the electric cigarette acid test

e-cigarette-flavorsthe good-e bag

the other night i went to a literary reading.  before i even sat down i was told there will be audience participation and handed an index card-sized piece of paper and told to jot down a true tale of lust and/or love on one of that evening’s topics.  the best story will win a prize.

as if it’s just that easy to come up with a topical story in 5 minutes that fits on an index card.  however i love prizes.  so i won.

that’s right.  best 5 minute index card story.  right here.

what did i win?  a goody bag.

what was inside?   books from some of that evening’s readers, lip gloss from forever 21…and 12 individually wrapped electric cigarettes in a sundry of flavors.

strange.  not only because of the combination, but also because, well, e cigarettes are sort of a weird thing to be in a goody bag.

perhaps stranger,  when i first saw this bundle of shiny individually wrapped objects in the dark bag i said out loud to my friend “ohh condoms!”  then noticing their shape i held onto the theory guessing maybe they were some new oddly shaped condom i haven’t heard of.  perhaps with an applicator, like a tampon.

i’ve been trying to put together the technology behind that invention for a while so it  didn’t seem that off that someone had beat me to the punch.

“no wait,” i said as i flipped them around.  “glow sticks!” was my next guess.

totally logical assumption.  if you went clubbing in the 90s.

oh boy i was so happy that i had a bag full of glow sticks!  in those two seconds before i figured out what those things really were i pictured myself saying to my friend i would save them for halloween or new year’s but fastly saw myself dancing in front of my bedroom mirror, my fingers aglow.

“wait”, i said, actually reading the package “why are they peach-flavored?”

imagine my disappointment to discover not only did i not have a bag full of glow sticks, nor do any such applicator-condoms exist, but in trade i had a bag full of flavored fake cigarettes.

when i smoked, no matter how i wished for it,  i never once won a bag full of cigarettes.  is god laughing at me?

e cigarettes are better than real ones = ok to smoke,…right?

with the rise of the electric cigarette and these curious “smokeless shops” popping up all over, i had recently joked to a friend that maybe i could start an e cigarette habit.

i know people typically use electric cigarettes to quit smoking and not to restart,  but those are generally people who haven’t not had a cigarette in 5 years.

let’s forget that i studied holistic nutrition.  that i preach non-organic kale is a no-no.  that i write articles about the evils of processed foods and drinking water out of plastic bottles.

processed plastic peach-flavored cigarettes nonetheless sounded like a feasible healthy lifestyle choice.

maybe i could start my own line of superfood flavored electric cigarettes.  maybe then it would be ok.  maca-spirulina flavor?  chia-gogi berry?  the possibilities are endless.

come on, antioxidant-rich cigarettes?  they fight cancer as you smoke.  genius.

however like my gourmet flavored condom idea, i figured it wouldn’t fly.

dear gabrielle,   here’s a bag full of cigarettes.  fuck you.   love god

years ago, the second time i quit smoking, i started up again because it was my birthday.  i’ll just have one pack and then quit again.  i told myself, “it’s my birthday.”

and i actually did!  i told myself when my pack of parliaments was done i would not buy another pack.  i wasn’t going to throw that pack away….but i wouldn’t buy another.

when that pack was gone and i had smoked my last cigarette,  i was ok.  i got through a whole day without a crippling urge to smoke.  i had done it!  i re-quit.

still living in ny at the time, i was waiting for the A train after work the next day.  no one was in the station.  i sat down on the wooden bench with my book.  and then i noticed it.  a full pack of marlboro lights.  it was open and one cigarette was missing from the pack.

that never happens!  you never find a full pack of cigarettes!  it’s just unheard of.  like finding $100 bill or a 4 leaf clover.

obviously god wants me to smoke.

and so i did.  i smoked that pack and many others after it.  for over a year.  until i quit again with much agony and suffering.

“quitting smoking is the easiest thing in the world to do.  i know because i’ve done it thousands of times”

preach, mark twain.

i didn’t think any more about my bag of fake cigarettes.

until the next morning when i went through the bag and looked at the flavors.

“smoke one”, a seductive voice teased me.

but the thought drifted away.

i went about my day.  i went out.  i had a lovely lunch.  i came home.

and then…

all of a sudden.

i wanted chocolate.  badly.

i didn’t even really want chocolate.  the real thought was, “i want something bad for me”

it was a desire for sabotage.  a desire for something to make me feel good wrapped around a desire to for something “bad”.

bad shit is so good.  i just love bad shit.

for me, chocolate / sugar is the go-to self-destructive feel good booster.

so that was the first instinct.

but i didn’t want to eat chocolate.

i didn’t want to eat period.  i just had lunch.

but i wanted something.

something wrong.

and then i remembered…

…i have a bag full of cigarettes. fake plastic cigarettes.

now i’m not really sure if i was really craving chocolate and then remembered the cigarettes, or if i remembered the cigarettes and craved chocolate so i would remember the cigarettes.

my mind is crafty like that.

then my mind told me, “god wants you to smoke those cigarettes.  or you wouldn’t have won them.  they are your prize.  take your prize.”

my mind is creepy like that.

i like to believe there is meaning in everything.  and in that moment it made sense that i won a bag full of flavored fake cigarettes because god wanted me to smoke a chocolate mint plastic cigarette.

then i said something to myself like, “it’s not bad for you.  it’s not good for you, but it’s not bad.  it’s neutral.  go ahead.  you should try it at least once.  i mean, do you really want to die having never smoked a chocolate mint e cigarette?”

since that seemed insane,  i smoked one.

first of all let me say that whoever invented these things is probably a millionaire but certainly a genius.

it looks like a cigarette. it feels like a cigarette.  fucking smoke comes out of it, people.

it does however taste like someone took a virgina slims ultra light 100 menthol and one of those gross chocolate cigarettes candies i had as a child and smooshed them together inside a battery operated plastic tube.

should chocolate mint cigarettes really exist?

can we talk about those fake chocolate and bubble gum cigarettes they sell small children for a moment?

  1. why was the chocolate so terrible?
  2. why are we selling that to children?
  3. why did my parents let me buy them and walk around practicing to smoke?

if you really think about it, are peach and chocolate-mint flavored cigarettes really marketed to adults?

most likely it seems these “cigarettes” are for teenagers.  or younger.  or for someone forever 21.  or for someone, like myself, who will take chocolate in any form.

they are the iphone of smoking:  “the ecigarette”

according to this article from the huffington post, not only are e cigarettes marketed to children, they are not regulated by the laws that regulate cigarettes.

that means e cigarettes can be advertised on television & the internet and teens & children can buy them.

they contain toxic chemicals, are addictive, and the FDA wants them banned, not yet understanding their health effects.

unfortunately e cigarettes are not good for you.  it’s a real bummer.

winners never quit,  but this winner did.

i don’t know if i’m relieved i already quit smoking and don’t have to worry about quitting an electric cigarette habit to quit a cigarette habit or if i’m pissed i had to do it the hard way.

it makes me feel old.  in my head i complained “these kids have it easy.  in my day if you wanted to quit smoking you had to go cold turkey.  or taper off with weed.  and you couldn’t just go walk down to the store and buy weed either!  you had to call your dealer and then go hang out with him for a little while because he was weird and had a gun.”

still haven’t decided if i’m sad about missing out on the electric cigarette.

at least i got to have one.

thankfully it was amazing and delicious for about 5 minutes.  then it was gross and made me sick.

“still, i need to get them out of my apartment”,  i thought to myself, applying my forever 21 lipstick.

so i won’t be trying the honey-cinnamon, peach, espresso or menthol varieties.

however these would also be amazing condom flavors.

not as good as maca-spirulina or chia-gogi berry, but nonetheless.

One thought on “the electric cigarette acid test

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