It all started one day. I was doing my lunch break ritual which was killing off two sticks after a trip to the company buffet. I was sick, coughing, and in no condition to be smoking. Yet I was doing it anyway. Then I asked myself this question, “why am I still smoking?”
In my younger years, smoking for me was a way to show my maturity, independence, and rebelliousness. I was never in it for the nicotine fix, I just thought it looked cool to blow smoke. Silly, I know.
More than a decade later, I am still doing the same thing. I think I have already established myself as a mature, independent, rebellious person by now. So what was the point? I knew with all my heart that it was time for me to get off these damn cigarettes.
But I couldn’t stop smoking. There were so many emotional associations I had with smoking. Being an introvert, smoking was a way for me to socialize with people. Anyone who smokes can attest that striking up a conversation with a fellow smoker is one of the easiest things to do, because you both have that connection as smokers. Heck, some of the most interesting conversations I have ever had with strangers were with smokers. Also, I have a lot of buddies who are smokers. We would all gather during our breaks and talk about whatever.
Another thing that was hard for me to give up was smoking after a meal. I don’t care what these doctors say, nothing digests food better than a good old stogie. I was hooked. I realized I dug myself in a hole and couldn’t get out.
Now, I hear a lot of arguments that vaping is still technically “smoking.” The only way to quit is cold turkey and not have any associations whatsoever with nicotine or blowing smoke or vapor out of your mouth.
You know what, these people are right. I agree with them 100 percent. Hey, if they quit smoking by sheer willpower, good on them! I really admire them for that. I tried that before and quitting is not an easy thing to do, especially that way.
However, I also want them to know that there are people out there who aren’t as strong as they are. We don’t have the same drive or determination as they do. What I really think counts is eliminating, or at least reducing, one’s reliance on cigarettes.
As for me, I have not smoked a cigarette in 3 months. I remember when I did quit cold turkey, I had withdrawals like chest pains, cough and secreted phlegm. These things felt like a punishment for me for even trying to quit, or for even starting in the first place.
I did try to smoke to see if I would like it, but no. Smoking is not the same for me anymore. In fact, I find the smell and taste to be revolting. I’m not trying to be “holier than thou,” I can still hang out with smokers, but I am so glad I don’t have that smell on my clothes or on my pillows anymore.
Don’t get me wrong, you can still find me in the smoking areas hanging out with the smokers. Like I said, cigarette smokers are an interesting bunch once you get to know them. Yes, they do bug me a lot about my vaporizer. I get mixed reactions about it, mostly positive. But I am so glad I switched to vaping. Like the independence I wanted to show when I was younger, I have gained true freedom, and that is the freedom from smoking cigarettes.