Business Insider has declared this the age of the e-cigarette saving humanity. I have declared it the age of faux smokers not getting laid.
According to the professor of tobacco studies at University College London, e-cigarettes have the potential to save millions of lives. While nobody can say for sure whether they have any long term negative health effects or cause cancer, we do know that they aren’t nearly as harmful as normal cigarettes. Which is great, if you want to start dating someone who uses a tool that is only maybe kinda carcinogenic but definitely not as deadly as a super deadly habit.
I’m not being preachy, either. I’ve done my fair share of this-might-be-killing-you substances (and I’m talking a lot worse than Diet Coke). There’s nothing inherently wrong with a man who has a vice, I just want him to own his vice. I want him to choose between one of two categories: A man who honestly admits to paying thousands of dollars a year to slowly die of a filthy habit or a healthy man who completely abstains from smoking. This gray area of the nicotine vaporizer puffer is disconcerting and frankly, reeks of entitlement and general douchebaggery. Isn’t it always the smuggest looking guy on the train who startles you by lighting up a cigarette in the middle of a crowded line until you realize its only electronic?
Take for example this dude Sam I met in a bar once. Sam was nice enough. He had an infectious smile, a puckish attitude, and knew how to nudgingly give a lady some useful billiards tips. I planned to smooch Sam by the end of the night. But then he pulled out that two inch piece of painted metal and began to take a drag off it. He boasted about it, said he liked how it made him look, and offered me a puff. “You like how it makes you look?” I was instantly repelled. The e-cig had completely killed his laid back vibe, maybe because it’s the emblem of trying to be laid back.
I know e-smokers think they look hip and health savvy. I can tell by that self-assured smirk on their face. But I don’t think they look cool waving around that metal stick indoors, exhaling puffs of flavored vapor like they’re the millennial John Wayne. And while as much as I’d love to erase the damaging cultural narrative, I can’t deny that tobacco smokers still have a certain je ne sais quoi. Have you ever seen Humphrey Bogart or Sherlock Holmes?
But e-smokers don’t have that effortless air about them because it feels more like chill affect and a feigned sense of wellness. That e-cig is still full of pollutants that cause respiratory diseases. They’re unregulated and can still get you addicted to nicotine. And they’re bringing it back to public shared spaces in full force. Get it out of my airplanes, away from my sandwich, and far from all of the future children I am carrying.
Maybe I’m not as worried about the psuedo smoking habit as much as what it could say about a person I am about to date. I think I’m so bothered by e-cigarette smokers because they seem like the poster children for half-assing it. What other grand philosophies have they adopted because they kept seeing it crop up on sale in every bodega? Are they into Foucault and bitcoins, too? If I’m going to invest in someone, I want them to commit to their big life decisions, even if those life decisions include death.
Image via Veer.