So I was recently back in Danbury Connecticut; my hometown of some years; and I happened upon the main thoroughfare of the mall on the lower level which is full of stands and kiosks for various products. I made my way past center court and I almost stopped in my tracks. The Electronic Cigarette! For those of you who don’t read my column regularly this has been an ongoing discussion I’ve been having; I’ve looked into the electronic cigarette and I’ve called into question its legitimacy. I have been bombarded with accusations from those in the electronic cigarette world; apparently there is a fairly strong push by the makers of this product that this is the only way for addicted smokers to quit smoking. The electronic cigarette, by their own assertion, claims to deliver the nicotine punch without any of the chemicals; this helps wean the addicted smoker off actual cigarettes, or so they say.
Shocked that the electronic cigarette had made its way into my own mall (I’d seen it before in a mall in Sherman Oaks California) I hastened to take a few pictures which are attached to this article. On my third picture the girl working at the kiosk noticed me and approached me.
“What’s this?” she questioned, in a thick, eastern European accent.
“I’m just taking pictures,” I said, cheerily.
“For what?” she demanded.
“For fun,” I replied coyly.
“Oh well,” she said, “good luck;” and walked away.
I walked away but still had a nagging inside me. My wife went into Banana Republic and I did a 180 and felt I had to do some more snooping around. I went back to the kiosk.
“Excuse me,” I said, “Can you tell me about this device?”
“Do you smoke,” she asked.
“Did you smoke?”
“Were you addicted?”
“Oh,” she said. “Well this is for people who are addicted to cigarettes. It gives you the nicotine fix without any of the chemicals of real cigarettes.”
“So this device has nicotine in it?
“Yes,” she said, “It helps people who are addicted to cigarettes. It’s the safest way to quit smoking.”
Hmmm….So to quit smoking you have to smoke something else? I wanted to know more, but my point of contact wasn’t very forthcoming. I think she knew who I was or had an idea of what I was after. The inhaled experience of the electronic cigarette may not have the same chemicals as real cigarettes; but as my wife always reminds me, “you trade chemicals for anti-freeze.”
“Are you the inventor of this device?”
“Yes, we are the inventors.”
“Me and someone else.”
“Well thank you very much dear. What did you say your name was?”
And that was it. I walked away from Vora; the electronic cigarette co-inventor who probably had run her well dry in Sherman Oaks and now had to attack the good citizens of southern Fairfield County Connecticut with this electronic cigarette garbage. Resist the urge Danbury Fair Mall shoppers; take back your mall kiosks and reject this electronic cigarette manufacturer. Or at least know what you’re getting into before you get into it; the electronic cigarette may help some people; the electronic cigarette may very well be the only way for people to kill the urge to smoke cigarettes. But it would seem to me that if the safest way to quit smoking is to become addicted to some other form of inhaled nicotine stick, then how much have you really conquered your addiction at all?