Monday, December 29, 2008

A Space-Aged Cigarette.

Late on Christmas Eve, after I went to my friend's restaurant for his holiday party, I went up the hill to visit a friend. There was much conversation and revelry. Everything seems a bit of a blur now, as there were many things to discuss and enjoy that night. Still there is certainly one moment that sticks out in my mind- our host noticed that one of his guests was smoking a cigarette, yet it wasn't really burning. The guy would take a pull, and its end would light up, but there was no smoke involved. The square remained its original length no matter how many hits were taken from it. Obviously this was a compelling mystery, so an explanation was requested. As more people tuned in, the room got quiet.

The enigmatic holder of the strange device began to explain its mechanics. He was "smoking"... but not really. What he was actually doing was inhaling atomized nicotine. There was no carbon involved. There was no second-hand emanation. It looked exactly like any normal cigarette, but its "burning" cherry was simply an LED light that activated whenever you brought air through. Inside the barrel (where tobacco is normally kept) there was a computer chip and a lithium battery to power the contraption. What looked like an ordinary filter was the cartridge that contained liquid nicotine. The thing vaporized the concoction and sent it into your mouth whenever you wanted a hit.

I was already amazed, and soon our emissary passed the "cigarette" around for everyone to try. One after another, our faces lit up as we enjoyed the faint chocolate taste the cartridge was flavored with. It was a very clean and smooth alternative nicotine delivery system. And it felt very satisfying. I was almost instantly sold. I did a quick cost-benefit analysis in my head. If I had such a way to get my fix without the carcinogens, tar, and various unnamed chemicals, what did I have to lose? Sure, I'd be up-taking a purer form of nicotine, which can't exactly be called a nutritional supplement... but what was the difference between that and my Winstons? The only thing different would be a distinct lack of pollution for me and any innocent bystanders.

I asked where I could find the product, and the man replied that it was only available (as far as he knew) online. He told me to Google ePuffer. He said he wasn't sure exactly how much it would cost me to get set up, but he did know that cartridges (equivalent to 20-25 cigarettes) went for around $3, and came in multiple varieties. This was an added bonus, as it worked out to at least a $1.50 savings on each "pack". I didn't need to hear anything else. I was convinced, and I ordered the "deluxe set" the next day. Now I wait with great anticipation for it to arrive in the mail. I'll get two units, 20 cartridges (tobacco and coffee flavored, mild), and all the accessories within the next couple of days.

I've written before on this blog that I am not an early adopter when it comes to most technology. However, this time I'm making an exception. I like to smoke, and I'm certainly addicted to the habit. Yet I know how exceedingly bad it is, with the risks of heart disease, lung cancer, emphysema and reduced lung capacity. No matter how many times I've thought about quitting, I never fail to come up with a reason not to. Still I'd love to be able to participate in vigorous physical activities without the inevitable ill effects of smoking. Now it looks like I may have that chance. Maybe I'll even cease my nicotine dependence altogether. After all, I'm cutting out the middle man for a change.

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5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope it works out for you. It would be really useful if you say, rented a beach house for a week and it was non-smoking (which many are nowadays). :-)
jg

10:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've stopped beating myself up trying to quit that wonderful nicotine that my brain has been enjoying for 45 years. This sounds like a way to get it there without the sides. Hope it works - I'll stay tuned. Thanks. JM

1:36 AM  
Anonymous Steve said...

Can't we all just agree that smoking is awesome and continue said action in the face of the naysayers?

1:48 PM  
Blogger NAVAL LANGA said...

HAPPY NEWS YEAR

MAY THE GOD BLESS YOU FOR THE HAPPINESS AND SUCCESS YOU WISH

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11:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's get Obama to try it so we can all get back to smoking like normal people again!

1:19 PM  

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