Vaping is fairly new territory in Western culture. There are many reasons why it has become so popular despite being staunchly opposed by reigning authorities. It can be very scary to navigate this lifestyle; this is why an informed decision must be made, and willpower exercised. It is a leap of faith to start hiking the vaping trail. The path is not always easy – there will be peaks and valleys to traverse.
Your family, friends, neighbours, colleagues, butcher, personal trainer, and bodyguards will ask you all sorts of questions and try to feed you the misinformation they’ve heard from ‘a friend-of-a-friend.’ Some will ultimately be supportive while others will simply tolerate it. I’ve yet to hear of anyone ending a relationship because of vaping – most people can recognize that at least it’s better than smoking. Mostly they will be curious about how your vaporizer works and how it’s different from smoking. Be prepared with all the information you’ve researched – you’ll have to regurgitate it many times, to many different people.
Your Personal Bubble
Most vapers notice some physical changes when they quit cigarettes. It can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks for your body to stop craving cigarettes. You may cough up black phlegm and have some insomnia until the extra chemicals are cleansed from your system. After that it gets much easier and you will definitely notice a change in your health: cleaner lungs, better circulation, more energy, sensitivity to smells/tastes, etc.
Some people do experience negative side effects. A brief search online will yield reports of mouth sores and headaches. Women may also experience changes in menstruation, mood, or migraines. Vaping can cause dehydration and dry skin, and the wrong dose of nicotine can make you irritable or jittery. Most people who have side effects can reduce or eliminate them by using different VG/PG ratios, more/less nicotine, or just wait them out. Many side effects will dwindle with time.
As a side note, there is no clear evidence whether these side effects are a result of quitting cigarettes OR using a vaporizer. It could be either, it could be both. Don’t blame the vape if you’re not 100% absolutely certain that’s the cause.
Happily, a vast majority of vapers are happy they made the switch. Aside from the physical changes, you will spend less money on vaping than smoking. You will no longer smell like smoke and you can safely use the vape indoors without a lingering stench. Your insurance premiums will go down over time and you will feel more in control of your addiction to nicotine.
Be prepared for long, lingering stares from strangers. Although vaping has gained significant popularity, especially for (ex) smokers, the vast majority of people have not encountered a vaporizer and may never have heard of vaping. Every time I vape in public I find people looking at me though I get the sense most of them are just curious. Most of them will look without saying anything.
At the same time, be aware that some people are bold enough to approach you with questions. You may even be stopped by police officers. The best way to handle this extra attention is to be humble, polite, and informed about the benefits of vaping. Don’t let anyone feed you misinformation or make you feel bad for your choice – it’s YOUR body, not theirs. And remember, the more people vape in public, the more normal it will become.
As a vaper, you have an automatic unofficial membership into a new community of like-minded people. Vaping knows no gender, race, sexual preference, religion, or creed. You will meet a whole range of different personalities and backgrounds, and potentially make new friends along the way.
The most welcoming of this group are those who have something to gain from new members – primarily shop owners, juice makers/distributors, and hardware manufacturers. Although they earn a living from the vape industry, I have found that people in this category are often the most passionate, the best informed, and the biggest advocates of vaping. Most vape shops around the city have become social lounges in addition to selling products – they are excellent places to meet new people and learn new things.
For those who are shy, there are literally hundreds of online forums to join where you can make new e-friends, get your questions answered, and review the products you use. I like the Vaping Newbies group on Facebook as well as E-cigarette Forum.
Unfortunately with every social group there are misfits. In this case I call them “vape douches.” Essentially they are people who think they are the elite members of the community and act condescendingly to newbies or those who use inexpensive gear. I’ve found they are a small minority of vapers, so be aware that when you encounter one of them that they do not represent the community as a whole. Smile, nod, and walk away.
What are some of the changes you noticed when you switched to vaping? Is there anything I missed? Feel free to leave a comment with your point of view!