The story of my introduction to vaping is the sequel to my decade long entanglement with smoking. I was 16 when I had my first cigarette. Initially I was horrified when I found out my brother had started, It wasn’t long before I jumped on the bandwagon keen to gain favour with him (it was at a time when we were transitioning from squabbling siblings to adults with mutual respect, and I was keen to catalyse the process).
Nicotine addiction is not something which happens overnight, contrary to what at school they may not have told us but certainly didn’t mind us assuming. Addiction happens over many months, once entrenched it can be very difficult to break as those reading this may well know. To a never smoker the analogy I like to use is that it can be comparable in difficulty to an overweight person slimming down to their biologically ideal BMI, further aggravated by the fact that one slip up seems to take you back to point A, more so than dieting.
It was only after 11 years my desire to smoke spontaneously ended, after years of trying to quit I suddenly lost my desire. My co workers assured me that this was a good thing, I on the other hand had managed to convince myself that there must be some underlying medical reason. Nearly a year went by and I hadn’t grown ill from some peculiar disease so I figure it was just one of those things that cannot be explained.
As the title suggests and as you may have gathered I entered the world of vaping despite being cigarette free for over a year. Telling people this led to people suggesting I had exercised poor judgement and likely thinking of me as some kind of an idiot, however it was a deliberate decision I made for the following reasons;
I did enjoy smoking especially the social aspect, I had even met my last girlfriend by asking her for a lighter. In addition as an ADHD-pi sufferer I use every weapon in my arsenal to mitigate the symptoms, nicotine being a mild stimulant does help especially with a coffee in the morning. Many of you may be echoing the original sentiment towards my choice asking if i can justify becoming addicted to offer marginal improvement for a condition that you might not even believe is real or all that severe. I agree with that in isolation it would not be a wise choice but combined with my other reasons I still maintain my decision was justified.
I never believed that vaping was particularly harmful, people loved to pontificate about how vaping was not proven to be any safer than smoking. Of course this does not mean that vaping is as bad as smoking because absence of evidence is not evidence in itself. An example of this would be me stating that an F-15 fighter has not been proven to be capable of destroying a spitfire in combat. It will probably never be proven but you can use common sense to infer what the likely outcome would be in that example. The ingredients in vape fluid are nicotine, flavourings, vegetable glycerine and/or propelene glycol (stuff used in smoke machines). These ingredients do not leave a residue unlike smoking whereby most people have whitnessed a smoking simulator in their science class where the tar left behind in the tube is significant. Nicotine is the only active ingredient which affects out bodies and it is worth reading What examine has to say about nicotine.
Additionally it is fun, there are thousands of flavours to try from doughnut to marmite, and the tech aspects appeal to my nerdy side. They can be as involved as you like, you can buy a kit which is simple and has everything you need to get going or if you develop an enthusiasm for it you can end up building your own coils, mixing parts, and learning about volts, watts and ohm’s law of resistance along the way. You can get skins to wrap over your device to customise it. It has a community and people even compete in various ways such as producing huge clouds (cloud chasing) or different tricks.
When you go into a vape shop there is always a great atmosphere, a wonderful blend of aromas hanging in the air like an aromatic nebula, full of intrigue. The enthusiastic buzzing of conversation as those indulging their deep passion cross paths. The store becomes carnival of stimuli meshed in a facility which stimulates each and every one of your senses.
So for me, enjoying this new world was not a hard choice. It was not a compromise between the safety of not smoking and the harmfulness of smoking. It transcended the pleasure I received from smoking and forged a new hobby and brought about a new enjoyment into my life. Please note that despite my own views I do not encourage any non smokers to take this up unless you are religiously choosing nicotine free e-liquid. I made my decision on a cost to benefit/ risk to reward basis.
© Ed Briscombe. daedalusblog and the contents therein, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ed Briscombe and daedalusblog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.