I was repeatedly told by experts (including the World Health Organisation) that we should take great care not to encourage their use because too little is known of their safety and effectiveness.
How things have changed.
Today, we got the closest we have ever seen to an official endorsement of e-cigarettes.
Today's report puts health officials in the dock. Why are they so far behind the curve on this vital public health debate?
This has been a revolution led by consumers - the 2.6 million-odd "vapers" who use -cigarettes.
Innovation has been led by the (often small) firms who brought them to market with zero official support.
Now, the spotlight must fall to the World Health Organisation, the NHS and the British Medical Association - will these authorities shift their stance?