucky and had a smoker with no sense of smell look at it — but that was not to happen. I was sick of not being able to smoke inside. I had heard of and even seen electronic cigarettes but had never tried them because they seemed.. well… electronic, you know? I was used to the fire, flame and rich smoke from cigarettes! Which is why I could barely breath without wheezing some days, and why I coughed and was congested constantly, and why I was at the doctors for sinus and congestion-related problems at least a few times a year — every year — guaranteed! The list of negatives could go on and on but the main point is that I was slowly but surely losing my health due to cigarette smoking. I had given up drinking years ago — that would be another long story — but I could not ever manage to give up cigarettes. I had tried cold turkey, cutting down, counting cigarettes, putting them out early, putting them out late, cutting the tips off of the cigarettes, quit smoking programs purchased from advertisements, listening to the warnings of my doctors, zyban, chantix, the nicotine patch, the nicotine gum… the fact was, and is, I’m hooked on smoking and not willing to give it up. That was a hard place to be in.
In that context, I purchased an e-cigarette starter kit with no intention whatsoever of quitting. I believed it would allow me to ‘smoke’ inside the house without creating any additional odor or mess of ashes, etc. Well, the e-smoke actually worked pretty well. I had purchased a brand from the local mall. They did give off an odorless ‘vapor’ that tasted pretty much like tobacco or menthol tobacco which is what I mainly enjoy. But the quality was lacking in this brand in that the smoke volume was unreliable and rather weak. It showed me that the concept worked, but not good enough to consider giving up tobacco and just smoking e-cigarettes. Fast forward through the next month and I went on the web and started researching and learning about electronic cigarettes. I purchased a ’510′ model and that was better than the mall brand. I began to smoke more e-cigs and less tobacco. I was pleased with myself in that I was smoking much less tobacco. Then I purchased a 3rd model of ecigarette — a ‘cartomizer’ style that had the atomizer built right into the cartridge that contains the e-liquid. Now THIS was the real deal. The things tasted so rich and put out so much smoke that I said to myself, I’ll just try and smoke e-cigarettes for the weekend.
It was touch and go and I did still crave a ‘real’ cigarette, but I would just puff on the e-cig whenever I wanted to smoke. The ‘withdrawal’ was NOTHING like when I tried any other means of quitting. If I had to put a number on it, the e-cigarette satisfied my craving for cigarettes about 70%-90%, whereas any of the other methods I mentioned had satisfied my craving from 0%-20%. What I found more to my amazement than anyone else’s was that electronic cigarettes are a REAL substitute for tobacco. They work where the other methods failed. And the more I went on smoking e-cigarettes, the more I learned on-line about the benefits of them. No tar is number one, in my opinion. Think of that black gooey sticky junk just building up all the time in your lungs — yeeeuck! E-cigarettes have no carbon monoxide. Your body starts getting oxygen like it should when using e-cigarettes. There are 4,000 known chemicals in cigarettes and 10,000 total chemicals in the smoke from a burning tobacco cigarette. Many are well-known and documented toxins and carcinogens. E-cigarettes have at most about 20 different chemicals in them — all nontoxic. They carry about the same amount of risk as the nicotine patch, gum, lozenges and inhalers. They have none of the side effects of the stop smoking medicines currently used. Best of all, they simulate smoking a cigarette almost exactly. So that is why they worked for me and why they work for a large percentage of tobacco smokers who want a safer way to smoke.
As a disclaimer, I need to say at this point that this is my firm belief and opinion based on my experience, research and knowledge of the product. Government entities such as the FDA and anti-smoking entities such as the AMA, American Lung Association, and American Cancer Society completely disagree with these opinions of mine. More on this in a minute.
So, back to my reason for making Electronic Cigarettes Central. Over the first month or two of smoking ecigarettes I was skeptical of any ‘real’ benefit from them over tobacco cigarettes. But that quickly faded as I reaped obvious and quantifiable health benefits from smoking them instead of tobacco. What happened is I had the same improvements in health as if I had quit smoking entirely. Don’t believe me? That’s OK, try it yourself and stick with it two or three months and then you will see what I have seen. The first thing I noticed was my breathing became easier, but I started coughing more! I noticed that there were bits of brown/black tar in what I was coughing up! I had never seen that before! That was my lungs immediately starting to repair themselves from the damage of smoking tobacco. The lungs don’t clear out tar when a person is still smoking because the tobacco smoke and what it contains effectively paralyse the lungs ability to clear themselves. This clearing up continued and today I mostly breathe very easy. I’m not without some congestion sometimes, but I smoked 37 years, you know? So then the cough went away and now I no longer hack all the time. At a doctor’s visit about 3 months after stopping tobacco, he listened to my breathing in both lungs with a stethoscope. His exact words were ‘they sound perfect’!! I had not had a doctor say that in well over 10-15 years! They usually said something like ‘wow that sounds horrible — you need an antibiotic and an inhaler!’ The next thing that happened was I thought that maybe people and places were getting smelly! All of the sudden, about 2-3 months after quitting, I started to smell ALL these different smells — everywhere! I really didn’t know what was going on at first until it dawned on me; my sense of smell was coming back! Now, about nine months later I can smell smoke on somebody’s clothes a mile away. Just like any nonsmoker. Just like all those people who smelled the smoke in our house. Oh, the house, we wound up hanging on to it for a while. The smell has mostly gone out of it but I still can notice it upstairs on damp, humid days. Also, after 4 months or so, I did start noticing my gums would bleed very easy while brushing and flossing my teeth. I read up and found that is very common in people who quit smoking because you start getting the bloodflow back in your gums. I do notice my teeth are less stained. There is nothing in an e-cigarette that will stain teeth.
My stamina, strength, concentration and really, my inner sense of ‘health and well-being’ have all continued to improve with every month farther away from tobacco that I get.
Oh that’s right, this is after all about the website! Well, while I was purchasing e-cigarettes on-line my wife, who has quit right along with me, kept telling me ‘look at that on the site — it says you can sell their product and make some money!’ I kept saying nah, I just want to use the product not promote it. But starting back in about November of ’09 I was off of work for a while and tried ‘signing up’ as an affiliate with one of the e-cigarette companies. I’ve always worked in the technical field of computer chip manufacturing so I was intrigued by what I read about building a website and trying to promote some e-cigarette products. I had never created a website before. So one thing leads to another and I found how to sign up and create a free website. I use Yola.com — they are pretty good for beginners. I bought a domain www.electroniccigarettescentral.com then bought another domain ELCCentral.com I found it was relatively cheap to purchase the domains.
So, really this website is a two-fold effort of mine. Number one is to try and see if I can actually make money at web marketing. There is a lot of learning and work behind that sentence and I’m enjoying the process! It actually is fun and challenging for me to add the different companies and try to make the icons and pages look attractive and the links to work easy and to provide the information that I think customers will want when looking to purchase electronic cigarettes. Number two is e-cigarette advocacy!! I found out so much about electronic cigarettes and have come to understand how revolutionary they are and how big of a change they offer to society. Think about it. Tobacco kills more people than ANYTHING ELSE and here we have this product, invented and patented in China that offers a complete and elegant solution to that entire problem!!! I mean, that is BIG!
So, with that, if you are still with me, feel free to look around the site. There are 20+ e-cigarette merchants all accessible from from the product pages of the site. The icons for the different brands on the main page will direct you to a full page of information about that product. There are links to many different places on the web that are quality resources for getting involved and learning about electronic cigarettes on as deep a level as you choose. There are links to medical and business associations that advocate use of electronic cigarettes. There is a growing number of news and review videos on the site. There is a forum that I wish people would start posting to! I have a blog on-site that is constantly updated with either new product information or any type of news and articles about e-cigarettes that I think are important.
There are rating boxes for each and every electronic cigarette product. I hope that users of those products will post reviews and rate the products to make the content on the website more valuable.
Electronics Cigarettes Central is a work in progress and will continue to grow, change and evolve in order to educate, advocate and disseminate all things Electronic Cigarette related so long as it is able.