If you smoked while you watched the moon-landing, and you’re still smoking now – #smoke/vape/quit

 

(I can talk for Africa: scroll towards the end if you want what I considered the 6 potent pros and cons re vaping generally, distilled from a dozen websites.)

howsafeisvap

copyright Medical Xpress 

Must be said that not a lot of people who watched the moon landing in 1969, or were grooving at Woodstock, are still smoking. Some are gone from us, for a variety of reasons which would include passage of time, moons, raves, smoking, etc. Many have quit in the intervening years. Hands up, though, if you started as a teenager, whenever that was, and a few decades have gone by, and you still smoke now.

No disapproving eyebrow from me. I was too young to be smoking in 1969  but I started as soon as I could – at 13 behind the biking shed (as one did) and coughed my lungs up (as one did) and persisted (as, unfortunately, one did). In the seventies smoking was something you could do indoors and out, in public as well as in private, and without breaking the budget. Times have changed a bit and yet some of us still defiantly smoke and still enjoy it but the pressure never stops quit-quit-quit-quit-while-you-can

In my case I had a stammer and was overjoyed by smoking.  The standard therapist advice for overcoming a stammer is to pause before tackling a difficult word. That looked so geeky: but to suck in smoke before tackling a difficult word? Once you get over the choking stage, it looks entirely natural. So a few random decades have flowed under the bridge and apart from a 3 year break (which I didn’t enjoy)  I am smoking still and I no longer stammer at all.  But my best buddy in Spain, who has been smoking even longer than I have, has been ill and didn’t enjoy being ill and has now as part of his new and improved lifestyle invested in some pretty fancy vaping kit. I have an uneasy feeling in a week or two he is going to be very superior and patronising. Time to look up some facts and I looked at a dozen websites and cherry-picked what worked for me. Lots and lots of overlap on my 6 pros and 6 cons, try it for yourself.

I found, as you probably have, that vaping doesn’t get the best press. In fact there is growing terror that those pesky teenagers who started smoking at 13 (tut) are instead now vaping at 13 and that is generating some fantastic warning bells from, well, everyone. JUST QUIT AND STOP BEING A BAD INFLUENCE is the word on the street, and many add crossly that it isn’t the best way to quit and can lead to swapping one addiction for another.

By the way I’ve always thought the fastest way to stop teenagers thinking smoking is cool would be to force wrinkly wheezers back out from behind the bins where society has dumped us, and make us smoke in public, but that’s not the point.

The point – he wants to use vaping to cut down dramatically, with the intention of quitting altogether. I’m assuming you’re reading the blog because you’re considering that too.

The success rate is – meh.  Alternating smoking and vaping has the lowest success rate of all. Having a gasper which can deliver a selectable low or high nicotine hit, and sticking to it, has a high success rate – but there’s that  possibility of getting addicted instead to the gasper.

The cons are tricky:

  1. long-term studies aren’t available yet, because the trend hasn’t really been going long enough. However, lab studies on non-human subjects are fairly firm on the subject – this isn’t much better for you.
  2. In fact with words like ‘popcorn lung’ and ‘increased risk of heart attack’, not to mention faulty vaping kits and / or rechargeable batteries exploding, it carries some significant risks of its own.
  3. Reducing the risk of explosive kits, and getting real benefit, means forking out a hefty start-up price for something safe, adjustable, and which won’t run out of puff just when you want it most. Costs can start around the price of a carton of cigarettes (in Spain, where they are relatively affordable), and run really high, up to 1000€. This is not the time to economise. Buy the best you can afford.
  4. Once you have the kit, there are so many variations, flavours, mixtures and options for blowing a cloud that finding one you like could take a discouraging while. Some have stopped trying.
  5. Oh, and re those variations – this whole fad has blown up so quickly, and is moving so fast, that it is effectively unmonitored. There are options on offer which have never been tested on anybody or anything and you will be one of the guinea pigs finding out how bad the side-effects could be.
  6. You still need to smoke outside unless everyone else is vaping too.

That’s the bad news. The pros are potent too.

  1. Ongoing cost is minimal. Vaping vs smoking will save you LOADS. (I know, you’re using it to give up so you don’t need to know that but I’m mentioning it anyway.)
  2. Your breath, clothes and hair won’t smell, or you can choose a vape option which makes you smell like a rose garden, or a beach at sunset, or a chocolate milkshake.
  3. Your fingers and teeth won’t be stained (your teeth may rot faster, but hey, that’s only if you become a vape addict and probably the least of your problems if you do)
  4. You can have a low-setting puff or two when you want (no having to finish, or stub out and waste, a cigarette when you only needed a puff)
  5. You can dial up a high-setting puff when you need a jolt – cravings are stopped in their tracks to reel away, gasping.
  6. The mere fact of making, and carrying through, the decision to change your life, is proving you’re statistically far likelier to bring in other life-enhancing improvements.

I tried his new toy and triggered the kind of coughing fit I haven’t had since I was 13. Then I dialled it back and tried more cautiously and it was – okay. If he cracks this, I’m going to have to follow suit, or give up the friendship, or face a social future of being patronised and smirked at every time I light a cigarette.

Maybe it’s time. (And century-old words like ‘gasper’ and ‘blowing a cloud’ definitely appeal to me)

Ever researching on your behalf

Elegsabiff

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