Cigarettes and Leather Jackets

Other than wearing a stylish leather jacket since junior high, smoking is probably the coolest looking thing that I’ve ever done. Smoking, unlike leather jackets, is terrible for your health. It’s hard to compare the two – leather jackets and cigarettes – but I can unequivocally state that smoking cigarettes is far worse for your health than wearing leather jackets.

Smoking a cigarette while wearing a leather jacket looks cool. See:

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“James Dean 1956” by Barkin, Herman & Associates-publicity agency for Schlitz Brewing – eBayfront releaseback. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:James_Dean_1956.jpg#/media/File:James_Dean_1956.jpg

There’s something in the mythos of our culture that makes cigarettes an emblem for ruggedness and suaveness, with just the right touch of deference. I’m sure that this is a manufactured narrative, created by clever advertisers at high-priced firms for cigarette companies. Even still, it exists.

Leather jackets have a history unbeknownst to me. If I were to guess, I would say that they started as a survival tool, made by clever huntsmen trying to steel themselves against the cold. These humble beginnings have led to a fashion trend that is unlikely to be bucked anytime soon.

Cigarettes, somewhat unlike leather jackets, have a bad reputation and there is much effort being placed on the complete discontinuation of their production and use. More so than with leather jackets, cigarettes are on their way out, and will likely never be found in any vintage shop for future generations to hold betwixt their fingers or lips.

For me, I’m trying to stay ahead of this inevitable curve by attempting to quit smoking now. My most successful attempt started last May, and has, with some failures, reached its final stages.

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This is the e-cigarette that I’ve been using. Beside it, is the bottle of 0 mg/mL e-liquid that I bought today.

I’m using an e-cigarette to help me quit. I started with 18 mg/mL e-liquid back in May, have been slowly reducing the mg-mL ratio, and I bought 0 mg/mL e-liquid today. The last time I bought 0 mg/mL e-liquid, around September, it was too soon; I bought a pack of cigarettes soon after.

To say that I’m not worried would be an utter lie. I have no idea how I’m going to respond to this change. Like the huntsmen of years gone by, I must steel myself for what’s to come. But, how?

Sure, my resolve is greater than it’s ever been, but will it be enough?

I talked to a pharmacist about buying 1 mg nicotine lozenges, but he advised me against it. He believes that my real hurdle is the habit, the hand-to-mouth action that is so comfortable and familiar.

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My sister bought me a ring that spins on itself.

Years ago, my sister bought me a ring that spins on itself. It’s kind of neat. While looking for a toy that I could have with me at all times – something to keep my fingers occupied when I’m freaking out a little bit – I remembered that I had it stored underneath my bathroom sink. So, I left the store empty handed, and returned home to search beneath the sink.

Anyway, the plan is to start wearing the ring again, and toy with it when I need a quick reminder that I’m working on recovering from a serious addiction.

Between the e-cigarette with its nicotine-less e-liquid and the pure-lung ring, I should have a fighting change. No?

I’ve accepted the fact that I’ll always be a smoker, but I don’t want to be a smoker who smokes anymore. Unlike smoking, though, I’ll always be a wearer of stylish leather jackets, even if I’ll never look quite as cool ever again.

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