In which there’s good news.
We flew to DC last Thursday so I could see Amma.
We had a very short layover in Milwaukee, then got to Reagan, walked to the hotel shuttle stand, and waited for the bus. Got to the hotel, went out to eat on a cute little street a few blocks away, and walked back to our hotel around midnight. Only when back in our room after having been in Arlington for hours did I bother to unpack, assemble, fill, and use my ecig device, and then only briefly before going to bed.
The next day, I realized that in all that travel I never once wanted to smoke. I thought about smoking in a vague sort of way when we were waiting at the bus stand; I thought, “A few months ago, I’d be considering smoking now, even though it’s probably not allowed. I’d probably cross the street and stand over there and suck down a cig and hope the shuttle didn’t come until I was done.”
Every previous layover on every previous flight I’ve ever taken, I’ve furiously crunched times in my head and if there was enough, I rushed to smoke. Is there a smoking lounge in this airport? How far is it from my gate? Can I get there and back in time? Will I miss my flight? If not, do I have enough time to get all the way outside, smoke, and get back in through security and still make my connection?
And on arrival, the same thing: where am I meeting my ride? Where’s the smoking area? Do I have enough time to smoke? HOW DO I GET OUT OF THIS PLACE SO I CAN SMOKE?
It was really nice, not giving a shit about smoking! I didn’t even remember that I was a(n ex) smoker during the Milwaukee layover; past me would have been infuriated that it was so short and that I’d been denied the opportunity to try to get a cig in, but current me didn’t even think about it.
Same on the trip home: instead of standing outside, sucking down a few cigs while waiting for the cab back to the airport, I just sat inside the hotel lobby by the doors to the taxi stand, waiting like a normal person. Didn’t think about smoking at all during the two-hour layover, didn’t think about it when we arrived back in MSP, didn’t have to smoke in the parking garage before getting in the truck to drive back to the apartment, didn’t have to smoke when we got home. (Did have a lovely chain-vape later, before finally keeling over from the exhaustion of having been up all night, though.)
Having never travelled without having to figure out how and where and when to smoke before in my adult life, the experience was really wonderful. No cravings, no anxiety about how and where to get my fix in. No simmering rage at the constant non-smoking announcements and signage one is endlessly subjected to in airports and on airplanes.
Vaping continues to be a fantastic solution for me. I have to admit to being quite surprised at how quickly it has broken all the habits and thought patterns associated with being a smoker. When I leave the house now, I just leave and don’t automatically check my bag for a pack of cigs and a lighter. (I rarely take my mod with me when I go out, unless I’m going to the ecig store for liquid or coils, and only then because it’s fun to vape inside the store itself since it’s allowed.) I have 31 years of smoking habits to overcome, but they just seem to be going away on their own without stress or even effort. I didn’t even think about smoking while we were traveling! I was not annoyed, I did not have a nic fit! Not even a little!
I have yet to go an entire day without vaping at all, since quitting smoking 62 days ago, but while on some days I do start vaping earlier than I ever smoked (I’ve never been a morning smoker; I always did all my smoking from late afternoon on), or I indulge in a few hours of “chain vaping,” on other days I just use it for a few minutes a few times in the evenings. It continues to be much cheaper than smoking, because even though a 30ml bottle of liquid is twenty bucks, it lasts many more days than the same value of cigarettes ever did. My lung health is much, much better. I don’t clear my throat all the time, I don’t have weird snot, and my voice doesn’t sound like that of a smoker, either, which is a cool benefit.
While I suspect that Scott doesn’t like the smell (he’s too nice to say, really), it’s very mild and leaves virtually no permanent odor. I’ve tested this by vaping for a bit, then going out to the corner store and returning with a fresh nose. One gets the impression that there was maybe some weak-ass incense burnt a few days ago, but that’s about it (and as we do burn incense fairly regularly, sometimes I can’t tell if it’s that or the vapor residue). For awhile I had a little bowlful of used coils sitting around, but that did smell bad, so I got rid of them; and I now keep the bottles of liquids in a plastic bag because the combination of their various scents is gross, but in general I see no reason not to vape indoors.
My clothes, hair, skin, pockets, and purse don’t smell like cigarettes, butts, or smoke anymore. It’s great! Added benefit: I’m no longer terrified of catching a cold and ending up in an oxygen tent with a lung infection.
Like I’ve said before, it’s probably not a zero-harm activity, but compared to smoking cigarettes the benefits of vaping are enormous.