It is 2016 and in the United States alone there are an estimated 10,000,000 people who use electronic nicotine delivery systems. Each of them will have their own story, their own journey, and their own reasons for using these devices. Over the next few minutes, we are going to talk about why every vaper’s story is important and why we believe that every vaper should make sure that their story is heard.
Why Is Your Story Important
For every person in the United States currently using vaping devices and electronic cigarettes, there are still 5 people still solely using traditional combustible tobacco. It is possible that in a lot of cases it is purely by choice, they have no wish to quit smoking or choose a less harmful alternative, but in many cases it is because they have been told how dangerous vaping is from sources that they trust.
Many of those people have no idea that Public Health England has deemed our products 95-99% less harmful than the products they were designed to replace, and while I can sit here all day writing about it, your stories are much more important.
Most people tend to trust their friends and families over a complete stranger — we tend to follow in the footsteps of our peers. We have all been convinced that our vaping products are much better for our health than cigarettes ever were. We are basically a group of people who took new products and used ourselves as guinea pigs in a real world experiment as we continually fought to be free from the grip of smoking.
Outside of our group, most people do not see any difference. For various reasons many people want to label what we do as the same thing we were doing before, and our collective job is to educate them. For every negative story they hear, amplified on the evening news for days at a time, we have millions of positive experiences, that for some reason, we keep to ourselves. It’s time to step out of the closet, collectively, and let the whole world know exactly why we chose these devices.
Who’s Story Truly Matters
Here is the beauty of our message, it isn’t just ours. For every person currently vaping, there are spouses, children, and family members who went through the journey with you. There are colleagues and co-workers who saw our battles to get away from cigarettes and they now see the effects that vaping has had on our health. We can start changing the public perception of our way of life by simply telling people why we do what we do.
Mrs. Jones at number 38 might hate the idea of people sucking water and popcorn into their lungs, because that’s what she was told to do by the CDC, but if she knew how that information wasn’t accurate and the reason you changed to a less hazardous way of life, it is possible her way of thinking may change.
If our children began telling people exactly how we changed from wheezing, coughing patients who wouldn’t stop smoking, to the kind of parents who can now run around a football field or playground for an hour, it may be enough to tip the scales of a politician who is constantly banging the drum and chanting ‘think about the children’.
Everybody’s story matters, no matter how similar you may think it sounds to the hundreds you have already read; the fact is your story is as important, if not more important than the one you just read.
How Do We Share Our Stories
Whether you chose to write your story down or make a video, there are many ways to share our journeys. Many of us have already submitted our tales to CASAA, uploaded video’s to YouTube, and shared our stories through vaping groups on Facebook — for some reason there are still some of us that don’t put our vaping stories out into the public arena. Share your vaping story on your Facebook timeline, it is accessed by those close to you, and encourage them to share it with you. We have collectively made it easy for people to believe the hype that is thrown at us almost daily by sitting quietly in the corner and allowing it to happen.
If you don’t feel comfortable putting your story into writing or on video, there are literally thousands of us out here who will take the time to help you get your words out in the way you want them. All you have to do is ask.
It is hard for a study to tell people how dangerous vaping is when five minutes before we read a story about an 85-year-old man who smoked for most of his adult life, is now celebrating his 5-year vape-a-versary without the COPD that got him started in the first place. It is easy to dismiss an issue if it doesn’t affect you personally, to tell others that vaping is as bad as smoking if you don’t know any differently; let’s all do our part to make sure that this issue begins to touch the lives of every American.