Is it All About the Ritual?
I first started my love affair with nicotine with those now infamous tobacco sticks. I got entangled in the customs of this habitue with the observance of certain steps. Selecting the brand, searching for the correct cylinder of matured tobacco, unwrapping the transparent jacket, igniting the flame, inhaling the billowing smoke and then the great exhale followed by an instant endorphin rush. This compromising the essence of my observance.
When the switch to nasal snuff occurred, the ceremony altered. Painstakingly choosing the correct manufacturer's product, popping open the tin's top and enjoying the familiar aroma, removing the correct sized pinch, applying the correct pressure to delicately deposit the payload on the sinuses and finally the nic rush, all these being vital steps to the eventual payoff. There is a net gain when considering the delay of gratification versus the additional pleasures of this variety of tobacco. I thought I had perfected the protocol or at any rate ameliorated the practice.
Upon discovering the powerful chew bag alternative, my notion of nicotine perfection changed once again. The search for the appropriate product was considerably altered, as the variety of flavors had been downgraded to 'popular' choices. This being explained away as unnecessary for the oral experience of chew bags. No longer was it necessary to unfold a series of steps in order to partake in the ritual. The practice had been reduced to opening the container and inserting the packet and calmly waiting for the inevitable effects. There seemed to be a forfeiture of ceremony for a gain in efficiency. However, that is the only drawback. The pleasure is as present as ever; the procedural steps to nicotine nirvana have been simplified. It is just a different mindset and one that helps to transition from the traditional to the modern way of getting the 'nic hit'. So, we go from the puff to the pinch to the put.