So quit. Right. For a non smoker it’s easy to say. And even the experts agree…Mark Twain, “Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I’ve done it thousands of times.”

Several years back I had the opportunity to ‘play’ Mark Twain for one of the PBS channels on a series broadcast called “Sage on Age” as Twain prepared and delivered his seventieth birthday speech. That experience burned into memory another quote of his regarding smoking “As an example to others, and not that I care for moderation myself, it has always been my rule never to smoke when asleep and never to refrain when awake.”

So what does one do? For a smoker, regardless of how it’s done, quitting is hard. For almost all smokers, a cigarette is a way to temporarily reduce or cope with stress. Quitting smoking is a process that is itself an extremely stressful activity that sends anxiety levels soaring just as the body’s chemistry is craving the stress relief that the smoker has come to rely on when feeling anxious.

Not only is there the nagging pull of addiction of nicotine with discomforts unimaginable to those who’ve never enjoyed the pleasures and comfort of smoking, there’s the double whammy of having to forgo the actual oral distraction and activity that itself is a beloved habit and vice.

Let’s say that intellectually almost all smokers agree with the ‘smoke-free’ crowd and want to quit or at least break the addiction. What options are there that really can let one do that without all the negative side effects (putting on 30 pounds among them for many, as the body begins to crave the sugar content that is also withdrawn from a smoker’s body chemistry during cigarette withdrawal)?

Welcome to the 21st century where technology has put the solution in hand. Vaporizers are the smoker’s savior. Electronic versions of cigarettes are now available at your local convenience store.

Whether a smoker tries it with the intention to eliminate the second-hand smoke danger and the health risks of the non-nicotine poisons the tobacco companies blend into commercial cigarettes, or to switch to them to gradually wean him or herself from addiction to tobacco totally, vaporizers are a viable, smart and even delightful option.

The electronic versions of cigarettes like NJoy, and Finity (who the hell named that brand…the Latin root means terminal!) are often the first experience a smoker trying out another quit smoking option has with vaporizers. They deliver a pure nicotine smoking experience without the extra chemicals and without the issue of secondhand smoke clouding the environment. The smoke itself is nearly 100% pure water vapor. And some of the brands come in decreasing doses so that one can gradually wean themselves of the tobacco/nicotine addiction without giving up the pleasure of the habit of smoking, which to a smoker is as comfortable as a long time pet curled on one’s lap.

The cost of the e-cigarettes is in reality not really any less costly than the rolled stuff so that benefit of smoking cessation is lost until or unless one does wean themselves of the ‘process’ part of the habit too.

For the rest of us, moving to more general purpose refillable vaporizers that are appearing on the market under a wide range of brand names and prices in general cost a bit more up front but pay for themselves very quickly as the liquid tobacco extracts reduce the cost of ‘smoking’ by a factor or 4 to 10 times. One $15 bottle of extract is the equivalent of between 5 and 10 packs of cigarettes depending on how heavy a smoker one is when they switch over to the electronic version.

The real benefits comes into play as it affects the smoker’s health in that vaporizing is not the same as ‘burning’. Burning tobacco or for that matter anything creates smoke and ash, and organic matter is converted into carbon. Breathing smoke of any form from a burning fire is far more risky than what a vaporizer does which is more like steaming vegetables. The temperature is not as high as in burning, so none of the dangers of smoke and carbon conversion are added to the experience of ingesting tobacco fumes.

About a month ago I was gifted such a vaporizer and I’m sold after having smoked Camels for more decades than I wish to share or admit. The vaporizer is clean, has none of the nastiness of regular cigarettes, completely and totally satisfies both the nicotine craving and the smoking habit and costs a fraction of what a daily pack does.

Over time I’ll reduce the nicotine dosage in the E-liquid refills for my Stok branded vaporizer and switch to harmless fruit flavors if I wish to continue the smoker’s smoking part of the habit. I’m already feeling 100 times more healthy and energetic as a side benefit of switching. And stink better too.

This season of giving, a premium vaporizer under the tree or menorah might be the gift of life (for your loved one and yourself).