Time Lost in a Fog of Smoke and Vapor

Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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71 Responses

  1. Glyph says:

    I saw a TV ad last night for Blu disposable e-cigs, and I was a little surprised about how they went straight back to the old “rugged individualist” Marlboro-Man-type imagery – you know, the lone wolf tough guy in his blue jeans and white T-shirt, riding a motorcycle etc.

    The progress you’ve made is great. I always wonder why the “gradual dose reduction” model can’t be followed for other addictions (like alcohol) where we seemingly always tend to go with a cold-turkey, “all-or-nothing” mindset. Then again, I don’t think I’ve ever been addicted (in the strictest sense) to anything, so people need to go with whatever works.Report

    • DavidTC in reply to Glyph says:

      The progress you’ve made is great. I always wonder why the “gradual dose reduction” model can’t be followed for other addictions (like alcohol) where we seemingly always tend to go with a cold-turkey, “all-or-nothing” mindset.

      Nicotine is almost entirely a physical addition, and withdrawal is actually pretty serious. People who smoke are *also* psychologically addicted to cigarettes, but vaping works perfectly well for that. People do not actually smoke to calm their mental state…well, they do, but it’s to remove the withdrawal.

      Alcohol addition appears to be much less a physical addition. Now, don’t get me wrong, it is *possible* to have enough of a physical addition that people can get withdrawal, but a lot of alcoholics *aren’t* at that point. Alcohol addition is mostly due to people attempting to numb their minds. That is what they have trained themselves to do.

      So people with nicotine additions can slowly be weened off, because the only reason they need nicotine is that their body requires nicotine to function. But with alcohol, they need alcohol because their brain requires being under the influence of alcohol or things are too much to cope with. Any amount of alcohol that *doesn’t* provide that won’t work, and any amount that does results in them craving more.

      This is *also* why there’s the whole ‘falling off the wagon’ thing that exists with alcohol that doesn’t exist for anything else…if someone stop smoking, and then two months later smoke a cigarette, well, a lot of people seem to conclude they have ‘failed’ and start smoking again, but there’s no actual medical *reason* they can’t just keep not-smoking. Cigarettes only feel good because they remove the withdrawal, and if they’ve stopped being addicted, you *don’t have* withdrawal for them to remove. Stopping smoking is hard…not re-starting smoking is easy, or at least it should be after the withdrawal is gone.

      But with alcohol, starting to numb your brain reminds you how it feels to have your brain completely numb, all the time.

      tl;dr – nicotine doesn’t actually do anything pleasurable except cancel the withdrawal, so slowly removing that works fine. Alcohol *does* do something else pleasurable, and in fact that’s probably the reason someone started drinking in the first place. Slowly removing it can’t help. (Barring actual physical addiction.)

      I say all this as someone who’s never been addicted to alcohol or nicotine, though. (Heh, left out the word never. Sorta changes the meaning, doesn’t it?)Report

      • Chris in reply to DavidTC says:

        Nicotine is almost entirely a physical addition, and withdrawal is actually pretty serious. People who smoke are *also* psychologically addicted to cigarettes, but vaping works perfectly well for that. People do not actually smoke to calm their mental state…well, they do, but it’s to remove the withdrawal.

        Alcohol addition appears to be much less a physical addition. Now, don’t get me wrong, it is *possible* to have enough of a physical addition that people can get withdrawal, but a lot of alcoholics *aren’t* at that point. Alcohol addition is mostly due to people attempting to numb their minds. That is what they have trained themselves to do.


        • Glyph in reply to Chris says:

          @chris @davidtc – I’m not totally following the distinction either.

          I mean, I get that each drug has its own unique matrix of physical and psychological effects and that depending on those effects, the efficacy of various addiction-breaking strategies may vary; but in my understanding nicotine does carry a pleasant physical “buzz” (it’s essentially a kind of stimulant); and conversely, heavy alcoholics who go cold-turkey, can in fact die from withdrawal symptoms (that is, alcohol becomes a real physical dependency).Report

          • greginak in reply to Glyph says:

            @glyph Yup, withdrawals from alcohol are serious stuff. Booze is definitely physically addictive and can be dangerous to stop cold for heavy drinkers.Report

      • greginak in reply to DavidTC says:

        Alcohol is physically addictive. Withdraws are difficult. Having withdrawal symptoms is one of the diagnostic signs of addiction. The withdrawal from alcohol isn’t usually as bad as something like heroin but some heavy drinkers need in patient detox units and mild meds to get them through the withdrawal. There is certainly a psychological part to alcoholism, but there is a psych part to all addictions.Report

        • morat20 in reply to greginak says:

          I would say the difference is it’s harder to get physically addicted to alcohol than nicotine, all other things being equal.

          Nicotine is just a more efficient chemical for getting hooked on.

          Furthermore, there’s physical and mental addictions (biochemistry versus whatever mental issues, if any, had you turning to the substance in the first place PLUS habits formed from use) which are separate and need to be handled separately…

          Addiction is complicated, and the American attitude of “It’s just willpower, man” (which applies to everything, really. From addiction to weight problems to foreign policy) doesn’t help. It actively hurts, in fact.Report

          • greginak in reply to morat20 says:

            Morat, true. Nicotine is highly addictive, more so than many harder drugs. I’ve known a lot of former hard core drug addicts and alcoholics who said they weren’t able to stop smoking. Smoking is insidious since the really harmful affects are mostly long term or not incapacitating in the short time. Unlike binge drinking where there are usually harsh short term effects. Smoking only really wallops you in the end but feels nice and social and fun up until the cancer or emphysema part.

            Oh yeah there is far then willpower involved in getting clean.Report

          • Chris in reply to morat20 says:

            Nicotine has its own receptors!

            Plus, you smoke it (or absorb it) instead of ingesting it, so it acts faster.Report

        • DavidTC in reply to greginak says:

          Alcohol is physically addictive. Withdraws are difficult. Having withdrawal symptoms is one of the diagnostic signs of addiction.

          Yes, alcohol is physically addictive, but not all people who abuse alcohol *are* physically addicted.

          A lot of alcohol abuse is self-medication of psychology problems, where the goal is not to fight off any ‘withdrawal’, which does not yet exist for that person, but to alter their mental state. This is how most alcoholics(1) *start*, even if later on there is physical addiction.

          Meanwhile, cigarettes are almost entirely a physical addiction. People smoke a few, and from them on it’s a physical addition. The psychological stuff comes later, and it’s mostly just *habits*, which can be faked by smoking an nicotine-free ecig.

          Whereas with alcohol, the entire psychological point is to change how your mind works, and can’t really be faked.

          This is why the rule for alcoholics is that they can’t drink *any* or they’ll relapse because they’ll remember how drinking makes them feel, while that’s not how it works for smokers at all.

          1) I almost said all, but I’m sure there’s some frat house idiot that thinks he should live off vodka who has managed to wander directly into physical addition without any psychological addiction.Report

          • greginak in reply to DavidTC says:

            @davidtc Well yeah, i said there is both psychological and physical addiction. Alcohol addiction certainly involves both of them. Abuse is, ( well was until the new DSM came out) a separate kind of problem. There used to be two kinds of addiction diagnosis; abuse and addiction. Abuse is/was less serious.

            There are some alcoholics who find they can drink in small amounts after they get past their addiction. Being completely sober is the rule in treatment and what we all pushed. It is far safer and simpler for most, but some alcoholics seem to be able to control some low level of drinking and also without the worst consequences ( driving while drunk, violence, etc.)Report

          • Kim in reply to DavidTC says:

            Psychological addiction is far more common in places where people didn’t live on alcohol as a mainstay of their diet.

            Well, psychological addiction as you’re using it, anyway. If the point of drinking is merely to seduce women you couldn’t otherwise… That exists, and I could certainly see that being addictive.

            Physiological addiction to alcohol is… more frequent where people had easy access to it. Which isn’t to say it’s all that common, but it does run in families, just like having extremely low tolerance for oxalic acid, or zinc allergies, or half a dozen other things.Report

          • Gabriel Conroy in reply to DavidTC says:

            I’m not sure what I think about the distinction, mostly because this is way too far out of my knowledge base, but this, from DavidTC, rings true to me:

            Meanwhile, cigarettes are almost entirely a physical addiction. People smoke a few, and from them on it’s a physical addition.

            I can remember a couple late nights at bars where I’d smoke maybe 3 or 4 cigarettes, enjoy it, and not smoke again until the next late night, of which I had only a few a years. Fortunately, I never got hooked.Report

    • Burt Likko in reply to Glyph says:

      The reasonably foreseeable and reasonably probable consequences of indulgence in the addictive behavior can be far more destructive when the behavior we’re talking about is alcohol rather than nicotine.

      If a nicotine addict in recovery “slips,” she inhales a pack of cigarettes and smells bad for a day or so. She accumulates some tar in her lungs.

      If an alcoholic in recovery “slips,” she gets behind the wheel of a car, drunk, and blows through a red light.

      That’s why a ratchet-down, which otherwise would seem to make sense, is perhaps contraindicated for an alcohol addict.Report

      • Chris in reply to Burt Likko says:

        While I’m not sure that quite gets at it — it seems that a person who drinks as much as they always have is more at risk of destructive behaviors than someone who is drinking less than they always have, as someone drawing down would be — it probably gets at why the two cases are different. Drinking some alcohol can reduce one’s ability to make rational decisions enough that one’s likely drink a lot of alcohol, if one is an addict. This, at least, is the way the recovery folks seem to view it: any amount alcohol clouds your head enough to make it difficult for you not to drink as much as you really want, and it also makes it more difficult for you to begin the cognitive-behavioral components of recovery.

        There may very well be other reasons as well, perhaps relating to the way they’re administered, particularly the dosage, or the mechanisms of action, that play a role in making the effectiveness of a draw-down different for the two drugs.Report

        • Glyph in reply to Chris says:

          @chris @burt-likko – interesting. I’m not quite sure how to quantify it, but some drugs definitely mess more with your “reason” – that is, on nicotine, you may be stimulated with it, and you may fiend without it; but unlike alcohol, in neither case is your mental headspace too profoundly-altered, and so a gradual draw-down may be more effective.

          That said, there are obviously high-functioning alcoholics (IIRC, Churchill was one) as well as high-functioning users of other drugs (for ex. mathematician Paul Erdös was a speed freak, who interestingly thought alcohol “poison”) whose “reason” appears to be largely unaffected by the drug, though we’d still consider them heavy users and/or “addicts”.Report

          • Chris in reply to Glyph says:

            A good friend of R.’s is mostly a high-functioning alcoholic. That is, if you didn’t know her well, you might not know that she starts drinking the moment she wakes up and stops drinking when she takes some pills to go to sleep. I say mostly because she has days…

            Nicotine is mostly autonomic stuff, so it’s not going to have much impact on higher-order cognitive function. I know there’s some data suggesting it may be an attention and maybe memory booster, but I don’t know how far along that is, or if anyone has any idea how that works.Report

          • Glyph in reply to Glyph says:

            In fact, w/r/t Churchill and other high-functioning alcoholics (including a lot of writers) I recall reading something somewhere that some people – whether by genetics or habituation – have brains that work in some sense “better” when alcohol-intoxicated (by which I don’t mean they’d be good drivers or *physically* enhanced; but that certain cognitive functions in say their language centers actually functioned better; as though they *needed* that high-octane “fuel”).Report

  2. crash says:

    I was a true idiot–I started smoking at age 25. If you start when you’re 15, at least you can say you didn’t know any better.

    I loved the smoke breaks. Loved them. I loved stepping outside, even when it was zero degrees F. I didn’t mind if it took me away from work because I think short breaks are good for work. I think I worked better when I smoked. (Could be self-delusion though.)

    Most people’s physical smoking addictions are the same, but their mental addictions vary quite a bit. I think one trick to quitting is figuring out what you mentally like most about smoking. Although it is tough to describe to a never-smoker how glorious a cigarette can be. Maybe I am fooling myself, maybe all the so-called mental addictions really supervene on the physical addictions.

    Anyway I quit cold turkey when I was 35, I am glad there was no vaping around then, I probably would have continued with that. Are there stats on whether vaping actually helps people quit cigarettes? I suspect it may just keep people in the habit of breaks, rituals, etc. What is the backsliding rate vs. cold turkey I wonder?Report

    • Glyph in reply to crash says:

      I think I worked better when I smoked

      It wouldn’t surprise me. Not just the breaks to recharge, but IIRC nicotine does actually have certain cognitive-enhancing/stimulant benefits; which might help anyone, and especially people with any kind of ADHD-spectrum attentional/focus issues. Pity about the addiction and cancer. (A while back I jokingly said I was going to just start using The Patch, to get the mental benefits of nicotine but without the cancer risk. Will was pretty appalled.)Report

    • Will Truman in reply to crash says:

      There have been some bad studies done that have suggested that quit-rates are actually lower among people who use ecigarettes, but they are some seriously bad studies that I mention only because you might hear about them. The good studies show that it’s about as effective as, or perhaps a bit more effective than, other Nicotine Replacement Therapy*.

      All I can tell you is that I haven’t smoked in approaching two years. Others around here (Chris and Mo) report the same things. Cold turkey was always a failure with me. The only successful quit I had earlier, involved gradual reduction. But that lasted six months, and not the two years I’m looking at now.

      Different things work for different people. Which is why even if the ecigarettes were no more effective than the patch, saying that people should just use NRT and we don’t need ecigarettes, is off-base. There is some non-overlap going on here. Some people, like myself, need the ritual. Or at least need the ritual to carry my through the nicotine-cessation. Once I’m nicotine free, then maybe I can attack the ritual separately, without a monkey on my back pounding at my noggin.Report

      • DavidTC in reply to Will Truman says:

        Even if no person that switched to ecigs would *ever* quit…it doesn’t matter.

        Smoking is dangerous because of the other stuff in cigarettes. Nicotine is not *actually* a dangerous drug. It’s right up there with caffeine. If people want to use nicotine, whatever.

        We’d have less medical problems if the *entire US population* started smoking ecigs tomorrow and forever after…vs. the current cigarette smoking population currently existing.

        (I keep waiting for someone in this discussion to bring up the bogus ‘ecigs are dangerous’ studies, which relies on bogus over-extrapolated science, and could also be used to prove ‘boiling water is dangerous’, (If you do it in a stupid and wrong way.) and ignores the fact that inhaling vaporized chemicals is how *a lot* of medicine works and no one’s ever found a problem with that process.)Report

        • Will Truman in reply to DavidTC says:

          As much as I would like to agree with this, the truth is we simply don’t know the long term health effects. We’re extrapolating from very limited data. Some are using the lack of information as an excuse to assume the worst, and in an excruciatingly twisted manner, are almost looking at cigarettes as “the devil we know” while shrugging off (or outright denying) the overwhelming likelihood that ecigarettes represent considerably reduced harm.

          I’m reminded of Marion Nestle. When they discovered a relatively easy and affordable way to zap ecoli out of meat, Nestle complained that this was probably a step backwards because people would more likely believe that eating red meat is safe.

          But… all of that said… we still don’t know the full extent of the dangers that may exist. They still haven’t come anywhere close to finding the silver bullet they are looking for, despite their hyperbolic headlines. But that doesn’t mean they won’t. I don’t want my daughter ever to pick up the habit, with or without nicotine. The harmlessness is, at least in my mind, mostly in comparison to the devil I know that is – despite many experts seeming to have forgotten – actually the devil.Report

          • Chris in reply to Will Truman says:

            Nicotine is poisonous (the sickest I’ve ever been in my life was after an overdose), of course, so it can’t possibly be good to intake small amounts over long periods of time, right? Then again, Mithridates, he died old.

            BOOM! Two jokes from the same poem in one post. New record?Report

    • DavidTC in reply to crash says:

      I think I worked better when I smoked. (Could be self-delusion though.)

      No, you’re almost certainly correct there.

      The thing is, nicotine will provide stimulation at first, but very quickly, it turns into something that the stimulation only exists to counteract the withdrawal.

      So, technically, at any point in time, it’s ‘I would legitimately work better with some nicotine in me’, but a nicotine addiction will quickly screw up the baseline to the point that ‘better’ is where you would be *anyway* if you weren’t smoking.

      It’s a lot like caffeine that way. People who ‘need coffee to wake up’ are entirely correct…they do need coffee to get to normal functioning levels. This…is because they’re addicted to caffeine and just spent a night without it.

      This is basically how all physical additions work, in fact. Addition is your body noticing the weird-ass chemicals in you and *fixing* you so you still operate normally with them in you…which then blows up when they aren’t in you any longer, so you’re weirdly broken in some manner and your body says ‘Hey, we need some more of that’.Report

      • Chris in reply to DavidTC says:

        The thing is, nicotine will provide stimulation at first, but very quickly, it turns into something that the stimulation only exists to counteract the withdrawal.

        What the hell does this even mean?Report

        • DavidTC in reply to Chris says:

          I am completely baffled you do not understand that.

          Nicotine is a stimulant. Like all stimulants, it stimulates you.

          Also like all stimulants, if you keep it in your body enough, your body will say ‘Huh. Weird. I must have miscalculated.’ and adjust your body ‘downward’ so that you’re still ‘normal’…on average.

          Which means smokers need to smoke to get *back to their baseline*, and maybe a little above…but the more they smoke, the lower their starting point is re-calibrated to, and the more they have to smoke to get back up. (Aka, ‘drug tolerance’.)

          So nicotine will quickly stop making people work better or concentrate ‘better’, and end up being taken to have them *stop* doing those things *worse*.Report

          • Chris in reply to DavidTC says:

            What do you think it means that nicotine “stimulates you”?Report

            • DavidTC in reply to Chris says:

              Wow, these questions are dumb.

              Here you go:

              ‘Stimulants (also referred to as psychostimulants) are psychoactive drugs that induce temporary improvements in either mental or physical functions or both. Examples of these kinds of effects may include enhanced alertness, wakefulness, and locomotion, among others.’Report

              • Chris in reply to DavidTC says:

                Thank you, Wikipedia. Do you know what the stimulant effects of nicotine are, while we’re at it?Report

              • DavidTC in reply to Chris says:

                Thank you, Wikipedia. Do you know what the stimulant effects of nicotine are, while we’re at it?

                Yes, it does know that. There’s a link on the page. It basically binds to specific receptors and the brain to release a lot of chemicals. (Also, Wikipedia does not read this blog.)

                And I’m not playing this game anymore. If you have a point to make, or think I’ve been inaccurate, say so.Report

              • Kim in reply to DavidTC says:

                Mind who you’re playing with. When a psychologist starts asking simple questions, there may be a deeper meaning…
                (In this case, I suspect Chris merely wants to take you to school for not having thought through all your learning into something remotely functional).Report

  3. This is really stupid stuff:

    It’s slavery if you can’t enjoy a meal or drinks with friends without having to step outside several times. It’s slavery to have to push away your toddler because you’re hunched up against a window feeding your habit. It’s slavery if you can’t listen to the person you are talking to, or pay attention to the lecture or movie or concert you are attending, because you are counting down the seconds until you can get your fix.

    Forty years ago, none of those applied, because it was acceptable to smoke in all of those situations. Smoking was still slavery, because most people who wanted to quit, hard as they might try, could not.Report

    • Chris in reply to Mike Schilling says:

      When you smoke, you can’t eat your victuals fast enough.Report

    • Yeah, but he’s saying the same thing: those are just the common reasons to want to quit these days, whereas they were something else forty years ago. It’s slavery for the same reason which is the one you give, and I think that;s the reasons PEG is implying as well. It’s just that he’s expressing that in terms of how vivid his reasons for wanting to quit (or in any case not to have to smoke) are (though I would say: possibly only in those moments, not in the moments of enjoyment of the habit).Report

    • I don’t like the word “slavery” used as loosely as he does, but I think what he says is important. It represents a different reality of smoking now compared to fifty years ago. For better or worse, and I don’t want to litigate that here, the laws and regulations and customs surrounding smoking has made the habit significantly more difficult, time-consuming, and distracting from every day life. And as an extension of that, smoking controls your life a lot more than it used to, and in ways that it didn’t used to.

      Almost all of the lost time I refer to in this post is pretty directly talking about the same laws, customs, regulations, and customs that he is.Report

      • If the main things about smoking are that you can’t do it in front of people, and all the time you’re not doing it you’re thinking about it, and you need it so much that you usually ignore the consequences, it’s not slavery — it’s sex.Report

        • Wait — you can’t just have sex in front of people?

          I’m suddenly getting why my neighbors avoid me…Report

        • If you’re an addict who no longer particularly enjoys sex but needs it to function, then yes.

          Both the addiction and the consequences of that addiction, including how it can dominate your day passing the various barriers put up, are pretty important.

          That’s not a show-stopping anti-barrier argument. It’s just what is.Report

  4. Saul Degraw says:

    I was a very brief junior high school smoker.

    What cured me of this is getting laughed at by girls for looking absurd.Report

  5. DensityDuck says:

    I will say that, now that I’m in a place where very few people smoke, my opinion of people who *do* smoke around me has dropped quite sharply.

    Back when it was just assumed that at least one person would be smoking in any place where it was not explicitly banned, it didn’t matter so much, because (like the smell of dog crap and car exhaust) it was just a fact of life. But now, y’know, ninety percent of the people at this state fair aren’t smoking except for that one guy who has to sneak off behind the food tents and light up.Report

  6. Kim says:

    Is it possible to be physically addicted to alcohol if you’re having far less than a standard drink a sitting?Report

    • Glyph in reply to Kim says:

      How often are you sitting, and where?Report

      • Chris in reply to Glyph says:

        Drinking standing up is one of the DSM criteria.Report

      • Kim in reply to Glyph says:

        Let’s say nightly.Report

        • morat20 in reply to Kim says:

          I wouldn’t say so. I’ll go a period where I have a drink a night (ie: When I’ve bothered to buy bourbon) and then go months without one. I’ve had weekends where I’ll go through two six packs (heavy for me!) and then make another six-pack of beer stretch out so long the beer goes funky.

          So maybe I’m not a good example. Too erratic. 🙂

          But honestly, given a glass of wine with meals is considered socially acceptable I’d only worry about it if you had problems if you didn’t drink. Or having a beer after work every day.

          Like you couldn’t sleep or got antsy or something when you skipped the drink.

          Of course, there’s also the question of self-medicating (mental, physical, or other problems) — which is less a question of addiction and more a question of identifying what that glass of wine or whatnot takes the edge off and having that worked on properly.Report

          • Kim in reply to morat20 says:

            “what that glass of wine or whatnot takes the edge off and having that worked on properly.”

            That’d be a ton easier if the doctors knew anything (taking the edge off your stress to reduce heart problems… and no, this isn’t me.).Report

            • morat20 in reply to Kim says:

              There is that. One issue is the use of such things as a form of self-medication. What might solve the problem in the short term makes it worse in the long, and is generally a sub-optimal and more dangerous form of treatment than…well, actual treatment.

              It’s particularly common with people who have mental health problems — depression, for instance. They self-medicate with drugs or alcohol.

              As a less extreme example, many people with ADHD often use caffeine. They generally aren’t aware of it, they just know coffee or a soda seems to make them more productive or whatnot. Caffeine works because it’s a stimulant (my favorite tidbit about ADHD. Use a stimulant to slow you down and help you focus. Makes everyone else jittery) — it’s not as effective as a carefully chosen and monitored dosage (and caffeine is mildly addictive — well, more that stopping drinking it tends to bring on fun headaches for awhile).

              But I know one coworker who I can tell is on or off his meds by whether he’s drinking coffee. On his meds? Maybe a cup in the morning. Off? All day, constantly. I don’t think he’s aware of why he does it like that.Report

              • Kim in reply to morat20 says:

                When the doctors don’t know anything, you get to try and find what works and what doesn’t by trial and error. Doctors know stuff for 95-99% of us, the rest, well, the Doctor doesn’t KNOW. Yeah, maybe, it might be better if the doctor could prescribe Something That Works in a Measured Dosage… But some people are really that far off plumb.

                Give a friend of mine Sudafed, and he acts like he’s suffering from hyperoxia (he is, his body is adjusted to work on lower oxygen than most people because his nose is rarely clear). It’s not like he’s hooked on that or anything (it gives WICKED heart related side effects).

                But, hell, that’s something small and pretty easy to understand. It’s the weirdos on the edge of everything that have to start working out exactly what works themselves.

                Protip: truly fresh coffee (3-5 days old from roasting) made in an espresso machine is really, really good for you, and low on caffeine to boot. Try it sometime.Report

              • Will Truman in reply to morat20 says:

                Notably, before I was a consumer of cigarettes, I was a consumer of ephedra.Report

  7. Damon says:

    Smoking is vile. My ex had a parent who smoked and when she came back home she reeked of smoke. The smoke was in her hair. My ex was a head shorter than me so when I hugged her, my chin was on her head and I got a full blast of smoke in her hair. She would immediately decamp to the shower to get the smoke out.

    But dammit, if you want to smoke, you should be allowed to.Report

  8. North says:

    Smoking killed my paternal Grandparents, both of them. My Grandmother came down with lung cancer when I was graduating high school. She was the dominant half of the single person that the pair of them formed together. My grandfather, a heavy smoker, knew the score; it was written across his face like fiery letters on a cliff. He staggered on for a year or so then virtually flung himself into the arms of the Parkinson’s to escape. I know what hell is; I have seen an beloved elderly fisherman endure two years of it. When he died my Aunt wept in relief for him and she was simply the only relative honest enough to express what we all were thinking.

    That colors my thinking on cigarettes a little.Report

  9. Chris says:

    Speaking of smoking, Ornette Coleman, man. The first jazz show I ever went to that wasn’t some dudes with bad soul patches and berets at a local coffee house was a Coleman show in the 90s. And I probably smoked half a pack of cigarettes while there.Report

  10. Will H. says:

    I smoked a pipe for fourteen years, and I truly enjoyed it.
    A toasted vanilla cavendish, not the sweet kind, but the warm kind.
    Never did like cigarettes.

    Was thinking about vaping, and I was going to buy one of those things.
    The man asked me, “What flavor do you want?”
    “Flavor?” I asked.
    He started reading out names from the produce department, and I walked out.Report

    • Will Truman in reply to Will H. says:

      @will-h The flavors are often considered a perk of ecigarettes. I personally don’t use them a whole lot and if they are banned – as various Democratic congresscritters want to do – it won’t affect me personally. Others, though, say it was a key to their transition.

      There are a lot of tobacco flavors out there (depending on how you go about it). In my rotation, I tend to have two tobacco flavors, one flavor-flavor that I mix with a base tobacco flavor, and one that is sometimes a third tobacco flavor and sometimes a chocolate or coffee flavor (if I had vanilla, this is the tank it would go in as well).

      If you’re ever interested in giving it a try, I’ll be happy to give you some recommendations.

      I wouldn’t knock the non-tobacco flavored though. Even though it’s not my thing, for someReport