I was born and raised in the beautiful Okanagan by both my loving parents and two younger brothers on a small farm located somewhat off the grid tucked between towering mountains and lots of forests and lakes to adventure about. I lead an active outdoor life growing up and loved spending lots of time outside enjoying nature in its raw form, from riding bikes in the mountains heading to our secret fishing holes and swimming at the local beach.
My family eventually moved closer into the main town as my younger brothers were about to start school and I lost touch with my childhood friends and didn’t quite fit in for many of my later elementary years.
I withdrew and kept to myself and focused on studies while exploring my new outdoor surroundings, our new farmhouse we moved to was on 15 acres backing onto a large golf course. I would walk throughout the bush and hay fields in my spare time by myself after school and collect golf balls that got lost and would sell them back to the golfers alongside a little lemonade stand I set. By the summer of grade 7 I had made enough to buy my first car, a 1971 Mustang Coupe held together with bondo and purple barney paint (needless to say it needed some work), I found it while out at a garage sale with my dad and knew I had to have it as my dad told me stories when i was younger of one of his first cars he fell in love with, a 1966 Mustang. (I found out later in my years it was actually my moms and he ended up crashing it and writing it off).
My dad was my idol. He had a big heart for animals and enjoyed fixing things specifically lawn mowers and tractors. Music was one of his great passions in his later years (bluegrass) and most importantly he loved his kids and my mother to no end. He came from a poor childhood growing up as the only boy with 4 sisters and was abused by his alcoholic father and dropped out of school at grade 9, left home and joined the rodeo, he was a “cowboy” at heart and was quite fond of horses. He worked a lot of long hours due to the long commute for work in the steel and lumber industries, needless to say I cherished every moment we spent together from feeding the animals to working on lawn mowers and going to auctions and garage sales looking for a good deal on something to fix.
One of my father’s biggest weakness was cigarettes, he started smoking cigarettes at a very young age and would buy pouches of tobacco and roll his own cigarettes. As I got into my teens, like many others out there, I started sneaking tobacco from him without his knowledge and got hooked myself which led to a pack a day habit over the next 15 years.
It was now 2008. I had proposed up on top of a mountain in the snow to the love of my life whom I’d known for the last 10 years and cared deeply for since high school. I was engaged and happier than I could have ever remembered and went off to work in Northern Alberta with one of my brothers for the winter. In February 2019 we got news that Dad was sick, they thought it was pneumonia at first but after more testing they found lung cancer, stage 4, not curable and it had spread. There was nothing that could be done. This rocked my world like nothing ever before. I was devastated. I left and went home and put my life on hold.
My dad was exposed to a lot of environmental harm within his lifetime, from inhaling fumes from welding, to being exposed to lead based paints all the while being compounded with endless cigarettes. At a deep level at one point in his later years, he had already accepted the fact that cigarettes would be the death of him regardless of what method he continually tried to quit with (statistics show that traditional quit smoking methods only have a 5-10% success rate long term). His addiction would ultimately take him to the grave and it did. On October 17 2009 in the early hours he left this world.
We all know for a fact that smoking kills, the user and those that are exposed to the second hand smoke, but not everyone knows the exact details or definition of “kills”, allow me to share with you what it means to me, for my dad it was suffocation, he choked to death struggling for the tiniest breath of air he could get but it was too late. My mind often wonder’s what was going through his head in his last few moments as he fought gasping for air... In the final 2 weeks leading to this moment, he deteriorated so rapidly that he was unable to move, unable to talk, unable to communicate, and it was at this stage that he could no longer ask for a cigarette, let alone hold it, barely able to get enough oxygen to survive the next minute.
THAT was the Extreme degree it took to break his Habit. That is how powerful this Addiction is. Don’t underestimate it or beat yourself up over it, it rivals hard drug addictions and requires incredible will power to overcome.
My brothers and I held him in our arms as he struggled to breathe in those last fleeting moments and I vowed to myself that I would escape this addiction.
As sad and broken as I was, the calm and peace in his eyes when it was over was such a freeing wave of relief. He was no longer in pain and free finally from his addiction, forever. He was tough and fought for those last 9 months and some of my best memories were spent with him and my family during this time.
I used almost every quit smoking method as well to try and break free of this habit afterwards with even more motivation and all failed me time and time again. That is until I found an ad for a electronic cigarette and after 5 minutes of research I purchased one online. Upon receiving it in the mail a few days later, I assembled it after my first use with it I knew it was the missing key element that millions of smokers struggling to quit needed so badly in this day and age.
This new transformational and disruptive vapour technology is the future! I would have given anything in the world to have shared it with my dad but I was too late. I have not had nor desired a single puff of a cigarette since that night I tried it in March 2010 just before my 29th birthday, 6 months before my wedding and I never, ever, will again. It’s been almost 10 years I've been using these products now and I feel so much better physically and mentally. I am not a smoker anymore, I don't combust tobacco and have drastically reduced thousands of chemicals and tar from entering my lungs by switching to this alternative.
My dad was not there for my wedding to the love of my life and he missed out meeting my two incredible daughters and they will never get to meet him but will hear about him and what he inspired in me, my three biggest happiest moments in my life that I so wish I could have shared with him.
Please, I beg of you, learn something from what I have shared and NEVER give up, never stop trying; it is only too late after your last breath. This new technology is saving millions of lives, I have shared this with thousands, hundreds of thousands, and seen such incredible success far exceeding any and all other methods combined. Nothing warms my heart quite like knowing others loved ones won’t have to experience what I have went through, for those lives that I've touched are forever changed.
DON’T delay another day as it could be your last and each and every one of you deserves this freedom I was unable to provide for my father, but I can for you. If you won’t do it for yourself, do it for your family, for your loved ones, those you’ve met and those you’re yet to meet, I did it for my father, my unborn daughters, my wife, and wish I wholeheartedly you can as well.
My Mission is to free as many others as I can from the grip cigarettes with the use of this new technology and this is WHY I do what I do.