White clouds drift along the Intracoastal. Traffic backs up as the bridge rises to allow a sailboat and a yacht to pass through. My American coffee doesn't look or taste American at all. It is Cafe con Leche, topped with foamy cream. I sip the strong brew while I wait for the young man who owns the Vapor Shop where I will be doing bookkeeping today. This is a hell of lot better than working in a cubicle.
When it comes to the moment of truth of quitting, the crucial question becomes: Is the smoker saying goodbye to cigarettes by admitting that the addiction has gotten the best of them, that the relationship has gone bad and they need to quit it completely? Or is the smoker, instead, waiting to smoke again and holding out for the next puff?
The tobacco industry still spends billions of dollars a year -- more than $28 for every man, woman and child in the United States -- to promote its deadly products. CDC recommends that states fund tobacco prevention programs at $12 per person per year. But last year states spent less than $1.50 per person to address this serious health threat.
E-cigarettes made a big splash recently, with celebrities smoking them on talk shows and companies ramping up their production to rake in profits before the FDA comes in and regulates them. The tag line is that it is better to use an e-cigarette than smoke the real thing. But do they really help people quit?
I stood before an eclectic gathering of dinner guests, questions unanswered. This much they knew: the ambiance was festive, the barbecue fare tasted scrumptious, the Chardonnay continued to pour, and plentiful desserts awaited. But nobody could answer two lingering questions: Why this party theme? Why now?