Today I am going to take a few minutes to touch on a subject that has been gnawing at me for a couple of weeks – this is a theme that has been popping up on my Facebook news feed with greater frequency. As vapers, we should embrace smokers not ridicule them and push them away.
See if any of these scenario’s sounds familiar:
- A vaper see’s a smoker and walks over and sticks his mod in the smokers face saying “You need to quit that and use this”.
- A group of vapers tell a smoker to move away from them because they stink.
- A smoker walks into a vape shop and is immediately inundated by 6 “experienced vapers” telling him to sub-ohm.
Every smoker mentioned above will now remain just that, a smoker, but this also equates to people using eGo’s or Cig-A-Like’s. If we go at them with the wrong mindset, they will go back to the cigarettes.
Every Smoker Is a Potential Future Vaper
Our job, as an industry, whether you work in a vape shop or are just a vaper on the street, is to save half a million lives a year by eradicating the smoking of combustible tobacco from the face of the earth, but bullying tactics will not work. If you are any thing like myself, watching the quit-line commercials on television always made you light up another cigarette, because no one would tell you what to do. By attempting to push people into vaping, you are doing the same job as those commercials. Don’t feel bad, until someone pointed this out to me, I was doing the exact same thing. Every smoker is a potential future vaper, even if they don’t know it yet, and if we can help them in the right way, they will make the switch.
Vapers Are Douche Bags
Don’t get mad at me, they aren’t my words! Over the last few weeks, a number of well-known vapers have been pushing out this message, talking about the smoker shaming that has been going on, and I have to agree with what’s being said. From dual users to people using starter kits, the list of attacks are endless. What another person has in their mouth is, in all honesty, none of your concern… unless that person asks you specifically for your input.
Why The Industry Isn’t Helping
The majority of smokers are unaware that there are independent vape shops in their area, let alone the huge array of equipment we have to play with. Vapers like you and I are likely the first contact they have with our toys. If they’ve tried anything, it is the cig-a-like’s from the gas station or maybe a half-ass working eGo. If we can manage to get them in front of a trained professional, who is in a position to help, they almost immediately put them on the wrong track. They are looking for something that is like a cigarette, and they’re not interested in massive airflow and how many watts a device can put out. If I walked into the majority of shops today, I would probably walk away and go back to smoking. For me personally, it took an eGo Twist with a Kanger tank on the top to quit, with 24mg strawberry e-liquid. If I walked in today as a smoker, most juice lines don’t go above a 12mg, so I would be screwed. We need to get the e-liquid manufacturers back on track, helping them remember why they are in business in the first place. I think every company should offer a liquid with a good throat hit and high nicotine for the simple fact that while we are here, there are others out there who could benefit. That smoker is spending $5-10 on a pack of cigarettes, so a bottle of juice that costs $20 is going to seem expensive, especially since he was just told he would have to spend $100 on hardware.
How Can We Do It Right
The steps we can take to remedy the situation are simple.
- If someone is interested in vaping, they will start a conversation with you. We don’t need to accost every single person we see lighting up. If you see someone eyeballing your mod while smoking, I have found that the best way to approach them is simply by saying, when you are ready to quit smoking, call me, I have something that might work for you. I give them a business card and walk away. Honestly nine times out of ten you wont make it a dozen paces before they ask what you can do to help.
- Tell them your story without pushing vaping as the cure-all for everything.
- Vaping is a safer alternative to smoking, not a smoking cessation device. Telling someone to quit smoking scares them, but offering a safer alternative without all the harmful chemicals is perfectly acceptable.
- Talk to your local shop about making sure their staff are trained to help people make the switch, not just sell the highest priced device in the case and that they have the right stock to satisfy a 3 pack a day smoker.
- If you know someone is dual using, don’t judge them. We all go at our own pace and they will walk away from cigarettes when they are good and ready, not a second before.
- Everyone has their own preference as far as devices are concerned. Not everyone wants to own a massive box and Sub ohm tank, they may be happy with that little clearomizer. Let them vape how they want, if and when they decide they need something more, they will make the choice.
Every last one of us is an ambassador for this industry. We need to embrace those that are looking to come in from the cold when ever we can, but need to do it in the right way. The next time you see a smoker, take a step back and think before you rush in like a bull in a China shop.