Robert Kirby: As I live and breathe, vaping isn’t the healthy choice some say it is

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Robert Kirby

It doesn’t matter how safe you try to make it, sucking anything into your lungs other than oxygen is not a good idea.

Yeah, I’m a Mormon. But this isn’t a message for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It’s more of a science issue than a religious one.

Some people see smoking or vaping as a necessary ingredient in a quality life. And they’ll find the science to back it up. By science, I mean whatever supports their argument.

For example, jangled nerves. It was a serious illness in 1933. “Proof” was all over the newspapers. The malady swept America, affecting hundreds of thousands of people who could be cured if they would just get a grip and smoke a Camel cigarette.

The testimonials of people who couldn’t afford to have their nerves jangled — surgeons, athletes, mothers, pilots, bronco busters, actors and scientists — were all the proof anyone needed to get steady.

Housewife • “I get a lift with a Camel.”

Doctor • “Camels never get on my nerves.”

Athlete • “Camels don’t get my wind.”

To prove the science, the ads appeared with a cartoon devil jabbing a pitchfork into someone who is rattled.

Wiley Post, famed pilot and first airman to fly around the world solo, testified, “Smoking Camels as I have for so long, I never worry about healthy nerves — and I’m a constant smoker, too.”

It was even suggested that Post lived off Camels during his flight of 7 days, 18 hours, 49 minutes around the globe.

In addition to being wrong about the cure for jangled nerves, all of these people have one thing in common: They’re dead. I don’t know how they died, but it’s safe to say that smoking didn’t stretch their life spans.

OK, Post didn’t die of cancer. But it was never ruled out that he may have been trying to light a cigarette while taking off from an Alaskan lagoon in 1935. The plane crashed, killing him and Will Rogers.

Eventually, real science proved that secondhand smoke jangled the nerves of everyone who had to sit next to it. Smoking was banned in many public spaces.

For those who regularly smoke, going without a cigarette can really get on your nerves. I know because I used to smoke.

Cigarettes mostly, but also weed, hash and assorted other things. The only one I can definitely attest to as a cure for jangled nerves is marijuana. It’s amazing how little nerves matter when you’re thoroughly baked.

If I’m honest, I can definitely say that cannabis would have done me a world of good on my mission. My nerves were never so jangled as they were during those two years.

But as medicinally welcome as it would have been, I behaved myself. The only thing I smoked with any regularity on my mission was bus exhaust. And my testimony of that is that it wasn’t healthy.

Humans will always try to find a healthy way around doing unhealthy things. We want what we want — even if it kills us. But if it’s an attraction to feeling great that you’re looking for, go with the dependency that you were born with.

Want to see really jangled nerves? Try not breathing at all for two minutes.

Robert Kirby is The Salt Lake Tribune’s humor columnist. Follow Kirby on Facebook.