'E-cig' helps Hervey Bay mum beat the smoking habit
TRISH Cummings can't remember the number of times she woke up hoping "today is going to be the day I give away these filthy smokes".
For 33 years, the Hervey Bay mum smoked on average "45-plus" cigarettes a day.
On countless occasions she tried patches, chewing gum and lozenges to fight off the cravings but it never took long before the anger set in, every thought turned to smoking and the cigarettes she was "missing out on" and eventually, she would give in.
Her breaking point finally came almost two years ago when a series of health scares had her literally "praying for the strength" to kick the habit she knew was killing her.
A friend suggested she try an electronic cigarette, a battery-powered tube that simulated smoking by evaporating a liquid solution into nicotine vapour.
She ordered one in the mail and to this day, she swears it's the best decision she ever made.
"I was so ready," Ms Cummings said.
"When I got my 'e-cig' in the mail I had 10 smokes in my packet and I just hid them in my drawer because I needed to know they were there in case I caved."
She did "cave" and regretted it.
"My mind was saying 'go on have a real one' so I did it and it was awful - I actually preferred the taste of my 'e-cig' and was over cigarettes," she said
"I knew from that moment I would never smoke again."
While the electronic device itself is legal in Australia, the vapour has to be purchased online, untested, from overseas providers.
Online demand has forced Australian authorities to allow a clinical trial of electronic cigarettes as a quitting tool.
The trial, commissioned by the Department of Heath, is expected to begin mid-year.
According to the Herald, the Australian Medical Association is concerned there is not enough evidence of the benefits and kids in particular could be given another entry into smoking.