I used to smoke. I loved smoking. Couldn’t get enough of them. Yeah, I haven’t touched one in over 10 years. Nowadays I go for a run every other day, I watch what I eat and I try to cut back on the booze; my body is my temple. Which is just as well, because for about 20 years, my body was my nightclub.
I don’t envy those who are trying to quit smoking, it’s really tough. When I smoked and I was trying to quit people would offer encouragement and I’d laugh if off saying “Naw, quitting smoking is easy. I’ve done it hundreds of times.”
Like I said, it’s really tough to give up smoking. Nicotine is an incredibly addictive drug. When you quit, it’s not like you’ve suddenly decided to stop eating ice-cream, or now you’re taking your coffee black when you used to use creamer. When you quit, it’s a massive shock to the system; it’s like halving your calorie intake for the day. So, imagine your average plate of food for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Now, throw out half of that food, and you’re not allowed to replace it with snacks. Imagine giving up lunch, or giving up dinner and again, you’re not allowed to replace that meal with snacks later.
It can be really, really tough for some people to quit, which brings me to the subject of “vaping.” Vaping is the process of smoking those “fake, electronic” cigarettes. You know the ones, they almost look like pens. It looks like someone sucking on a pen and then blowing out steam. I read recently where they are banned on all public transport systems at home in Ireland. I went online to check with the TSA, but couldn’t find anything conclusive, although lots of blog posts said vaping on commercial airlines is prohibited, presumably it’s okay then if you’ve got your own private jet – thank God for that.
It does raise the question though of whether or not this vaping should be considered to be the same as smoking. Personally, I see vaping as a replacement addiction, and so I feel about it, the same way I do about chewing tobacco, or ‘dipping’ as y’all call it. These products should be banned, period. Yes, I know I’m coming across all “nanny-state” on ye; but really, nicotine has no upside. It’s one of the few occasions when I get all dictatorial.
If I were the benign dictator (I wouldn’t like to be a nasty one you understand) I would ban ALL nicotine products completely. “What about my civil liberties”? Yeah? What about the medical costs the rest of us have to help fund? Your “civil liberties” are not as important as your “civic responsibilities.” At least with alcohol it greases the wheels of social interaction. And yes, of course, I’m fully aware of the dangers of alcohol. My father was an alcoholic, ‘twas the drink that killed him in the end – he was run over by a Guinness truck.
So, if you’re trying to get off the fags, good luck to ya: I really feel for ya brother/sister. I really, really do. But this vaping malarkey, is just replacing one addiction with another. I will grant you this however, I don’t know if the onus is on you to prove it’s relatively safe, or on me to prove it’s toxic. That’s one to ponder for today.
Brian O’ Nuanain runs “Across The Pond And Beyond”, a company that organizes international vacations. You can reach him at acrossthepondandbeyond.com