Next month, 13th March, is national no smoking day 2019. I remember as a child, watching Grease and thinking the girls were so cool with their cigarettes. I told my mum, "I'm going to smoke when I'm older".
As you can imagine my mum, not exactly keen on the idea, and forbade me from smoking, ever. I don't do well if I'm told I cannot do something. I'm a Taurus and it's most certainly a red flag to my inner bull. Needless to say, I started smoking when I turned 16.
Smoking was strangely one of the reasons that me and Alan started dating. I had become friends with "the smokers" at college and he was one of them. One night he offered me a cigarette, and I knew he liked me. It was very old fashioned him lighting the cigarette for me and everything. I then proceeded to steal his shoe and run off; yep, I have moves.
One of our fondest memories is our first holiday to Greece. It was 2002, we were young, invincible, and the world was ours for the taking. Every night we would sit on the balcony, watch the sea, play Military Rummy and smoke. At the time, for me, nothing could quite beat a GnT and a cigarette. Good times.
Quite quickly we knew that we were going to be stuck together for a while; this year will be our 14th wedding anniversary. I knew at some point that we would have kids, and I never wanted to risk smoking whilst being pregnant. So, I put my foot down, we were both giving it up. I had my last cigarette on my 18th birthday party, I'd smoked for two years.
I was lucky to have support though my GP surgery. I visited a nurse who advised me on nicotine patches and did regular lung capacity checks to show how much they were improving. A big thing for me was the hand to mouth action, it had become second nature. So, my now ecstatic mum, helped by buying me a bottle of bubbles. Instead of sitting on the doorstep billowing smoke, there were lots of pretty bubbles floating around. Ok, this may not be for everyone, but I loved it :)
I've not used an e-cigarette, they weren't around when I smoked. But, they do fascinate me. It sometimes feels like you are in an old movie, clouds of smoke surround you like you are on an old train platform, and then you get walloped by a ridiculously strong smell of cherry.
I'm on the fence over the benefits of e-cigs. Hear me out. I think that e-cigs appear to be much better for your health, then traditional tobacco cigarettes. But, I don't think that they have been around long enough, for us to really know if they are "ok". Same as me, most insurers are a bit cautious over the long-term health effects of e-cigarette use. That's why many still class anyone that has used any form of nicotine in the last 12 months, as a smoker.
But! There is a big point to make here, 'most' not 'all' insurers do that.
There are loads of myths and facts surrounding health and e-cig use. I think it's probably safe to say that e-cigarettes are safer than traditional tobacco cigarettes. I think it's also fair to say that not smoking anything is better than using e-cigarettes. But if you are going to have guilty pleasure in life, an e-cigarette is probably quite low on the naughty scale.
A huge problem is that for every study that says e-cigarettes are better than smoking, there feels like there as many counteracting that claim. There are plenty of myths and facts and I have put together some key ones that stand out to me.
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