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.