If it Sounds too Good to be True...
On Monday afternoon I reached home, baby in hand, to find that I had finally received what I had been waiting in anticipation for since shortly after Christmas. A small package had arrived in the mail, bringing me what I thought would be the means to give up my worst habit. Frankly I've been getting rather sick and tired of smoking cigarettes. There are a number of reasons why this vice has become tiresome. It's expensive, stinky, and seriously degrades my health. These characteristics should be sufficient for me to want to give it all up permanently. Unfortunately I still enjoy puffing away. I'm in a bind that many others can relate to. Slowly though, I find myself in rarer company.
Last year Allegheny County made smoking in most public places illegal. It's no longer possible to sip on a coffee drink at a local cafe while leisurely basking in the joy of a cigarette. There's no such thing as an after-dinner smoke at the restaurant. Not too long ago I was even scolded for getting my fix within ten feet of the entrance to a bar/eatery. Times have changed, and I suspect that they have done so for the better. Slowly any situation where I am tempted to light up is being removed. This will some day make quitting altogether a lot easier. I wish I could say that I was ready for that ultimate step. But the fact is that I am not. Perhaps I never will be. Still it's possible to imagine an end to it that doesn't involve a hospital stay.
When I learned that there was a new alternative to combustion, my interest was piqued. I ordered the ePuffer from Canada, and prepared to have my life altered for the better. I was excited when it came in the mail, and quickly got the contraption set up. And you know what? My expectations were disappointed. I had worked myself into a lather for what I thought might be an "easy answer". However there are some very real problems with my new e-Cigarette. The first among many is that the cartridges (which cost over $3 each) do not last nearly as long as advertised. The company promised the equivalent of 20-25 cigarettes, but the truth is that each unit delivers (at most) a little over a third of that.
I've since learned that you can actually refill the cartridges with formula that you buy in a bottle. This solution is truly inexpensive, but has its own problems. Nicotine in its pure liquid form is tremendously toxic. An amount somewhere between 40 and 60 milligrams can prove fatal to a full-grown adult. More troublesome is the fact that it can be absorbed through the skin. No doubt one can take special precautions in recharging containers with this fluid, and thus make it relatively safe. Still I don't feel especially comfortable with keeping one more poison around the house for my son to potentially discover. I have to wonder whether that would be worth the hassle and anxiety.
So now I've paid almost $200 for this new alternative nicotine delivery system, and it appears that it's going to be more frustrating than satisfying. I really got my hopes up too. The thought of recovering my full lung capacity and avoiding the carcinogens produced in burning tobacco appealed to me. But unless I'm willing to pay the premium for the factory-made cartridges, I'm never going to have enough product to keep me away from the "analogues" (normal, paper-rolled cigarettes). Of course the obvious answer would be to break the dependence once and for all. Unfortunately I just don't thionk I'm ready for that. I guess I'll be searching for some sort of compromise over the next few weeks. I'll keep you all updated.