I've smoked for 30 years. Admittedly there have been a few times that I've given up, though about three months is all I've ever managed, and the incentives to give up aren't all that persuasive. You want to tax them? Fine, I'll buy bootleg ones off the guy in the pub. You want to stop smoking in public? Fine, though I'll probably go out less, which means I'll save more money for...smoking.
Yes, the above was a bit flippant, but really, there's nothing that is going to make you quit until you decide it's time. In fact (and this might just be because I'm ornery) the more that people tell me to do something, the less likely I am to do it. This is especially true when the government are doing the telling.
Anyway, over the years I've tried gum, patches and even those old nicotine inhalers. While it's true that they probably d a good job of relieving the physical addiction to nicotine, they never fully address the other aspects of smoking. The act of drawing on a cigarette and feeling the smoke, blowing it out, all the little things we don't really think about, but which we miss once we've kicked the weed and nag at us when we sit with a coffee or a beer but sans ciggie.
The electronic cigarette people have claimed to address just these things and also provide the actual nicotine that we are addicted to for some time now, and I figured I may as well give it a shot.
I did a few different searches to see what people were doing and decided to go for the "Electronic cigar" sold by The Electronic Cigarette Company
I went for this because the blurb says it gives more nicotine and vapour than the cigs, and, well, it just looks different. I like different.
Straight out of the box, you have to charge it up. This takes around 5 hours. After 1 day my battery was pretty flat, so I'd say charge it every night, regardless.
The nicotine cartridges cost £5 for 3, and that's a lot cheaper than actually smoking, even if you smoke one a day. I think as I get more used to it, that my usage will fall, but that remains to be seen.
So what's it like? Well, the most amazing thing is that once you draw on it, you get a big hit of smoke-like vapour which tickles just like proper smoke, it even billows around you as you breathe it out. (Though disperses very quickly, and doesn't smell, which is why it's allowed everywhere).
It really is amazing, it's totally conned my brain into believing I'm properly smoking. I used it all day, yesterday without a moment where I felt like I needed a proper cigarette.
Will it work long-term? I don't know, but you can get the cartridges in various strengths which I suppose will help your withdrawal.
For now, though, I'm just happy to smoke something without having to step outside.
So, if you're one of the smokers who feels it may be time to quit, then have a look at these, they really are a very good substitute.
'till next time.