How I Managed To Never Quit Smoking

He went from smoking for love to loving to smoke. Luke Stevens is a vegetarian, surfer and committed nicotine addict who refuses to quit, although he’s not above upgrading his tech.

Luke Stevens
4 min readJan 6, 2016


I’m, generally speaking, a healthy guy. So much so, that the dudes I know from back home make fun of me for being “like a chick” when it comes to my weight. I work out. I watch what I eat. I even dabble in whatever the fad of the month is when it comes to supplements and diets.

But I have a problem. Don’t worry, it’s nothing serious.

It’s just that, well, I’m a smoker. Yes, I know that in L.A. that’s worse than being a Muslim Mexican at a Trump rally, but it’s my cross to carry.

I’ve been smoking since I was 12: There was this group of older kids, maybe 14 or 15-year-olds, with this one girl Emma that I was ridiculously in love with. So, to hang out with Emma I started smoking. That was almost twenty years ago.

I love smoking. I’ve always loved it. I love the ritual. I love the camaraderie with other smokers. I love that everyone seems to understand when I say ‘I need to step outside for a smoke.’

I even smoke on my way to the gym. Sometimes, when I’m in the middle of a really tough spin class, or a set of heavy reps I start to fantasize about cigarettes. I can be in the supermarket buying kale and kombucha, but all I can think about is smoking a Camel.

I’m a smoker. That’s who I am, and I have no interest in quitting.”

So, when I saw an ad online telling me not to quit I was skeptical — you could say I had my doubts. What did they mean, ‘don’t quit?’ They also said I could still enjoy my habit without stinking like an old ashtray. Admittedly, that is something that had started to bother me in recent years. My car was pretty disgusting. Anyway, even though I wasn’t going to stop smoking, I liked the idea that this was an upgrade and thought I’d give these Bang Vapor cats a shot and try something new.

I bought a personal vaporizer that looked a bit like a cigarette. I liked the feel of it in my hand, it felt right. Like Emma when I was thirteen — yeah, it took me almost a year to cop a feel. Sorry, you probably didn’t need to know that.

I also got a bunch of Bang’s premium e-liquid. The first one I tried, I picked because the name made me laugh. ‘Camel Toe’ is a tobacco e-liquid that tastes like my brand of cigarettes. It isn’t quite like smoking the real thing, but I managed to get used to soy burgers (and figured these would be the same, if I stuck at it).

After a couple of weeks of upgrading my nicotine supply I was down from a pack of cigarettes a day to about three packs a week. I also moved on from ‘Camel Toe’ and started hitting some of the other Bang Vapor flavors. ‘After Rene’ is amazing, it tastes like Thanksgiving. The ‘19th Hole’ flavor is so refreshing it’s ridiculous. There’s a whole lot more, and every one I’ve had so far has been better than the last.

I had a cigarette a couple of weeks ago with an old buddy of mine while catching up for a beer. Oddly enough, he ended up marrying Emma’s sister. And, as he explained to me what a trainwreck my first love had become, I slowly smoked my cigarette and it was awesome. That aside, I haven’t bought a pack in three months. I do feel better, and I definitely smell better. I can hardly bear to smell cigarettes on the street anymore, although I’m not about to be a douche about it.

I am still a smoker. I’m just one that has upgraded tech.



Luke Stevens

Award winning journalist, currently covering the marijuana industry. Also a longboard surfer, vegetarian bodybuilder, and committed nicotine enthusiast.