[Smokers are] together, enjoying the bizarre fraternal alchemy that happens when a number of people agree to stand outside and not talk about cancer. Quitters on the other hand have always been alone. That lady chewing gum on the next table could be one. The guy behind the bar could be one too – or he could just be quite fidgety. The urban quitter’s tragedy is that while temptation seems to waft ostentatiously around every street corner, our fellow habit-kickers are invisible.
E-cigs solve that problem:
They’re coming out of their smokeless closets, nervously clutching their cigarette substitute. Now, for the first time, we can identify a fellow sufferer. We can draw strength from watching him desperately suck on his faintly embarrassing plastic impersonation of a cigarette. We can offer an eye-roll of solidarity as we both wonder – why does the tip glow green instead of orange?
A friend of mine is literally addicted to his. I think they’re great. I grew up hating cigarettes – largely because I breathed them in every day of my life. I would wake each morning to a light mist of damp, bacon-scented cigarette smoke slowly condensing on the windows, as the radio blasted the news and the kettle purred away downstairs. My public bus rides home were effectively in a moist, smoke-filled can. But the rebellion that smoking now signifies has made it cool to me again. I think I started my evolution when Hillary Clinton banned cigarettes from the White House. And I feel pity for those poor schmucks forced to stand outside a bar or restaurant in a stigmatized hunch dragging on the remains of their butts.
But the e-cig? What’s not to love about a portable vaporizer? Go green, young man. And hang in, Eli.