I picked up my first cigarette the summer between my freshman and sophomore year in college. As I recall, I was working on campus at the Summer Planning Conference – basically shepherding incoming freshman around campus and making sure they didn’t burn the buildings down during their three-day stay. During the three days between sessions, there may have been some drinking. Actually, there was definitely drinking going on and that’s also where I learned to love Sam Adams Cherry Wheat and rum in its many varieties. Of course that’s beyond the scope of this tale. With the timeline set, that means I’ve been smoking more or less regularly for about 12 years (although it doesn’t seem like nearly that long).
About 48-hours ago, my newest toy arrived. The GreenSmoke electronic cigarette is going to take some getting use to over the next few days. What I’ve noticed so far is that it’s really not all that much different from the old “analog” smoking habit. It doesn’t pack quite the same punch as the real thing, but that may be a function of having ordered cartridges with too low a dose of nicotine. Aside from that, I’m not noticing any particularly bad physiological issues. No headaches or dry mouth; no problems sleeping; no cravings bad enough to make me want to chew my own arm off. The only down side I’ve found in the first 48 hours is the battery life of each e-cig leaves quite a bit to be desired. With a battery necessarily being so small, it’s easy enough to see why they can only hold a few hour of charge. Still, I could see getting caught with a dead or dying battery being just as terrifying as being caught with only one or two smokes left in a pack. The solution, I suppose, is to bring on extra batteries and chargers and stash them around strategically. They even market a USB pass-through device that basically lets you tether your cigarette to a laptop. I’ll be looking into that one as it seems like a good compromise solution until battery technology catches up with the concept.
The reason I know this thing might actually work is that on an average day I would usually smoke somewhere around 30 cigarettes. Yesterday I had six and probably had the same number today. Without my new favorite toy, I would have had that many before 8:00 on a weekday morning. I’m not saying this is the best solution available, but if I can get my fix almost anywhere, save money over the long run, cut out all or most of the additives, it seems like the beginnings of a no brainer. I’m not foolish enough to call this a change in lifestyle after only 48 hours, but I’m cautiously optimistic. It’s definitely a good thing to have so many of the perks, but so few of the drawbacks.