An interesting blog post dropped into my inbox this week that got me thinking. This particular post came in response to a mini Twitter thread (which I have seen, and somewhat agree with). I’m not going to link to either as I’d prefer this post to stand alone rather than be seen as a response to either, although it half is a response.
As noted in the blog post, the upshot of the mini-thread was thus:
“hey, you paid grandee types, please stop telling us, ordinary people who made a choice in our lives to quit smoking via vaping, that we have some obligation to get out there and spread the word, tell our stories, and push back against those other paid grandees who are attacking vaping.”
As the author of said blog post noted, it is a notion worth exploring.
Just recently, the “gateway theory” has been doing the rounds yet again. I stumbled across this paper that claims the gateway theory is in fact, real and undeniable.
As usual, the researchers are making wild claims about cause and effect, but there’s one key problem with this paper, in that it is the outcome of focus groups:
It is a form of qualitative research consisting of interviews in which a group of people are asked about their perceptions, opinions, beliefs, and attitudes towards a product, service, concept, advertisement, idea, or packaging.
To be fair, I’m not your average anything. I have multiple – often conflicting – views on a wide range of subjects, most of which will never end up on this blog. When I switched to vaping almost two years ago (June 11th 2014 in case anyone is interested), I had absolutely zero interest in all the nuances of vaping. At all.
I joined some Farcefook groups, engaged with like-minded folks – gamers, geeks, IT people, doctors, electricians, plumbers, carpenters, bloggers, and folk that do weird things on Twitter – people from all walks of life. Different ages – mostly older than me at the time, though there were a few that were younger. The community was, and still is as wide and as varied as the devices folk choose to use.
Not to put too fine a point on it this week has been, quite frankly the shittiest week I have experienced as a vaper. We saw the resolution of the Totally Wicked challenge – overturned, as expected by many. We also saw the FDA release its final ruling on ‘tobacco products’.
To say that those that clamoured for both outcomes were crowing their victories from the highest towers would be a monumental understatement. Of epic proportions.
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.
This is another one of those “something on my mind” type posts where I’m going to try to clarify some thinking, and maybe organise the thoughts rumbling through my addled brain. It may also bring together some threads from previous posts that I’ve mentioned but not expanded upon. Continue reading “Thoughts, ramblings and shtuff Part 3”
When UK Vapefest 2015 was announced around October last year, and having missed out on Vapefest 2014 part of me really wanted to go. I’d never been, so I was the epitome of a Vapefest virgin, so I scrambled to book some time off work on the Friday and Monday so I could leisurely stroll on over to Shrewsbury, settle into a hotel or a tent and be able to be up and about at a reasonable hour for both days, then take a leisurely stroll home on the Monday. Continue reading “UK VapeFest: doubts, concerns & indecision”
It isn’t often that I post about things that are completely unrelated to vaping, but sometimes things happen that social media just doesn’t give enough space for me to comment with the entirety of my thoughts, hence the blog.
Today, 1st August 2015 is #WorldLungCancerDay and the subject of lung cancer, and cancer in general is one I hold near and dear to my heart simply because I lost both of my parents to forms of cancer. I donate on a regular basis to charities that are active in bringing the varying forms of cancer to the attention of the masses. The work these charities and organisations do is incredibly valuable in raising awareness and much-needed funding for the ongoing research into the varying forms of cancer, both for treatment and detection for the sufferer and for the families.
As we know, smoking is one of the leading causes of lung, throat and mouth cancers. One of the leading causes, not the cause. There are of course many factors that can lead to the development of the various cancers so it comes as absolutely no surprise that some organisations took the opportunity to push their own agenda.
Of course, I thoroughly despise any organisation or individual that makes use of a particular social media campaign to push their own agenda so imagine my delight when Faces of Lung Cancer replied to the CDC.
In no uncertain terms, Faces of Lung Cancer didn’t want any association with smoking, which is absolutely correct. I even responded to the Blackwell tweet thanking Faces of Lung Cancer for insisting it.
I even tweeted out my own memories.
Today is #WorldLungCancerDay I'm remembering how my mum fought until the very end. She was a big part of my life & I'll *never forget* her
It isn’t something I do often, nor do I undertake it lightly as it is deeply personal, but I wanted to express my support to raise awareness, help end the stigma associated with lung cancer, and maybe even help raise some funding for a much needed cause. It wasn’t to be.
For reasons, at the time that were unknown to me I ended up being blocked by the Faces of Lung Cancer twitter account. Needless to say I was thoroughly shocked by this, and truly upset. After all I had shown nothing but support, shared my personal story. It upset me to the point that I tweeted:
Oddly enough, the exchange between Lorien and Faces of Lung Cancer earned Lorien a block too, for asking why I’d been blocked.
Stay classy Faces of Lung Cancer, you’ve just lost the support of someone directly affected by the effects of losing someone through lung cancer.
Update: I woke up this morning (4th August 2015) to find that I had some replies from Faces Of Lung Cancer
Oddly enough, only one of them seems to exist, but thanks to Tweetdeck I’ve been able to catch both responses. To be honest, I know how easy it is to overreact to a particular situation, especially if it affects me personally. As I mention in the comments below this post, this blog was written in direct response to being blocked so you could say that I overreacted to the block. Maybe I did, fact is, my support of causes such as this won’t waver.
Thank you, Faces of Lung Cancer for the apology, we are after all on the same side, just approaching it from different angles.
Habit, dependence, addiction, compulsion, craving, fixation, ritual. Each one of these words has a similar underlying meaning and are often used to describe the continuing act of smoking or vaping, and by extension an “addiction”. But what does it mean exactly? Continue reading “The addictiveness of habit”
There is a heck of a lot of things rattling around in my head regarding the ongoing saga in the media about vapour products/e-cigarettes, whatever you wish to call them. Having recently reached a pretty handy milestone in being off combustible tobacco for a year, I’ve had a look back over the general thread of my vaping life and my participation in activism and advocacy, and I’m trying to understand a few things. Maybe this post will give my brain the help it needs. The question is, where to begin? Continue reading “Past, present or future?”