Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Substituting tea-tree oil for nicotine

Posted By on 01.10.12 at 02:30 PM

Photo from Shutterstock
Each year, I cut back a little more on smoking. A far cry from my pack-a-day undergrad years that were spent cramming for modern American lit exams, delivering pizzas, playing in inept punk bands, and not really giving a shit, these days are exhausted with being hyperaware of a slowing metabolism and a 30-year-old body that's starting to break down—I finally just overcame a death cough that's been lingering since Christmas, for example.

So, I sympathize with Kate Schmidt's resolution-themed post from last week about the trials of quitting smoking, because though I've never out-and-out uttered the words "I'm quitting," each subsequent Chicago winter beat down has facilitated a resolution to shave a cigarette or two off of my daily total. And that's been a tough enough fucker to execute in its own right.

In response to my slow-quit approach, I've recently taken to gnawing on Tea Tree Therapy's cinnamon-flavored toothpicks—you may recognize them from their designated real estate next to the register at health food stores and local organic groceries worldwide (and, of course, Whole Foods). I watched a friend back in college kick smoking with these, and the back of the package notes, "Their long-lasting flavor can be an aid to those giving up smoking." OK, you sold me. The toothpicks give off a slight cinnamon-tinted burn that, at the moment, seems less obnoxious than hacking a lung through my throat or waking up with a massive cigarette hangover. Plus, they're less expensive than blowing through packs of chewing gum that result in my worrying about developing Temporomandibular joint disorder (aka TMJ syndrome).

I wonder what it would be like to be a toothpick dude. If my persona could land more near Ryan Gosling's role in Drive than the fanatic in the video below who built a model of San Francisco out of toothpicks, I think I'd be fine with it:

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