Tonight, I begin my trial of the Electronic Cigarette. To be honest, this is not really in an effort to give up smoking, more to reduce the cost of it. I have bought the cartridges that screw on to the battery, and the whole thing looks uncannily like a real cigarette, though slightly larger, and a good deal heavier. When inhaled, water passes through the nicotine cartridge, and the end of the cigarette glows, as if alight. The water vapour that is emitted, is completely smoke-free, and harmless to the atmosphere and surroundings, though the nicotine inhaled gives me the impression that I have smoked a cigarette, and eliminates the craving. That is the general idea, anyway. A quick trial has shown that it is just like smoking, except there is no burning, no tar, and no smoke left in the room, or on clothes.
In theory, these are legal to smoke in places where smoking is otherwise banned, such as restaurants, theatres, and offices. However, the impression of a ‘real’ cigarette is so strong, I believe that you would be constantly explaining yourself, making it too much trouble. The cost reduction is significant, working out at a quarter of the price of an equivalent packet of cigarettes, so the annual saving is measured in thousands of pounds. If it all works, I will at least be better off financially, and the reduction in the intake of tar, carbon monoxide, and hundreds of other chemicals found in tobacco cigarettes, must surely be healthier.
I now have to say goodbye to my wonderful collection of lighters and ashtrays, accumulated over the last 44 years of smoking. No more filling up my Zippos, lovingly replacing the flints and wicks. I will have to clean them all up, then add them to my collection of nice things to be admired. I have a few real cigarettes left, in what may turn out to be my last ever packet of Marlboro Lights, then it is a big hello to the age of electronic smoking.
I will let you know what happens.