Before the weekend I think there was some panic spreading on twitter regarding some change in the TPD that seemed to be a ban on flavouring in e-cigarettes. I didn't really have the time to look into it then, as I was on kind of a mini-vacation this weekend. So I went looking for some info today and it seems to me that it's not about banning flavours anyway but rather a ban on flavour labelling, which of course is totally unreasonable and according to Clive Bates also not really the intention. Reading this article, http://www.clivebates.com/?p=1847, it looks more like a mistake that has been fixed now, at least for e-cigarettes.
But this got me thinking a bit. What is it with vaping that keeps me from going back to smoking? Why is vaping so much more effective than chewing nicotine gum? Even though they both give me the nicotine I'm addicted to, vaping gives me a whole different experience and satisfaction. I've realized I wasn't only addicted to nicotine, I was addicted to smoking. By that I mean the whole experience of smoking, not only the nicotine but I was psychologically addicted to the ritual as well. And after failing to quit by nicotine gum, and then succeeding (easily) to quit by e-cigarettes, I've realized that the addiction to the ritual is just as difficult to get rid of as the addiction to nicotine, at least it is for me. And vaping gives you the opportunity to keep that ritual, and the nicotine, without destroying your body. But this really don't explain why I keep vaping and don't go back to smoking. I mean the smoking of course also gives me the nicotine and the ritual right?
There are several reasons for that: A huge improvement in my health, I don't smell like shit any more, my clothes don't smell like shit any more, I don't harm others with my habit, and I don't have to go outside in the cold to vape. But all these benefits I would have gotten from chewing gum as well, wouldn't I? So why did I go back to smoking then? One reason was the ritual, as I said above, but also the taste of a cigarette. It used to be fantastic. Used to be... now they taste like shit. The taste of Scopes Raspberry on a Hellfire Mega or some El-toro in the mini is gazillions of times better than the taste of a cigarette. And I can experiment and find new flavours and new equipment that gives me even more flavour and vapour (yeah I'm a geek). So the vaping actually gives me a whole lot in addition to the ritual and the nicotine. The nicotine gum (and other NRT) only takes something away. That is the main reason for their success in my opinion. It's important that regulators are aware of this as well, so they don't regulate e-cigarettes in such a way that they also end up only taking stuff away, cause then they will be just as useless as gum and patches.
Now some anti-e-cig people would probably say I just proved their point. E-cigarettes doesn't really help me quit, it just let's me continue my addictions. Well, they are right. But why is that such a bad thing? I'm also addicted to coffee in the morning (you want to tread lightly around be before I've had my coffee in the morning), not only the caffeine but also the ritual of having a cup of coffee in the morning while reading the morning newspaper. No one objects to that. I can also experiment with new coffee making equipment and new flavours. So the addiction to the ritual of coffee in the morning, for me and probably millions of others, is quite similar to the addiction to the smoking ritual. So what is it that makes the smoking ritual something we want to get rid of? Why don't we want to get rid of coffee in the morning? Of course this is because the smoking ritual is associated with smoking (obviously), which is bad for your health (and other peoples health as well). But the ritual in itself won't hurt anyone, neither yourself nor the people around you. So no, vaping doesn't help me to get rid of my addictions, it just gives me the opportunity to continue without killing myself, and others around me. That is why they are so successful. I think most human beings have some ritual they are addicted to, coffee in the morning, reading a book before going to sleep, chewing gum, different kinds of food that "belongs" to different situations. Most of them harmless, and therefore accepted by the public. Try to take one of your rituals away and you'll end up just as grumpy as a smoker without access to cigarettes. The ritual of smoking, and vaping, is not what harms people, and therefore not what you want to get rid of. What e-cigarettes actually do is not only letting you keep that ritual, but it even makes it better. Rather than just taking something away, it gives something more. And that is the "secret" to their success.
I love vaping, and I don't want to quit. And that is the reason I managed to quit smoking.