Re-discovering the pleasure of smoking

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I have often wondered what made men smoke their first cigar. In an age of cigarettes, when we are all bombarded with warning signs of how dangerous smoking is, the pleasure of that first puff makes one think if such an experience does exist or is just a rabbit pulled up by some advertising man.

Doubt no more— the pleasure does exist. And I found it in my Iqos— my modern day electronic cigar pipe.

Really now, smoking is not as bad as you think. Ancient peoples began smoking those tobacco leaves centuries before the first white man discovered it and brought back those precious leaves from the forests of the New World to the aristocratic homes of the Old. The process of choosing the leaves, rolling them up into one stick the size of a chubby finger and lighting them up and puffing those smokes into one’s lungs probably made the first Western smoker feel like an Indian warrior. He must have done it among his friends while they sip their wines, and the first ones who saw it must have been turned off by the barbarity of seeing a human being foolishly smoking a leaf until it becomes ash.

As smoking becomes the fancy of the rich and went to as far as being practiced by liberal segments of the intelligentsia, the tobacco became extremely in demand. Enterprising capitalists created huge tobacco farms in the New World, ran by Mayan and Aztec slaves who once roamed the jungles of America as freemen. Bringing those precious leaves to Europe had attendant costs.

Thus, from a lowly cigar the size of a cubby finger, it now became slim. Instead of being rolled naked, tobacco leaves were cut into tiny pieces fit for size by capitalists. Doing so, meant producing thousands of paper-rolled tobaccos for massive distribution throughout the known world. Thus, born the cigarette.

Millions of rolled up cigars cut into saleable sizes stuffed into specialized paper made tobacco a mass consumption product. The transformation was not without its sacrifices. When cigar became cigarette, it literally erased an entire ritualistic tradition that shaped the myth of the smoke. Along with the ritual comes tastes—both literally and descriptively. The strong unworldly tastes of tobacco that animates the minds of many disappeared almost completely when cigarettes became fad. Thus, the introduction of additives—these harmful substances—that tries to prolong the life of the leaf and compensate for the loss of tastes. Of course, it works—yet, brings out not the good spirits, but the bad.

Smoking kills. I agree. Let me qualify though—it’s smoking cigarettes that kills, not smoking tobacco. Those toxic chemicals infused in those tobacco leaves just to compensate for the bland tastes of cigarettes, make one sick.

Last month, I learned that the black patches at the sides of my feet are caused by excessive cigarette smoking. Aghast, I now consciously try to limit my consumption of cigarettes.

Fortunately, a friend, Ed Cordovilla, gave me Iqos—a product of a cigarette company, Philip Morris. At first glance, I thought it was just some gadget similar to vapes.

I was wrong.

Unlike vapes, Iqos does not produce tons of smoke that makes the smoker uglier than a dragon. It does not have these sweet concoctions made up by suspicious substances that turn into deadly vapors. No.

I likened Iqos to a cigar pipe engineered specifically to bring out the tastes of tobacco without the noxious toxins infused into it in cigarettes. Unlike the cigar pipes of old, this one is the product of the modern age that combines utility with pleasure. I love the design. Modern, classy and sophisticated.

I just had one comment—it’s supposed to be plug and play, but it isn’t, unfortunately. Blame it on unclear illustrations in the small instruction manual.

What’s good about Iqos is—it’s meant to be used for a looong time, just like my old wooden pipe. Iqos brought back the ritual of the smoke—every single use of the heets, you need to clean the device. I am also amazed at the long-lasting battery this gadget has.

Other than these, I am grateful that I now enjoy my smokes without worrying if I’ll get sick in the future, thanks to the makers of Iqos. Like cigars, the heet does not have tar that cause lung cancer. One gets to enjoy a couple of minutes worth of pure smoking pleasure without thinking of dying. Scientists already know that nicotine in tobacco is not entirely bad for the body. With Iqos, you’ll assured that nothing bad happens to you and you indulge in the pleasure of smoking everywhere you want. Ah, the scent of freedom.

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