Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Smoke With No Smoke?

I'm a smoker.

I've smoked for a really long time. I'm 48 now, and I think I started when I was about 15 or so. If I remember correctly, I started smoking because a girl I liked in school smoked. Back then, the cool kids still smoked, you know. Yep, Salem Light 100's in the box. The thought of those turns my stomach now, but I was willing to bite the bullet back then. Hey, there was a girl involved.

Well, suffice it to say, it's a habit I've tried many times to quit, but to no avail.

I really should quit. Aside from the obvious health benefits, thereare the cost benefits, as well. A carton of cigarettes costs about $51.00. I probably go through three and a half cartons a month.

Do the math. That's right, I'm dropping roughly $175.00 a month on cigarettes. That's $2,100.00 a year which is, quite literally, going up in smoke. Given my "watch addiction" and my photography gig, that's two grand that could certainly be better well spent.

So today, my darling, loving daughter; the apple of my eye, the joy of my life, surprised me with an electronic cigarette. Now, I haven't talked about quitting lately. I'm trying to shed a few pounds, and trying to that and quit smoking at the same time is, I suspect, a nightmare that I'd want no part of. A step at a time, I think, is the way to go.

But I gave this thing a shot and, I gotta' tell ya', I think it may be the ticket.

I listened to the President's State Of The Union Speech tonight and, while I won't discuss the politics of it all, I will say that I was puffing away on my electronic cigarette through the whole thing. The speech was roughly an hour long, and I wasn't jonesin' for a cigarette.

I can remember saying "When cigarettes hit a buck a pack, I'm going to quit". Well, cigarettes hit a buck a pack, and I kept going. Then it was two bucks. Then three. I don't know how I justified not quitting, but I know I did. I know I did because, hey, I'm still smoking.

When I joined the Navy in 1981, I got stationed on a ship out of San Diego. When we'd go out to sea, and we passed the "sea buoy" (the last one a ship passes on its' way out to sea), the ship's store would open for business, and we could buy cigarettes at non-tax prices. What I pay $51.00 for now I was paying $4.00 for then. If you buy cigarettes a pack at a time these days, you can pay up to $7.00 a pack. I was paying forty cents a pack in 1981.

But I'm giving this new-fangled smokey-thing a whirl. It tastes a little odd, but not offensively so. I guess it'll be no different than when I got used to the taste of, oh, I dunno', cigarettes. It "charges" up by plugging into one of the USB ports on my laptop. Man, you gots ta' love technology.

Like I said, I haven't really given much thought to quitting lately. But, since my daughter gave me this, the least I can do is give it a shot...

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