About three months ago, I bought an upscale e-cigarette to help curb my pack a day smoking habit. Truth be told, I have not completely and totally made the switch from cigarettes to the e-cigarette. I have not totally made the switch because I’m not really trying that hard. I’m not really trying that hard because I love smoking.
Non-smokers would probably argue that this is the brain of an addict, and they’d be right. Trying to explain to a smoker why they should stop smoking is like trying to explain to a homophobe why gay people deserve to get married. Despite any facts or public opinion that a non-smoker will raise, something inside the smoker keeps whispering: “nah man, that guy is full of shit.” Since that I’m probably inhaling too much nicotine (smoke and vapor) I made a pro-con list of sticking with one or the other.
Pro: Avoid lung cancer
While not my main reason for making the switch from a burning stick of instant gratification to a mild cloud of water vapor, health did factor into the decision. At 23, I’m about a decent ways away from having to face any potentially deadly consequences that may result from my lifestyle. To me, lung cancer is like the Irish Potato Famine: I know it’s real, I know it’s bad, and I’ve seen pictures, but I’m so removed from it that it’s not a part of my reality. I’m not even sure if avoiding cancer qualifies as a “pro,” because there is always a chance that I will be among the first generation of people to be diagnosed with whatever new disease becomes associated with the long term effects of e-cigarettes.
Con: Get the side-eye from every smoker on Earth
There is an unspoken bond between people who smoke cigarettes. Although the customs don’t run as deep as they do with the weed aficionados, there is an etiquette to burning butts. I’ve built long and valued friendships, buried the hatchet with enemies, sealed the deal with one night stands, and even procured an internship at a prestigious theatre all with the help of a firm introduction from our mutual friend RJ Reynolds. The ties that bind the citizens of Flavor Country are vibrant, probably because of it’s ever shrinking boarders and high cost of living. Being able to get a nicotine fix cheaply, indoors, and without the smell that tells the rest of the room which side you’re on in this war makes you a deserter.
Pro: Save money
Until I got an e-cigarette, I was reliably smoking a pack a day for many years. Living in a city without a terribly high cost of living, I was still paying about $6.50 for a pack. That’s $45.50 a week in money that should’ve really been going to other things. To this day, I still don’t know how I made it through four years of college smoking a pack a day and living off of work study. That’s a lie, I know exactly how I did it: student loans. I would spend a little bit of my work study money on beer and the occasional late night Taco Bell run (the way you’re supposed to spend your work study money) but chiefly on chiefing squares. I’ll be old enough to smoke through my tracheotomy hole by the time I finish paying off the books that I never opened (for the classes I seldom attended.)
Con: The vaping “culture”
Christ I hate them. I hate how they call real cigarettes “analogs”, I hate how they simultaneously tout the benefits of avoiding the tar in their lungs while not mentioning the nicotine that is still constricting their veins. I hate that they refuse to call it smoking “because it’s technically a vapor and blahblahblah” SHUT THE FUCK UP! I hate them even more because I’m becoming one of them. Like vegan diets, thrift stores, liberalism and just about every other good thing in this world—e-cigarettes have been co-oped by a subset of people who join something trendy so they can tell you exactly why their activities and tastes are superior to yours.
Pro: Longer life
“After fifteen years, your risk of heart attack and stroke is close to that of a person who has never smoked” – Quit.org
Con: Longer life
“I know a man who gave up smoking, drinking, sex, and rich food. He was healthy right up to the day he killed himself.” – Johnny Carson