Most of my regular readers are aware that from time to time I’ll just put some random thoughts into some kind of (relatively) coherent form. These thoughts are not generally specific to a particular piece of research or media article, they also contain expletives as it is written precisely how I’m thinking it.
Today the Office of National Statistics released a report from the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey on adult smoking habits in Great Britain for 2014.
I’m not going to go over that report as Clive has already done so here, but what has come out of this report is a seemingly high number of dual-users – i.e. those that choose to smoke AND vape.
According to the report, and the various press releases:
Some 59% of the current users said they also smoked cigarettes (1.3 million)
Now I don’t know about you, but that seems to be higher than I expected, but that isn’t really the point. I’m pretty sure I don’t need to say this, but I’m going to anyway:
I do not care if you smoke, vape, do both or neither. It is your choice
Yes, primarily this blog is all about vaping and more often it’s me picking apart (or trying to) studies that are generally mis-reported. Again, not really the point.
The other day, some family came over for a few minutes to pick up a trailer. One was smoking, and I was a little disappointed for like 0.02seconds and then I was like “why am I mad? It’s her choice, and I know she has a mod at home.” and then I was a little mad at myself for even thinking any of that to begin with.
All valid points from all angles. The pleasure principle, I know that all too well. I enjoyed smoking and had absolutely no intentions of giving up “the evil weed” (as some virulent anti-smokers put it). I tried vaping once to quit, and it was that mentality coupled with the device that attributed to “failing”. I then tried again a few years later and much to my surprise I enjoyed it as much as smoking. So much so that I eventually (after 3 days) made the switch, I still haven’t tested whether or not I can actually smoke now as many vapers find that smoking now makes them feel awful. I have had cigars, but it’s not quite the same really.
So I have, inadvertently, “quit smoking” and there are plenty more like me who have made the switch to vaping without any fuss. We’ve done exactly what the State wanted us to do, but there are still those who continue to smoke and vape. The dual users, those in transition, etc. Some of those may indeed decide to stick with dual-use, some may decide vaping isn’t for them and some may decide that they want to completely switch.
After all, smoking does carry an increased risk of “harms” so if you smoke 20 a day instead of 40 and vape too, then that’s surely a win right?
The question that is rattling around in my head is:
Does it fucking matter?
Frankly, to me no it doesn’t. After all, what works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for another. I’m going to digress a little and you’ll understand why.
While out on my lunch break this afternoon (far later than planned of course), I got chatting with a chap from out of town who smoked. Thanks to the media his first comment to me was “those things are bad for ya mate”. Cue the inward sigh, followed by a lengthy conversation about how the science is often mis-represented and how going over the science myself led me to believe that vaping is indeed a viable, safe-enough choice for me.
After that discussion, the chap was inclined to agree, then came the next bombshell. He’d been approached in the past by another vaper who was quite insistent that he switch to vaping, so much so that (and I quote) “he sounded as raving as the quit smoking propaganda I see fucking everywhere”. I was stunned, but he was genuinely appreciative that I had taken the time to explain everything to him. He even mentioned that he might give it a go, but that he enjoyed smoking and would probably only use his e-cig (if he got one) to “get around the ridiculous bans” – whether he switches completely or not is up to him, and I told him just that.
How hard was that on a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being Mission Impossible levels), about a 3 I reckon. He’d heard of vaping, was vaguely interested but worried about the supposed “harms”. Took me, maybe 30 minutes of one on one discussion to talk about the misconceptions but not once did I say he had to switch or even try. I gave him simple, easy to understand info and it’s down to him to make the choice. After all, he enjoys smoking. The pleasure principle at work, who am I to tell him that vaping is better or more enjoyable ?
Why should I feel entitled to give that kind of opinion?
“E-cigarettes shouldn’t be seen as a permanent alternative to smoking, and these figures confirm that they don’t work for everyone as a quitting aid.
“However, if you haven’t successfully quit using other methods, including your local smoking cessation services, then it may well be worth trying e-cigarettes, with an aim of eventually quitting them too.”
Apparently, others feel they are entitled to tell you what you should do. To those that insist e-cigs are an “aid for cessation” go, the fuck away. To those that say e-cigs are only for smokers, go the fuck away. To those that say e-cigs are a choice, welcome. You can stay.
As one David Dorn succinctly put:
ECIGS ARE NOT BLOODY MEDICINES. THEY ARE RECREATIONAL
Too bloody right. As a whole, the image of e-cigs is being portrayed as a cessation device only. This is bollocks and needs to change. I enjoyed smoking, I enjoy vaping. I made my choice. Let’s allow everyone else the same basic human right shall we?