Is Vaping Resented?

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A few weeks ago, I’d read an article mentioning how Noel Gallagher berated a fellow musician over using an electronic cigarette, saying “Do me a favour mate, either have a proper one outside or don’t have one”. Noel’s very British expression of resentment got me thinking about encounters I’d had when using electronic cigarettes around smokers.

When I was first vaping, I was using a SafeCig product around a friend, a smoker, who told me jokingly not to bring my “SmugCig” around him. I could tell something about the name ‘SafeCig’ implying that e-cigarettes aren’t harmful like tobacco cigarettes upset him a little. Other friends had similar reactions and I got the sense that they, as smokers, in some way resented the ‘artificiality’ of e-cigarettes, like they (or I) were trying to be something they were not.

This inkling of resentment over a little battery powered device got me thinking, what other groups might harbor resentment towards e-cigarettes? Now, resentment is a strong word. It implies a sort of unsaid bitterness or negativity towards something, and even a motive for negative actions. And that is hard to peg that on anyone- some of this post is speculation and should be taken as such.

But with the growing evidence supporting the benefits and potential of vaping, I started to wonder how much of the adversity e-cigarettes face was based on an emotional response versus a rational one.

Current Smokers
Much like the situations I’d found myself in above, you’ll find a few smokers who criticize e-cigs before trying them. They may say anything from “those blow up, don’t you know?” to “you don’t know what’s in those”, both of which make your head hurt when you consider what we know about e-cigarettes and what we know (or still don’t know) about cigarettes. These criticisms have always made me wonder if it’s actual uncertainty about e-cigarettes, or an immediate dismissal because of a resentment over the artificiality of e-cigarettes.

Or perhaps it’s just because these smokers have already failed with so many products that claimed to be a fool-proof way to quit, that they simply don’t believe the hype anymore. Regardless of their disposition, it’s our duty as vapers to try and educate smokers and these criticisms can afford a nice opportunity to present the truth.

At top of mind are some people who have quit smoking ‘cold turkey’, without any aids at all. Much like your elder telling you a story of “When I Was Your Age”, some ex-smokers may tell you the story of how they quit with a tinge of superiority in the tone. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have nothing but respect and admiration for going ‘cold turkey’ and being successful at it. My own father did it, so naturally in this instance I got a double-dose of “When I Was Your Age”.

Sometimes these statements come with a further criticism of e-cigarettes. To these ex-smokers, the idea of not quitting nicotine might seem outrageous or the fact that you’re using something that looks like a cigarette to quit smoking might seem absurd. But part of me wonders whether this attitude comes from a resentment that they had to give up something they loved and with vaping, you don’t. And again, I truly feel that anyone who has quit smoking should be proud of themselves, except for when it comes to criticizing someone else for doing it a different way.

The Public Health Community
This is the group that may be the hardest to name, but it must be said. These are doctors, regulatory officials and scientists who are far more educated than I and have spent their careers working in fields built around logic and deduction. To say they are motivated as a group by resentment is at best a bad generalization. When it comes to adversity towards e-cigs, uncertainty, conflicts of interest and simple lack of education on e-cigs could all be to blame. But is it possible that this adversity from members of the public health community and regulatory bodies could come from a resentment of e-cigarettes themselves?

I think so. If I had spent my career in public health fighting smoking through the ‘accepted’ methods, I might find the suggestion that e-cigarettes are more effective than any current method offensive and in a way that I would have trouble putting into words. I would ask myself if it were really possible that this could be the answer, this simple battery powered device invented by a Chinese pharmacist. It might even make me feel as though everything I had worked for was somehow undermined by this new, foreign product that wasn’t promoted by myself or my colleagues.

It’s not like Hon Lik stumbled onto some secret concept in developing the first e-cigarette. Those in public health understand why cigarettes are addictive. Nicotine inhalers have existed for years (see video right) that, in a way, show the public health community has always known the importance of addressing the multiple facets of tobacco addiction. But this one, this electronic cigarette, does it better than anything that has ever been widely approved of by the public health community.

To be sure, there are plenty of factors to consider as to why some in public health and regulation time and again choose to reject the evidence in support of vaping and instead drag out the same old, tired and debunked evidence against it. But part of me has to wonder whether some in the public health community may have first read that 2009 FDA study with a bit of schadenfreude in their hearts.


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  1. Ms Puffinstuff says

    Taking your last point first, some of the public health community has a vested interest in not finding such an easy solution to the problem they’ve spent their careers on. I don’t mean this in a totally cynical way. I think there’s a fair amount of honest disbelief, but there’s no doubt that a big change could dry up a lot of grants. Sometimes it’s not so much greed as survival. You don’t have to be making a fortune to worry about where your next job is coming from in the beleagured non-profit world. I don’t mean they’re lying to us, necessarily, but they could be having a very hard time accepting the new reality, and a new reality is really what it is.

    Then there are smokers. I was just posting on the forum about the very few smokers at my job. One of them said she was interested in e-cigs just about the time that I got interested. I went ahead and got one and in a pretty short amount of time, I made the switch. She never did tried one, and to tell the truth she’s seemed annoyed at me ever since. I really have not belabored the point or even talked about it unless asked. If I am asked. The few smokers seldom ask. It’s the non-smokers who seem interested and also supportive. Funny, huh?

  2. crystalT64 says

    I guess i am lucky in the aspect that all of my analog smoking friends don’t mind at all that i now smoke an Ecig, and most express interest and try it. As far as Noel Gallagher’s opinion goes HMMP he is a cantankerous washed up has been that holds no real significant purpose but to be miserable and make others around him miserable

  3. John "Shub" Fellhoelter says

    Great article and I feel the resentment from my wife…. She quit cold turkey and has often said that she has quit, but I have not. She also continually claims we both decided to quit smoking at the same time… but we didn’t.. she just says so because she quit. And I have yet to feel that resentment from current smokers.. but that’s a load of malarchy.

  4. saboinia says

    hubby hates my e ciggy but EVERY NOW AND AGAIN I CATCH HIM HAPPILY VAPING ON THE MENTHOL I BOUGHT….esp for him me personally i like baja blast…and to the nay sayers there is a song by the egals off the hell freezes over cd called get over it….and they should listen to this song and do just that

  5. Morrinb says

    Most of the people in my life, excluding my father, are happy enough with my vaping and consider that I quit smoking. My father usually claims he quit cold turkey, but he didn’t, he switched to smokeless tobacco and eventually used lozenges. Of course he forgets all of that. My boyfriend actually started vaping when I moved in with him, in support of my effort to quit, even though he rarely actually smoked prior. He enjoys the flavors available in vaping. I consider myself lucky.

  6. hallucinoJEN aka Jennifer A. says

    You’re view that it is resentment towards us vapers and e-cigarettes is pretty right on. I remember reading (during my research on ecigs) that the company that originally made the Nicotrol Inhaler actually made the inhaler look and feel like a cigarette, even with vapor production. But, the ANTZ didn’t like the fact that it looked like smoking, so the company succumbed to their influence and made it look less like a cigarette. Now, it looks like a freakin tampon. And, what smoker wants to be seen sucking on a tampon?!?! LOL

    I know ex-smoker who quit cold turkey are resentful of us vapers. You can see that resentment when you read the comments of certain e-cig articles.

    As for smokers, even though e-cigs are very good at mimicking the look and feel of a real cigarette, the sensation is different. Nicotine is weak without the other alkaloids assisting it in providing that head buzz. Many smokers don’t know that snus is fairly safe to use in conjunction with ecigs, or they don’t know that they could get e-liquid that contains the WTAs that are missing in normal e-liquids.

    It really comes down to education. Educating people on the truth on nicotine (that nicotine is NOT carcinogenic). The ANTZ will fight us tooth and nail in order to keep this info away from the general public. They’ve worked so hard in de-normalizing smoking, so they fear e-cigs will normalize smoking again.

  7. Michelle says

    I could care less what other people think!!! I’m happy and Healthy!!

  8. slap_maxwell says

    People like Noel are morons, plain and simple. They barely deserve to be mentioned except to point out how ridiculous they are. How “smart” is it to think it’s better to smoke a fag than vape an e-cig , or to pass off phony “science” in the name of power-grabbing?

  9. Todd says

    I’m glad I haven’t experienced this but once. It was just some silly girl who just knew she was right and I was wrong and refused to hear a word of what was said. Other than that – everyone else I know has been proud of me, intrigued by them and some have now finally started to purchase them.

    If someone told me to go have a “proper one” – I’d probably have to ask them if them why they are still so behind the times. It’s amazing how many new or improved things are looked at poorly because someone is use to “their” way of things and refuses to even attempt the new and improved version. Comfort factor or fear of the unknown maybe? Who knows.

  10. Dale Van Droof says

    I have met quite a few ex smokers that quit cold turkey, my father included, and luckily they are all supportive of quitting, no matter what method is used. Thankfully I haven’t yet met a smoker that looks down their nose at vapers as someone trying to be cool by using an electronic cigarette. Most the smokers I talk to about vaping all have their own story of how they have tried to quit in the past and most show interest in giving vaping a shot in the future!

  11. RCO67 says

    My only experience has been with older folks who were able to quit cold turkey. I got the “you haven’t really quit” comments on two occasions.

    I chalked it up to jealousy. I truly am a bit envious of them. However, I did say that yes, I am a nicotine addict and I’m ok with that.

    While I’d prefer to have no addiction, there are many addictions with far greater health risks than nicotine.

    Most people are either very supportive and/or curious.

  12. slap_maxwell says

    “You haven’t really quit” is the most stupid thing I’ve heard people say. I am NOT burning leaves and huffing the smoke. Therefor, I have quit smoking. I’ve heard that a hundred times, and each one I’ve wanted to smack somebody. 🙂

  13. Sonya818 says

    Thanks for the blog. It echos many of my thoughts on this subject.

  14. Tyler says

    great post

  15. slap_maxwell says

    Damn! Noel’s grizzled rictus is still on the front page. Gives me the willies every time I see it. 🙂

  16. bybees3 says

    I must plead ignorance for I don’t know who Noel Gallagher is, nor do I care. If I were the drummer, I would have been minus one in the stick department and he would have walked much like the scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz.

  17. Boden says

    Dont’ get me started. I get the same thing from tea drinkers… Just because I like chamomile green tea I get flack. “If your going to drink tea drink real tea or don’t do it” or ” oh look, he’s got his “fancy” tea…”.

    Why does anyone care what I put in my body. It’s my body and the chamomile green tea I consume does not harm anyone else.

    Smokers on the other hand just seem curious about my PV. I don’t call it an ecig and never will. I think using the word ecig was a mistake from the beginning. Word association has powerful subconscious connotations.

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