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Of all the vices I’ve ever had, tobacco was probably the hardest to give up.  Even using the electronic cigarettes, I still sometimes just want a real cigarette.. and I have had a few of them over the past year.  But, a pack of cigarettes spread over a year is a substantial improvement over smoking a pack a day.  And, oh my goodness!, at the money I’ve saved.  The e-cigarettes cost roughly $20-30 per month, rather than the cost of real cigarettes, which was closer to $30-40 per week.

I still debate whether or not quitting smoking fully counts, while using the e-cigs.  They are even labeled as *not* being an approved method of quitting smoking.  Most of my friends and family members say “Of course it counts!”, but I still have my doubts.  I still get to go through the motions of smoking a cigarette, and there is still nicotine in the product.  In fact, at first I was ordering the highest nicotine level, which was actually stronger than the cigarettes I had been smoking.  I started joking that the real cigarettes were so weak by comparison, I might never want a real cigarette again.  Of course, I do still want a real cigarette sometimes.  But it’s becoming more and more rare, and normally I can resist the urge.  I even started ordering a lower nicotine content.

There is still a lot of argument over whether or not electronic cigarettes are really safe.  I would guess that anything unnatural has the potential to be harmful in some way, as do many natural things.  (Nothing in this life can be guaranteed as safe; even water can kill.)  And, ecigs haven’t really been on the market long enough to fully know the long term consequences.  However, we do know the long term effects of tobacco use.  So, any move away from smoking is probably an improvement.

And, because I still get to have the illusion of smoking, including the nicotine, I haven’t had as many negative side effects of quitting as some smokers experience from quitting “cold turkey”.  (I even tried the patches once, but they wouldn’t stay lit!)  I haven’t had the weight gain so many experience.  I’ve even lost a few pounds, to the dismay of friends who thought I was already thin enough.  And, I haven’t had any mood swings beyond the usual.

No more smoker’s cough or icky ashtray smell, either.  My e-cigs have been described as smelling like cotton candy.  Yum.

So, as tempting as it is to celebrate a year of (mostly) not smoking by going out and buying a pack of cigarettes, I probably won’t.   If you or someone you know might be interested in trying electronic cigarettes, you can find them here in a wide range of flavors.


No, it isn’t part of any New Year’s resolution; it only happens to coincide with the start of the new year. I’ve smoked for entirely too many years, and have known for a long time that it is an unhealthy, expensive habit that I would eventually need to break.

I’ve always been a little worried that quitting smoking would make me overly irritable.  I’m one of those temperamental creative types anyway; no need to rock the boat and give myself another excuse to be moody.  But, I finally had enough of the “extras” tobacco companies put into cigarettes, and I’m not crazy about the idea of giving more money to the tobacco execs who made so much money by lying to the general public about the health risks of smoking for so many years.  Plus, there are so many things about smoking which go against so many of my personal beliefs.  Plus, there is the mess that cigarette “butts”, tar, and ashes make.

Oh yeah, and there are those pesky health risks.

So, one Sunday and on an impulse, I bought one of those “e cigarettes”.  It was a cheap one and the only brand available locally, without ordering online and waiting several days for delivery.  It isn’t so terrible, but it tastes a lot like one of those fog machines used at concerts, and the battery doesn’t last very long.

Fortunately, I also ordered another brand online later the same day, which arrived just a couple of days later.  It was a “freebie”– a REAL freebie, not one of those “free but then we enroll you in an expensive club that you can never get out of” freebies.  I only had to pay the $1.95 shipping, and there is no club membership required.  This one tastes much better, with a longer battery life.  In fact, I liked the newer brand so much more that I just ordered more, and now I am not sure why I didn’t try it sooner.

No smelly smoke, no ashes, no butts, no burns, no tobacco stains.  I haven’t had a “real” cigarette in days now, and I haven’t snarled at anyone!  (No more than usual, anyway!)

Are they any healthier than “real” cigarettes?  I really have no idea.  The e-cigarettes contain propylene glycol, which is found in many products from food to cosmetics to industrial lubricants.  The risks of this chemical seem to vary depending on which website one visits for information.  Also, they contain nicotine (unless you order the “no nicotine” package), so they must be kept away from children and pets. But, it can’t be any worse than the additives in traditional cigarettes, which are widely known to be harmful.

What I do know is that it is less expensive for me, and less unpleasant for the nonsmokers around me.  And, they take the edge off of giving up the traditional cigarettes.  Another added benefit: no more disposable lighters!

I also know my non-smoking customers will appreciate being able to order original art paintings, without concern that it might arrive smelling of tobacco smoke.  But I will wait just a little longer before removing the warning from my website.  I’ve been smoking in this studio for a long time, so it will be some time getting the smoke smell out of everything.

Now the question is…

Who else out there is ready to give up cigarettes?

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