A Space-Aged Cigarette.
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.