I have several friends that think I’m a crazy. Sure, they have some good reasons to think so, I mean, I have 5 cats for God’s sake. But, because I quit smoking way back in 1992 and took up vaping in 2011 they shake their heads in disbelief, but I think they’re wrong.
Every person that thinks that I did something really stupid by taking up vaping is a coffee drinker. Some are heavy coffee drinkers. You know, the ones that have a “fresh pot” going all the time, night and day. None of my friends have strict diets, and all of them have been known to kick back with beer and pizza. They don’t have the healthy lifestyle they think they do. So hammering me over the fact that I enjoy eCigarettes is a bit confusing. In any case, I thought it might be a good idea to write about some concerns I have about what I think is ‘overreaching’ by others when they interfere with our right to enjoy an eCigarette.
Dangerous? The Truth About Nicotine And eCigs
Nicotine has been scientifically evaluated and found to be no more harmful than caffeine, unless you’re pregnant. Both caffeine and nicotine are addictive, yes, but nicotine has been found to be an effective treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101013095331.htm)
In addition, nicotine is created naturally in the body, and is found in certain plants and vegetables. My point is nicotine is not a synthetic poison, that it has a bad rap that comes from being a primary agent in cigarettes and cigars and other forms of tobacco. Nicotine causes you to feel less stress, less anxiety, and, in my case at least, suppresses my appetite. I’ve lost 25 pounds since taking up vaping, not enough (yet) but it’s a start. A don’t want to guide this piece into the benefits of nicotine, but there ARE benefits.
The Truth (so far) about eCigarettes
There seems to be a panic in some people over the sudden attention to eCigarettes this year. Many people and many companies are responsible for this uptick in attention and sales, (Spinfuel has played a part in this by calling 2012 the “Year of the eCigarette” back in January, and determining that eCigs would hit “critical mass” in 2012. We were right on both). This panic is so fraught with false information, AstroTurf Protesting by militant anti-smoking organizations, and both private citizens and organized government, and just plain old wrong-headed types that are always against change or against things they don’t like.
Most of all the attacks on the eCig that come from people in power, from small town selectmen to mayors, governors, and senators and congressman both local and federal, who believe they know better than you do about what is good for you. They want to make sure you’re alright, even if it strips you of any decision in your own affairs. In other words, the Nanny-State. It’s here folks, and if we allow it to continue it’s going to get worse.
Just look at Mayor Bloomberg and his ‘large sugared soft drinks’ ban and his audacious hypocrite bullshit in which just this morning he stands with Dunkin Donuts to name today “Donut Day” or some such crap. Check out this news report; http://politicker.com/2012/05/mixed-message-with-soda-ban-and-national-donut-day-endorsements-video/
We call this unmitigated gall. Of course Bloomberg sees nothing wrong here. This guy is the perfect example of a true socialist in a progressive republican disguise. Personally, Bloomberg’s actions to take away personal freedoms in the name of “we know best” disgust me.
Even in Australia
Australia, the entire country, has banned the sale of eCigarettes; http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2009/01/e-cigarettes_are_banned_in_australia/ (by the way, the opinion of Nick Broughall is spot on). This remark by Health Minister Nicola Roxon, “This looks like another insidious, manipulative attempt to hook people on smoking,” drives me batshit crazy. Since when is this crap the business of ANY government? And what happened to Australia being “Americans on Steroids” (meaning that Australians are to epitome of tough, freedom-loving people that wouldn’t think of allowing anyone to tell them what to do.) You know what I mean, we Americans back in the 70’s and 80’s, before the progressives came back in style, wouldn’t stand for such interference in our lives.
Back In the USA
All these towns, cities, states, and the feds attempting to put bans on eCigarettes while allowing the sale of REAL cigarettes to continue unabated is mindboggling. On the one hand you have these attempts to take control away from you because they know better than you, and on the other hand you have these same politicians depending on tax revenues from tobacco. Only a true polictian can balance two diametrically opposing views at the same time and not even realize the nature of their own assholeishness. (Ass-Hole-ish-ness; “the state and process of being an asshole” copyright 2012 John Manzione)
Yesterday two very important scientists at the “American Council On Science And Health”, Dr Elizabeth Whelan and Gilbert Ross published an open letter to the FDA urging the FDA to reverse its stance on eCigarettes. The information contained therein is timely, truthful, and reasonable. Read it here, http://www.acsh.org/news/newsID.1995/news_detail.asp
Despite all the evidence to the contrary, nearly everyone will admit that eCigarettes are MUCH safer (if not completely safe) than tobacco cigarettes. Yet, the bans continue and people are becoming paranoid and worried about eCigs non-existent dangers.
An Unspoken Truth
There are people like myself, a lot of them, that “vape” because we enjoy it. Many, if not most, people that use eCigarettes have no intention of quitting unless the governments’ are able to tax the shit out of them so that they cost the same as real cigarettes.
We “like” using eCigarettes. We’re not concerned with nicotine because nicotine is no worse than caffeine. And, I’m not the only ex-smoker with more than a few years of separation between vaping and their last cigarette who have taken up vaping because they A) missed the pleasures of smoking, and B) missed the pleasures of smoking…
There were plenty of things I disliked about smoking real cigarettes over the years. I wasn’t exactly enamored by the smell, or smoker’s breath, or how it made my clothes smell, the price, and the health risks (though honestly, the health risk was pretty low on the list of reasons to quit). But there was one overwhelming reason I liked to smoke cigarettes… I enjoyed the process. The pull on the cigarette, the intake of the smoke, that tiny hit on the back of the throat, and the exhaling of thick warm smoke. Sadly, I was what people called a “French smoker” in that I inhaled into my mouth, and then inhaled that smoke into my nose, then exhaled through both. Yea, I know, I know, but like I said, I quit in 1992. I’m not that guy anymore. Promise.
The process of smoking is something I never forgot about. I certainly didn’t pine for a cigarette though. People could smoke around and I didn’t much care. My wife smoked up until a year ago, 19 years living as a non-smoker with a smoker, and I never cheated, never snuck out to grab a smoke, it just didn’t matter to me.
Then it all changed last year when my brother attempted to quit smoking by way of an eCigarette. He demanded I try it, because it was “so good”, and not fearing the idea of smoking I grabbed it and took a hit. It was delicious, but most of all, the physical, tactile feeling of inhaling and exhaling smoke was still pretty damned attractive to me.
So I began researching eCigarette for safety concerns and found no evidence that eCigarettes were dangerous. I made certain decisions about which eCigarettes I’d consider and which one I would not consider, but for the most part, the eCigarette was too good to be true, but was, in fact, true. Let’s talk about that for a second.
“Too Good To Be True… But It Is ”
We have all grown up hearing, over and over again, that if something looks too good to be true, it is. It is ingrained in us to be overly suspicious of anything that looks too good to be true. Now, that’s not to say that most things ARE NOT too good to be true, it’s just that eCigarettes is not one of them. If you can live with the non-lethal addiction to nicotine (or simply use zero nicotine eCigs) than the eCigarette is as safe as the American Council on Science and Health say they are.
For me, sitting in my recliner with a good book a good TV show, my iPad, or even conversation, along with a nice glass of whatever (usually a can of caffeine-free diet coke) while vaping my eCigarette with my favorite flavored cartridge is one of the highlights of my day. In the morning, with a cup of coffee and my eCiggie is another highlight. Well, to tell the truth there isn’t many times during the day where I’m NOT vaping, and most of the time they are highlights… I seem to have a lot of highlights lately. Hmm
Now, I’m lucky that I found a brand and a flavor that, to me, taste a thousand times better than any tobacco cigarette I’ve ever had. I enjoy the taste to the same degree that I enjoy a cup of Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee, a Robert Mondavi bottle of Red Table wine (yes, an inexpensive table wine that I adore), or a fat and juicy, medium-rare filet mignon. I’m telling you the truth; I enjoy this brand and this flavor as much as I do any of the above. I could never have said that about a tobacco cigarette.
No Intention To Quit
Here’s the bottom line for many eCig users; we have no plans to stop smoking. Why should we? eCigs should not bother other people standing next to you, or even sitting in the next seat on an airplane (and if they do say it bothers them, they’re lying and what’s really bothering them is their militant anti-smoking blindness that sees something that reminds them of cigarettes and they go all Assie. (Assie, “the act of being particularly ass-ish”, copyright 2012 John Manzione).
Using eCigs is much less costly (right now) than real cigarettes, they taste better, they do no harm, and we enjoy them to no end. So why quit? Hell, even if some of us wanted off the nicotine they could wean themselves off it and continue using eCigs with zero nicotine, which many have done.
The real reason some citizens harass an eCig user is because it looks like cigarette smoking. Because of that I think some brands of eCigs should reassess their battery and cartomizer designs so that it is actually easier to identify an eCigarette rather than emulate the cigarette right down to its color and feel. I think that’s a mistake. The design of Apollo eCigs and Blu Cigs, and a few others, using black as the primary color, help those that might want to bitch you out for smoking realize that whatever the hell is in your mouth it is not a cigarette. This is the better option over designing something that looks exactly like a cigarette.
Enjoyment Means Something
I vape because I enjoy it immensely.
- No one should have the right to verbally abuse me about it.
- No one should have the right to ban something that causes no harm.
- No one should have the right to take something away from another.
We used to understand and accept such radical ideas, but somehow the events of 911 have made so many people afraid. By banning eCigarettes, or large soft drinks, and a myriad of other things, people are trying to get control back because if anything, the events of 911 stripped away every bit of the illusion of control from every one of us. But these asinine attempts to regain that control by making other people stop doing things they enjoy doing, (and that do not cause others harm) isn’t the way to go about it. Realizing that “control” isn’t real, that life changes on a dime when you least expect it, will set you free and get you off my back.
If you vape, continue to vape.
Don’t allow others to take that away from you. Ban together with other vaping friends and walk the mall, letting others know you won’t be bullied. Teach them the facts, but most of all, desensitize them to eCigarettes.
If you vape for pleasure and not just to feed your addiction, let us know in the comments. If, like me, you have no intention of stopping let us know that too.
One last thing and then you can go…
If you do nothing about the future of eCigarettes you’re going to wind up helping these control freaks take them away from you. Stand up to the hysteria that seems to be getting worse, not by violence or protest, but by teaching and desensitizing those around you. Get involved with your favorite eCig websites (like this one). Find other eCig users on forums, like our new one that opened just today. Discuss ideas on how to wrestle control back to you, ways to convince others of the harmlessness of eCigs, and convince them that interfering in your life is NOT a substitute for regaining control in their lives.
If you’re old enough to remember the 70’s and 80’s think about how people were so much more tolerant then they are today. Remember smoking real cigarettes on airplanes, in the grocery store, in the mall, in restaurants, and remember how NO ONE ever said anything to you. No one harassed you back then because as long as it wasn’t them, it wasn’t any of their business. A simple concept, but one lost on an entire generation of Fraidy Cats.
We need those days back, and they can come back, if you and me stand together in peaceful, light-hearted ways and show those that stand against us that they are not endowed with the right to tell others what they can do.
Enjoy your next eCig break and while you’re thinking about this article you just read, remember that it starts with the action of a single person. That could be you. Today we regain control of our freedom to choose to use eCigarettes. Tomorrow? You never know, we may be able to chase the ‘progressives’ back down the rabbit hold for another 50 years. We may be able to live together with tolerance being the way of the land, as it was before. But we must be together on this, and we mustn’t allow fear to win the day.
John Manzione Editor / Spinfuel eCig Magazine
Follow Us on Twitter: @Spinfueldotcom and @Spinfuel_julia