Vaporizers – The Truth Is Never EasyLittle Boy Lighting up a cigarette

Despite knowing literally dozens of people who were once smokers and who are now vapers this question continues to be asked; “can e-cigarettes really get smokers to stop smoking?” I mean, come on, how much proof do they need? And more to the point; is that even the right question to ask?

I realize I’m preaching to the choir here, we are vapers after all, and we come from the other side of the tracks, we were smokers, so ya know… Every one of you know people other than yourselves that have given up smoking after trying electronic cigarettes. Of course e-cigarettes can replace tobacco cigarettes in millions of people’s lives, so what?

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It’s All About Mindset

I think the current mindset about vaporizers is all wrong. People, and by people I mean everybody, are thinking too literal about e-cigarettes because of the damn word ‘cigarette’. Cigarettes are bad, very bad. We’ve done convinced ourselves that smoking is the root of all evil.

For Christ sake, the only people that smoke in movies or TV shows today are the bad guys, if they are allowed to smoke at all. And the anti-smoking crowd is no longer afraid to admit that their main concern about e-cigarettes is not the ‘unknown’ factors about safety but rather about the fact that vaping looks like smoking (as I have indicated many times before), and smoking looks ‘evil’. Evil I tell you!

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It’s too bad that at the time of its invention someone wasn’t wise enough to call electronic cigarettes something all together different. Like maybe, I dunno, vaping things. “Come and get your vaping things!” “Vaping things on sale here!” “Get ‘em while they’re hot!”

The day the word cigarette became attached to this ingenious device people should have realized it wasn’t going to easy to assimilate them into modern society. Though, let’s be fair. Electronic cigarettes were invented in China, and the Chinese aren’t exactly known for their anti-smoking attitudes, so for China attaching the term cigarette to the device was probably a good thing. But, in the US and the EU it’s a different matter altogether. What’s done is done though; we’ll never get to rename it now.

Change From The Inside Maybe?

One of things we need to do, maybe, as Vapers looking to desensitize vaping, is to get someone in on the inside. Find a smoker in your local government office and turn him or her onto vaping. Or find a local official who has already discovered vaping. Then, once that person sees the light and acknowledges that vaping isn’t the problem, and that the problem lies with the hysterical anti-smoking crowd instead, certain laws and ordinances can go into effect that would allow vaping in public, like it used to be a year or two ago, before the hysteria. Then, each and every person who enjoys vaping should make it a point to do so in public, with devices that cannot be mistaken for cigarettes. Desensitize the non-smokers and non-vapers to the visual of someone happily vaping.

And that’s another thing; how often do you see someone smoking who also looks happy doing it? Even hardcore smokers are beginning to feel shame about their nasty, evil habit (not my words), so you should be able to tell a Vaper from a smoker by the look on their face alone.

Anyway, let’s say you go into a public park with a can of Caffeine-free Diet coke. No one is going to give you a second look, unless you look like Nicole Kidman or Brad Pitt. But the minute you slip that coke can into a brown paper bag you’ll get all kinds of second looks, as well as one or two smug people walking up to you and letting you know that “drinking” in public is against the law. (you know the type) It’s the visual that gets people riled up, not the actual product. We need for these nitwits to see the difference between someone with an electronic cigarette and someone with a Marlboro. Admit it, you yourself can spot the difference immediately. We can make it happen with all the “nons” out there as well just by vaping in public. They will make the connection…sooner or later.

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Okay, so, anyway, we all know that electronic cigarettes do in fact get people who were once cigarette, pipe, and cigar users off of those things and onto something a million times safer, vaping things. But, there is still the issue of how to classify electronic cigarettes. I believe there is a lot of wrong-headedness going on here too.

Is It A Medical Device?

Smoking cessation products such as nicotine patches, gum, and the dangerous-as-ever Chantix, are all medical products, and are regulated as such. There was time when people needed a prescription to buy nicotine gum and patches for god’s sake. Thankfully you still need a prescription for Chantix. Imagine a world where you could walk into any store and pick up a bottle of Chantix with the same cavalier attitude as buying a bottle of vitamins. The overflow in emergency rooms for psychotic breakdowns would be overwhelming. In any case, these products are all labeled as cessation products and regulated as such. Does that mean that electronic cigarettes should be labeled as smoking cessation products and regulated in the same manner just because millions of former smokers now vape?

No. Good lord, no.

Just because millions of people have made the successful switch from tobacco cigarettes to vaporizers doesn’t mean there is any need for medical classifications. There are a few reasons that I can think of that make this classification unnecessary and even unwise.

Vaporizers are rarely used as a ‘step down’ product. People might not want to admit it, but its true. Most people don’t start Vaping as a way of stopping the act of inhaling and exhaling smoke/vapor. They just don’t. People that vape, for the most part, do so because they enjoy it. No one is suffering through vaping as a means to stop smoking. Do you know anybody like that? Although many people want to stop smoking and are able to do so via electronic cigarettes they usually want to stop killing themselves rather than wanting to stop the whole hand-to-mouth-inhale-exhale-blowing-smoke-rings thing. So, ya know, there’s that.

Vaping is a hobby. You don’t see people collecting various brands of nicotine patches or reading reviews of the latest flavor of nicotine gum. It don’t happen. Vapers love collecting vaping gear. Vapemail is now “thing”. People gather together in various “festivals” to talk with other Vapers, trade e-liquids, and compare various recipes for e-Liquid flavors. Smoking cessations products do not have legions of “fans”. That would be idiotic.

Lastly, Vapers are loyal. Vapers help each other. “PiF” is a thing. There is a real sense of community in VapeLandia. Usually, you don’t see people sharing nicotine patches or their prescription for Chantix. There is no special handshake or subtle nod of the head when someone wearing a nicotine patch spots another person wearing a nicotine patch. A person trying to quit smoking with nicotine gum won’t give another person his or her last piece of nicotine gum with a smile. If anything, nicotine gum users just don’t smile at all.

So, you see, vaporizers and e liquid would make a terrible smoking cessation tool. Vaping is fun, enjoyable, something to share with others, while the act of trying to quit cigarettes is a bitch.

How should vaporizers be classified? How does the government classify the hobby of trading baseball cards, or collecting stamps, or falconry? Think about it. Which do you think is more dangerous, vaping or falconry?

I rest my case.

John Manzione

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