Going Smokeless

What seems now like an age ago, a work colleague pointed me in the direction of a web site selling these here new fangled electric cigarettes.

Now – fess up – I’ve been a forty a day man for the best part of forty years. (Which, incidentally, equates to puffing my way through a 35 mile long cigarette. Worse still, I’ve thrown away a five mile long dogend, but I digress.)

To kick that sort of habit takes a boatload of willpower or some serious alternative chemicals.  And I’ve tried the lot – cold-turkey (lasted about 24 hours), patches, inhalers and even some stuff you can get on prescription, called Champix, which is supposed to lessen the cravings. Nothing worked, so I wasn’t holding out too much hope.

However, I took the plunge and ordered the kit. What the heck – it was only fifty quid and if it didn’t work I could chuck it in the next car boot sale. It arrived promptly and I did nothing much with it for about three months. Had a bit too much on my plate at the time to fart about with something else. I’m beginning to wish that I hadn’t procrastinated so much.

I’m on leave from work for a fortnight so I thought I’d drag the little toy out of its box and give it a serious go.

E-cigarettes are curious little things, and somewhat misnamed. The purists call them “electronic nicotine inhalators”, but the early versions were always made to look like a ciggie. (Mine, if anything, looks like the bastard offspring of a Parker pen and a lipstick.)

They work by vaporising a mixture of nicotine and propylene glycol –  a harmless jollop used in many medicines and, oddly, theatre smoke machines. There’s also some trace stuff to make various flavours. The e-ciggie heats this stuff up and forms a vapour which can be inhaled – a process which the connoissenti call “vaping”. (They also call regular cigarettes anal(og)s, to distinguish them from the digital versions and because, after a while, they taste like shit.)

So, what are the advantages? Being a vapour it gives a nicotine hit, but dissipates and is harmless to anyone else. You’re also only taking in a handful of chemicals as opposed to the 4,000 or so in tobacco smoke. Finally, for a chimney like me, it’s cheaper and it comes in lots of interesting and yummy flavours.

Don’t get too excited just yet. It hasn’t cured my addiction to tobacco overnight, but it has drastically reduced the amount of the stuff I have been setting fire to. (Note here that I am deliberately using language that’s trying to reinforce the message I’m trying to give myself. Setting fire to it = destruction = wasted money.)

I still need the roll-ups first thing in the morning to get everything running. At my age it can be difficult to change routines, although I have yet to reach the stage of decrepitude described by the late George Burns when he told an interviewer that he needed to masturbate first thing every morning to get his heart started.

So far, so good. So good, in fact, that I’ve just ordered some more kit.

I don’t normally give commercial links in my blog, but I’ll make an exception this time. For any hardened smokers out there looking for an alternative that won’t make you barf up a lung in the morning I can recommend these guys – http://www.totallywicked-eliquid.co.uk/.