I don’t talk about how much I dislike smoking since I became a hermit who basically lived, ate and worked in her own room, door closed and air freshener can at the ready, but it may easily be the thing I’ve hated the longest in my life, and it’s a not exactly minor part of why my relationship with my father is terrible. In fact, the way he acts about smoking sums up his entire behavior that I have trouble with. He insists that I make everything up inside my head… including the smell of smoke that reaches me and makes me physically sick, dizzy and dry throat and stomachache and migraine, the whole nine yards. I “imagine” it. Gaslighting, yo. Try harder.
My mom at least tries not to smoke around us (us being my sister, who has asthma, and me), or near us, or during/before/after meals. She’d actually quit if she felt that she could. It helps keep her anxiety at bay, and she can’t try nicotin patches and things for health reasons. (I can’t remember the specific health reason. The tachycardia thing?) But a couple of months ago, we were out running errands and she mentioned e-cigs, and how she’d actually quite like to try them if only the initial investment in them weren’t so high.
So I put out a request, and what do you know: Sparks eCigs came through.
My mom got a starter kit with two electronic cigarettes, a charger box, and an assortment of flavor cartridges. Each cartridge is supposed to be equivalent to five packs of regular cigarettes, and I can confirm that she hasn’t run out yet even though she’s only using one flavor. She’s still smoking regular cigarettes regularly, but she’s cut down on the amount by a lot, and I can now go out with her without dying from inhaling her smoke when she’s walking next to me. It’s pretty win-win.
Eventually, I would really like her to quit altogether, but if she makes a full transition to e-cigs, that would still be a huge step forward in one of my five points against smoking, which are as follows:
1. It’s really expensive and the return on investment is basically zero. Those things keep going up in price, and you smoke them and I guess it makes you feel better for five minutes, and makes everyone around you feel bad for fifteen, and then you’ve got trash to throw out and ashes in weird places if you’re smoking while lying down or sitting away from the ashtray like my parents do. I suppose if you only smoke outside your home, the “making everyone around you want to die for fifteen minutes” bit doesn’t apply, but it’s still money that’s basically going in your pipe for you to smoke it. Reference to the Dowager Countess from Downton Abbey intended.
2. It’s bad for your health. It may not kill you straight out, but your teeth will suffer, your dependence will show, you’ll develop weird coughing episodes that make people worry you are going to die from choking on your own throat mess, and your nails get all yellow and it gives you bad breath and a dry throat and dry lips and really, no good comes out of it.
3. You have to plan your life around it. If you have a full-time job, anyway. If you go anywhere for longer than an hour. In winter, when it’s cold as balls outside and you have to let your fingers out in the air to hold the cigarette properly, you have to leave the comfort of your office (or your home if you’re a considerate person with consideration for other human beings’ health) to go freeze in the cold. All for a cigarette. So ridic. And if you smoke inside, other people have to plan their life around it. Let’s be real, the #1 reason I want everyone to not smoke is so I can venture outside my room without feeling sick. So I can open the door and air out my room without letting in cig smoke. So I can walk by my father’s room and not want to die on the spot. So I can, I don’t know, spend time in the living room without choking? There are two reasons I don’t have meals there, and one of them is the smoke. It lingers even if you take care not to smoke around meals, and my father rarely does. (The other reason is my father rarely lets a meal with me go by without picking a fight.)
4. People walking behind you want to kill you. I don’t care that the street is “outdoors” and therefore “public” and smoking is allowed. It is shit. You are making me sick. You are making anyone with allergies or breathing difficulties sick. Stop that. People living on the ground floor when you toss lit cigarettes out the window so your (smoker, may I add) husband won’t catch you smoking want to kill you. (That goes for a neighbor, not my parents.) In short, you’re making people’s rage levels rise. Stop that.
5. It probably gave me Raynaud’s syndrome. Laugh, and say that smoking only gives Raynaud’s syndrome to people who have to smoke out in the cold with their bare hands, but I bet my Raynaud’s will get better when I move out of here. To a colder location. It makes sense in my head.
So I’m pretty pleased my mom liked the e-cigs! She says they’re portable, they’re soothing and they scratch the itch for a good while, unless people make her extra mad/frustrated/anxious. She only liked the menthol flavor, though, not the other fruity ones, so I’ll have to get her some of those cartridges soon. I think it’s five for £7 – and that’s equivalent to twenty-five packs of cigarettes at over £3 per pack. Like, if you’re going to waste money, you might as well waste less of it and not bother people as much. That’s just my take on it.
I like the way it’s packaged, too. All black and sleek and meant to be reused. Good going there.
I received an e-cig starter kit from Sparks eCigs in exchange for reviewing it on my blog. All opinions — and photos — are my own.