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Explaining ecigs to others
2

Boomerwang · 18/06/2014 23:36

Ecigs are still a new phenomenon, despite the number of years they've been available. Unless you or someone you know closely uses one, you don't really understand what they are or how they work. I'm having trouble with my parents who believe that I should be off the ecig by now. I tried to tell them that I'm using the ecig as a replacement for smoking, but they don't understand how it can be possible to use something else for longer and more frequently than NRT. For instance, I can't explain why I puff on my ecig many times more often than I did on cigarettes. I've tried to say that 15 puffs on a cigarette in 5 mins is the same as 15 puffs on an ecig in half an hour, just that it's spaced out. They think I'm smoking more than before, that I'm actually increasing my addiction to nicotine by using an ecig.

How do I quickly and efficiently explain the difference to them and others who don't understand? Right now I confuse them with numbers and 'internet information' which most people pooh pooh.

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PlentyOfPubeGardens · 19/06/2014 20:31

It's a tough one Boomer because there is such a constant stream of misinformation. Are they on the internet? There are a couple of good resources you could point them to:

ASH briefing

Royal College of Physicians

Clive Bates (Ex director of ASH) has recently published a fairly thorough Q&A which I have sent to a couple of colleagues who have lots of opinions on ecigs.

The first two of those links are possibly short enough to print out for your folks if they are not online.

Looking at your specific question, I would try to explain that nicotine itself is not the problem and it has a very similar harm profile to caffeine:

“Nicotine itself is not a particularly hazardous drug,” says Professor John Britton, who leads the tobacco advisory group for the Royal College of Physicians.

“It’s something on a par with the effects you get from caffeine. BBC

So there's not really any more reason to give it up than coffee, unless you want to.

Then I would explain that nicotine is absorbed differently from an ecig to an actual fag, it's a much gentler uptake and it's normal for vapers to do little and often. There are some good studies on this, I posted a graph on another thread the other day showing the rate of nicotine uptake from a fag vs. an ecig. I can dig around for some links but I haven't seen anything in really concise language that's from a scientific source. Sounds like you have already tried to explain this though. You could ask them whether they would expect someone using a patch to just put it on for a few minutes every hour or so.

While it's probably worth going the extra mile to help your parents understand - assuming they are coming from a position of genuinely caring about you - sometimes it's better to just smile and nod. You know you've done a fantastic thing for your health and scientific and medical opinion is slowly catching up with that view.

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Boomerwang · 19/06/2014 20:57

I've seen the graph, the one where the effect from an ecig catches up with a cigarette after half an hour. I am grateful for the Q&A link you posted, I will send that out with a few emails I think, particularly to my father who doesn't get it at all.

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