Ian Goes Electric

On the first day of 2013 the landlord of my local pub, and one of his regular customers, both stopped smoking and bought electronic cigarettes. The decision to stop smoking is one I have previously made, many times. It doesn’t matter which quitting aid I try, the result is always the same. Even if I get past the worst of the cravings, I really miss the physical act of smoking. It is something I have done for over 20 years and I feel lost without it. I viewed the ‘E-Cig’ option with the same scepticism. If I were to use this currently popular method to wean myself from my Nicotine addiction, I knew that as soon as I felt comfortable enough to put the electronic cigarette away, I would miss smoking again within hours. But that is because I assumed the E-Cig was intended to be a short term replacement for smoking. However, other people have taken a different approach.


The pub landlord and his customer have remained successfully smoke free for almost a year now. The reason for this is that they have never attempted to quit the Nicotine filled vapour of their E-Cigs. For a while, this was a situation that I criticised. I felt that they were kidding themselves. After all, it’s plain for all to see, their addiction to Nicotine is as strong now as it was when they smoked. But it seems my opinion of the electronic alternative to smoking has been a somewhat narrow view.

If we compare traditional smoking against using E-Cigs, the benefits are plain to see. Obviously, ‘vaping’ is far more healthy than smoking, but it’s the financial aspect that really makes the case clear. Using myself as an example, let’s see exactly why my pub friends are not actually kidding themselves at all, but are in fact getting the last laugh.

I smoke 20 cigarettes per day, at an average cost of £7.00. However you look at it, it’s a lot of money.

  • Daily: £7
  • Weekly: £49
  • Monthly: £213
  • Yearly: £2555

Now, using a rechargeable electronic cigarette from 10 Motives for example, let’s take a look at the cost of ‘vaping’ instead of smoking. If we ignore the one off cost of the rechargeable starter unit (£10.99-£13.99 depending where purchased), a pack of 5 refills usually costs £6.99 and should easily last a week for a 20 a day smoker, like me. So, to make the maths easier, we will call it £7 per week. Hmm, real cigarettes: £7 per day, E-Cigs: £7 per week. You can see where this is going.

  • Daily: £1
  • Weekly: £7
  • Monthly: £30-£31
  • Yearly: £365

It kind of puts things into perspective doesn’t it. There I was, dismissing people’s claims that they had quit smoking, because their addiction was still as strong as ever. But completely ignoring the facts. The pub landlord and his regular customer are healthier than me, richer than me, and still enjoy the act of smoking. Plus they don’t have to keep going out in the cold and rain like I do!

Using this example, set by people I know, I am making a few changes to my own smoking habits. I have no intention of committing myself to a completely smoke free life, I enjoy smoking and will continue to do so. However, by using my new electronic cig in place of many of my usual cigarettes, I might save a few quid, and who knows, maybe I will gradually drift in the less smoky direction.

Worn by ‘Last Exit to Nowhere’ Heroes

A few months ago, I was followed on Twitter by a new t-shirt company. This is not surprising. Those of you who follow me, or actually know me in the real world, will be aware of my love of movie based t-shirts and the fact that I tweet a picture every time I buy a new one. It is due to such tweets that I (along with many others) was targeted as a potential customer when Worn By Heroes began their marketing campaign. Initially, I was very interested in the arrival of a new movie t-shirt designer, after all, you can’t have too much of a good thing. I reciprocated their Twitter follow, in order to keep up to date regarding the progress of Worn By Heroes and in anticipation of the fantastic designs they were promising.

As the weeks past, Worn By Heroes tweeted about their plans, answered questions and at one point, asked me to ‘Like’ their Facebook page. I politely stated that, until they produced a product, I could not choose whether I ‘liked’ it or not. They seemed to understand this. No problem. I may have missed a tweet or two, but I didn’t realise they intended to use Kickstarter to fund the launch of their company. I have nothing against Kickstarter, I have happily funded people’s projects via this method, I was just surprised, and also startled at the £15,000 target amount that Worn By Heroes were requesting. Another thing that shocked me was an article which included the following quotes from Worn By Heroes:

We love movies. We love TV shows. And we love showing off our intimate knowledge of a film or show with an awesome t-shirt which only our fellow hardcore fans will recognise. There’s nothing like that moment of recognition on a strangers face as they clock the reference on your t-shirt.

Sounds good so far. However, I don’t feel that putting down everyone else’s products is the best way to promote your business, but that’s what they do with the next quote:

We’ve got a huge collection of movie t-shirts from loads of different stores. Whilst the designs themselves can range from bad to awesome, we’ve found the actual product itself is always lacking in quality. The t-shirt is tough, scratchy and ill-fitting. The prints themselves are heavy slabs of plasticy inks that weight the shirt down and start to crack after a while.

I’m not sure how established t-shirt designers like Dark Bunny Tees and Last Exit to Nowhere will feel about that description.

Now, although unimpressed by their designs, I am not in a position to pass judgement on the quality of Worn By Heroes products, having not bought any. What I would like to do, is offer an element of balance. I buy a lot of movie t-shirts, never ones that simply have the film title across the front. Mostly, I buy shirts from Last Exit to Nowhere. Like Worn By Heroes, Last Exit designs are influenced by the products and companies that feature within the movie, so only fans of the film will make the connection. Unlike Worn By Heroes, Last Exit produce designs of beauty and style, they are immensely clever and the depth of detail is unrivalled. As for quality, I have never known better than Last Exit to Nowhere, some of my Last Exit shirts are several years old and still in great shape. To be honest, I don’t follow the usual guidelines for t-shirt care, I even tumble dry them (not recommended), but so far none have succumbed to a premature demise.


A few favourites from my Last Exit to Nowhere collection.

At the time of writing this post, Worn By Heroes’ Kickstarter campaign is exactly half way through its funding period and has reached just over half of its target. Hmm, cutting it fine.

Although this post may come across as a bit of a dig at Worn By Heroes, I do wish them every success. I just think they should spend more time and effort promoting their own product and less time slating everyone else’s. I’ve never met an unhappy Last Exit to Nowhere or Dark Bunny Tees customer, they even have an impressive collection of celebrity fans, including Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Chris Martin and Ed Byrne, among many others.


FROM LEFT: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Matthias Kaufmann, Chris Martin (Coldplay) and Ed Byrne.

Happy shopping everyone!


My most recent purchases.