Lizell van der Westhuizen

I started smoking at a young age. At 14, I was already smoking half a pack of cigarettes a day, and this continued to rise as I got older. I was sick constantly, had a terrible morning cough, sinus infections, and needed medical treatment almost every other week.

It was when I woke up coughing, unable to breathe one night that I first considered that I should quit smoking. At first I thought that it would be tough to give up smoking. It had become such an integral part of my life. I woke up with a smoke, I went to bed with a smoke. A friend of mine started vaping and introduced me to the owner of a vape shop in my area. I started seeing them more, and noticed how different their lives were because of vaping. They seemed uplifted. They didn’t smell bad, their house and shop smelt amazing and I missed that.

In January 2015 I started my first job and with my first salary bought my very first vape. I threw away my lighters and vowed to never touch a cigarette again. It’s been over 5 years and I’ve been cigarette free through all of it. My health has improved significantly. I no longer need to see a doctor every other week, my lungs feel better and healthier than ever. I no longer waking up, unable to breathe properly and I’ve never felt better.

Many say that vaping saved their life. And while that is true from a medical and biological sense – I feel that it is the vaping community that truly saved me. I fell in love with the kind,helpful, and encouraging community that surrounds vaping. The people I met, and the friends I made pulled me out of a dark time in my life and saved me from my toxic and harmful lifestyle.

I was a smoker for 9 years, and I’m proud to say that I gave it up and became a vaper.