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Closet Fascination

A blog about a journey, smoking, not smoking, vaping and everything in between

Month

May 2015

Today is why one should never be a closet smoker

I didn’t know my roommate was going to be home today and nobody knows I’ve been smoking. Not regularly, but enough that I really want to right now and can’t.

Runs off to do relaxation and mindfulness exercises.

Don’t do it kids. Don’t start smoking. It is both wonderful and terrible at the same time.

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Pipe Tobacco Cigarettes Part Deux

I recently bought a pack of Benson and Hedges menthol cigarettes (even though I said I wasn’t going to), one of my preferred brands when I do smoke, but I found I wasn’t enjoying them as much as my pipe tobacco cigarettes. Since I bought them about a month ago, I’ve maybe smoked 6 of them but had very little draw to smoke anymore. But I did like have a real filter vs the paper pseudo-filter I had been constructing with my pipe tobacco cigarettes.

I had a crazy idea, followed by an intense ‘I must do this right now’ sort of feeling which resulted in probably the grossest looking but tastiest menthol cigarette I’ve ever smoked. You see, I can’t bring myself to throw out the pack that I have even though I actually don’t want to smoke those cigarettes. I decided to try taking the filter out of the commercial cigarette and put it into a pipe tobacco cigarette. Voila, tasty but disgusting looking cigarette. Why so disgusting looking? Well, we all know about the tar and crud you are inhaling into your lungs when you smoke, but because my rolling papers are so thin well, you could actually see the entire filter go brown. I’m sure commercial cigarette manufacturers have thought of this because their paper around the filter is very thick, thick enough to disguise this.

But  flavour wise, I prefer pipe tobacco cigarettes over commercial cigarettes, The interesting thing I noticed is that I could smoke way more of the cigarette before feeling like I was done with it. I think this has something to do with how the tobacco in cigarettes is treated vs how pipe tobacco is processed.

I also happened to be wearing my heart monitor, because I went for a run earlier and hadn’t changed yet. I’m a morbidly curious person and I noticed that the anticipation of smoking actually brought my heart rate up quite a bit prior to even smoking. It spiked at about 130 towards the end of the cigarette, but I think due to being pretty athletic I recovered pretty quick and was back down to just above resting heart rate within about 5 minutes. I’ve always wanted to do that. Curiosity satisfied.

What I don’t like about pipe tobacco cigarettes is I find them a bit harsher on the body. I feel it more in my lungs and throat afterwards. For that reason, I pretty sure that I won’t become a regular pipe tobacco cigarette person despite the fact that they now hold more draw for me than regular cigarettes.

Now that I have satisfied my curiosity, back to the grind. Well, as much of a grind as being on holidays is.

E-cigs Under Fire, Despite Likely Benefits

This has been my finding too. Especially the sentiment of, “Why don’t you just quit (entirely)?” I find this is a very shortsighted view. This implies there are no benefits to continuing the behaviour or that from that person’s point of view (often someone who has never smoked or vaped) that the perceived benefits like being free from the control of an addictive substance (for nicotine users of any kind) and better general health (for smokers) outweigh the benefits of continuing to use. They discount the benefits as if there are none. Newsflash- if there were no benefits to use, nobody would smoke.

I’m all for harm reduction. I hate that there is a public health agenda that stifles research on vaping and skews research on regular smoking. Actually, that is something annoying and fascinating about science in general. It is so affected by the views of the people carrying out the science and it is hard for people to be impartial.

Anti-vaping campaign is more about ideology than public health.

By Steven Greenhut

Source: Reason.com

After I began to occasionally puff on cigars while arguing politics and sipping bourbon with friends, I researched the potential health effects of this habit (the cigars, not the political arguments or booze). Much information seemed designed to scare aficionados, rather than to provide a dispassionate review of the facts.

Some studies assumed smokers inhaled the stogies and lit up several a day — rather than one every couple weeks. Activists seemed more interested in changing behavior than helping us make informed decisions. I’ve seen the same dynamic with marijuana and weight issues. Now we’re seeing it with e-cigarettes — electronic devices that heat up nicotine-infused liquid to create an inhalable vapor.

The New England Journal of Medicine recently touted a study showing that although e-cigs don’t burn tobacco, the vapor has “high levels of formaldehyde,”…

View original post 495 more words

5 Non-Health Related Reasons to Quit Smoking

Who comes up with this stuff?

Most of the smokers I interact with on a daily basis do not reek of smoke nor are they any less able to fit into ‘the non-smoking’ world. Smokers are so ostracized now that those that still smoke often make the effort to fit in by ensuring that they smell minimally of smoke.

They are considerate of whom they smoke around and have no trouble getting dates. Not to mention there is a minority of people that find smoking to be attractive.

These are all external reasons to quit smoking and in the long run motivation to quit has to come from within. You have to really want to stop or you’ll come back to it in spite of health factors or external reasons such as these.

Watch “Truth About Vaping – Episode 2 “The Nicotine Misconception”” on YouTube

This video was super interesting, even though I already knew this. Worth watching.

On being a nicotine junkie

I’m a nicotine junkie. That wouldn’t be such a bad thing if it weren’t so taboo. People can be coffee junkies as it is socially acceptable, but expressing your love for how awesome you feel when you have nicotine coursing through your veins is definitely taboo. Unless you are talking about how you are quitting most people don’t want to hear about it.

Turns out the problem really isn’t nicotine. Yes, nicotine is addictive. Very addictive. But nicotine is just what keeps people using a harmful product. More and more studies are showing that while nicotine is a very addictive substance, it’s negative effects on the body are few. Nicotine is not a carcinogen, nor is it responsible for the cardiovascular effects attributed to smoking. Inhaling a combustible product has more to do with the harmful effects of smoking Source. Using nicotine is almost as safe as using caffeine, albeit, way more taboo because of the way it is typically used (smoking) and how addictive it is.

I’ve never had a problem with any other substance. I like drinking, have binged on alcohol in the past, but have no problems going without it for long periods of time or maintaining moderation. I don’t crave alcohol. If my doctor told me that I had to stop drinking, I could. I’d be sad, but only because I enjoy wine, beers and spirits for their flavours, not because I’d never experience alcohol intoxication ever again.

I’m a raging nicotine addict. It isn’t a physical addiction because in the 14 years since I inhaled my first puff, I’ve spent more time and energy not smoking than most people quitting smoking for the first time. It is all psychological. I think I’ve been psychologically addicted since I inhaled my first puff. Nothing has made my body and mind feel as nice as when I have nicotine in it. Now all the quitting rhetoric doesn’t apply to me. Why you ask? Because they say that you only feel better when you smoke because you are relieving withdrawal and that eventually your body gets used to not having nicotine in it and you’ll feel fine. I do feel “fine” when I don’t smoke. But I know I would feel better with some nicotine in my bloodstream. But that is just my addict brain talking. Or is it?

I’m kind of done with conventional smoking at the moment. I’ve reached a crossroads in my long-term experimentation where my body finally has started to protest my occasional dabbling with smoking. It tells me, don’t stop. Do this all the time and when I tell it no, it protests. And I don’t want to smoke cigarettes full time for a variety of reasons.

I’m considering vaping. It probably won’t do it for me fetish wise(then again who knows?), but if I’m completely honest with myself my attraction to smoking is in large part because I like how nicotine makes me feel. I think the reason why I’ve been hesitant to try vaping is that it requires me to admit to myself that I love nicotine and am unwilling to live without it in my life. I’ve told myself various lies to justify my use but when it comes down to it, I love the way nicotine makes me feel and I continue to use tobacco products not just for the nicotine but for the feeling of smoking. I also love the way it feels to inhale smoke into my lungs.

I still like pipe smoking for the flavour and the different buzz I get from it. But I always come back to cigarettes. I love the intensity that isn’t present with cigars or pipes. The pipe tobacco cigarettes really cemented this for me.

Enter vaping. With the new mods and customization options people have figured out how to maximize the experience to come pretty close to what one’s experience smoking is. I have a lot of research to do before I take the plunge. And I have to be psychologically ok with the likely possibility that once I vape if I enjoy it, I’ll likely take my nicotine junkiehood to a whole new level like none I’ve ever experienced.

I know you are probably thinking, “but you don’t even smoke that much, how could you consider yourself a junkie?” It comes down to how I smoke and my thoughts around smoking. I work with addicts of various types and as I learned more about addiction and listened to their stories I realized I have the same relationship with my drug of choice. The main difference is that buying a pack of cigarettes doesn’t make me a criminal. Another big difference is that nicotine doesn’t render someone completely incapable of doing work.

You might be asking, “Why bother, you have proven that you can live without it so why would you start something you’ll probably get addicted to?” Because I’m at a point right now where I want to continue to smoke but I don’t want to start smoking regularly. Fucked up, I know. I see vaping as a way of using nicotine in a less risky way. I actually don’t have a problem with using nicotine regularly, if/when that happens. So I’ll be starting my research and will report back here with my findings.

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