Friday, January 28, 2011


When I first heard about E Cigs I immediately feared they would be a threat to the smoking culture because if they became popular then smokers would probably be forced to use them. I'll admit I've been a prig about them in the past

It is such unfounded fear that often causes such prejudice and I moan enough about how that affects smokers socially these days. Bloggers that I admire have spoken of how the electrofag can be a useful addition to smoking tobacco and so I opened my mind, changed my view, and grabbed the chance to try them when it came.

I met Cliff Ditchfield my local supplier who advertises on Facebook and he popped into work today with an E Cig kit.

I thought it would be a complicated thing but it's very easy to set up and you end up with a proper looking cigarette that can legally be smoked in public places. The end lights up when you draw on it and nicotine vapours come out. Nictotine is optional. You charge up the cigarette like a mobile phone when you need to.

There's a lot for £17.50 (£2.50 P&P) a pack. It's either one E Cig or one pack of E Cigs that equates to a pack of 200. I've always been crap at maths but either way it's a definite bargain.

I know I won't be able to smoke tobacco when I board the boat for my latest UK Tobacco tax resistance trip and so an electrofag will come in handy.

I was bored senseless during the 12 - 14 hour journey last time I took a boat and that's when I most want to smoke. It is not about "addiction" because I can travel without the need to smoke if I'm entertained enough. The cabaret scenario of the ship just doesn't appeal. I might watch a film that'll take up a couple of hours, but I will get fed up of the constant round of visiting the cafe, bar, and any other eaterie or pub onboard. I'll also miss that last reflective cigarette at bedtime so electrofag will come in handy then.

I can also use it at other times. I'm really looking forward to getting it out in Starbuck's and horrifying the management in my local Tesco's cafe. Both places carried offensive anti-smoker signs when we had choice before the anti-smoker ban came in.

I hear there are moves to try and ban the electrofag. I think it's because the puritans don't want to see anyone smoking in future. They don't just want to eradicate tobacco use but the whole culture that surrounds it. For all of the reasons above, I now see E Cigs as an enhancement to the smoking culture.

They are a great toy but they could never replace the real thing for me as a dedicated, lifelong smoker of 43 years from childhood. I smoke because I like the taste of tobacco, and, actually, particular types. Cliff's E Cigs have a cigarette tobacco taste like Lambert and Butler. He also has menthol. I've never taken to those. It's like smoking chewing gum to me. Perhaps by my next order he will stock something more like Golden Virginia or some other light shag taste.

I tasted nicotine in the electrofag and I got the sense of the smoke with the vaper that came out when I exhaled. But what I missed was that hit in the back of the throat, the one that sometimes makes me cough, after lighting a hand rolled cigarette without a filter fresh from the pouch.

The first experience was a bit like ordering a bacon sandwich and getting one with cold ham instead. I missed being able to stub it out. I missed the smell. I missed watching it burn down. I just stopped smoking it after a while. It seemed a bit dry and it felt a bit medical in taste. I neither enjoyed nor didn't enjoy it.

I would use it again but I would never stop smoking tobacco and certainly not for reasons of health until at least some unbiased research is done to show what the effects would be on some one like me. At present I feel it would be more dangerous to quit and better to continue to smoke moderately.

Those who want to quit would find E Cigs ideal and, from what I've heard, a better alternative to NRT because they more accurately mimic the smoking culture and can replace the habit of smoking.

A lady I work with immediately put in an order when Cliff came in because she wants to quit what she says is a habit and not an addiction. She misses a smoke most with a cup of tea. There is some family pressure but she's come to the decision to quit herself. Some smokers simply get fed up of smoking after a while.

* The unhappiness this continual attack on the smoking culture has made people since the smoking ban is crafted here By Dick Puddlecote. As usual, it's well worth a read and focuses on a recent study that shows most people have been as miserable as sin since July 2007.