It’s the 17th of Stoptober and now over the half way point. Well done to all of you who’ve managed to stop smoking this long. I have to confess I had a momentary lapse over the weekend, in hindsight it strikes me as interesting that this weakness in my otherwise invulnerable armour of willpower came at a moment of boredom. I wasn’t stressed or moody, tired or lacking in concentration, I was simply at a loose end. In my defence I only had a few drags when I realised what I’d done and immediately despised myself. Encouragingly for me it wasn’t at all enjoyable, I got a rush to the head, felt a bit sick and had to sit down.
The whole experience drove home the point I raised in my last post about quitting being a total life change. Too often before have those idle moments been occupied with a cigarette. I have tried my very best to keep my days busy and at work this isn’t a struggle at all. At home on a rained-off Sunday with the kids entertaining themselves and a overwhelming urge to chill like a champ, I’m finding my willpower gets pushed to it’s limits.
I don’t think I should be chastising myself here for not having filled that moment with activities of self advancement or distraction. We all deserve to be able to rest and I’m wary of over-filling my downtime to the point where I stress myself out, thus providing a cause to smoke again. Heaven knows I’ve got enough stresses in life without adding to them my own sense of self loathing for not having taken the chance to go zorbing, do parkour or learn Klingon.
Sadly what I didn’t have during my moment of weakness was my new toy, one of these newfangled Vapourlites. I have to admit I’ve always been put off from trying smoking alternatives when I’ve given up in the past, tending to view them as replacing one addiction with another. I’ve been much more open minded this time round. After speaking to Matt the pharmacist last week I was schooled in the idea that nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs) are acceptable, useful treatments. Much of what keeps us hooked on regular tobacco is the 100s of additional unknown ingredients added to cigarettes by companies not only invested in keeping you smoking, but smoking their brand. Nicotine itself is a massively addictive substance but when inhaled as a vapour is free from all the life threatening chemicals you’ll get from smoking tobacco.
Lead, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and a host of other toxic substances that would sound at home in a Victorian chemistry set are all wilfully being inhaled by smokers. Put into this context there is a strong argument to include NRTs in your quitting plan.
Whilst I’ve yet to try nicotine gums, sprays, patches and the like, what I find particularly good about Vapourlites is their two-fold ability to replace the bodies nicotine craving whilst also substituting the habitual act of smoking. Unlike the herbal tobaccos I’ve tried there is a gratifying ‘hit’ from inhaling a good burst of vapour, a fairly successful analogue of smoking to my mind.
I took my vapourlite down the pub, previously the place where I was most likely to start smoking again and was able to enjoy a drink without once thinking about smoking a real cigarette. I was also able to sit in for the evening with my non smoking friends, a scene which previously seemed the stuff of a bygone era.
I can also sit at my desk at work and puff away on my vapourlite without breaking any laws or offending my colleagues. This has gone a long way to eradicating my need to break up the hours by running outside to have a fag. One final point before I cease my eulogy is that the vapourlite, unlike the conventional cigarette doesn’t invite you to smoke the whole thing in one go. I can casually take a drag or two as required and put the thing down with a new found sense of finality. I’m hoping this helps me out when i get to the stage to give up the vapourlite, at present it certainly feels as if points in the day when I would smoke almost like clockwork are slowly disappearing.
I understand there is a massive greyness surrounding the legal and medicinal definitions of electronic cigarettes and knowing not to mix politics with art shall leave that one up to the suits to decide.
For me honestly however I am finding my vapourlite a helpful companion to have with me on my journey to quitting.
- Vapourlites — The Safer Way To Smoke? (inventorspot.com)
- The Path to a Healthier Life (powerecigs.wordpress.com)
- E-cig Review V2 Cig Barrage Size Of It – Vapourlites (quitthecure.com)
- Popularity of E-Cigarettes (smartblogs23.wordpress.com)
- The gateway smoke: e-cigarette usage is up among youth (mydoorsign.com)
- What Are Electronic Cigarettes and How Safe Are They? (epicahealth.com)
- Day 10 (expresschemist.wordpress.com)
- Stoptober Week One* (hodgepodgedays.wordpress.com)
- How To Quit Smoking: We’re Supporting You Through Stoptober (healthebuddy.wordpress.com)
- What is Stoptober and why is it popular? (telegraph.co.uk)