Experiment no. 1 — Smoking, without negative health effects

In this experiment, I attempt to find a way to take breaks from the computer screen by taking smoke breaks. At the same time, looking for ways to reduce the negative effect of smoking.

Why: I wanted a way to break-away from the computer screen without a huge time investment. Options are walking, coffee and water cooler visit. I’m considering that if I’m not addicted to smoking, it could be a good solution with social benefits.

Learnings: Smoke only on cheat day, once a week. If I want to smoke, I will roll my own tobacco instead of taking ready-made cigarettes.

Experiment log [Jun 21]

2 weeks before – I stop smoking for 2 weeks as a control.

Thoughts: [Success.]

1st week – LD light cigarettes. Finished it in 5 days. 4 cigarettes a day.

Throat felt irritated. I do not like the mental effect of the cigarette. My mind is less clear, which results in a drop in productivity. I also find myself turning to cigarettes every time I feel tired or stress.

2nd week – Marlboro Ice Blast to combat throat irritation. Finished it in 5 days. 4 cigarettes a day.

The menthol feels better on the throat. Again, I did not enjoy the mental effect after smoking. I wasn’t as sharp and focused which defeats the purpose of a break. I smoke as a de-stress mechanism, even as a counter to small annoyances.

3rd week – Tried cigar at a whiskey bar. I thought that not inhaling might be a good way to reduce the negative mental impact. That same week, I bump into someone smoking a cigar at my co-working space. He wore a red polo with the collar popped. I knew then, the cigar was a no go because I don’t want to appear a douche.

4th week – Tried rolling tobacco. Bought 25g x2 types of tobacco, rolling paper and filter.

I smoked fewer, 2 sticks a day. My guess is that the effort of rolling acts as a deterrent. It has less mental impact compared to cigarettes. The throat is still irritated.

2 weeks after experiment – I stopped smoking for 2 weeks as a reset. For the first 2 days, I find myself reaching for my rolling cigarettes. Probably from past habits. 4th day onward, the impulse lessened. After the first week, I never thought to smoke.

Summary – For me, smoking is in the same category as sugar. Take it on cheat day if I so wish. And I will only smoke rolling tobacco.

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