Is Vaping A Lifestyle Choice or A Smoking Cessation Tool?
With the growth of vaping‘s popularity many sub-cultures developed. From the builders to the trickster, to the biggest cloud competitions. Vaping has evolved from a small market and into a behemoth of an industry. Back in 2012 I first encountered the use of vapor products over the internet, it was coming into its own out west. The east coast was slow to adapt but if you sought you’d find it, it might include an hour-long journey but you could find it. These days, vaping is everywhere. From the doorsteps of our neighborhood bars all the way to the executive office, vaping is impossible to escape. So is it now a lifestyle or still a smoking cessation tool?
In it’s early days vaping was an obscure personal thing that people looking to quit smoking considered. Those who had given up on the nicotine gum, the patches, the lozanges, or even hypnosis. It was shocking enough in 2012 to stand outside and exhale a cloud from something that looks like a pen. It worked, and that’s what started it’s growth of adoption. I can quit smoking, still enjoy nicotine, and it has a great flavor. The wave had begun and there was no stopping it.
Fast forward two years and vape shops are now appearing across the country everywhere from kiosks in malls to full frontal brick and mortar shops. This is where the confusion begins for most people and a transition begins into the lifestyle aspect of vaping. The initial big money cloud competitions make their way from friendly circles to the internet and vape shop events.
The reality is that vaping over the years has become big business and the smoking cessation angle means acquired customers become full time quitters eventually creating a cycle of acquiring customers. The lifestyle angle of vaping has brought it to its knees in the public eye and has brought down the hammer of the federal government via regulation. Where once you could spend an hour at a vape shop learning the rules to vaping safely and being walked through product categories to help connect you with the ideal product for you, now due to regulations a new vaper can’t get that extensive level of assistance…again leaving millions to fend for themselves.
The health benefits of converting smokers to vapers cannot be overstated and shouldn’t be understated but due to the climate of under age vaping which primarily can be attributed to brick and mortar shop owners who aren’t following tobacco laws the tide has changed. Enforcement of age and shutting down the brick and mortar shops not compliant with the law is vital here. In the end vaping has changed the life of millions globally and other countries have seen and embraced it. Perhaps redirecting our focus from lifestyle to the purpose of the ecig is overdue.