While I do not smoke, smoking has been a part of my life. While I could be referring to my wife’s prior position as Director of Maine’s Center for Tobacco Independence, I’m really thinking of the thousands of miles through space I’ve been encased in an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle, spewing carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and other combusted byproducts. The closer you look, in fact, the more you see how gasoline is like nicotine. You need it. You spend money on it, no matter the price. It gives you a rush. There’s a supplier on every corner. And most importantly, you can’t envision your life without it. Like all addictions, it starts innocently and grows beyond itself until you are no longer in control.
Quitting cigarettes requires stages of awareness– thinking about quitting, seeking the best methods to quit, trying to quit, helping others quit. Scolding and shaming are not the answer. Altering one’s lifestyle requires making a commitment to economic and behavioral changes, sometimes painful ones. While nicotine is often referred to as the most addictive drug available, whether over or under the counter, I suspect that we would view gasoline the same way if the pump was empty when we drove up to it.
It is clear to me that smoke free driving is one of the unexpected pleasures of the entire EV driving experience. Though it sounds kind of ridiculous and overstated, when I drive this car, I really do feel somehow cleaner and healthier. I still own an ICE. I still use it- occasionally. But I actually feel guilty when I do, perhaps like a smoker feels exhaling second hand smoke at the person sitting next to them. I now appreciate the fact that I have a transportation choice and the more I change my behavior, the healthier I feel and the price you and I have to pay is less. I choose to go smoke free whenever I can.
You can kick the gasoline habit too.