James Lawton: I'm Marlboro Man no longer...and saving cash
Until quite recently there would, at some point of this brief creation, have been a ribbon of smoke curling up from the ashtray on my desk at home.
Not today. Instead, there is an occasional puff of nicotine-bearing vapour at each pause on the keyboard. My Marlboro habit – the despair of family and friends for more years than I care to consider – is, for the moment at least, on hold.
I'm smoking an electronic fag. It does not perfectly reproduce the real experience, of course – not least when the “lit” end is blue rather than red.
But, who knows? It may turn out to be a blessing for someone long convinced that some of life's most basic chores would be impossible without the relief of a cigarette break.
The value of the e-cigarette is apparent enough. For a start it is far cheaper. The calculation is that one recharged “e” is the equivalent of 15 cigarettes – and mine comes at £2 a time: a saving of more than £3 a packet.
One pitfall is that you can easily forget to put the thing down. A regular cigarette burns for about 10 minutes, but you can suck on its substitute for half an hour; you can shoot up to the equivalent of about 80 a day.
When the attachable “cartomiser” is spent, the blue light (where there used to be a red glow) starts to flash. It wouldn't have worked for Humphrey Bogart, but times change.
James Lawton is Chief Sports Writer
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
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