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Now a Vaping Novel

Close on the heels of last year's hit ballad “The Electronic Cigarette Blues”, by Roy Bookbinder (“those electronic cigarettes, they really satisfy!”), the publishing world has now witnessed the appearance of Vape Mania (166 pages, publication date, January 27, 2014), by a certain “Melvin Provario”, touted as “the first full-length literary work that has a narrative with a vaper as the main protagonist and vaping as the central theme.”

The book is actually a satirical send-up of the media kerfluffle surrounding the product, as opponents recoil in horror, even while proponents (like Bookbinder) sing the product's praises.

“Enter the Seedy World of Chronic Vaping Addiction” winks the opening line of Vaporacle, the website devoted to marketing the book. The book's subtitle reads “A Newbie's Guide to the Evils of the Electronic Cigarette,” and the book's cover, emblazoned with pop-culture icons licked by flames, sports an endorsement from a fictional “institute for the preservation of the institution of cigarettes.” The site includes PayPal buttons, where the book sells for $9.99 with a $2 shipping fee ($4.50 for overseas shipping), but customers who click the Amazon link instead will get the book for $11.07 and free shipping (in the US). (Inexplicably, the site claims that the PayPal purchase is a $3 saving.) Another button on Vaporacle offers a chance to donate $16 and receive another book as a surprise bonus (or another copy of Vape Mania).

“Follow one man's downward spiral into the seedy world of vaping addiction,” proclaims the promo text. The tale purportedly “helps to debunk the myth that huffing antifreeze and skin moisturizer is a safe alternative to the leisurely and respectable past time of smoking traditional tobacco products.” A sequel is said to be in the planning stages.

Endorsments on Vaporacle (of unverified authorship) exult that “I laughed so hard my tank cracked” (from a certain 'Professor Kanger, MVP'), among others. Reviews on Amazon are also evocative: “The main character is the perfect personification of the mass hysteria represented by the anti-vaping crowd,” says one reviewer, who adds that the “commentary is . . . scary because there are really people who think that way.” Says another reviewer: “HaHaHaHa Hahaha haha haha hahahahah.”

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