While back home, we went out to eat on the outskirts of the metro area in a town that allows smoking in restaurants (which is, of course, increasingly rare). It was an odd experience. They had a smoking and a non-smoking section, separated by nothing. Mom – who doesn’t smoke at the table anymore – made a comment about it. Which the guy smoking overheard and misinterpreted as a complaint and moved tables further away. It’s amazing how increasingly trained smokers are becoming.
It’s been a long enough time since I have had a cigarette that I stopped counting.
I’ve been increasingly impatient with Blu brand ecigarettes, though. The batteries seem to die too fast and I seem to be spending almost as much on replacement batteries as I am on cartridges. While saving money was not the reason for my transition from analogs to digital cigarettes, it was frustrating to watch the “savings” dissipate (Like smoke! Or vaper! Haha).
The reaction among the family has been mixed. My father wants to know when I am going to quit these things. My father-in-law, who hates cigarettes far more than anybody in my family, is quite supportive. His best friend made the switch and he was comfortable with them. He even came out to talk to me while I was vaping, demonstrating how non-offensive/non-existent the odor is.
Unlike when I was smoking, I made no real effort to minimize or hide what I was doing. Which actually felt quite nice. I would simply say “Hey, I’ve going to go outside and have a puff” and would go.
As it happens, my wife’s cousin’s husband is in a similar boat as myself. He made the transition a couple of years ago, though. So we chatted about that. Both of us were struck by how inconvenient we hadn’t realized that smoking had become. Both of us with wives that don’t like it and now kids (a new thing for me, not for him). You smoke, you come in, you wash up, you maybe change a shirt. Multiple times a day. Smoking jackets when it’s cold, smoking shirts when it’s not. You come up with all sorts of ways to minimize the impact of your habit on those around you, which in our SES is becoming almost entirely comprised of non-smokers.
He got started the same way that I did, with Blu. We had similar complaints about Blu and that told me that I really needed to try to find something else because it wasn’t just me. Blus look like regular cigarettes, more or less, which make them ideal for replacing the habit. Extra points because they’re extremely convenient and you can deprive yourself the excuse of smoking because you ran out of cartridges (you can just go to the convenience store and get new ones).
The Halos, which he had switched to, looked nothing like cigarettes and feel, if anything, like robotic cigars but not really. Honestly, what they remind me of are the cigarette thingies from Watchmen. Except that you are using a battery instead of a lighter to get the fluid to get things going. Okay, so they don’t look all that much alike. But I think of Watchmen every time I look at the tank on the thing.
It also reminds me a bit, oddly, of the “The Second Rennaissance” from Animatrix, the animated accompaniments to Matrix. In that, they told you the story of how the humans got displaced by the robots. Early on, when humans were in charge, the robots were made to look as much like humans as possible. Over time, as they started building themselves, they became more utilitarian in less human-like.
I needed to start with something that looked like a cigarette. Both as a matter of conquering my habit and to alleviate self-consciousness. Now that I can point to these things as having completely displaced my tobacco habit, though, I am beginning to care very little. No, these things don’t look like cigarettes. They look like something that works better than the ones that look like cigarettes do.
I ordered Halos as soon as I got home. They couldn’t have arrived too soon. The night before, I was scrambling about trying like heck to find some battery-cartridge combination that would give me my nicotine hit and put me at peace with the world and nothing seemed to work. With the exception of the snow day, it was the first time I found myself saying “I need a cigarette!” (because… no mechanical failures with those!). Had the Halos not been arriving the next day, it’s conceivable (though not probable) that I would have had a complete relapse.
But the Halos are thus far working great. The batteries last longer. The puff is stronger. I can see how much fluid is left in there and I can fill it myself. It will be much cheaper in medium and long term. (1ml of fluid from Blu costs roughly $2. 7ml of standard fluid from Halo costs $6. 30ml costs $20.) The only real downside is that it’s much more conspicuous and slighly less convenient… but I have little reason to care about the conspicuity and if I find myself in a jam I can go out and get a disposable. And I’ll still have my Blu stuff.
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