An elderly man smoking a tobacco cigarette

Converting a Long Time Smoker

My father in law has been smoking for most of his life, starting at the age of 12 and possibly earlier considering how easy it was to get cigarettes back in the day. We were always able to bond because of the fact that I enjoyed smoking as well. He was a two pack a day smoker where I smoked only half a pack a day or less (depending on the day). Nevertheless, it was a way for us to step outside and catch up after dinner or every half hour (yes that man can kill a pack very quickly) of the day.

I made my switch back in December and when they visited us, I partook in the “stepping” outside ritual but not as often as I used to as I could quench my nicotine cravings indoors now instead of having to step outside and get tar in my lungs. As the day got later, I stepped outside less often to the point where my father in law was the only one out the rest of the evening until they left. We talked briefly about having him switch as well but given his older age and the fact the smoked nearly two packs a day, we weren’t sure he could make a commitment and stick with it.

My wife and I visited for Easter and I brought with me an EGO style electronic cigarette kit and with the strongest tobacco e- juice flavoring I could get in such short notice (I got all of this at a local store so options were quite limited). It was all setup and ready to go, the battery was charged and the tank was full. I took a few puffs just to make sure it was working properly (almost passed out since I’ve dropped to 3mg at that point).

I presented the electronic cigarette to my father in law; he was a bit hesitant but delighted at the same time. We knew he didn’t want to switch but saw as how we’ve spent the money already, he felt obligated at least to try and that’s all we were asking for anyway. He took a short drag and hated it. He had a coughing fit for a good 30 minutes afterwards and just not really willing to try it again. I honestly didn’t know why it was. It could have been the high nicotine, the voltage, or too much PG I wasn’t sure and my father in law wasn’t really willing to try it out either.

After the last visit, I was out $50 for my last attempt but I thought I’d give it another effort seeing as my wife really wanted her dad just to stop smoking all together especially given his elderly age. We stopped by for father’s day and presented him with some Cig-a-Likes bought at the local gas station. Wasn’t too expensive being $30, if he liked it we’d get him something nicer, but we needed to be absolutely sure prior to spending any more money. He took a drag off of the Cig-a-Like and thankfully he didn’t go into a coughing fit at all. Granted he didn’t love it or like it for that matter, it was bearable.  He complained although it looked and felt like the real thing, a warm feeling he used to get was non-existent not to mention the flavor was very weak. We ended up getting him a store bought starter kit as he needs to be able to buy replacements at the local stores and won’t bother with ordering it online.

Granted our first attempts weren’t very successful and our second attempt although more successful than the first, my father in law still smokes but only using the electronic cigarette when it was more convenient for him to do so (indoors, on a cold morning, etc.). I know it’s a start and there is a long way to go considering he’s not really cutting back from the two packs a day, we know he’ll consider using one instead of thinking it’s just a gimmick not suitable for him.

Now that we know he won’t mind an electronic cigarette, it’ll be easier to spend a few extra dollars doing some trial and error until we can figure out exactly what he needs. Don’t give up on love ones even some of the older generations may not feel like it’s worth it but quite often when presented with a gift they feel obligated to try it out and just maybe they’ll switch completely or maybe not (like my situation) but I know it is at least worth a try.

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