I've been releasing comments from Blogger's insane 'Spamcatcher' again. It just makes up the rules as it goes, I think. There is no device I can find that would let me say 'Look, this isn't a spammer, let his/her comments through' so it's going to be a frequent occurrence.
Anyway. The experiment.
It's not a proper experiment. It has absolutely no scientific validity because it cannot be done blind and it has only one subject and one operator and they are both me. I cannot prove a damn thing because none of you can check. I can, however, prove something to myself and maybe point the way for others to prove something. Think of it as a preliminary study.
I have contended that nictotine is not an addiction. I do not dispute that it has effects, those effects have been measured and proven. The effects are no more dramatic than those obtained with caffeine and I broke the caffeine 'addiction' years ago.
I once spent ten days in China. It was work, not holiday, although as I was in Beijing I did get to see most of the sights. There was no dairy, no MacDonald's, no coffee, limited chocolate (non-milky) and the tea was so interesting I brought a load back with me. There was no shortage of booze, including some seriously strong booze, and smokes at prices that were only just above 'free' by Western standards. Hardly any fruit, a few bits of vegetable matter and everything - everything - was fried.
In ten days I lost over ten pounds and was never ill. That's another argument. The point of mentioning that trip here is that when I came back, I only wanted decaff coffee. I could no longer tell the difference between caffeine and not-caffeine.
So to the experiment. In order to prove that nicotine is fun but not an addiction, I need two things. Ordinary smokes and nicotine-free smokes. It can't be done with tobacco and herbal cigarettes. I tried the herbals once, many years ago. They were foul. Any smoker anywhere is going to spot the difference at once, despite the antismoker insistence that smokers can't smell anything. Yes, we can. So any experiment that tries to fool smokers with herbal cigarettes will fail.
What is needed is something that tastes exactly the same with or without nicotine and that is where Electrofag comes in. Electrofag has flavouring, steam-producing stuff and nicotine. Take out the nicotine and it tastes the same. If it's all about the nicotine, then nicotine-free Electrofags won't work as well as nicotine-loaded ones. If it's just about the smoking, it won't make a difference.
So I ordered some nicotine-free cartridges. I looked at Totally Wicked first because they have a massive range of flavours. I thought I'd get some flavours and propylene glycol and mix my own preference for nicotine-free flavour strength. Unfortunately I came across this and felt incredibly unwelcome on that site. They really hate smokers. So I didn't buy anything there.
Instead I went to ecigarette direct who have a much more restricted range of flavours but who are not antismoking zealots. There are tobacco and menthol zero-nicotine cartridges on the way. And some apple ones which are not zero nicotine but I fancied tryng them.
When they arrive I will stop smoking tobacco and switch to Electrofag for a while. How long? Depends on what I feel like - as I said, the experiment is not valid anyway. I will mix half zero-nicotine cartridges with half high-nicotine cartidges and smoke them. They look the same. Can I tell the difference? Will I be frantically swapping cartridges to find the ones with the drug?
If I am right, I will not find a difference. There is still the difference between tobacco and Electrofag, of course, but again - if I am right, I can manage without tobacco for at least a week. Because if I am right it's the smoking, not the nicotine, that does the trick.
The antismokers say you should set a date for stopping. I say you should never do that. The addiction is psychosomatic. If you set a date in the future you are ramping up the stress and boosting your chances of failure. If you want to stop, stop now. If you don't want to, don't.
So I have not set a fixed date myself for this experiment. It begins the day the cartridges arrive.
It will prove nothing to the antismokers. Nobody will know if I just carry on smoking or whether I bother to do the experiment at all. The only one who will know is me.
Still, it might inspire someone to collect together a group of Electrosmokers and give them cartridges, some of which are nicotine free, and try it as a proper experiment. It can't be done with real smokers because you would have to factor in that some smokers don't take to Electrofag at all. Herbal cigarettes will be instantly detected by smokers because we actually do still have a sense of smell. To the extent that we can tell different tobaccos apart, in fact. This experiment can only be done with Electrofag.
I'm certain it will work for me but there are serious confounders.
One - I know that half the cartridges in the box are no-nicotine.
Two - I am both subject and operator.
Three - I am already convinced that I am not addicted.
So it won't be proof.
But it might well be a start.