We all know that vaping is massively healthier than smoking and that is the reason health authorities should embrace them but what might be just as important in achieving dominance over cigarettes is that they provide a better experience. All things being equal there are still a few usage impediments I will mention later here.
Unlike other leaps forward in public health (such as seatbelts, helmets or vaccinations) this is one that actually feels better. A good ecig provides not only a decent version of a “smoke” but has a cleaner feel, often with a better flavour (certainly a greater range of flavours), no clinging odor and no grunge mouth after. At least that has been my experience.
I have off and on been a social or intermittent smoker but it was often the case that I put out the smoke before I was half done because it just wasn’t tasting good to me and even with the ones I thoroughly enjoyed (often pipe tobacco cigars) as soon as they were done I had the horrid mouth and a smell on me that would sometimes get me earlier than otherwise to a shower. The point is 1. I still really enjoyed the smoking and 2. though I knew the harm reduction aspects were very important on a population level, my individual health was not really something I worried about.
Cut to the present and not only do I enjoy every vape but my mouth stays fresh – there is no lingering odor – and not only that, it is cheaper and healthier.
So, in a parallel to the free market effecting a change for the good in public health superior to or despite government intervention, you have experiential satisfaction possibly outweighing health concerns resulting in an overall healthier population. (I do think that many try it because of health concerns but stay because it is a better “smoke”.)
That’s the main point but I still see a few user impediments to this electronic device.
1. The non-disposable market is tough for anyone but really motivated people to get into. I have an espresso machine and grinder and it took me a while to get them just right. To me good coffee is the dominant luxury in my life and I will work at keeping it being more than mundane. In Canada, it is pretty easy to get kits but, except for non-nicotine versions, disposables are more difficult to come by. So, it is the device with a learning curve against the well known strike a match and yer done.
2. Unless they are disposables, people who make the least money and also are the most likely to smoke cannot afford the initial outlay to get into one of the kits. Once you have it it might be cheaper but if you are living near the edge its hard to pony up the $60 or so it takes to start.
3. Disposable or not, cigarettes remain a social glue in the ability to give one to someone.
4. Vaping undermines the idea of a cigarette break for those who still get or demand them. Cigarettes represent a set passage of time.
5. Most of all, cigarettes are still easier to get. You can walk into a store with $10. You do not need a shipping address and credit card or internet connection.
6. Though few take advantage of this, anybody can grow tobacco in their back yard.
These are just points that have come up in wondering about whether there is a bit of a class difference in vaping. Can it really penetrate all the way down? Or will the healthier (and more pleasant) option remain a privilege of higher earners?