Cigarette usage has been on a decline for several decades. This is due to multiple factors including their rising cost, smart anti-smoking campaigns, removing them from our media, and lastly: vaping.
Believe it or not, fewer than 17.2% of people smoke here in the States as of 2014. That number is still far too high – 0% is better, wouldn’t you agree? – but it’s slowly getting there. I for one, have seen this firsthand being a middle child. My (much) older brother took up smoking at a very early age. My sister? She’s way younger and her generation considers cigarettes to be the epitome of disgusting.
I, however, fell in between where cigs were still everywhere but also on the cusp of this growing trend to shy from the nasty things. I ended up part of what I’d call the first “wave” of e-cig users.
Why Many Think Vaping is an Excellent In-between
Here’s why most people consider vaping as a suitable alternative to smoking.
Convenience— The ability to smoke in most places, especially after many smoking bans, have allowed us to take a few puffs – discreetly – without having to exit the building.
Flavors— The original flavors were limited but nowadays you have an incredible selection; some of the best e juice flavors are available online. My personal favorite is butterscotch.
Mods — There’s a hobbyist aspect of vaping where hardcore users will mix and match parts, tweak voltage, mix their own juices, and more; it creates an interesting community.
Choice — E-juice comes at variable flavors so if you were an old smoker, you could start with 12 and drop it to 6, 4, 2, and even 0, effectively helping you overcome the addiction.
Health — This is still a matter of debate, but studies seem to indicate that vaping is not as damaging to your health as smoking.
No commitment— you don’t need to go out of your way to light and smoke an entire cigarette.
I also fully agree with Maria Bashi’s post about how vaping is a good lifestyle choice instead of normal cigarettes. Especially the part about improving your presentation because it’s never a good thing going into a meeting and smelling funky from smoke (first impressions are everything!).
But what I found the best for this in-between is it’s effectively removed smoking from my general conscious. I don’t have to go “out of my way” to vape – almost like it was committing to the act. Now, it’s just there, there’s nothing tied to the experience.
The Other, Awesome Benefits of Vaping over Cigs
There’s still a bit of confusion about the difference between vaping and smoking cigs.
Vape =/= smoke. Vaping is vapor, much like breathing in some of the fog during an event, which doesn’t have the negative impact like you would when inhaling combusted tobacco and all the other toxins and chemicals.
It’s not a gateway. Some people think the flavor attracts younger smokers but that doesn’t seem to be the case; generally, younger individuals that don’t smoke won’t suddenly pick up vaping… it’s not their thing.
Costs – A solid setup and good mix of juices can stretch way further than a pack of smokes; you’re taking puffs at a time vs the full commitment of finishing a cig once its lit.
Take my use of the word “awesome” as you will. But, as someone that could have been hardcore hooked on cigarettes if born a decade earlier… I’m thankful there’s at least a far less damaging alternative.
Into Vaping or Making a Switch?
Let’s hear what you have to say about vaping – let’s get both sides of the story.
Leave your comment about why you think vaping is a better, healthier alternative. Or, why you’re willing to make the shift.
This is a guest contribution that represents the author’s own opinion. ZME Science does not support smoking in any form. A WHO review of the health effects of vaping can be read here.