My nephew has been smoking cigarettes for more than a few years now. He is currently twenty-three years old and I suspect he started when he was around seventeen. My brother (his father) and our mom can’t stand that he smokes and it is always a difficult conversation during the holidays when he visits, and after sneaking out for a cigarette, someone asks him when he is going to quit. He inevitably responds with the some hemming and hawing and makes vague promises that he will quit someday in the future.
Earlier this year I heard about electronic cigarettes and decided to do some research into the health risks or benefits of smoking them as opposed to cigarettes. What I found is that apparently they are much, much better. Smoking e-cigarettes does not produce the tar or carcinogens associated with tobacco. Another way cigarettes are harmful is the heat associate with them. Electronic cigarettes don’t produce the same amount of heat and therefore shouldn’t damage the lungs in the same way either.
I used to smoke and I know how difficult quitting can be. I quit fifteen years back and that was tough. I can only imagine what its like now considering all the additional addictive chemicals added into cigarettes these days. Whereas electronic cigarettes do contain nicotine, which of course is addictive, they don’t include all the harmful effects of smoking. So from what I gather, using them is basically the same thing as using nicotine gum or the patch, only it is in a more familiar form (inhaled).
So this year, for Christmas I ordered him an electronic cigarette package that includes everything he needs to smoke without causing a family uproar. He is going to come and visit during the holidays and I intend to give it to him when he first arrives as an early Christmas present. I figure, if it ends up helping him to quit than I will have given him the best gift I possibly could have. Even if he just uses it on occasion, that is still better than smoking all the time. At the very least he will be able to get his nicotine fix while he is here without smelling like cigarettes and worrying his dad and his grandma.
It’s an odd gift, and one that he no doubt won’t be expecting. After all I have also tried to persuade him to quit in the past, and he knows I disapprove of his smoking as well. I can tell he doesn’t like smoking around family because it is obvious it upsets them, so I am hoping it is going to make this holiday season a little smoother for everyone.