Hawaii at 100

Okay, I have finally finished with ‘Norman’s House’ and loaded it up. It has passed all the checks and the eBook version will spread soon. I’ll push it once the Amazon listings combine. Details are here.

The eighth Underdog Anthology is now open for submissions. Since we are not getting visited (parents again) until April 4th, I can set the closing date for submissions to March 25th, and I can be a few-days flexible on that. It’s the Spring (Beltane) anthology, details here.

Right, that’s the work stuff done. Now it’s time to get the popcorn, pour a good sized drink, sit back and marvel at the madness of the world.

I read recently of a man in India who plans to sue his parents for giving birth to him without his consent. I have also noted that several American states now allow abortion up to the point of birth. Soon they will give new parents a one-year cooling off period, during which they can bring the child back for extermination if it keeps them awake or if they just change their minds. Oh I know, it sounds flippant, but I’m really not joking. There will be many counsellors on hand to help change their minds during that first year too.

It sounds horrifying but people will accept it because it’s all part of the plan. As is your child sueing you for bringing them into this world without their consent. Read Orwell’s 1984, if you haven’t already, and see what your children will be able to do to you in future. Heck, they can do it now.

This post isn’t about those things.

If I live to be 100 I am going to Hawaii. I won’t go before then but if I get that old I am definitely going. It’s quite a few years away yet and given that I have lived, and continue to live, a life that should, by all modern medical propaganda, have ended in 1985, it’s a long shot.

Still, as I said, I will not go there before I reach 100 because I won’t be able to buy any cigarettes there until I reach that age. I will definitely go there when I reach 100 because I’ll make a fortune. I’ll buy cigarettes and sell them individually to the 90-year-old senile delinquents on street corners. (tip of the heavy hat to Zaphod on Twitter for this one)

The idiots in charge of Hawaii are concerned about – a potentially strong backlash from tobacco companies.

They are not at all concerned about any kind of effect on existing smokers. Fuck ’em. Nor on any small retailers who rely heavily on the profits from cigarette sales. Fuck ’em too. The tobacco industry could write off the whole of Hawaii and their balance sheets won’t notice the difference. Hawaii’s corner shops will notice the difference very quickly and Hawaii’s smokers will, if they have any sense, be packing their bags right now.

Oh I know, smokers, eh? Who needs ’em? Wouldn’t the world have been so much better without the likes of Churchill or Einstein or Brunel? We could have been so much better off under the virulent-antismoker vegetarian Hitler. So all the smokers leave. You won’t miss them. You’ll have your new Righteous overlords looking after you and if you think it stops with smoking…. you really haven’t been paying attention.

If it goes through, and considering the current lunacy gripping the world I won’t be surprised if it does, I wil visit Hawaii in a little over 40 years. But not before.

I’d better start saving though. The way cigarette prices are going, that pack will cost me more than the flight to Hawaii by the time I get there.

Juul

I have a pile of boxes in the middle of the kitchen, another in the utility room, more in the upstairs rooms and the dangerous stuff (some of which needs to be incinerated) is in the garage. The result of the lab clearout. It’s going to take some time to go through it all and I have to find and test the magnetic stirrers two people have already expressed interest in… but that’s just the reason for the long gap between posts.

A few months back I bought a monster Electrofag called Aspire Pockex in a clearance sale. Huge battery, glass tank on top and it makes cumulo-nimbus clouds of vape. First time I tried it I had a coughing fit that brought tears to my eyes but, in its defence, afterwards my sinuses felt clearer than they have since I was twelve.

I don’t like it. Oh it does the job, it makes the steam, it clears the sinuses, but it also leaks like a bugger and now the battery is coated in vape juice so I’m scared to turn it on. No, this one is consigned to the ‘goodbye’ pile. I’m really glad I never tried to carry it in a pocket.

More recently I bought a Juul starter kit. Mostly because of the intense advertising campaign run by the anti-vapers. They really hate this one in particular and I had to find out why.

Well. It’s certainly easy to use. Reminds me of the early cigalikes with cartomisers, all you do is plug in a cartridge and puff on it. The difference is that it’s very light and the cartridge lasts for ages. It also has a clear tank so you can see how much is left.

Does it look like a USB stick? No. It looks like someone took the black monolith from ‘2001 – A Space Idiocy’ and put the Eye of Sauron in the top half. It looks pretty cool, and I can see why the AntiTobacco mob are pushing it so hard. Well, they are really trying to kill it but as with everything these idiots do, they are failing to the point where they could get a degree in it. Double fail with honours.

Charging involves plugging a tiny thing into a USB port and the Juul magnetically attaches to it. Also pretty cool – and easy. As gadgets go, this one has been well thought out. I like it, so thanks antismokers for bringing it to my attention.

Will it stop me smoking? Unlikely, in my case. The nearest was IQOS and I still use that in between proper burning baccy. They have brought out a new harder-tobacco flavour. I’ll give it a go, but getting me off the analogues is going to take a seriously impressive alternative.

Oh and I don’t care about IQOS or Electrofag upgrades and the fancy add-on toys. I just want something that will give me the feeling of a decent smoke. I don’t give a shit what colour it is.

Back to Juul. It’s nice, it’s easy, it has a disposable ‘smoking’ part so all of that is replaced with every cartridge change. No leaks, nothing to go wrong really. Simple and effective.

I can see why a lot of smokers might take to it. I can also see why a lot of young folk might go for this rather than real smoking – but apparently that’s a bad thing in the warped minds of tobacco control. Those kids should be smoking real tobacco! How else can we get our revenue and justify our existence?

I suspect Juul might have gone the way of the early cigalikes – which used a very similar model – if not for the concerted advertising put their way by the antimokers. It is, however, a big improvement on early Electrofags, not least in the provision of a clear tank so you know how much is left.

So far I have been using the ‘mint’ (pretty much ‘menthol’) cartridge that came with the starter kit. There is a ‘tobacco’ one, nobody else has ever got that right so we’ll see how that turns out.

Nicotine strength is limited in the EU but it really doesn’t matter. Nicotine is not addictive. That’s been proven. Smoking is about habit and enjoyment (something the Puritans will never understand) and replacing the burning leaf with something that covers the main points would do well.

Patches and gum will never do that.

So, will Juul or IQOS stop me paying massive amounts of baccy tax? Or will they just encourage me to grow more?

Time will tell. So far, I am planning the best place to hide next year’s crop.

The state of the world

I’ve been keeping up with the Christmas anthology (five authors in so far, I have hopes that two more regulars will come up with something and there’s still 16 days until the deadline) so have had little time to react to the news.

There is so much lunacy out there. At a private bonfire party on November 5th, a bunch of sickos burned a cardboard model of Grenfell Tower. Yeah, seriously bad taste, but six people arrested and charged over it as a ‘public order’ offence? Really? Nobody was charged over burning effigies of any President of the United States nor of any other political figures in this year or any past year. Nobody has ever minded the burning of a Catholic in effigy even though more and more people now wish his plot to blow up Parliament had succeeded. And yet burning a cardboard box is now an arrestable offence.

What about the guy who started the real fire in the real building, which killed real people? What has he been charged with? Anyone? Oh that’s right, he was never actually arrested and nobody is looking for him. It’s so much easier to arrest backyard proxy arsonists.

I would not have burned Grenfell Tower in a cardboard effigy. It’s far too twisted even for me. I’d say those who did this are arseholes but it’s not supposed to be illegal to be an arsehole. Especially when you’re being an arsehole in your own back yard and not actually harming anyone.

Their big mistake, of course, was putting it on social media. Thoughts are policed far harder than physical crimes these days, with the full backing of ‘anti-fascists’ who do not realise that what they are advocating is actual fascism. The policing of thoughts and ideas and opinions.

Oh and if you are one of the millions of Americans who tune in to UK stories to laugh at how ridiculous we have become (I don’t blame you, this place is a madhouse) you might want to check out what’s happening in your own country.

Worried about Donald Trump? Believe he is some kind of fascist? Is he trying to police your thoughts? Is he advocating the suppression of teenage jokey behaviour and its investigation by the police? Who is advocating that? That’s who you need to be concerned about because that’s who will turn you into a police state. Or you can just hate Trump because he’s Trump and let the fascists win. Like we have in the UK.

Of course, if you are an arsehole, the alternative to being arrested for burning a box is to go into politics where arseholes are welcomed.

Better yet, get a job with the Puritans in Public Control Health. Then you can be so much of an arsehole that you can call for a tax on meat, later to extend it to all foods (come on, really, you don’t think that’s the aim?), and demand a ban on milkshakes. And nobody will call for you to be arrested for arseholeness.

Milkshakes? Ban the old Moloko Plus?

Oh yes, really.

Fancy milkshakes must be banned because Studies have Shown and Experts have Said that they bring all the boys to the yard and this inevitably leads to teen pregnancy, heroin use, vaping, animal abuse and anal insertion of pomegranates.

Well it’s no dafter than any other Puritan pronouncement, and that’s actually true. When it comes to making up absurd stuff, Public Health make Kafka’s ghost gasp in admiration.

Milkshakes make you fat. Sure they do if you have them for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Most of us have them once in a while as a treat. My personal milkshake intake is much less than one a year and my overall milk intake generally depends on how much coffee I drink (espresso doesn’t need milk so only the ‘plain’ coffee counts). I have occasionally drunk a glass of milk but it’s way down from top of the list.

It’s rare for me to get the urge to have a milkshake and I have never had one of these ‘freakshakes’ of which they speak. I don’t want one. It does not appeal to me at all. Should I support banning them since I don’t like them anyway?

How many out there support the smoking bans because they don’t like smoking? How many support vaping bans for the same reason? How many support minimum pricing on alcohol because they don’t buy much, or any? How many support taxing or even banning meat because they don’t eat it?

I think all of those people are arseholes and I don’t want to be one so no, I will never support a ban on anything just because I don’t like it. Hey arseholes, I am not one of you and am proud to be excluded from your cult of arseholery. You can believe I’m the one who is universally hated if you like but really, it’s you. In the real world, nobody cares about, or even notices, me. Because I am not trying to live their lives for them. I have a life of my own.

Speaking of vaping, I recently bought a new one because it was on clearance sale. This is a bloody monster of a thing and will be a later blog post.

The JUUL vaping thing does not seem to be available in the UK so far. It is apparently, in America, a teen epidemic (that, in Public Health terms, means a teenager tried one once) and is used as a cudgel to beat flavours out of vapes.

JUUL’s response? ‘Oh yes you must ban these flavours we don’t make because they are evil!’

Has nobody been paying attention? The antismokers were happy to have the born-again nonsmoking vapers on their side to hammer ‘real’ smokers… until they had outlived their usefulness. Then, surprise, the vapers got hit with the same hammer. They looked to smokers for support.

‘First they came for the smokers. I’m a smoker, the rest of you are on your own now.’

Why would I support any group that has already supported my suppression?

I have wondered about JUUL and whether it would be a good thing to try. I’ll never try one now, not even if it does appear in the UK. I’m not going to support a quisling.

My prediction is that JUUL is now doomed. They are siding with the business vampires and they are not an ally, as they think. They are the host for a parasite that will use them to get what they want and then ditch them. Their customer base will see what they have done and abandon them.This has happened to several early vape sellers who tried to side with the Puritans and it will happen now to JUUL because the stupid bastards never learn.

A saying has been born lately. ‘When you go Woke you go broke’. Ask Lucozade or Irn Bru about that. Ask the peanut companies who have reduced the salt. Give it a year and ask JUUL if they still exist.

‘Woke’ is a parody of reality. More on that in another post.

The best response to the Puritans is still the one given by the makers of Buckfast tonic wine. Which I have never tried, but one day I will.

‘You cannot have caffeine and alcohol in the same drink!’ screech the Puritans.

‘Awa’ an’ bile yeir heid, ya wee bawbags’ responded Buckfast.

Buckfast won. All the companies could win by just saying ‘no’ to the Puritan thugs. Most of them just cave in. Compromise does not work when your enemy does not want compromise, just total control. As with Tessie ‘Halfwit’ Maybe’s Brexit, it is not a compromise. It is pathetic submission.

When you give in to thugs it makes them bolder. Thugs have toddler minds, they push and push to see how far they can go. If you don’t set a boundary for them, there is no boundary they can see. Modern ‘progressive’ idiot parents are finding this out now.

Basically, don’t be Lucozade. Be Buckfast.

Then maybe the end of the madness will at last be in sight.

Not even one

There is an American tobacco brand called American Spirit. Rolling baccy and readymades. They are available in the UK although you might need to get them by mail order because (certainly round here) nobody has heard of them.

They are apparently very good, but are the UK ones the same as the US ones? Well, someone offered to send both myself and Roobedoo a pack of the US American Spirit cigarettes to try out. We could compare them to the UK ones, although at £10 a pack, the UK ones wouldn’t be a regular smoke. Not for me at least.

So, one pack of cigarettes in a package. Will they be allowed through? One pack cannot be considered smuggling. Keep in mind that these cigarettes are legal in both the country they are coming from and the one they are going to. That they will not explode, leak or spontaneously combust on the way. That they pose no risk of harm whatsoever. Will they get delivered?

No.

They didn’t even make it out of the state. Why?

They are prohibited. They are perfectly legal to buy in both countries but you cannot send even one pack between countries. Not even one.

Now, I could understand if we were talking a crate of cigarettes, but we are talking one pack. Actually, smugglers wouldn’t even send a crate of them by post. The cost of postage would wipe out any profit from the price differential. Sending one pack at a time would leave you with a street price way higher than even the UK shop price. So ‘smuggling’ is not an excuse.

Nobody is going to smuggle tobacco all the way from the US to the UK. Not when you can load up a small boat in Amsterdam and land it at night on a Dover beach. Hell, you could do it with sail, you don’t even need fuel.

Still, at least the US post returned them to the sender. The UK post would probably burn them, and I wouldn’t be even slightly shocked if I heard they burned them one at a time.

The UK’s Royal Mail have such heavy restrictions on what can be posted, even within the country, that it’s really no surprise we have so many private courier companies now. The private couriers are always your best bet for anything large or heavy – they are cheaper and many of them will collect from your house. Very useful way out here because the little sub-post office in Local Shop can’t handle parcels unless they fit wilthin the general post. Posting anything big means a 25-mile round trip or call a courier.

But I digress.

This is how deep the antismokers go. How petty they can be. How spiteful they have become – all with the full support of those governments who demand taxes on earniings, taxes on spending, in the case of booze, baccy and fuel, taxes on taxes. They rip money off us at every turn and yet are petty enough to enforce prohibition on the transport of a single pack of cigarettes.

‘Oh but one pack could become ten, then a hundred…’

Yeah right. At international postage prices that is really going to happen, isn’t it?

It has been true for a long time that you can visit a EU country from the UK, have a nice weekend away, load up on baccy for your return and save enough on baccy prices that your trip was essentially free. That won’t be true after a real Brexit of course. It probably won’t be true after the fake Brexit that is about to be instituted by Tory and Labour MPs with the backing of Mad Merkel, the Queen of Chaos. So we won’t even have that.

It’s been true for years that in many EU countries you’ll get a far better deal on baccy in the corner shops than in duty free. Most of the duty free only applies if you are leaving the EU.

Same for booze. Duty free whisky prices are beaten by a local Tesco or Aldi if you travel within the EU. There’s really no point even visiting duty free shops. Unless you are leaving the EU – then you get proper duty free prices.

Well, we’re leaving the EU, aren’t we? So at least we can pick up a litre of cheapo giggle water on the way home from our agonising sunburn holiday.

I’m betting that’ll be a ‘no’. I’m betting there’ll be a strict limit on what you can bring back, as if we weren’t in the EU, but the prices will be fixed as if we were. It will apply to cigarettes too.

I haven’t grown my own tobacco for a few years. I’m going to have to start doing it again.

Fortunately I have already stocked up on homebrew equipment. And I’m betting the farmer will let me have a kilo or two of barley cheap – probably free if I fix something or paint something that saves him a job.

I have also, during the course of reclaiming the garden from the weeds, found (so far) three blackberry bushes, some huge elder trees, brambles, raspberries, strawberries, so far five apple trees and seven cherry trees. Oh and let’s not forget the three well-established grapevines in the greenhouse. There’s no shortage of stuff to make booze from here.

There won’t even be a financial paper trail.

All this, you say, because you couldn’t get one pack of cigarettes? Yes. Not because of that one pack.

Because of the spite that stopped it.

Money and smoking

If you live in the UK or any other idiot-controlled country where smoking is the main source of government hate and revenue, any saving is a good thing.

Currently it is impossible to buy a pack of 20 cigarettes for less than £8 in the UK. Rolling baccy is slightly less eyewatering but still a sting. Any chance I have to go elsewhere in the EU, I load up. It’s just common sense. Of course, after Brexit they’ll limit us again but while we are in this silly customs union we might as well make the best of it.

I have been playing around with the IQOS and the microfags for some time now and yes,  I know all about the turncoat Philip Morris and all the reasons why I should stick with real fags from real fag-sellers and I don’t care about the politics. This is about the contents of my bank account which have never been large and never will be.

A pack of real smokes is £8. A pack of microfags is £7. Plus, I have already taken £60 in Amazon vouchers from the IQOS survey thing which has more than covered the initial cost of the device plus 100 microfags. I am encouraged to persevere with this thing.

I have tried the amber (full strength) and the turquoise (girlie menthol) microfags. The amber ones are pretty good. The menthol don’t seem very mentholated, it’s there but it’s a hint not a blast. I can get the cleaning sticks from Amazon using the vouchers so they are technically free. You need those, the thing does need a cleanout once in a while or it tastes like smoking dried weasel poo.  I used the vouchers for a lot of other things too, including whisky. I have not yet tried the yellow (apparently ‘smooth’) but I just ordered some. I will report on them when I get them.

(UPDATE) I now have the yellow ones. They are indeed milder than the amber. Not bad if you prefer a smoother, less intense smoke but I’ll stick with the amber ones. They suit me best. Along with real ones of course but cost alone is going to force a switch here.)

Okay okay, you want to tell me how Philip Morris are sell-outs. Find me one vape company that does not repeat theTobacco Control mantra of ‘smoking is eeeevil. Tobacco companies are eeevil. Buy from us instead’ and maybe I’ll listen. This is a tobacco company doing business, that’s all it is. Tobacco in a different form. Trying to get through the current round of Prohibition. I don’t blame them for trying to stay in business.

Anyway, if they were really trying to appease tobacco control they should have talked to the (sensible) vapers first because appeasement never works. Those filthy Puritans hate anything that looks like fun, including IQOS. Especially IQOS because it uses real tobacco.

I like it. I don’t care who invented it or where it originated. I’ve used it more often, and for longer, than any Electrofag I’ve ever tried. And now that it’s reached a pound a pack (often more) cheaper than smoking, I’ll use it more often. I’ll still need real ones for driving because the IQOS can’t just dangle from your lips when both hands are busy but at home, it’s a useful thing.

Tell me I shouldn’t support this thing. I don’t care. Tell me I should go totally to vaping. I’ve tried quite a few Electrofags and they are a lot of fun but it just doesn’t stick. It doesn’t work for me. I don’t care. IQOS has persisted longer than any Electrofag I tried and I think that’s because it really does taste like tobacco. The one flavour Electrofag never quite got right.

The price differential is going to increase. The IQOS microfags might go down in price with more uptake, they might not. But I will state with absolute certainty that tobacco prices are going to keep climbing fast. Getting into alternatives is vital for my wallet.

Sure, every time I go to Denmark I will come back with a bag full of Vikings or Skjold. Maybe a tub of Home Roll or similar (about £30 for 280g). I will be resuming tobacco planting in the near future. I will continue to ‘cut’ tubing baccy and rolling baccy (also a lot cheaper outside the UK) with low strength pipe tobacco.

But the price saving on IQOS is now at a level that looks significant, and it works as a substitute for the real thing for me. I’ll be using it more and more in the future.

Well yes, principles are important but the long and short of it is – IQOS is cutting down my spend on heavily taxed tobacco in a way no Electrofag has yet managed. I don’t have health problems, the biggest issue for me at the moment is cost. When I first tried IQOS, which was a matter of weeks ago, the price difference per pack of 20 was pennies. It’s already £1 and it’s going to get a lot bigger. I’m sticking with it.

And if that makes you think of me as a traitor to smoking, a sell-out to The Man or some kind of hybrid smoker-vaper monstrosity, I don’t care.

I do what works for me. I do not do what other people tell me to do. No matter who is doing the telling. Never have and never will.

If that comes as a shock you really haven’t been reading this blog for very long, have you?

Tobacco, the wonder plant

As suggested by Smoking Scot in comments, here is Nisakiman’s elegant idea for a ‘smokers welcome here’ image:

It comes from an idea a long time ago which I seem to recall was started by either Frank Davis or Junican. I’d like to be more specific but I’m afraid I was very, very drunk at the time. I’d actually written two of the stories in the latest Underdog Anthology around that time and entirely forgotten about them… yeah, pretty drunk.

Tobacco is currently villified by the Righteous and their indoctinated dancing clowns of hate but the original inhabitants of America (is that the latest PC term? Please forgive me for not caring) knew a lot more about this plant. They used it for more than just a sly puff at the back of the wigwam sheds.

Modern science has been gradually catching up. Well, the discovery of vitamin B3, Niacin, aka nicotinic acid, and its derivation from nicotine happened a long time ago. There is much more though.

Tipped by Sam in email – Tobacco flowers have a yeast-killer in them.

I had seen this go by on Twitter along with another claim that tobacco may have anti-cancer properties (now there’s a twist, eh?) but no antismoker worth their bile would accept a cancer treatment that came from the tobacco plant, naturally.

This yeast-killing antibiotic (the term is usually used to mean an antibacterial in my world but we’ll let that slide) is vey interesting. It works on Candida albicans, a ‘mostly harmless’ yeast that can still cause thrush and other, not necessarily fatal but really annoying infections. I wonder if it works on other yeast/fungi? Athlete’s foot is really hard to permanently dispose of. Ringworm is an evil fucker and there is speculation (not proof) that seborrhaic dermatitis has a yeast as a causative agent. They are all hard or impossible to cure at  the moment. Should we rub some tobacco flowers on it and see?

The article talks about the ornamental versions of Nicotiana but you know they have to be so, so careful these days. Ornamental tobacco is no use for smoking but as with all these domesticated things it’s a toned down, weaker version of the wild one that has to survive with no watering or plant food or weeding or pest control.

I’m betting real tobacco flowers are way more effective than the domesticated, pampered ones. These plants are quite capable of looking after themselves. In many ways.

Tobacco has multiple medicinal properties. Who knew? Pretty much everyone before the white man’s Puritan horde decided they didn’t like it. Hating tobacco is racist now. There’s one to have fun with.

I look forward to the first tales of antismokers refusing niacin, the new anttfungals and the new anticancer drugs because they come from tobacco. You can watch them suffer and die while watching me not care.

They have no sympathy for me. Expect none in return.

HNB and free money

I just loaded a £50 Amazon voucher onto my account. And Amazon sell whisky…

I’m tempted to buy a low end one for under £14 just to cock a snook at the Spiteful Nannying Puritans and their minimum pricing, but I’ll probably get some of the good stuff instead.

Incidentally, I found a new one in Aldi. Castle and Crag, priced exactly at the minimum £14. It’s not a malt (I’d be delighted to find one at that price!) but it’s a single-grain whisky. Not a blend. A bit like Haig, but it’s not Haig. It’s actually pretty good. I’d buy it again.

Anyway, this free money, well not totally free, I had to do stuff for it, came via IQOS. Yes, I still use it, not exclusively but it’s outlasted every Electrofag I ever tried. About once a week they send a questionnaire asking how much you use it, do you use real smokes too, do you use Electrofags as well, how do you like it, what are the downsides and so on. I fill them in, and thereby accumulated points which I ignored for a while – but it seems they build up pretty fast. I remember my father collecting the points cards inside cigarette packets. This seems similar, it’s good to see the past coming full circle.

I don’t think they are allowed to let you redeem the points for their products which is a shame. I’m going to need more cleaning sticks soon and will need some more microfags to stick in the end. If I could have tried the yellow ones for free that would have been great. Alas, it is not to be.

Instead you can redeem the points for a range of vouchers. The Amazon one is likely to be the most useful for me so I went for that one. I’ve now loaded it onto the account and will browse for interesting bottle-shaped things.

I got the IQOS on a deal which was around £50 for the device and 100 microfags. I have amber (proper man strength) and turquoise (menthol) ones gradually declining here. I think I’d use it a lot more if the price of 20 microfags wasn’t the same as 20 real ones, but hey ho. At least they sell me the things. And getting this voucher technically makes the original purchase free anyway.

I did try to get a Blu electrofag but they didn’t believe I was over 18 and insisted I send a picture of my driving licence or passport to prove it. I’ve had a driving licence since 1977 and have voted in every election since 1978 but they can’t find me on the driver database or electoral roll, they said.

Well I’m not comfortable with sending my passport or driving licence over the internet so I cancelled. There will be no review of Blu here, it might be great but it seems I will never know. I see it in shops but… nah. I’ll skip that one.

It was a weird experience. I’ve bought pipe and cigarette tobacco, cigars etc. online for years. Also whisky and all kinds of Electrofags and juices and even been sent a few to review. And yet all of a sudden I have to prove my (somewhat gammony-advanced) age. I can skip one product. There are plenty more to choose from.

Still, for me, I think IQOS has a better chance of sticking than any Electrofag I’ve tried so far. I like Electrofag. It’s a great gadget. I like how I can ‘smoke’ weird flavours like absinthe and roast chicken and coffee. But… it doesn’t really feel like the real thing for me. It’s an ‘as well as’ not an ‘instead of’.

IQOS could almost become an ‘instead of’. The biggest stumbling block is the price. If the microfags were half the price of real ones I’d use it almost exclusively.

‘Almost’, because there is no way to smoke it while driving. You need a free hand to hold the device or the microfag will drop out of the end. Also, outdoors, how much smoke you produce is not an issue. I don’t see me having a beer outside on a warm summer evening without some real burning tobacco involved.

If we actually get a summer this year, I’m going to revive my pipes.