Bad habits


I used to smoke. 

Yeah, I was a smoker. I was the evil puffing bastard everyone has come to hate! I put your children at risk! According to the nanny state I should have been taken out and shot.

Not to put me out of my misery but out of yours.

I quit years ago and I still miss it.

Now theres an un-PC admission in this day & age!

I’m glad I quit and everything, but I liked the nicotine rush! I also liked that it killed my appetite and it was a lot easier to stay skinny.

The health benefits outweighed the desire to smoke and so I was able to leave it, albeit with regret in my past.

I quit because my best friend asked me one day how it was that I could justify going to the gym 4 days a week and still smoke when I came out of the gym?

It was a good question and as usual his logic was completely irrefutable.

I quit that day…

I still miss it.

I miss smoking when I’m drinking at a bar. You can’t smoke at bars in California anymore but I still miss it.

I miss smoking after sex. I miss the ashtray on my belly, the red cherry of my cigarette glowing in the darkness and me thinking quietly about what I’d just done and knowing that I was going to do it again when I stubbed out my smoke. I miss having my arm wrapped around my partner, their head on my shoulder while I smoked that in between fuck cigarette.

I doubt I’m the only man who feels that way.

I miss getting up from my desk and walking outside to have a smoke and bitch with my co-workers about the boss or the latest political fuck-up in the company.

I smoked because I enjoyed the taste, and the hit. Not because I was lured into it by unscrupulous corporations. (Their ads were enticing, who didn’t want to be the Marlboro Man?)  I knew damn well what I was doing.

My Dad smoked. It killed him, you’d think that I wouldn’t wax lovingly about cigarettes.

I didn’t start smoking until I was 18. Near the end of my smoking days, I was doing almost a pack a day.

The nicotine was one thing. I think I was self medicating a bit. Nicotine acts as a stimulant and because it’s a stimulant it has a very specific effect on persons who happen to have been treated in their childhood with drugs like Ritalin.

The child may have outgrown the reasons they were put on Ritalin but their bodies will always have an affinity for stimulants in general.

I’ve known more than one smoker who had been on Ritalin in their childhood, of those more than a few who really liked pharmaceutical grade stimulants. 

Interesting thing is that if their Doctor was smart and recognized certain traits they’d end up back on Ritalin and suddenly they’d stop smoking.

But sure… Ritalin is completely safe for your unruly child, we’ve been using it for 50 years on kids just like yours… (with no or generally undocumented, unproven ill effects.)

Moving on…

I recently had the opportunity to try one of those e-cigarettes. For those of you that don’t know, these are things that look like cigarettes and that provide a nice flavor and optionally a selectable hit of nicotine without the tar, and other nasty chemicals associated with combustion in a “real” cigarette.

It was nice…

Not exactly like smoking a cigarette, but it was pleasant.

Since then, I’ve done a lot of reading and investigation The jury is out about the negative effects of these devices.

About the only consistent thing is that they’re less unhealthy than a cigarette. The “Smoke” is essentially water vapor, there’s no smell, but there is a good taste (at least in the one I tried). You can choose the nicotine leveNewImagel and they’re also a lot cheaper than cigarettes. 

I’m not sure that I’m ready to start up with one of these things all the time but I do like the option.

The only problem I could see is that unlike a real cigarette you don’t know when you’re done. 

I’d smoke a real cigarette in about 10 -15 minutes if I wasn’t in a hurry. These e-cigs don’t burn down so you could find yourself completely losing track of time if you weren’t paying attention.

For someone like me that really enjoyed smoking even when I quit… these things might be a neat option. I could also see how they might assist in quitting for some people.

But I suspect that there will be a larger number of folks who switch over to this option. At least until the government starts to regulate them and drives the prices up to normal cigarette levels.

There’s also the fact that cigarettes used to be, and e-cigs still are cheaper than a monthly prescription of Ritalin.

I don’t know if that’s still the case. I haven’t looked into Ritalin in a very long time.