In 2007 I went to Egypt on my own over Christmas (I was single at the time). On my return I got a chest infection (I may have picked it up out there and transported it back, it may have been entirely coincidental or just the extreme change in weather. I tried to ignore it, but it got worse and worse and in the end, being an asthmatic I was in real trouble. I was issued with a puffer far in excess of my need “Seretide”, for long term use (in my opinion) but ideal to get me over the hump; being the infection, and negated the need for oral steroids, which is the usual treatment for chest infection in asthmatics.
What has this got to do with travel plans?
Well smoking, it’s smelly expensive, and bad for your lungs, and it would mean that the inside of the new Moho would invariably have the faint whiff of fags about it eventually.
The infection in 2007/2008 winter was the beginning of a spiral of decline in my ability to breathe that resulted in 20010/11 winter “Reverse Spirometry Test”, revealing COPD that’s Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or Emphysema in old money. This you would think this would be enough to kill the smoking habit deader than a Dodo. But you would be wrong, because Nicotine is addictive in ways that other drugs can barely imagine, and normal NRT “Nicotine Replacement Therapies”, have consistently failed to get me off tobacco, despite an almost desperate desire to do so.
I’ve seen E-Cigs about for a couple of years, but never thought of making the investment, mostly because I’ve been in (this is my own made up syndrome) “I don’t really smoke because I only smoke two fags a day, and working in the city of London is like smoking twenty fags a day so my two fags a day are having a negligible effect on my health, despite my previous diagnosis of COPD” or IDRSBIOSTFADAWITCOLILSTFADSMTFADAHANEOMHDMPDOCOPD for short ... I have been in I smoke denial for some time.
With the trip coming up, smoking had to give, and in the last year alone I’ve tried maybe a dozen times. I get two around seven days with the Nicorette inhaler (which I hate), or with those vile little mint’s and a beer night comes up and immediately the requirement for 12.5 grams of Cutters Choice tobacco comes up. Which I promise myself I’ll bin the remainder of, the next day, then don’t, then spend the next week or so trying to find and ideal day to stop again ... this just runs and runs.
Then a two weeks ago Mr Neal Asher ScFi author whom I follow on Facebook, clearly decided to give up the fags, and started posting stuff about E-cigs and I sat up. He was doing the research legwork so I didn’t have to. This meant that I could jump across a few links and find my own information without going the E-Lites route, which my dad has gone with very variable results, along with a few people I know at work, who now just smoke again. I didn’t realise there were lots of brands and types, I didn’t realise that there was vapour that provides the medium to carry the nicotine, or that that “sense” of smoking that gums, mints and inhalers don’t have, is present in spades with an Electronic Cigarette. However because Mr Asher had done all this legwork, I just needed to do some simple lunchtime reading, read a few reviews (I watched a couple of Youtube videos as well), and made a decision on what to buy.
I eventually decided to try the V2 E-Cig from V2Cigs http://www.buyv2cigs.co.uk/
I got the Red flavour cartridges (this is basic tobacco) with my V2 battery and few odds and ends using their economy starter kit. It’s a game changer, if you read no further than this, then know right now that an E-Cig could be your way off of standard tobacco products, more so than any other NRT product out there.
I can taste the tobacco taste, of the E-cig. I couldn’t taste the smoke from standard cigarettes anymore, and even though I'd only fallen back to one or two fags a day over the last year, my sense of smell must have been affected far more than I imagined. The world is suddenly a smelly place again.We did the Leigh to Benfleet and back again, walk yesterday 7.4 miles approximately. The uphill bits on the way back were that joyous breathlessness as opposed to "oh fuck I'm going to die" which if I’m honest has been dogging my heels this last year or so. And if even more truth is known, smoking has been a constant source of stress, during a period of depression (this one just runs and runs as well, the cycle; feel down, need fag, smoke bad, need to give up, giving up smoke makes feel bad, need fag etc etc). It's only been a couple of days since the V2 Cig turned up, I'm truly gob-smacked at the results. Bit of cough in the morning, but I think that's the clearing out of the lungs that follows stopping smoking. My asthma pump just living in the bottom of my bag, not the booster before an ascent or a bike ride to ward off the demons, and an Amanda who isn't complaining about stinky clothes and ashtray breath.
One or two puffs on the E-Cig can be enough I've noticed to stop the cigarette craving dead in its tracks. it's on demand, at need, available. And in a Piano Bar on the Seafront on Saturday evening, in the covered area (where smoking is banned) I asked if it was ok to use the V-Cig? And the guy said “all ok and thanks for asking”. I may be alone in this, but the E-Cig, bridges the ford that other NRT don’t in drinking situations. I bet I’m not alone in reckoning that many people who find it hard to give up fail at the beer test, my personal experience is that with and E-Cig you can pass that test with straight A’s. It would be good to be Nicotine free totally (I think), but right now I have the breathing space (literally) to not stress about smoking, and that’s a first for a long time.