Proselytising Vaping


By ‘say’ I mean ‘shout’, Brian was given to expressing every thought through the medium of barely concealed hatred of the world. Grammar school boys had clearly not been kind to him through the years. When not spitting contempt for our collective sins he was tasked with our class-based religious education. Line by line we worked our way through the bible, across five years, from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21. Well-meaning questions in the beginning became honed opportunities to raise a laugh and drive the Reverend into frenzy.

Brian didn’t teach; it was all or nothing proselytising. He expected his charges to be empty, willing and unquestioning vessels that he could pour instruction into. Failing that he expected them not to run or tell tales when he (frequently) beat and kicked anyone he felt was not taking the word of Brian seriously enough. Bruises would heal but the memories of the raucous laughter as he failed to understand irony live forever.

As vapers we are confronted by quandaries regarding proselytising on a number of fronts: whether or not to sing the praises of vaping to smokers, if we should advocate our position on sub-ohms & battery stuff and then there’s the whole political thing. If there’s one concept I took from the years of Brian’s bellows it’s that going head-on with a person about something invariably fails.

I’ve been struck by the number of disparaging comments about vapers I’ve seen or heard recently from smokers. A number of them don’t seem to like us. They don’t like us a lot. I always considered that I avoided all conversation on the topic of vaping unless it was bought up elsewhere. And then I caught myself offering a custard-loaded Squape to a smoker in a manner that shocked me. “Go on, vape it!†I extolled to the poor woman expectantly; withdrawing the gift the second the words dropped from my mouth and I realised the magnitude of arse that I was being. I lived to vape another day and no drinks were spilled but it has given me pause for thought.

Meanwhile, on a forum, the weekly debate over subohms has kicked off again and left me wondering why any of us care what others do? I’ve not once seen a person standing by the foot of a stage and hollering at Lemmy Kilmister, demanding Motörhead turn it down a bit. The volume they play at can damage hearing and might lead to stringent sound legislation thereby curtailing everyone’s fun…and yet no one seems to be bothered. But it seems to be impossible for some vapers to not lambast others because ‘it can reflect badly on all of us if something goes wrong’.

And then there are the campaigners; and a subset that holds fervour for their actions that borders on the fundamentalist. I’ve signed some petitions but nothing to the level to say I’m actively politicking, mainly because I have a fatalist view of what is occurring – but then this is my choice. What they, you and I all choose to do is just that, and isn’t the concept of ‘choice’ what harm reduction is all about?

I don’t fish or spend my time recreating meals from Come Dine With Me; I wonder if people who do those and other pastimes proselytise? “Go on, hold my rod! Try it! Go on, try it! Fishing is bloody brilliant!â€