What’s that in my hand? Oh, it’s my e-cig… Yeah, I know, it doesn’t look like a cigarette… Yes, you can have a try, literally everyone that smokes asked me for a go. I didn’t mean to imply that you do smoke… Do you?

I was a smoker before this, for a long time actually, about 15 years on and off. Started when I was young, usual story, wanted to be cool, it didn’t make me cool… Vaping was something that I got into as a result of a serendipitous series of events. It was at a time when I was dealing with some issues in my life and was trying to make some changes. It didn’t magically turn everything better, but it provided me with an escape of some sort or a distraction, something to focus my energy and attention into.

Now, there are a lot of preconceived notions, myths, false facts about vaping that are thrown around by people who call themselves “experts”, even from parts of the media. I get that new exciting technology merging with the taboo reputation smoking has (something that’s bad that you still do) might appeal to younger (and hipper) individuals, but that’s not your regular vaper. We don’t go about our business blowing vape circles (or other vape tricks), fogging every room we go into or making that stupid “VN” signs like we’re all in a gang. (From my experience) Vapers are just regular people.

“Vape nation” seems to be just one of these trendy labels that cool kids like to use. I assume that it’s meant to suggest a “coming together”, a community, though the term is being mostly associated with teenagers/young adults that seem to want to feel a part of something.

I’ve heard/seen this phrase, “vaping culture”, quite a lot in articles and on forums but I don’t know what are the attributes that would make it a culture. There’s no identifiable elements or features that differentiate a person that vapes from a regular person, no particular link at a social or linguistic level, no shared values or beliefs, no common education or traditions that connects us.

Seeing the effects of long term smoking affect your health and of those around you can be hard to deal with, especially if there’s no one that can relate or talk to. When you’re young, you don’t always think of “how will this affect me in 20 or 30 years from now?”. Vaping is a healthier alternative to smoking, but at the moment there seems to be a polarizing opinion regarding it. It’s shown either as this new, shiny, healthy way of absorbing nicotine or, on the contrary, the worst cancer-inducing fad ever. It’s neither of those things (as with most things in life, the truth is never either white or black).

I’m not trying to convince anyone of anything. This is something I do, I like it, it has helped me with in many regards and that’s it.

If I haven’t bored you enough and you’d like to hear some more, how about we get some coffee?


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