I was waiting at the bus stop today. It was cold and the darned bus was late again. The lady stood next to me was obviously annoyed and restlessly got out her ecig to puff on. I was glad that it wasn’t smelly tobacco smoke that’s for sure. The bus turned up 8 minutes late and during that time I thought back to May 2009 when I first bought an electronic cigarette from the Internet.
I bought it more out of curiosity than anything else, but within 3 months I had stopped smoking and only bought 10 cigarettes altogether during that time. I had been smoking for nearly 40 years and had tried to stop many times, so stopping using an ecig was a blooming miracle.
Recently I read an article saying that the EU were thinking about banning electronic cigarettes from public places. I was annoyed at first when I read that, because I have grown tired over the years of the EU directives. They said jump, we asked how high? I will be so glad when we finally get out of that cesspit.
Then I thought back to when I smoked an ecig and remembered that most of the time I hadn’t smoked my ecig in public places. That was because tobacco smoking was banned in public places and I felt as if smoking an electronic cig in public was like rubbing tobacco smoker’s noses in it.
Later I remembered an article that I wrote in 2013 and it was about one of the few times that I did smoke my ecig in a public place. The article follows:
Waiting For A Train With Electronic Cigarettes
I first heard of electronic cigarettes through reading an article on the Internet, got curious and ordered a starter kit. I took to them straight away and swapped my very bad habit for the healthier option.
Apart from safer and cheaper smoking they are fun. They are still quite rarely seen and create a lot of interest from those who have never seen or heard of them before.
The day that I was waiting for a train was a prime example of the interest my ecig created in those around me and this is my story.
At The Railway Station
I was getting restless waiting for the train and without thinking pulled my electronic cigarette out of my pocket and had taken a couple of long puffs at it before noticing the evil looks that I was getting from my fellow travelers. I held my e cig up for them to see the green LED while guiltily saying “It’s an electronic cigarette, safe and legal to smoke in public places.”
The evil looks quickly turned to interest and I heard comments like ‘I’ve heard of them’, ‘they are supposed to be good’ and was asked by an elderly lady who looked as if she thought it was a wind up ‘What are they?”
I showed them my e cig as I replied “This is a battery, atomiser and a nicotine cartridge. Although the cartridges contain nicotine they do not contain the 4,000 plus harmful chemicals that cigarettes contain. The smoke that you see is just harmless vapour not second hand tobacco smoke”.
An elderly couple were the most interested, they asked me if electronic cigarettes really were safe to smoke. My reply was “As far as I’m aware they are and without the tar and chemicals they have got to be much safer than the effects of smoking normal cigarettes”.
“Aren’t they just as addictive?” a young man asked.
“Yes, they can be” I replied, “but I am using them the same way that I would use nicotine patches to wean myself off tobacco”.
I went on to explain that you can get nicotine cartridges in different strengths just like nicotine patches and that some of the cartridges were nicotine free. This way of quitting smoking was working for me despite the product not being intended as a quit smoking aid. I told them that after several weeks of no tobacco cigarettes I felt fitter and healthier and that I was using the electronic cigarette less and less because I had mainly lost the habit while I was dealing with the addiction.
“Where can you buy them from?” Several of those around me wanted to know and when I told them the Internet lost some interest, but then I could hear them working a way round it with comments like “We can go on the computer at the library”, “…s mobile goes on the Internet”.
The amount of interest was amazing and especially from the older end. I’ve seen that before when I’ve been out and about with my ecig. What I think is that after smoking for many years they are getting more and more symptoms of just why tobacco cigarettes are bad for them and that’s frightening. Like me they have probably tried to stop smoking and failed many times and the possibility of an healthier alternative that might help them is bound to be of interest to them.
However, no matter how much interest there is a sticking point. As always I was asked how much e-cigs are while I was waiting for the train.
Prices vary, but I paid £50 for my starter pack and 25 extra cartridges – enough to last me for at least 6 weeks. After that there is only the much lower cost of cartridges or refill fluid. I personally saved over £20 every week for several months until I stopped smoking.
As I saw my train approaching and fellow travelers interest waning at the price I asked myself “What price health?”.
Update November 2016
I totally stopped smoking over 7 years ago now and although electronic cigarettes were intended as an healthier alternative to tobacco cigarettes and not intended as a quit smoking aid or form of nicotine replacement therapy I found that they helped me enormously. Since then I have only wanted a tobacco cigarette once, at my nephew’s funeral 4 years ago. I’ve always known that there was an ecig in a drawer at home which I could charge up rather than buy any tobacco cigs. I never did charge it up and threw it away 2 weeks ago.
Are you struggling to stop smoking? I was but not any more. Just click on electronic cigarettes if you would like to check ecigs out.