I'm afraid that the following thoughts/reactions are going to be a bit jumbled and disjointed. If I take the time to organize them, I'll never get around to posting, and I think the subject deserves discussion if folks are interested. Marcus and I have talked about it, and even though he isn't as interested as I am, his thoughts are part of the mess that follows.
If anyone has not read vesperae's excellent essay "The Joy of Tar" I strongly encourage you to do so.
My initial gut reaction was "Ugh! That's disgusting!" similar o the disdain with which I have found myself regarding people I have seen using e-cigarettes. When I see women using them, I feel almost offended. It wasn't all that long ago in the grand scheme of things that women couldn't smoke in public. Please don't deny the progress we have made by pretending to smoke. "You've come a long way, baby" is more than a catchy slogan. Part of smoking is the public (Even if "public" is just a few confidants) declaration of one's mastery over one's body, the conscious decision to inflict damage on it for the sake of pleasure. When I see someone using an e-cigarette, my visceral reaction is that the person is too weak to overcome a physical addiction. Please, get the patch or some gum and stop playing around. Narrow-minded, I know. I said it was visceral.)
Watching the video, Marcus and I were both struck by the blatant admission that smoking is sexy and the exploitation of that aspect. For both of us, however, the absence of the darker facets negates any allure smoking has. Without the Risk, smoking is nothing more than taking a drug. If that was the only reason for smoking, nicotine tablets would have sold like hot cakes when first marketed.
The video brings Nat Sherman Fantasias to mind. They smoke like they are made from factory floor sweepings, but are popular with some as "Party" cigarettes. I guess fashion eCigs might gain a similar following, but I doubt it.
It is also interesting that we are starting to see e-cigarettes marketed as much as a product with its own identity, not just a substitute or alternative to smoking. I am reminded of ad campaigns for veggie burgers that touted them as unique and not as a substitute for cooked cow. I wonder how a non-smoker's experience trying an e-cigarette for the first time will compare to the first time one slathers his/her lungs with tar. They'll probably still toss their cookies, but I can't see the experience being the same.
As a medical person, I am a little disturbed by e-cigarettes being portrayed as totally safe. I haven't read any medical studies about them, but the fact remains that inhaling something other than air isn't good for you.
If I had the time and technical knowledge, it would be fun to use the ad as a basis for an ad for real cigarettes. If for no other reason than to counter the insult it carries by implying that as a woman I should be a slave to nicotine, but not take pleasure in smoking.
Responses are not allowed!