[With this article I open the column “Umsteiger berichten”. Ex-smokers who are now steaming and willing to show their faces are invited to tell their own story. Mailt mich einfach an!]
No more smoking? The topic was for me as through as a topic can only be. Also the argument with the own failure in things smoke stop lay years back. I no longer struggled with my fate as a frequent smoker and the prospect of one day dying from it. After all, I had really tried hard, had stopped using different methods several times and had gone through abstinence periods of several months. I knew why I always found my way back to cigarettes: Not because of physical discomfort or extreme “power”, but because I was really missing something even after these symptoms had largely subsided. Unconsciously I tried to replace it with food and so every attempt to stop increased my weight – remaining, it did not decrease again when I had started again. Not very motivating to try it again, but I managed to make a total of about 7 serious attempts – I write “about” because I don’t remember the attempts before the 40th very well.
Do I smoke? Intellectual and material smoke stop attempts
Anyone who has smoked for several decades has a different starting point than someone in their mid-20s. My “addiction memory” had a lot of time to develop. I come from a family of smokers and remember fatherly admonitions that I should never start smoking, because you can’t get rid of it – recited with a cigarette in your hand. If he had drunk alcohol, he had offered me one before. Anyway, when I think back: there wasn’t (and isn’t) anyone in my family who doesn’t smoke. In the schoolyard smoking was the means to “belong” and around 20 smoking already belonged to me like eating & drinking.
“Smoking no longer belongs to me” – that was the brainwashing formula of a lovable “Forentroll” who helped many people with their mental reorientation in a friendly smoking stop forum. I also tried it and followed his suggestions to visualize the inner smoker and to ask her what she could accept “instead”. Unfortunately she was quite obdurate with me! 🙂 And after a few months of abstinence, I resignedly realized: Yes, smoking belongs to me! Shameful, shitty, life-threatening, but fact!
The same had happened to me already in 1998 when I started the erste deutschsprachige Nichtraucher-Tagebuch startete. I had spontaneously stopped and discovered Alan Carr’s book “ Finally non-smokers “. Also his method is a beneficial “brainwashing”, in which one learns to introduce nicotine as a “beast” who lies and cheats smokers with false pretences, supported by the extremely malicious cigarette industry, and thus keeps them in chains. All positive experiences with the cigarette are to be led back only and alone to the release of the stress, which is produced by nicotine deficiency. Proof: the first cigarette in the morning is particularly good, because there was no smoking while asleep and the nicotine level dropped accordingly.
I honestly tried to cultivate the new, rebellious spirit, wrote blog posts about it almost every day and motivated many others to also start a new quitting attempt. After about three months the topic was over, the “diary” ran out of stuff and I started my first real blog: Digital Diary – Vom Sinn des Lebens zum Buchstabenglück. There I noted in June 1999:
When I started smoking again some time after completion of the non-smoking diary, that was the usual stupidity of addicts: There was an experience of pleasure, try to see if it is still one…. In addition, I had gained a lot of weight without eating any more. I felt increasingly uncomfortable in my body. The lungs were really recovered, but the extra kilos really gave me a hard time. And that slowly undermined my anti-smoking motivation. I realized that my life, as it is, the essentially sedentary life in front of the monitor, is not so easy to recover by omitting a drug. The addiction simply passes over to other substances – or even becomes substance-free, e.g. by becoming a workaholic. I would have had to set further discipline against it: to problematize eating as before smoking, to do sport regularly, to deliberately organize balance, fitness center, jogging, massage, sauna – but I was not and am not ready for that. I just don’t want to revolve so much around my state of mind, it bores me and I could never put much energy into things that bore me.
That sounds resigned, but in the aftermath I actually started the attempt to change my life substantially. I moved to the countryside (and after two years back to Berlin), discovered sauna and fitness center, occasionally problematized my eating habits, practiced yoga and started another quitting attempt: now humbled as far as the “spiritual methods” were concerned, I wanted to make it with Nikotintabletten. With it the “power” was kept to a large extent in the bridle, but still something was missing me, every day, also after weeks and months. What, for heaven’s sake?
The exposure of the nicotine beast is also a lie
The nicotine tablets gave me new, essential insights about the nature of my addiction. It was written in the leaflets that you should take up to 15 lozenges per day, but I managed with much smaller amounts, with “tablet chunks”! Compared to the smoking time I had reduced the nicotine input to one tenth and felt good about it. The “beast” was much more harmless than I had thought! BUT nevertheless: I was missing something, no matter at which dose: namely the many smoke rituals, with which I structured and “animated” my everyday life. To hold something in my hand, to suck on it at will, to smoke a cigarette on certain occasions, for coffee, after a meal, while sitting together. In addition: In such a writing and reading sitting life in front of the monitor, inhaling is also a “physical activity”, which I definitely missed. Instead of always eating vegetable sticks or fruit, it was not a satisfying substitute.
Maybe a medical inhalation device? I looked around to see what lung patients were prescribed for and came across an expensive device class that I had never known before. Unfortunately, they were too big and too expensive, looked like hospitals and were of course not mobile: no real solution! I didn’t even have e-cigarettes on my screen, no wonder in 2006.
In the end, I ended up with the cigarette again: I rolled it myself, about 30 a day. An immense amount that didn’t do me any good. My wallpapers yellowed quickly and renovation only helped for a short time. Before I got visitors, I had to ventilate and light incense sticks. While talking I had to cough more and more often, otherwise the cough increased and the fitness decreased. Not to mention the enormous sums I spent on tobacco, leaves and filters. But after all the failures I could no longer think of stopping. I resigned myself to being a smoker – who wants to be constantly in a clinch with themselves?
December 2014: a normal dealer inquiry
Since I run several blogs, I get quite often inquiries from dealers whether I might not be interested in a cooperation. This was also the case in December, but this time it was an inquiry from an e-cigarette shop in Berlin. I don’t want to participate with my blog in the affiliate program for e-cigarettes? Since I use such programs of Amazon or Google quite occasionally, this advertising form is not strange to me, however, more than “Peanuts” I take with it nowhere, care also hardly about it.
But hey, e-cigarettes? On the blogs of an incorrigible smoker? Does not fit nevertheless! Strangely enough, in 2014 I hadn’t noticed anything of the growing steamship culture. I asked curious questions, which my opposite answered patiently and in detail. It became a dialogue that showed me a new world and awakened my hope that I could still get away from cigarettes. Because what I wanted was not “non-smoking”, but “smoking healthier” – and VAPORING seemed to be exactly what I was looking for.
Of course, it was the self-experiment that really convinced me. I was off my socks, simply extremely amazed that I could actually easily switch to steaming without missing anything! One should approach it comfortably, it is said, so quite a “pyro” smoke, if the urge is big after it. But I was astonished how little this urge was – I could even steam instead of smoke on these occasions and simply forget my wish!
I felt the health benefits already after a few days: No more coughing, no more morning coughing – and the feeling of being able to breathe much more freely and better. Not much has changed in terms of fitness yet – of course, I’m still sitting too much and I won’t be able to avoid “more exercise” if things really get better. I am only in week 6 of the changeover.
E-politics discovered: to puke!
By the way, I quickly switched from the slim “Zigalikes” to the beginner sets in the large Kubelschreiber format: more steam, more power, better “Flash”. While searching for information about steaming, I not only found steamer know-how, but also realized with horror that this simple method to at least get rid of all the dirt that comes from burning tobacco doesn’t suit many powerful interest groups at all. Not really a miracle when you consider that states lose taxpayers’ money, tobacco companies lose customers, the pharmaceutical industry loses weaning drug users when the steam convinces more and more smokers.
Where do we get there? That’s not allowed! So there is political lobbying to see what it can do. Even institutions like the WHO (now almost exclusively financed by BigPharma) bekämpfen die E-Zigarette. And again and again wild information about the “danger of steaming” is passed on by the press, which on closer inspection lacks any Basis. But it remains always which hanging… Who is not yet politics disenchanted, needs to change only to steam, in order to become it!
But this is another story that we will all write down in a big way. After all there are also physicians and scientists, who do not let themselves be engaged for disdainful interest politics, but zur Förderung der E-Zigarette aufrufen. I have been steaming for five weeks now and have only smoked a few “pyros” since then, not even for days. Like many beginners I am in the phase of searching for my favourite Liquids. One, which tastes like the in former times smoked self-turned, I will not find, because by combustion tobacco tastes now times differently than in the steam. But now I get to know innumerable new tastes, even far away from the topic “tobacco”.
The impulse for this essential change of my life came from a nice trader! I am grateful to him that he didn’t leave it at a “Sorry, then just not”, when I expressed myself rather rejecting and skeptical about steaming. Without this intensive mail dialogue about “everything about steaming” I would not have changed and would still smoke two packets in three days, if that’s enough… When I went to various steamboat forums, I met people in places who, for whatever reason, reject dealers and any cooperation with them. I don’t understand that, because: what would the steamship scene be without traders who buy all the stuff for us?
This aspect is also a topic that would need its own deepening. As there are innumerable topics on the table about steaming that are worth discussing. That’s why I started this blog after four weeks of steaming. It hasn’t found all its topics yet, but it’s now clear to me: it’s aimed at people interested in switching, not necessarily at the steamboat scene. Because each transfer contributes to the fact that it becomes ever harder for the policy with the ?way regulation? I wish myself that all, which fight the Dampfen, in the friend and acquaintance circle ever more frequently on ?rescued smokers? encounter, which became steamships and say: Yes spin you then?
I want to be involved in making this happen. And otherwise steam contentedly!
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