As one of the folks who answers phone, e-mails and Livechats from our customers here at White Cloud, I’ve had a wonderful opportunity to communicate with people from all over the world while answering their questions, addressing their concerns and, time permitting, getting to know them a little better. This can be a great deal of fun at times, as one never knows what each contact may bring.
The Shared Journey Away from Tobacco
One of the things I enjoy most is speaking with new customers, including those who are relatively new to White Cloud or have never tried an e-cig product before. These conversations are somewhat personal to me as I was a new customer a few short years ago and I remember well the questions, concerns and trepidations I felt when I first decided to transition away from traditional tobacco products into the world of White Cloud. I’m struck at how often the stories I hear from a great many of the people I assist are remarkably similar to each other, and my own, in many respects. This is why I am always happy to share the story of my journey from a 2 pack a day cigarette smoker to being a Double Extra Regular guy. So, for all those out there considering making the switch, I get it–I’ve been there. I’ve had the same questions you may have and now, over three years later, I am very happy with the path I chose. So pour yourself a yummy beverage, pull up a chair, vape ‘em if you got ‘em, and relax as I spin the tale of how I came to be, and remain, a White Cloud customer.
Confessions of a 2 Pack a Day Smoker
I started smoking when I was much younger, occasionally grabbing a few of my grandmother’s Pall Mall non-filtered from her cigarette case when she wasn’t looking. Yeah, I know, not the nicest thing to do but I was very young and very, very dumb. I graduated to buying my own cigarettes not too long after that (no one ever seemed to card anyone at the local corner store at that time) and, over time, found myself putting away two packs a day on average. The habits and rituals surrounding the use of cigarettes became a part of my life and, truth be told, I didn’t notice any ill effects for many years.
Fast forward 18 years and the situation was much the same with a few caveats. I found myself short of breath when I would exert myself. I was getting sick quite often and every time I did, it settled into my chest. My sinuses were a mess and my sense of taste and smell had decreased. I had a continuous smoker’s hack and couldn’t lie down on my left side to sleep as I developed a rattle in my chest when I did. I knew all these things were due to my consumption of cigarettes, so I decided that quitting using them would prove beneficial to my health…as well as my wallet as my weekly trips to get my smokes were starting to get quite expensive as added taxes raised the price of cigarettes just about every year since I had started smoking. I tried quitting. No, really, I tried…no half-hearted attempts to curtail my habit here! Nicotine patches, gums, medications, and some alternative medicinal techniques found their way in, and quickly out, of my life. None of them worked and I invariably continued to smoke after each attempt.
From Smoking to Vaping
I started to hear more about e-cigs and, after a bit of research, I thought they could be an alternative to tobacco and its inherent chemicals and carcinogens. So, I hoped this would be my answer for how to kick the habit for good. I tried a few disposable types from local stores and found myself quite disappointed. The taste wasn’t that great, they didn’t seem to last very long, and the nicotine levels were way too low to satisfy me (I only learned this later on as I came to find out that there were varying nicotine levels). One in particular had me coughing and gagging so hard after a few puffs that my chest ended up hurting for days afterwards. As a result, I gave up on the idea of e-cigs for a while, thinking they were more of a fad or niche item. Then one day, as I was meandering through a local mall here in Tampa, I came across a kiosk hawking products by a company called “White Cloud”. I watched the fellow who was manning the shop, puffing on his e-cig and blowing out decent plumes of vapor. Curious, yet with trepidations considering my history with similar products at that time, I went to talk with the fellow for a bit, ended up trying a few samples and walked away with a with a starter kit and a couple of five packs of Regular tobacco flavor e-tanks.
A Final Goodbye to Tobacco
I went between cigarettes and vaping over the next two weeks, using less tobacco and more of my Cirrus 2 each day. I found that I wasn’t being satisfied with the throat hit and nicotine content at first, so I went and picked up a couple of 5 packs of the Extra and Double Extra strengths and found I was very comfortable at the higher strength levels (and have stuck with the Double Extra ever since). At the end of a two-week period since my kit purchase, I found myself smoking the last cigarette from the previous carton I had purchased. With a deep sigh fueled by anxiety (I ALWAYS had a supply line of smokes, no matter what) I decided not to purchase any more cigarettes. And with that decision, my journey away from tobacco had truly begun.
My unease was quickly erased as I continued to use my White Cloud Cirrus 2 (now with the Double Extra Regular cartridges) and found I wasn’t missing cigarettes at all. In fact, I found I preferred my Regular cartridges over cigarettes more and more as the days turned into weeks. Right around the end of the first month, I found I was getting sick. I had developed a terrible cough and was extremely phlegmy. I realized this might have been the same thing that is reported by folks who quit cigarettes as the body begins to seemingly eject the build up from years of smoking. I soldiered through it and, while I found I was actually craving a tobacco cigarette, I held off and continued to use my Cirrus 2 kit.
A New Take on the Vaping Life
As the months rolled by, I found that my lung capacity was beginning to increase and I was no longer getting winded as easily–in fact, I was flying up flights of stairs without gasping for breath. My sense of smell was coming back and my sense of taste increased as well. I was beginning to smell things I hadn’t smelled in years and started tasting things in a whole new way. As I reached the first year mark, I realized I hadn’t gotten sick that entire year and have only been sick a couple of times since then. I can’t say for certain if all of these changes came about as a result of using my White Cloud products, but that was the only change I had made, so it seems to me that certainly played a role if it wasn’t the primary cause of the apparent increase in my quality of life.
This brings us to the present–just about three and a half years later. I continue to use my Cirrus rechargeable batteries and cartridges (although I have picked up a few Cirrus 3x’s and now use Cleardraw2 exclusively). And now I work for the company that makes the very products that helped me transition away from tobacco and have kept me happily vaping away ever since.
I know from speaking with so many customers that my story is not unique–other than the fact that I am in the employ of White Cloud. I am always happy to hear our customer success stories or to help with any questions newer folks may have. Our journey is the same, so we may as well share this voyage away from tobacco together. Happy Vaping!
This Guest Blog was written by John Crumley from White Cloud’s Customer Service Department. John was a White Cloud Customer long before he became the White Cloud Super Sentinel our customers have come to love. His journey is shared by many and he thoroughly enjoys sharing success stories during his day to day interactions with customers. If you have a success story you would like to share, send it our way to be featured in our continued “We Rock” Series highlighting a different success story in each issue of our monthly Insider Newsletter.