Could I stop vaping?

Very short answer? Yes, but I don’t want to.

Long answer? Yes, I could. But why would I want to? I enjoy the flavours, the vapour, the hardware, the coil building, the community, helping people off of tobacco, etcetera. Vaping turned compulsive nicotine consumption into a recreational one. Note the difference.

Vaping is like having a coffee, eating a cupcake, drinking a beer, having a soda.

I want alcohol in my beer. I want caffeine in my coffee, I want sugar in my cupcakes and my sodas. I just want to enjoy myself with my little vices, so I want nicotine in my vapes.

It’s all the same thing. Recreation. Indulging every once in a while. I (and anyone else) should be allowed to enjoy him or herself. Especially when the harm to your surroundings is minimal. Yes, I stopped smoking already. Vaping is not the same thing. Leave me the hell alone. I’m not policing what you like to use to enjoy yourself.

Memes

You have no doubt seen them. Those silly memes that imply that vapers are all gay, are all flat capped hipsters that blow huge clouds. In the beginning I thought they were funny. Hell, some where even original. But now I see the same ones reappearing every time. Yeah, I get it, you don’t understand enough about vaping to see what benefits there are to doing it instead of smoking, and it can look ridiculous, so I understand the potential for ridicule. Oh, and think up some new ones. The vape=gay ones are getting stale.

I was the same, you know. I saw that vaping thing as something very silly (and I seriously thought that it would never help anyone quit smoking), until I tried it. After a whole evening of just using a vape instead of lighting one up, I realised the point of it and switched instantly. I was done with tobacco. Hell, I wasn’t even trying to quit. I just thought it was a better experience than smoking and decided to keep doing it. At the same time, I didn’t feel the need to light one up because vaping was fitting the bill nicely.

I do have to admit, I never smoked for the sake of smoking. As someone with an attention deficit, I use the nicotine as a big filter for all of the noise out there. Because patches and other oral nicotine products are too slow on the uptake, they were never an adequate method of getting nicotine into my system. A fag was the quickest way to get my nic. As far as I knew, it was the only way to use nicotine in a satisfying way. That is, until I discovered vaping.

And you know what? I will gladly look like a pillock instead of getting COPD or cancer. Take that for what you will.

Why so angry?

Yes, I get it. You vape, and you are livid about public health spokesholes misrepresenting the facts. I know vaping has the potential of eradicating smoking tobacco. I enjoy my mods. atomizers, DIY coil building and all the flavorful juices out there. I’m just like you. I kicked a nasty habit, and I want to tell the world that big tobacco is evil and that most public health organizations are either BT (big tobacco) shills or on the Big Pharma payroll. I get it.

But hold on. Those researchers are people too. Why be on the attack all the time?

I have recently been more active on twitter, and I see a lot of vitriol outed towards those researchers. Sure, a few (like McKee, Glantz and others) are genuine asshats hacks with a lot of sway in higher circles who literally are a danger to global public health, but there are many researchers that start with an incorrect premise because they basically don’t know any better. Just because they have published some studies that are scientifically questionable, doesn’t mean that they are unwilling to change their minds. Yes, it’s bad, and just provides fodder for ANTZ (Anti Nicotine and Tobacco Zealots) to wave around, but the origin of their hypotheses is usually misinformation instead of malice.

It’s okay to be livid. It’s awesome that you are passionate about vaping and it’s merits. Yes, the world has some assholes in it that spoil it for the rest of us. But look at this from the bottom up. If we can show these TC researchers that we’re actually friendly, but rational and skeptical (and able to back up what we say), we can get a lot more sway as a community. I have always preferred rational discourse over being on the defensive all the time. Because then you don’t have to be on the defensive all the bloody time. It also shows that we’re not rabid reactionaries

Try this next time; when you can communicate to a TC researcher directly, just ask him or her about the hypothesis, research, parameters, how it was conducted, target groups. research that shows the inverse of their position and your reservations about it. You know, actual interest and well tenured skepticism. Connect with them on a personal level. Be friendly and civil. If they are half the scientists that they claim they are, they will listen to you, your arguments, and maybe they will even re-examine their research.

I have engaged some TC researchers and some public health people in this manner, and they seemed very responsive to this approach. I would like to see more of this happen:

Link: https://jimmcmanus.wordpress.com/2015/11/15/how-and-why-i-changed-my-mind-on-e-cigarettes/

On the other hand, I might just be an incurable optimist.

Vape some more

Wow, has it really been more than four months since I last lit a cigarette? Yes, I replaced the habit with another habit, but with one that is undoubtedly less damaging to myself and my surroundings. I have also jumped into the fray of advocacy. Yes, I am fighting the good fight against Big Tobacco, Big Pharma and corrupt public health organizations that rig studies and massage science to fit their wish (instead of science proving the inverse).

So, why do I still vape? Simple. I become absent-minded as fuck when I don’t use nicotine. It’s a downside of having an attention deficit disorder and being slightly autistic. My wife noticed when I stepped down from 18 mg/ml nic to 6 mg/nic in my e-liquid (the stuff that you actually vape). So, the familiar riff of “just quit” does not fly with me. I could have “just quit” and sent everyone up the wall. This is not conducive to social interaction with other people and my career. So, when I say that vaping is less damaging to myself and my surroundings, I actually mean that on several levels. And no, I won’t take drugs like Ritalin, because I went that route before and I am glad to be off that.

So yes. It seems like this vaping thing is sticking. This is my current setup:

My two mods currently in use. On top of both the Crius RTA from OBS.
My two mods currently in use. On top of both the Crius RTA from OBS.

And a third mod (electronic device that powers the atomizer and contains the batteries) is underway. Yes, I will post pictures. 🙂