I QUIT SMOKING!

Once a smoker, always a smoker. At least for me. Sure I have heard the stories of ex-smokers who have quit for years, and actually I once quit for 10 months no patches nothing and the thought of cigarettes completely left my mind. But I started again.

And using the patch, I can pretty much quit, as I have done gosh it must be almost a hundred times, but the process is a long and arduous journey full of addiction-induced mind games, before I finally reach the point, 6 months down the road, where I am actually nicotine free (no patches), and don’t think about the things a hundred times a day.

And then along comes the ecigarette. I tried the disposable ecigarette sold in most convienence stores here, which was touted to be equal in ‘smoke’ (vapor) to a whole pack of cigarettes. I truly was impressed with it, the flavor and amount of vapor was equal to that of smoking a cigarette, but I burned the thing out in 5 hours. That was not going to work for me at a cost of 7 bucks apiece. I chalked it up to a novelty, and back to cigarettes I went.

Or rather cigarello’s, which are even nastier. Cigarello’s are a combination of cigar and cigarette tobacco, and only cost 1.50 US dollars a pack as apposed to the 6 or 7 US dollars for a pack of cigarettes. This is because of loopholes in the law governing the increase in the price of cigarettes to create cessation from smoking. Since they are not all cigarette tobacco, they are not cigarettes. Gotta love them loopholes.

What they are are very strong and stink something awful. I smoked them for years, ever since cigarettes became insanely expensive, probably delivering twice or even more amount of tar into the lungs. Amazingly, I found them to be even more addicting than cigarettes as well.

One of the things I hated about smoking, in addition to a stinky house and walking around in a cloud of smell like pigpen, which you don’t smell yourself but everyone else does, is oral thrush. Yup, cigarette smoke increases the temperature in your mouth making it a bacteria haven. Halfway into a pack of cigarettes and you are well on the way to a mouthful of bacteria, coating your tongue and increasing plaque on your teeth. Yum. Never kiss a smoker. Or at least ask em to stick out their tongue first. Yuck. Sure as shit, they will have oral thrush.

So when I brushed my teeth, it is first with a gigantic, burning, mouthful of listerine, then a thorough scrubbing of teeth, gums, and tongue. After which I would stick out my tongue and it did absolutely nothing to take away that coating.

Then, a couple months ago, doing my regular oral care, I inspected my tongue and whoa. Something that has never happened before, my normally whitish thrush now had patches in it stained black with tar.

And that was it. After thirty years of the nasty bastards, I had had it. My house, cars, clothes, relationships, and health were all being destroyed by them and it was totally stupid. Determined to quit once and for all, I went out and bought the most expensive nicotine patches on the market, at a cost of 150.00 US dollars.

I quit for 5 weeks and then started again. Can you believe? But it was heaven, absolute heaven. I had also abstained from my normal cocktail hour I enjoyed once or twice a week at home, as alcohol made me want to smoke. So by the end of that 5 weeks, I’ll tell ya, I was stressing big time. I ripped off the patch and that first cocktail and cigarette was just fabulous.

Mom cried. My friends and siblings were dismayed. And my wallet was hurtin too, as I refused to go back to cigarello’s and was spending 6 or 7 bucks a pack for cigarettes. Really the only ‘people’ that were happy about it were my cats, having missed me sitting out on the porch with them all day long in an effort to reduce the smoke in the house.

About 200 dollars in to my new cigarette habit, Christmas came along and my sister gave me an ecigarette kit. Unlike the disposables, these you fill yourself with flavored nicotine juices, and plug the battery in to charge every night. You can suck on the thing all day long and the battery will not run out, although you do have to refill a time or two during the day.

It came with a cookie flavored juice and was sweet and delivered the same amount of nicotine as a Marlboro cigarette. My first day I was having my coffee and had no problem with the nicotine cravings or the amount of ‘smoke’, the problem was it did not taste like cigarette. I made an emergency run to an ecig store in the mall and purchased Turkish tobacco flavored juice, and that solved the problem.

My first week went well with it. I tried different flavors and settled on cherry as my favorite, which went well with my bourbon and coke cocktail hour and also with my coffee. In fact, the cherry did more than just go well with my cocktails, it was awesome!! Yum! During the first 5 days I did smoke one or two cigarettes a day, mostly because I still had a pack left. I was pleased that a whole pack of cigarettes lasted me more than a week, and decided to only have one or two a day with my coffee in the morning or before bed.

But you know, that pack ran out and, getting all the nicotine and able to puff away to my hearts content with no ill affect on the ecigarette, I actually went a week before I bought another pack of Marlboros today and settled down for a cocktail hour. And …

I’ll be dambed if it wasn’t the most disgusting smoking experience I ever had. Usually if I go a day or two without a cigarette, that first drag tastes sooooo good. My body loves it. This time I nearly choked!! I wanted my ecigarette! Wow! I mean no shit, wow!! I couldn’t smoke it! It was gross! I mean wait, did you hear that? I c-o-u-l-d   n-o-t   s-m-o-k-e   i-t. !!!!!!!

Never in my life, in thirty years of smoking, have I not wanted the taste of a cigarette. This was crazy. I stubbed that fucker out and went right back to my ecigarette, which pleasure.

So there you have it. I quit smoking. This month is my 51st birthday, and I can say that. Thats a nice present. I’m still addicted to nicotine, and I will work on that, but now all I do is inhale vapor, made with the same harmless stuff that makes the fake smoke for the dance floors and concerts and is used in asthma inhalers for people with asthma.

There is a whole lot to be said about ecigarettes. They are not regulated yet, so you need to make sure you get your stuff from a reputable company. They are not a smoking cessation product, they are a smoking deterrent instead. In other words, you still have your nicotine habit (you can work on that tho – the juice comes in strengths), and your still puffin away, but it don’t kill you. And you can afford it, a pack a day smoker will spend maybe thirty bucks a month as apposed to 250.00 + bucks a month. And of course you gotta learn how to use and maintain the things. One thing I will say is that if you try it, do NOT going higher than 18mg nicotine strength, which is the same as a regular full strength cigarette. You can actually go up to 36mg nicotine strength, which is insane since my research indicates lethal dose of nicotine is 60mg. Like I said, this stuff is currently unregulated. Also, although I already said this, I say again, make sure the company you get it from is reputable.

There is all kinds of shit to talk about, and lots of controversy too.

But you know what? Man! I finally quit smoking!  Wanna kiss?  🙂

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About respectfullywritten

I live in Central Florida and love it!!
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