By researcher Paul Bergen of tobaccoharmreduction.org
What anti-smokers never seem to quite understand is that smoking is a pleasure. It is not, as some have characterized it, a disease. And any solutions or alternatives to smoking that are based on the ludicrous idea that people don’t actually enjoy it are bound to have dismal success rates.
Since the goal is to wean smokers and not to accommodate them, pharmaceutical replacements such as Nicorette have been formulated to do little more than take the edge off. Oddly enough for a good sold for profit, if nicotine replacements were effective they would eventually destroy their own market. In fact, the only way for these products to remain lucrative is to make sure smoking cigarettes remains popular and as a backup keep the success rate low while still managing to get the authorities to recommend it as the only “approved” therapy (thus many unsatisfied and yet repeat customers).
On the other hand, vaping and using snus are positioned as competitive pleasures. They exist to provide the pleasure of getting nicotine with few of the risks. They have been much more successful than any of the pharmaceutical products in getting people to switch from smoking and in fact many of the switchers end up preferring their new pastimes methods over their old habit. The point is that these products confer pleasure.
You could draw a parallel with people who are trying to lose weight or start eating in a healthier manner. Vaping and snussing are similar to finding an eating plan which is so enjoyable that the bad foods are hardly missed. A good diet doesn’t feel like one; it does not sacrifice pleasure in the interests of health. Bad diets on the other hand are bound to fail because all people can think about is how much fun eating used to be.
Electronic cigarettes are brilliant because not only do they deliver the drug but they do so in such a way that none of the attendant pleasures (which for some people are even more important than the nicotine itself) are being sacrificed. Vapers get together just like smokers do and discuss variants in the same way cigar aficionados compare tobaccos. I have yet to hear of people getting together for Nicorette parties. (If I have somehow missed some pharma user groups out there, please let me know).
As much as we humans talk about wanting healthier alternatives, better health is not always a strong enough motivator for behavioral change. But couple better health with no loss of pleasure and you have a win-win situation.
And vapers also get that value-added pleasure in that not only are they enjoying low risk nicotine but they are doing so in precisely the manner that most annoys the nanny prohibitionists.