I used to smoke. I won't lie, I loved it. There was nothing like a beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other. Which isn't to say I always had a beer in the other hand, but the two just seem to go together, like peanut butter and jelly, peas and carrots, Tom Cruise and gay rumors. When Neil and I began dating, we both smoked. He was more a social smoker, while I was a daily smoker. When we started getting serious and tentative marriage talk began, he had one dealbreaker. We had to quit. Not right away, but before we brought any children into our lives. Of course, I agreed.
We had our last cigarettes on New Year's Eve 2006. I miss it. And I don't. I've joked (sortof) with Neil that if I make it to 80 and they're still legal, I'm taking it back up. I would much rather go out with a bang at 85, with a cigarette in one hand and a very dirty, shakenotstirred, vodka martini in the other while a Chippendale's dancer with a granny fetish shakes his moneymaker right in my kisser.
I stumbled onto something that just might change the face of smoking, though.
Two words: Electronic Cigarettes.
Can you believe this? They're non-flammable plastic cigarettes that deliver a puff of nicotine when the user inhales. Supposedly they feel and taste like real cigarettes without any of the carcinogens associated with traditional smoking. You can use them anywhere, anytime. I admit, I am very curious about these. While I have absolutely no intention of taking up the habit again, even in this modified form, if I had found these back in my smoking days, I would definitely have tried them.
Once, on a trip to visit family in Kansas, our flight was met by uniformed police officers at the gate. Being the inquisitive folks we are, Neil and I dawdled long enough to find out what the hubbub was about. Fortunately, we didn't have to wait long. Shortly after we came out, a little old lady was pushed out in a wheelchair. Much to our surprise, this is who the police were waiting for. Turns out, the old broad had lit up in the lav. When questioned, she denied sneaking off to the bathroom for a cigarette, but she was caught. As we walked away, chuckling a bit to ourselves, I thought that it was kind of sad. While, obviously, quitting is the best solution, for some that is easier said than done. Perhaps something like this e-cigarette would have saved her the humiliation and likely the fines that she incurred from her actions.
They don't bill these as a cessation aid, but I would think this might be a good transition. If nothing else, it has to be healthier. They're about $80 to get started but after that, they cost roughly half as much as traditional cigarettes. The long term cost savings could be quite significant, given how expensive cigarettes are these days.
So what do you think? Has anyone tried them? Is this the future of smoking?