Quitting With AYR: The Prologue

Quit Smoking | 15 August 2017
Keith Walkerby Keith Walker

The moment I saw the pictures I knew this was how I’d stop smoking. I’d come to AYR’s office in a roundabout way so wasn’t sure what to expect. A stealth project, a clever new thing. They got out the presentation and started talking but it was so much wasted breath, I was already sold. I wanted one and I wanted to be a part of making it.

This came as a big surprise. I’m a smoker not a vaper (is that even a word?). I’ve long accepted that I’d be a smoker for the rest of my life until, let’s face it, it kills me. Smoking doesn’t define who I am but it’s certainly a part of me. I can’t imagine being me without it.

The pleasures, rituals and comforts of smoking don’t need explaining to a smoker and I don’t have the skills to convey them to a non-smoker. Let’s just say they’re not something you’d give up lightly and leave it at that.

Since becoming aware of vaping a while back I’ve kept a skeptical eye on it but it didn’t seem to be for me. The kit looked like something from a chemistry lab, not something on my desk, let alone in my jacket pocket. Fooling around with little bottles and batteries was a long way from the familiar simplicity of a pack of twenty and a lighter. I could envisage my reaction first thing in the morning, mildly hungover and in a rush, trying to pour goop from a tiny vial into a recalcitrant stick. No, not for me thank you.

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It’s worse than that. A cigarette is part of my body language. How are you supposed to emphasise a killer point by stabbing the air with what looks like the star piece of equipment in a child’s chemistry set? A circling cigarette says ‘Etcetera, etcetera, …’. I’m not sure what twirling a small plastic baton would say but I’m pretty sure it’s not what I meant. A cigarette in a cupped hand is James Dean in ‘The Wild Ones’ or Marlon Brando in  ‘On the Waterfront’, a portable bong is Tommy Chong ‘Up in Smoke’. I’m none of them and never will be but I know who I’d rather see myself as.

AYR changes all this and much more. There are clever, subtle features I missed in that first glance but, months later, I’m still sure that it’s right for me, a soon to be ex-smoker. I’ll let you know how I get on.

In the meantime I don’t know which I’m looking forward to the most: delivering AYR to our customers, using it for myself or becoming an ex-smoker. I do know it’s going to change my life for the better and, I hope, many other’s too.

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