It's not really time for an Electrofag update. I thought I'd drop those to once a month to make the cost comparisons worthwhile but I've just found out that the supplier I use has a sale on until December 17th. 30% off most of the stuff there.
Here's the three-month comparison, summarised as:
Electrofag essentials £102.32
Semi-essentials (bought already but not necessary) £49.16
Totally unnecessary but fun gadgets £37.56
Real tobacco £112.50
That was only two weeks ago. From that, it seemed that my approach of roughly half real tobacco and half Electrofag would take three months to reach parity in costs, after which Electrofag would start to look cheaper.
It's true. Electrofag has incurred no further costs in the past fortnight while real tobacco has. I haven't even burned out one of the heating elements yet even though they are long past their guaranteed lifespan. Although it's a little skewed because of the severe cold outside which means that at the lab, I make much more use of Electrofag than I would if the weather was mild. At home, real tobacco use is higher but even so, I can make a half-ounce last more than two days now.
The supplier claims a 90% reduction in smoking costs over a year. My own experience suggests I would have had roughly 50% reduction in costs over three months if I had gone completely over to Electrofag, but I still like the real ones too much to do that. Going fully electronic could certainly cut the cost by 90% over a year, I'd say. I'm now in the reduced-cost stage even with still buying real smokes. I'd go over totally to Electrofag if it develops to the point where it's exactly like the real thing (but without the tar and other chemicals) but as it stands, it's not quite there yet. It's miles ahead of patches and gum though.
Then again, there's a sale on and it's a sale of little electronic gadgets, therefore I'm going to put up the gadgetry costs of Electrofag now. This is entirely non-essential stuff. It's just toys. Here's the additional stuff:
5ml banana flavour juice (have to try that one!) £2.79
10 ml flavour concentrate - roast chicken. Yes, really! £2.79
5 ml unflavoured juice in super-high strength £2.79. I already have some of this but it's earmarked for an experiment. It's double the strength I normally prefer so I've also bought another bottle of propylene glycol to dilute it - another £2.79.
Even though the five batteries I have still work well, I've taken the opportunity to buy a five-pack of spares at 30% discount - £24.99. Not essential yet but rechargeable batteries don't last forever.
And... I've been putting this one off because it's only available in super strength and 30 ml bottles but since it's reduced, I have to. Absinthe flavour! I can dilute it if it's too powerful.
So that'll add £53.73 (£1.99 postage) to the Electrofag gadget additions. Sounds a lot but what the hell. If there were gadgets for real fags I'd buy those too.
So if you pass someone in the street smoking a black cigarette that lights up blue, and you get a whiff of roast chicken, absinthe or banana as you pass, and if he's cackling like a madman, it's probably me. Smoking a chicken.
The essential costs haven't changed. This is all gadget money, so if I were using Electrofag frugally and just buying essentials, it would now be ahead on costs. But then, cost isn't the primary motivator.
The principle reason I bought Electrofag was to be able to 'smoke' in some form when I'm away from home and it's too horrible to go outside. Also when visiting a hospital or some other Centre of Righteousness where they won't even let you smoke in the grounds. They're happy to give you all manner of deadly diseases that will kill you now, but they won't let you indulge something that might - or might not - kill you decades in the future. You're not allowed to harm yourself on hospital premises. That's their job.
I wasn't sure if I'd persist with it because while it's a reasonable semblance of smoking, it's not the same. Advantages are many, yes, including a complete absence of ash and the fact that you don't need to carry a bulky pack or tobacco or a lighter. You can also take a couple of puffs and drop it back into your pocket or sit and smoke for an hour.
The downside is mainly that it's too heavy to be real. The 'tobacco' flavour isn't like the real thing, although the 'virginia' flavour is pretty close (for me, anyway). It's not a full replacement yet but given time and development it could get there.
I think I persist with it because it's just so much fun. I already have cigar flavour, coffee, menthol, virginia, tobacco and French pipe. I still get a kick out of the look on people's faces when I puff on what appears to be a pen, it lights up blue and 'smoke' comes out. So far I have never been approached by security anywhere and told to stop smoking. I'm actively trying for that one because I want to see their faces when I drop what they think is a lit cigarette into my shirt pocket. And, of course, it has enormous gadget value. Plus it is totally and absolutely harmless to any non-smoker so they have absolutely nothing to complain about. Not that that will ever stop the more dedicated of them.
ASH (The Association of Spite and Hate) want to ban Electrofag too. They claim that if you stand beside an Electrofagger, the amount of nicotine in the steam that comes out will give you a heart attack. You are not to consider, for a moment, why the Electrofagger is standing perfectly healthily while you, exposed to far, far less than he, are expected to drop dead on the spot.
You, antismoker, are not to think about the patches and gum endorsed by ASH, about the nicotine content of those things, nor are you to connect the idea that the trace of nicotine you might experience (and which is going to kill you right now) is barely detectable compared to the amount of nicotine in the patches ASH want people to stick on themselves and which they say will, paradoxically, save their lives.
If ASH promote dosing people with far higher levels of nicotine than they attribute to a heart attack, why are they not already being investigated for attempted murder? The intent is definitely there. They believe a tiny amount will kill and they insist people attach far higher levels to themselves. In their own minds, they are deliberately setting out to poison people. That cannot logically be seen as anything other than a deliberate attempt to kill.
You non-smokers must never, ever find out that there is more nicotine in a tomato than in the residual steam from an Electrofag. You must wipe from your mind all that previous talk of tar, benzene, formaldehyde and carcinogenic particulates in cigarette smoke because none of those exist in Electrofag. You must believe that it's the nicotine, only the nicotine and always has been only the nicotine.
You are at war with nicotine. You have always been at war with nicotine.
You have never complained about the smell. Only the nicotine. You have never complained about the smoke. Only the nicotine. You have never worried about tar or formaldehyde or benzene or particulates. Only the nicotine.
You have never worried about lung cancer. You have always been concerned about spontaneous heart attacks. No lung cancer. Heart attacks. Keep saying it over and over until you believe it.
And when you do, we smokers are going to sue every doctor, every producer and promoter of nicotine patches and gum and every shop selling them for attempted murder. Because ASH has declared that much tinier levels of nicotine are deadly, and you'll all believe it. Therefore deliberately persuading people to attach high levels to their skin or put it in their mouths is a clear and unequivocal intent to kill.
The best part is, those people ASH convinced will be there, on the jury. Unless they're smokers. Which won't help.
I say, let ASH push this new line of lies. Let them convince all their drones.
Life can be fun. I think I'll take a smoke break now.