Like most good ideas, Terss started as the solution to an intractable problem.
I’ve always loved smoking. I love how the cigarette feels in my hand—the smooth, round shape, the slight weight, the way I can gesture with it or use it to mark a pause in conversation. I love the feeling of bringing it to my lips, the slow, deliberate inhale and the exhalation that feels like I’m blowing stress out right alongside the smoke.
But I don’t actually like smoke itself. Like many other people, I tried over and over to become a habitual smoker, wanting to fit in socially and to enjoy the sensations and satisfaction that cigarettes have to offer. But it didn’t work.
By the time I was in college, I’d tried to start smoking many times, but never gotten past the first few puffs. I gave it one more shot, smoking a full pack over the course of a few days. Then a second, and a third…but I was just making myself sick. And cigarettes are expensive!
I resigned myself to giving up.
And then I had an idea. With the last cigarette in the last pack, I decided I would smoke…without smoking. I never lit the cigarette, I just held it, took drags through the tobacco and filter, and enjoyed the feeling of it in my hand.
It felt like a minor revelation. Freeing, exciting, and, of course, doomed to end.
Cigarettes get soggy, and the tobacco flavor gets stronger and stronger over time, and so I needed a replacement.
That’s when I created the first Terss. A simple, durable accessory made of plain bamboo: light, easy to carry, satisfying to hold, and useful for controlling my breathing without the consequences or health risks of smoking.
Best of all, I could enjoy the gestures again. The feeling of standing with a Terss, talking to my friends, punctuating my remarks with deep pulls. It was freeing and effective, and easily one of my proudest moments.
From there, the creation of terssing.com has been a long-term dream. I was certain that this could be a solution for all the smoking troubles.
With just an idea and few bucks in my pocket, I’ve slowly built up the infrastructure, developed multiple versions of the Terss, and created the carrying case it needed for real portability and convenience.
Now we’re finally launched, and I couldn’t be happier to have brought Terss to the world.