In procrastinating from even more studying, I’ve decided to try something out: experience the physical withdrawal effects of different cigarette brands and document my reactions in everyday language. I find it very interesting how by before even one day passes, a [heavy] smoker can feel the effects and feel the need for a cigarette if he/she is not smoking; what’s more is that in my own experience, each withdrawal symptom feels completely different. So, after a day of marveling at these weird and new sensations, I figured I’d try to make something somewhat informative spawn of it and smoke one brand of cigarettes for 1-3 weeks (this variable will be dependent on circumstance, but it will be a good enough time to get my body accumulated to the chemicals) and then simply take .5-1 week off, cold turkey. I will not slowly taper off as one is recommended, but merely go balls-to-the-walls and take it hard. I’ll do my best to note the similarities and differences between brands, focusing primarily on the physical effects but will definitely share my psychological effects as well.
General Hypotheses (assumptions):
(1) Withdrawal symptoms will be variable depending on the type and combination of chemical combinations,
(2) and I do feel symptoms will be the most intense within the first three days out of the week.
(3) Being around any kind of cigarette but a menthol will make me want any kind of cigarette but a menthol.
(4) Being drunk will make me crave any type of cigarette–except for menthols because I’d rather smoke nothing.
(5) I will generally be consuming more food, both for hunger purposes and for oral fixation.
That being said, I will do my best to react to each of these 6 statements and possibly even more I may not realize right now. Please contact me if you’d like me to try it with your cigarette, I’m all for corporate sponsorship and exploiting myself.
Let’s begin with
Camel Turkish Golds come from the line of Camels as what many smokers deem to be a smooth and nice cigarette, and I deem to be sexier than any other cigarette. Yes, sorry ugly-ass Marlboro (lights or reds, you both are shit-ugly packaging that makes me sad to have ever smoked your unevenly burning cigarettes) and sorry boring/cheap-as-fuck Parliaments–The Turkish series are sexy as fuck. Camel knows it, and I have been conquered.
The Golds are the standard, the Silvers are the light, and the Jades are the menthol (cool colors huh?). I’m still trying to figure out what the Royals are. Apparently R.J. Reynolds came up with Camels sometime in the 1910s because of the fascination America seemed to have with Egypt and the whole desert scene in general (due to all the archaeologic stuff happening at the time, I presume). Makes sense. There was a whole thing about a subliminal naked man with a huge boned out cock in the Camel’s leg, but I think that was just some christian hype that was bullshit, because I can’t see it (and oh how I’m trying).
Why I smoke them: As a graphics artist myself, I must say they win me over with their design. They’ve taken the traditional cool camel and put him in the middle of a scene, a lot smaller a camel on the box than we’re used to seeing with this brand. He’s on a smooth desert with an arabian nights looking scene going on in the background, and this is nothing short of mystical. It would even appear that in older versions of the package the arabian nights city was a bit bigger. By smoking this, I will be naturally be whisked away to a magical world of mystery and mortality and mummies and flying rugs and whispering street urchins.
The color scheme is as sexy as a cigarette package could get (maybe that’s because I’m prone to purple) and even the scene’s frame takes part of it with the image of the temple and its embroidery purple-golden embroidery and font. Find me a cooler color scheme on an American cigarette, please.
They’ve captured me before I even inhale their chemicals. As ikkyu2 puts it at Ask MetaFilter,
Have you ever ruminated on a cigarette pack? Its properties stimulate nearly every part of the human cerebral cortex. It is brightly colored. It has words on it; the Camel pack has an animal and a landscape. Sometimes it is wrapped in a crinkly cellophane wrapper that is quite noisy. It requires fine coordinated movements of both hands to get the cigarette out of it; it is the right size to fit in your hand, and you can bring it up to your nose to smell it. It has a particular texture. It can ‘age’ in your pocket so you can tell how long you’ve been carrying it just by feeling it or looking at it. It is really the conditioned stimulus par excellence; once you’ve been done fiddling with it, there’s probably not a neuron in your head that hasn’t been involved.
I wish I could find the list of chemicals/”ingredients,” however if I’m not mistaken it’s not by law that tobacco companies are required to share that information–for competitor issues, or why? I don’t know, but sounds fishy to me in a nation so anti-tobacco… All we can be sure is there is a bit of tobacco, nicotine, tar, carbon monoxide… Plus another 400 chemicals creating the taste, the smoke, and the sensation.
In any case, I am in the beginning of day two today and will post how I’m feeling midway through day three tomorrow. Please post any comments, questions, or ideas you may have!
UPDATE (+6 hours)
I finally found The Legacy Tobacco Documents Library, and should be able to link to some neat relevant articles regarding each brand I smoke. Let’s take a look at what I’ve found so far:
From Camel Turkish Gold Launch (Confidential): Apparently Turkish Golds were released in 2000 for the sake of re-raising the perception of Camel cigarettes by blending “traditional/domestic with exotic.” I can’t find out if there’s actually Turkish tobacco in there, but that’s the marketing campaign at least. From the press release:
If asked if Camel is trying to “fix” taste perceptions: Turkish Gold offers the quality and taste of Camel with a smoother flavor. Everyone has different tastes. The new brand style offers another taste and style for both franchise and competitive smokers…
If asked why Camel is using the word “Gold” to describe the brand : Use of the word gold underscores the premium quality and taste of Camel…
They definitely repeat themselves, and they definitely have an agenda in mind with this whole ‘gold’ thing… They also utilized the “pleasure to burn” slogan, which as a new smoker I’m not too familiar with.
Interesting stuff. Still looking for that ingredient list…