Bear
Bear

For reasons still not entirely clear to me, I decided to spend my vacation giving up my 20-year-long nicotine addiction.

Nicotine is supposedly as addictive as heroin. The problem is if I smoke a cigarette, my coworkers won't have to give me a shot of Narcan to bring me back from that near-fatal overdose. I can always bum one off a coworker and not resort to boosting car stereos or prostituting myself on the streets of Boulder. To be honest, I'm not sure if a geographically defined area for crack whoring even exists in Boulder.

Without that those immediate, life-ruining consequences, all that remains is the leisurely waltz toward lost teeth, impotence, heart disease, emphysema, cancer, a slow choking death, all that. As awful as all those outcomes are, they aren't happening today, and sure, I'd love to go outside and smoke and forget about everything that's bothering me, even if it's only for three minutes. It makes quitting hard.

I have mostly "vaped" for the past three years. For the following reasons, I decided to hang it up:

A) It keeps me smoking cigarettes, and walking up a flight of stairs now feels like running a 5K.

B) It seems unwise to hold a high-powered lithium battery up to my face.


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C) Let's be honest, does anything look as dumb as vaping? I feel like a consummate hipster douchebag every time I hit the button on my e-cig.

D) I live in Boulder, and if you are smoking or vaping in public, you might as well be distributing copies of "120 Days of Sodom" outside a Montessori school.

I started smoking in high school. I considered building a time machine and going back to 1995 to warn myself, but I opted against it for the following reasons:

A) Time travel is risky. There is always the possibility that it's one way only. I don't want to repeat the late '90s when the hip hop got bad and the rock music got worse. Remember Limp Bizkit? I can't do it. I won't.

B) My 16-year-old self would not listen to me, and I would wind up kicking my own ass and likely going to jail.

Example of the conversation that would occur:

37-year-old me: Hey there, it's you from the future. Please, don't smoke that Newport. You'll just be in a bad mood in Colorado 20 years from now.

16-year-old me: Whatever, man. It's my body.

37-year-old me: And take those enormous pants off and straighten your hat. You look dumb.

16-year-old me: Have you seen "Forrest Gump"? Such a good movie.

37-year-old me: Come here, you little bastard!

It's been about 10 days. The physical withdrawal has passed. The murderous rage is subsiding. I'll thank myself in 20 years when I'm not in an iron lung. I think it will be OK.

Ugh. Who am I kidding? Kill me, please.

Read more Bear: coloradodaily.com/columnists. Stalk him: twitter.com/johnbearwithme