Thursday, February 13, 2014
Vaping, vaporizing, atomizing or whatever you call it...
(Note: I have no permission to publish the poster above. I have no copyrights to the poster and I fully acknowledge the copyright holdings of the owner. Finally, there appears to be a little bit of sexual innuendo in using a vaporizer, so I may be missing some of the point. All I know is that when a person was said to have vapors many years ago, it had nothing to do with pleasure.)
In my small town, there is currently a brick and mortar war being waged between the e-cig stores and the payday loan establishments. I would be one of the last to belittle any entrepreneurial effort in this town or any other. But, gee whiz, folks...just how many vapor stores and check cashing places do we need in a town this size? They're already threatening the robust buffet restaurant business for retail space. But it does make for an interesting morning: stop by your payday loan joint, get an advance on next month's paycheck because you've already been advanced for the rest of this month's pay, run to your favorite vapor outlet (I want dibs on the term Vaporama...I'll put Walmart to shame with what I can do in a wholesale warehouse environment) and get some fresh inserts or batteries or vapor or whatever it is you need to get the nicotine from the tube you suck on to your bloodstream, and then head to a buffet and graze a few troughs while wondering if that payday loan thing was really all that great of an idea.
Back to the vaporizing. They say the only thing worse than a smoker is an ex-smoker. I am an ex-smoker. But I would never be glib enough to believe I don't have some time bombs ticking inside my body for the 35 years that I sucked poison into my lungs. In fact, I didn't come out of my smoking years unscathed, but we'll save that story for another day. Anyway (and if anyone happens to be reading this blog, and that anyone happens to be a current smoker, and you have known me for over an hour, you've heard this before...at least once), let me tell you right now it's impossible to quit smoking. You heard me. It's impossible to quit smoking. But...drumroll...it's not impossible to become a non-smoker. And that's what you have to do to win the war. You've got your gum, your patches, your hokey-pokey hypnosis, your pills...you've got your cutting down to a half pack a day, and then five a day, and then one in the morning and one in the evening. You've got going cold turkey and throwing what's left of your pack out the car window (probably into my ditch). You've got all those remedies. But I have to ask. How's that worked for you so far?
But, now, you've got THE SURE THING. You've got the vaporizer. And you can even smoke the vaporizer in places that has banned cigarettes. Wow! How cool is that! And you're getting rid of all the tar and other nasty, nasty additives. My gosh...when you think about it...it's probably HEALTHIER for you to vape than do nothing at all!
7% of vapor vamps quit smoking within 6 months. I guess quick math says that 93% do not. The research hasn't had enough time to calculate how many of that 7% go back to smoking real cigarettes. And I'm not sure what the median usage expectancy is on the vapor system for those who stay on it for an extended period of time, but I'd bet under a year.
It's just another patch, folks. It's a patch you can inhale. An inhalable patch. Don't fool yourself...you're not quitting anything and you're certainly not a non-smoker.
Let's get back to that just a minute, because if you are a smoker and you are reading this, I've just about exhausted your attention span, which becomes shorter the angrier you are. It's not that difficult to become a non-smoker. If I said "If I can do it, anyone can," it probably doesn't have much more impact on you. But I will say that. I did it and no one told me that this was what it was going to take. I picked a day and did it. You simply wake up one morning - I recommend the morning - and say, "Today, I'm a non-smoker." And you continue to say that for days, weeks, months, and years. The physical withdrawal is a piece of cake. Thirty days tops. Probably more like two weeks. The psychological withdrawal lasts a lifetime. It has for me anyway. Don't have any expectations of losing the psychological addiction. But it is definitely a sharply declining curve. Two, three, four, ten years into the process, once in a blue moon, I'll have a five second thought about smoking a cigarette. Then it's gone. (Hmmm...same thing with sex....)
Sometimes I have nightmares that I'm smoking again. Next to my recurring nightmare of it being opening night at the theatre and I haven't learned a single line, it's the most terrifying dream I have. I am so disappointed in myself. I can't believe that I gave in. And, when I awake, I absolutely reek with relief that it was only a dream.
It's probably hyperbole, but it might be the one thing I'm most proud of in my life.
Okay, I'm done. If I've kept you this long into my rant, I hope you found something to smile about. Or frown over. Or something that was even a little entertaining. Perhaps you were even able to come to the decision that you'll never pull up this damn guy's blog again. But if you did that, you might want to wait until I take on the payday loan folks. That's coming shortly. And then, maybe, just maybe, the result here is that you'll become a non-smoker. Or will encourage someone else to become a non-smoker. Or never take it up yourself in the first place. And, as corny as it sounds, the time we spent together today will be so well worth it for both you and me.