I’m obsessed with tobacco. The plant itself helps remove toxins from soils. Buying tobacco supports farmers in some of the poorest parts of the world. The perfect cigarillo or cigar has the most beautiful smell.
It is also overwhelmingly unethical. Almost 1 in 5 people will pick up a cigarette this year. Yet the majority of the tobacco market is controlled by 10 large companies who generate US$250bn in revenues between them.
And that’s not to mention that these companies continue to market cancer causing, addictive, harmful products.
From smoking in bars in Romania, popping out of the office, Sisha in Bosnia, holiday smokes in over 32 countries and half a decade consistently puffing up toxic clouds I’ve been through a lot.
My lungs will take a decade to recover. I was probably spending £2,500 per year on cigarettes.
It was much more expensive than any other habit I had. And the lengths I’d go to for a pack of 20 Marlborough gold.
I transitioned to vaping. I liked sisha. I needed to spend less. I’ve gone from £2,500 per year to £700. I can find new holidays.
I don’t buy disposable vapes as they hard to recycle and instead have more permanent devices like Vaporesso and Drag X.
The flavours are limitless. Although I like nutty, coffee, caramel flavours the most. And most vape shops are local businesses set up by local entrepreneurs.
It took some time to transition. But I now get my nicotine fix. Without any harm.
Nicotine is virtually harmless. And it triggers dopamine and serotonin; anyone will tell you about how many people with poor mental health smoke. That’s why it’s addictive.
I’ve lost all of the toxic chemicals that get soaked up by tobacco plants and ended up with more choice, supporting smaller businesses.
And occasionally I still whip out a cigarillo. Everything is much more enjoyable.
But most people are scared of one thing: change.