I Spent All Day Sucking On Nicotine-Laced Toothpicks

On a scale from college freshman to Rust Cohl, I think I ranked about a “4” in terms of how much I used to smoke. I thought smoking was cool, and the only thing to rival my theory was decades of testimonials from doctors claiming the things caused cancer. Bologna. (Well, bologna in the sense that bologna is definitely real, and smoking definitely causes death.) Anyway, even though I'd had my moments of weakness, I pretty much successfully quit smoking. Recently, I wrote about Pixotine — nicotine-laced toothpicks that supposedly have as much of a kick as the real thing. So naturally, I felt obliged to suck on a bunch of them.

After a few days of white-knuckled anticipation and mourning the crushed up pack of Camels in my trash can, I received three packs of Pixotine in the mail. A rep from the company told me that each toothpick contained roughly three milligrams of nicotine — as compared to the 1.8 milligrams that most light cigarettes have. Also, apparently their founder sucks on about ten a day. I knew I could do better. Each pack has 14 toothpicks — that gave me 42 toothpicks at my disposal. Challenge accepted-ish. 

When I arrived at work, I immediately stuck one into my talk-hole and found it surprisingly — no — shockingly strong. It delivered the same chest and throat burn you’d get from a couple packets of snus or a few Marlboro reds. I lovingly chewed on the thing (which I'd been told would produce a strong buzz) and only stopped when my stomach started aching. I spit it out and placed another in the corner in my mouth. Lord have mercy I felt buzzed.

These do more than satisfy the nicotine craving you get from quitting smoking — they solve the issue of having the oral fixation of a cigarette in your mouth. Plus, they look cool. I could be biased, because I’ve seen Drive more times than I can count and Ryan Gosling makes me feel all gurgly and confused downstairs. 

The ingredients are simple: Nicotine, Vegetable Glycerine, and Distilled Water. The back of each Pixotine package, however, is a little bit intimidating. “Nicotine in an extremely toxic and addictive substance that is known by the state of California to cause birth defects and reproductive harm. Do not use if you are pregnant, nursing, allergic to nicotine, or any other listed ingredients, or have heart problems, high blood pressure, or psychological disorders.” Since I only have one of the six listed conditions, I figured it’d be safe to chew on a couple more. 

Seven toothpicks in, I felt that distinct feeling in the back of my throat — reminiscent of when you’d eat too many Warheads as a kid and then guzzle lemonade. I felt nauseous, yet oddly calm. Energetic, but restrained. Had I died? Was I in heaven? Was I in purgatory? Another toothpick would help clear my head.

I found that 11 was my limit. Mostly because my heart was pounding and I kept thinking my eyelashes were made of hummingbirds. As compared to a snus, dip, and e-cigs, Pixotine hit me hard.
Maybe it’s because I had consumed 30 milligrams of nicotine throughout the day. But to be honest, I could see myself using these again. They're covert, cheap, usable indoors, perfect for the office, and absolutely packed with nicotine. Plus they won't kill you and, come on, everyone looks cool with a toothpick in their mouth.

Jeremy Glass is the Vice editor for Supercompressor and likes to spend his nights curled up in the fetal position surrounded by crumbs.