My Story

Norbert ZillatronI was a smoker for more than 30 years. Two packs a day. I only once seriously thought about quitting. When I had a sinus operation I obviously couldn’t smoke. So I decided to use the opportunity to quit. I went with the patches. That was rather insufficient straight from the beginning. But I didn’t have much choice. It got worse when these patches gave me nasty itching rashes. After three weeks of misery I relished smoking again. Out of curiosity I later tried a nicotine gum and a drag from an inhaler. Both tasted worse than smoking. Chapter closed.

When I first heard of “electronic cigarettes” they were always mentioned in connection with“gums, patches, smoking cessation.” So I filed that information under “Another NRT gimmick, probably foul tasting and useless.”

In fall of 2011 a local politician went on a witch hunt. Raiding ecig shops. That rampage was accompanied by a media campaign. Some “cessation experts” spouting very unspecific dire warnings about hypothetical unknown dangers. That raised my curiosity: Why would people like that rally against useless NRT products they usually promote?

I followed the media frenzy and was expecting some real scientists to show up with real information. In vain. So I started to do my own search for facts on the net.

I found bulletin boards where people where quite enthusiastic about them. You don’t find anything like that about NRTs. I’m a natural sceptic. But I’m also curious. So I decided to give it a try. I first bought a disposable ecig as a proof of concept. It worked and tasted even better than I expected. Certainly better than any of the more expensive “approved” NRT crap I had tried before. But not good enough to be a viable alternative to smoking. I already knew from my research that these are considered vasty inferior to modern devices. So I got one of those tank systems (then “eGo-T”) with several liquids. With tobacco style and menthol liquids this was a slightly better experience than smoking. My revelation came, when I started to try non-tobacco flavors. With those the sensation of vaping can be vastly superior to smoking. Sure, there are a lot that I personally don’t find very exciting. But with the available plethora everybody can find the soul mates for the individual taste buds. Right now my favorites are green tea with peppermint and a special citrus mix with menthol. I also got a dedicated ecig (tank) for various tobacco style liquids. And I still like to sample other tastes like fruits, sweets, cookies, drinks, etc. for variety’s sake.

A few months ago, out of curiosity I again smoked a cigarette. Well, other vapers report utter revulsion. I didn’t find it that bad. But certainly disappointing. Very bland and rather foul tasting. Definitely inferior. No way I would chose to resume smoking.


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10 comments on “My Story
  1. Thanks for publishing this in English Norbert – much appreciated!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Besides vapers, I also hope that some scientists will read and consider my points and other vapers comments. Since almost every scientist knows English, it’s the logical choice.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Tammy says:

        E-Cigs are just as harmful as a cigarette! Do your research. You think cigarettes has a lot of chemicals in them? Look at the results of a e-cig😮. Chemicals that I can’t even pronounce.
        They also give you cancer, called popcorn cancer! So therefore they are BOTH HARMFUL ! Sorry 😉


      • Sorry, Tammy, I did my research.

        You obviously have fallen for the scaremongering propaganda misinformation designed to prevent smokers from switching and keep them generating smoking related profits. As you can read here it was the scientific absurdity of those claims that made me curious and got me to examine the science behind them.

        I can pronounce (most of) the chemicals and looked up what they really do or don’t and what levels are relevant.

        E.g. you mention “popcorn cancer”. First the disease called popcorn lung is serious, but not a form of cancer. It is suspected to be caused by the flavoring chemical diacetyl. It is called “popcorn lung” because is was detected in workers at popcorn factories who were exposed to large amounts of it. Most liquids don’t contain it at all. It was used to produce a buttery taste. The study that created these frightening headlines found a single liquid that contained more diacetyl than all the others combined. But if you really check the numbers, even the vapor from this long discontinued outlier contained far less diacetyl than the smoke of every cigarette. Popcorn lung is not on the extremely long list of smoking related diseases. There is not a single case of popcorn lung on record as caused by smoking or vaping. You probably inhale more diacetyl when you make a batch of microwave popcorn and take a noseful of the enticing scent than I do vaping all day. It’s just one more case of clickbait.

        “BOTH HARMFUL” is not very helpful for making informed decisions. Take for example virus infections. They usually are harmful. But there is a huge difference between “harmful as a common cold” and “harmful like ebola”, even when “both are harmful”.


  2. Interesting story Norbert! I’ve often wondered how many smoke-lovers and Free Choice supporters have been attracted to trying e-cigs purely because of the nuttier Antismokers frothing at the mouth over them. If they’d had the brains to come out at the start and treat them with the support they give to Big Pharma products they mighta died on the vine.


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Quora says:

    What can I do or eat to reduce the bad effect of smoking cigarettes?

    Try vaping. The real thing–a modern open tank, not those crappy cig-a-likes–and start sampling from the wide variety of liquids. I didn’t even want to quit anything, but I switched anyway. Just because vaping can be a much more enjoyable way to get…


  4. […] Answer by Norbert Zillatron: I didn't want to quit anything. I just got curious because of all that scaremongering bovine excrement spouted by so-called "experts" and swamping the media. So I tried vaping and found it far superior to smoking. That was more than 3 years ago. More details: My Story […]


  5. jillcb says:

    My problem with trying to give up 2 packets a day was that I loved smoking and NRT did nothing to replace that love, even after trying various forms over 9 months, until I tried a disposible look-a-like for fun. It was good and seems a viable alternative. After research I was able to immediately replace 60 cigarettes a day with total vaping at noon on 13.01.12. I now love vaping and feel better for it.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. cendoubleu says:

    My only reason to take up vaping was cost. When that slimy bastard Osbourne spoke about a punitive budget if Brexit won, I decided the government were not getting a penny more of my tax money from smoking. A year on, I like vaping and I have money for other things. But if tobacco was available at the prices seen in some countries, I would happily still be smoking. I have noticed no difference in my health, do not feel any ‘better’ for quitting. Only a slight smugness that over the last year, I have denied the exchequer a lot of ‘pleasure tax’. I also still ‘relate’ to smokers, as I still see myself as one. And I don’t find the smell of smoke distasteful and am quite happy around people who still smoke.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you for sharing your story! There are countless other smokers with a similar story and many others whose story is waiting to be told!


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A documentation in the making. About common misconceptions that have been around for so long that they are considered "common knowledge" even among scientists. But what are real scientific facts and what are just myths?

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