8,439 Avoided

According to my counter, I have now avoided smoking 8,439 cigarettes and saved $2,109.78 since I quit smoking. This still amazes me.

Now that I really am a non smoker and have been for this long, I have to make an apology. I honestly never realized just how bad a smoker smelled. I really thought that chewing all that gum was covering up the smell. I now know it did not. So for all those people who had to smell my smoke for all those years, I am sorry.

Now the issue of e-cigs and safety. There have been a lot of stories in the news lately about e-cigs and whether they are safe and whether they actually help people quit smoking. As a forty year smoker, now a non smoker, I can assure you the e-cigs are the perfect tool to quit smoking. That's not just me talking but thousands of other smokers who have kicked the habit with the e-cigs.

While it's true there are no long term studies on the safety of e-cigs did you know that three of the four ingredients in most e-liquid is found in toddler training toothpaste: propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, and flavoring. The last optional ingredient in e-cigs, nicotine, is obviously not part of the toothpaste. However, nicotine is about as harmful for us as caffeine and you can get e-cig juice with no nicotine if you want.

The negative press on e-cigs is not about health and welfare, like everything else, it's about money. Federal tax on a pack of cigarettes is $1.01 raising billions of dollars for the federal government. Across the country, state taxes on cigarettes range from 17 cents to $4.35 per pack. In Tennessee the tax per pack is 62 cents raising 402 million dollars per year for the state. This doesn't even take into account the cigarette company revenues.

Since May of last year, I haven't paid a penny in any tobacco taxes. Multiply that by hundreds of thousands of others who have dropped tobacco for e-cigs and you can start to see where the issue really is. Tobacco companies are losing big money as are state and federal governments.

The e-cig industry sales are estimated to be 1.5 billion dollars this year and sales have doubled each year for the last few years.

I wouldn't be surprised to see the government at some point slap big taxes on e-cigs, not for safety, but to make up lost revenues from tobacco taxes. 

If you want to try the e-cigs there are at least three local places to shop.

Vintage Vapors across from West Town Mall

Smoky Mountain Juice Hut off 321 at Outer Drive

Mike's Electronic Cigs off Campbell Station

Kick the habit and get healthy.