CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Cotswold Life today CLICK HERE

Close, but no cigar

PUBLISHED: 12:29 25 March 2014 | UPDATED: 12:37 25 March 2014

Inside the small, dark windowless building two large men dressed in black were seated behind a glass counter and another, also in black, lounged in front of it... It had, I thought, more in common with a Hell’s Angels’ opium den than a spa town tobacconist

Inside the small, dark windowless building two large men dressed in black were seated behind a glass counter and another, also in black, lounged in front of it... It had, I thought, more in common with a Hell’s Angels’ opium den than a spa town tobacconist

Archant

Adam Edwards can’t say that his e-cigarette gave him much of a buzz - and his daughter said he looked like a plonker smoking it. Then he found out about Nigel Farage...

I took up smoking the day New Labour banned it. It was July 1, 2007, and for the first time in over a quarter of a century I lit a cigarette as a demonstration of my general fury at the new legislation that banned smoking in all enclosed public spaces (with the exception, oddly, of prisons and royal palaces). And it was delicious.

I took it up with abandon. I started with Marlboro Lights, moved onto Marlboro Reds, flirted with Camels, spent some months rolling my own – not something I would recommend – and ended up puffing away at 30 Silk Cut a day.

I never once regretted the decision to re-take it up after packing it in my early thirties. I agreed with the political commentator Andrew Neil who said at the time of the ban “we are being run by puritans who are determined to squeeze any fun out of life unless it is officially sanctioned. Hunting is banned even though it doesn’t matter to 99% of the population. Drinking is increasingly frowned upon and it has become politically incorrect to challenge anyone who speaks in the name of health.”

Since lighting up seven years ago smoking has been my joy made more joyful by the 2007 legislation that has allowed me to legitimately slip outside ‘for a quick fag’ whenever I was bored.

However, a few weeks ago I decided to stop. There was no particular reason for my sudden about turn on tobacco – my cough was no worse than usual, I wasn’t feeling particularly poor and there were as many reasons to light up as there had ever been. It was at a dinner party with my friend Charles, a heavy smoker all his life, who suggested I swap my Silk Cut for an e-cigarette insisting that the artificial tube was not a bad substitute for the real thing.

So the next day I decided to buy an electronic fag. I typed ‘e-cigarette’ and ‘Cheltenham’ into my search engine and up came the name ‘eBuzzCigs’ and an address on the Lansdown Trading Estate. The Lansdown Estate, like all industrial estates, is in a rough part of town. Unit 16 with its flyblown outside door was no more salubrious that of the other anonymous units surrounding it. Inside the small, dark windowless building two large men dressed in black were seated behind a glass counter and another, also in black, lounged in front of it. All three were puffing away on steel tubes, one of which resembled a futuristic pipe and the other a Havana cigar. It had, I thought, more in common with a Hell’s Angels’ opium den than a spa town tobacconist.

In fact I had stumbled across the Cotswolds first and so far only Vaping shop. Vaping for those of you not in the know, which I imagine is most Cotswold Life readers, is using a small battery powered atomizer to turn a glycerine liquid containing nicotine and flavouring into a vapour that is inhaled and exhaled. It is remarkably like smoking except that the actual smoke is more mist than smoke. There are a score of flavours available from Apple tobacco to Cola Flavour to a Mixed Fruits Blend to a Cherry Tint. And I soon discovered that the boys in black met regularly in this dingy unit to enjoy these exotic glycerine flavours. However, I decided not to join the regulars but instead paid my £40 for a standard atomiser and the traditional ‘regular tobacco’ flavour and went home to experiment.

In truth I can’t say the ‘regular tobacco’ flavour gave me much of a buzz and furthermore my daughter said I looked like a plonker smoking it. The next morning as I was pulling on my metal stogie I read that UKIP leader Nigel Farage has been promoting e-cigarettes after accepting a hefty donation from the Totally Wicked e-cigarette company. After that I felt I couldn’t in all conscience continue with the steel gasper and anyway the vapourised glycerine juice was, I was sure, doing me more damage with one puff than a whole carton of Silk Cuts.

This left me in a quandary – should I quit completely or go back to the fags. The trouble with quitting completely is that I love tobacco and enjoy even more the fact that it is so politically incorrect.

The solution is cigars. And I do not mean the small brown cheroots that are an apology for the beauty of a pure white machine rolled cigarette. My cigar of choice is a half corona Havana. It drawbacks are that it costs the same as a packet of fags and that takes over half an hour to smoke.

The advantages on the other hand are that I don’t inhale, I only smoke one a day and I can still argue that passive smoking is nonsense.

**************

This article by Adam Edwards is from the March 2014 issue of Cotswold Life

0 comments

More from Out & about

Yesterday, 15:25

Chipping Campden – once the meeting place for a council of Saxon kings – now offers the warmest of welcomes to all its visitors, from the humble shopper to the seasonal shin-kicker

Read more
Yesterday, 14:39

Taking the classroom outdoors is fun, inspires fresh ideas, broadens horizons – and encourages a new generation to enjoy and care for the Cotswolds

Read more
Thursday, November 15, 2018

As well as three days of action-packed racing and tradition, there’s plenty to do away from the course at this year’s November Meeting. Neil Phillips, The Wine Tipster, shares his 14 suggestions on how to make the most of your time at Cheltenham Racecourse

Read more
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The Warwickshire town of Alcester is considered one of the best understood Roman settlements in the country. Tracy Spiers digs below the surface to discover its hidden jewels

Read more

Thanks to the impact of ground-breaking comedy This Country, the quiet market town of Northleach has become one of the Cotswolds’ hottest film locations. Katie Jarvis is sent to investigate

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Stephen Roberts walks in the footsteps of the Oxford scholar who enjoyed attending parties dressed as a polar bear, and once chased a neighbour while dressed as an axe-wielding Anglo-Saxon

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

I send this postcard from Cirencester, complete with the discoveries and viewpoints from four members of my family – both the young and not so young

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

If you’re looking for things to do in the Cotswolds this month, we have gathered plenty of events for you to pop in your diary

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

One hundred years ago this month the guns fell silent, marking the end of what was to become known as The Great War. Stephen Roberts remembers the impact the war had on Cotswold lives from 1914-1918

Read more
Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Being a region so steeped in history, there are plenty of locations in the Cotswolds with spooky stories from over the years. From bloody executions, eerie apparitions and headless horsemen, we pick 23 of the most haunted locations throughout the Cotswolds to visit if you dare

Read more
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

New bat cams installed at Woodchester Mansion help study protected breeds while also becoming an added attraction for visitors. Jo Barber looks at the work of one of the UK’s foremost bat experts and the mansion’s valued volunteers

Read more
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

From an all-boy, all boarding prep school for just 30 pupils, to the quietly trailblazing yet still traditional school it is today – here is a snapshot of Beaudesert over its 110-year history

Read more
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Of all the castles in the region, none have seen as much war, romance and royalty as Sudeley over its dramatic 1,000-year history. And with such a colourful and eventful past, it is easy to see why some people believe there could be spirits from bygone eras which still wander the halls and corridors to this day

Read more
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Following a record year for ‘visitor giving’ donations via local businesses, applications are invited to fund conservation projects

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory A+ Education

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search