I’ve Forgotten What It Was Like to Smoke Cigarettes
I can’t remember the last time I smoked an actual cigarette. To be honest, I don’t want to remember. If I’m out with a friend who asks me to hold his or her cigarette for a second, I won’t do it. It feels gross in my hands, the smoke smells gross, the smell on my fingers is gross too. I’ve been using electronic cigarettes as a smoking alternative for about eight months now, and it’s sometimes easy for me to forget what I felt like when I smoked tobacco cigarettes. I’ve gotten to the point where that part of my life is so far in the past that I don’t even think about what it was like when I smoked cigarettes —until I’m reminded by what’s it’s like to not smoke them.
The other day I took my dog to the park. I had my trusty Vapor Zeus —the vapor cigarette that helped me make the switch— in hand. My dog, Maggie, is a little whippet-lab mix and she’s always got a lot of energy, so I figured it’d be a good idea to help her run some of it off. I haven’t jogged in about a year. I think the last time I jogged was trying to catch a CTA bus in Chicago. You know, one of those buses that now has “Vaping: It’s Still Addiction” plastered on the back of it as part of Chicago’s anti-vaping campaign. Gotta love the Windy City. When I started jogging with my rocketflash of a dog at the park on Sunday, I noticed I expected to stop before my body wanted to. My brain was prepared to stop and catch my breath after a dozen or so strides, but I didn’t need to. I kept going, and going, and going until I had jogged nearly the entirety of the ½ mile track around the park. I didn’t have to push my body; my body pushed me.
When I was finished jogging, I was breathing rapidly, but I was not out of breath. My chest felt open, my legs tingled with circulation, and my nostrils flared in exhilaration. It was then that I realized the difference. When I was a smoker, I could not run more than a block without getting winded. When I went up the stairs to catch a train, I would be unable to catch my breath. I know science is the United States is still far behind in accurately exploring the potential benefits of e-cigarettes. I’m not a scientist, but I’ll tell you one thing: I can run and ride a bike now without getting winded. That’s something I could not do when I smoked cigarettes.
Has anything changed for you since you switched to e-cigarettes? I’m not just talking about how your clothes smell better, and how your mouth doesn’t feel like an ashtray anymore. Have you noticed any of the surprising benefits of e-cigarettes? I’d love to hear from you in the comments. If science won’t tell this story, we will.