Monday, 28 July 2014

To quit smoking really isn't that hard...

Having a few beers used to make me start
smoking again. Vaping solved this problem
This weekend I was at my wife's cousin's wedding. The weather here in Norway is still pretty damn good, at least if you can stay outside. Inside it can really be a bit to hot at the moment, at least when there is no air-con like at this wedding, but luckily the venue were the party was held had some great outdoor spaces as well, so most people stayed outside. This made the smokers happy as they was able to attend the whole party. And I was of course vaping happily outside as usual. I was the only vaper there, but a bit to my surprise I got only one comment on my vaping. And this was just like: "... I see you switched to e-cigarettes". It felt a bit like even thought no other people there vaped, this was something they'd seen before and they knew what I was doing. In these kind of settings I'm used to getting some questions and maybe even end up in some discussion about the benefits of vaping, especially when it's getting late and people have had some drinks. But now I think vaping is becoming more visible here in Norway as well, and people are getting used to it.

Norwegian newspaper Bergens Tidene published an interesting article about "The new vapor" a couple of days ago (http://goo.gl/NXmney, not sure if google translate will work on this). The article starts out with the following quote, which confirms my theory above: "You see them on street corners and on cafes, the smokers that are sucking on electronic devices that just emits odourless vapor". As I wrote a couple of days ago: Norwegian vapers are coming out from their hiding places. The article in short tells the story of Han Li and how he invented the e-cigarette, then Karl Erik Lund from SIRUS has some great comments as usual, asking why the hell we should wait 20 years for long term studies when we already know that e-cigarettes are less harmful than cigarettes, and then there is some info on today's legal status here in Norway. I'd say the article shines a pretty positive light on vaping and e-cigs. What I find especially interesting is the comments from psychology specialist Halvor Kjølstad at the end of the article. He says that addiction consists of a physical and mental part. How much of the addiction is physical and how much is mental varies from person to person, but in the long run the mental part is the hardest one to get rid of. Some substances are more addictive than others and will give stronger physical reactions when quitting than others, but these physical reactions will go away. However the mental addiction can stick for years, and may never go away. Kjølstad then reminds us that "an addicts biggest problem isn't quitting, but not starting over." This, as I've said many times now, is a big part of the explanation to why e-cigarettes work so well.

Now relating this back to the wedding: I saw quite a few people there that I know have been smokers, that had a cigar or even a cigarette. This reminds me very much of all my own quit-attempts. Actually I'm not sure I should call them just attempts. I've stopped smoking for longer periods of time several times, but I've usually started again after some kind of party. There is actually a big chance that if I hadn't been vaping, I'd been smoking at this wedding and probably finished the pack the morning after... and you all know where I'm going with this right? My own experience tells me that Kjølstad is 100% right. To quit smoking isn't really that hard... it's staying off the cigarettes that's the hard part. And this is where vaping comes in so handy.

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  photo credit: Ozont via photopin cc

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