Thursday, 20 March 2014

On vaping in Norwegian media today: "E-cigarettes create smoking boom"

This morning I was reading the online version of one of Norway's biggest newspapers, VG, and spotted some pictures of people blowing some pretty decent clouds of vapour. "E-cigarettes create smoking boom" was the headline accompanying the pictures and the ingress was something like this: "They smoke on the bus, in the cinema and inside nightclubs. The "Vapers" are heading full speed to become generally accepted. The new trend takes Norway by storm". The article was released in's premium service so I had to pay for a week of this service to be able to read it. It is also in today's paper version of VG. (The article can be found here, in Norwegian of course, and you'll have to pay for at least 1 week, which is 35 NOKs:

The article is kind of a life-style piece, describing everyday situations where e-cigarettes are seen more and more often. Pretty amusing reading actually. After describing a situation where someone vapes in the cinema the article sums up the situation (freely translated): "New winds is blowing into nicotine hungry lungs. In nursing homes old farts are using hyper-modern smoking equipment. In a crane, a polish worker is sucking on his plastic mouthpiece. Hip girls blow clouds of vapor in bars".

It moves on to explain what an e-cigarette is and gives us a list of vaping celebrities (Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, Paris Hilton, Ronnie Wood, Lindsay Lohan og Lady Gaga), before summing up the legal status here in Norway. And of course, our friend Karl Erik Lund is mentioned here as well, when the consequences of the new TPD is mentioned: "It looks like e-cigarettes containing nicotine will also be legal in Norway" says Lund, and explains: "There are few reasons to maintain the existing ban, now the debate will be about regulations, health warnings, declaration of contents, flavours, age restrictions and so on."

The article continues to give examples of how smoking is replaced by vaping. It mentions the Kik launch party, where Helen Flanagan arrived in a white Lamborghini, puffing on a blue e-cigarette, and that the main character in the Netflix series "House of Cards", Frank Underwood, replaces the old analogs with e-cigarettes. "A vice precident can't smoke cigarettes" it is pointed out. The word "smoking" is replaced with "vaping" and Big Tobacco is of course involved, states the article.

"Norsk Dampselskap" (Norwegian Union of vapers) is also mentioned and Jacob Hauge from the organization says that they exist mainly for people that wants to replace smoke with vapour. It's great to see that the journalist behind this article (Olav Brekke Mathisen) has done his research. He even mentions the modding sub-culture, describing how some users modifies their e-cigarettes, or making new "mods" with the intention to maximize the vaping experience, experimenting to create as much vapour as possible. American vaper Brian Ott is described as a human vapour machine, capable of filling a room with vapour in just a couple of puffs.  

"Statistically it is more dangerous taking the bus through the capitol, than to fill your lungs with electronically generated vapour. The big question in 2014 is maybe not what long term harms that lurks in the fog, but how socially acceptable it will be to vape", the author states towards the end of the article. And then he has gone out and asked around in a lot of public places if vaping is accepted there. The answers are quite interresting:
  • In a mall in Sandvika they are worried it will trigger the fire alarm, but they have it on the agenda to discuss it.
  • In Oslo Airport they were asked if they would stop an old lady from vaping in the terminal, to which they answer that they do not have any restrictions on vaping in the terminal. (That's good news, I've always stealth vaped in the toilets in there)
  • The head of the taxi-company in Tromsø says a lot of his colleagues have switched to vaping, but not in the car. He really doesn't see why a customer would do that. (This one really surprised me to be honest, as the car is one of the places I vape the most)
  • Peppe's Pizza (one of the larges pizza restaurant chains in Norway) does not allow vaping in their restaurants for the sake of their customers. (Clearly they don't know a lot about it)
  • You can't vape in a group workout session at SATS (a big fitness center chain). (Well, why would you need to do that :P)
  • Then what about inside bars and nightclubs? Kaman Leung, responsible for social media communication at Jæger in Oslo, says they do not allow vaping at this time, but that a lot of their DJ's are very exited about vaping cause it allows them to vape at work. (Uhm... how does this work actually? The DJ is allowed to vape but not the guests... sounds pretty strange, and a bit hard to justify to a guest that starts puffing on an e-cigarette)
  • And in the university reading rooms? HSE-advisor at NTNU (Norwegian University of Technology and Science), Arve Johansen, says he has actually never seen an e-cigarette. He seems unsure, but concludes that if there is smoke coming out of the device, the one using it would probably be asked to leave. (I'm not so sure about this... would be interesting to check)
  • Finally, on the bus home? Svein-Arne Vik from Nettbuss Express says they do not have any rules against it as of now. (I think this varies from bus company to bus company to be honest).
Very interesting answers indeed. And I suspect some of these will change during 2014, when vaping gets more known to people, and people understand more what it is. It's pretty obvious from these answers that some people are still totally unaware of it's existence.

I think this article is a good piece of work, putting vaping in a positive light, and it will be read by a lot of people, as VG sells more than 600k papers every day in addition to all the people reading this online via their premium service (which they claim is the fastest growing premium newspaper service in the country). And it's good to see a journalist actually do some real research on vaping, and talk to people about it, rather than just writing whatever the health authorities feed them. Good work.


  1. Amazingly good blog you're doing, sir. Keep up the good work!

  2. Thank you for translating and sharing this - so good to see an article that doesn't demonize vaping :)

  3. Great blog - so very encouraging to see that at least one country in the so-called developed world has retained a sense of proportion. More like this please Vaping Giraffe.

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  5. Do you know where u can buy e-liguid in Tromsø?

    1. E-liquid is not sold in Norway. is one off many sights you can order E-liquid/E-juice from.

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