I think electronic cigarettes and vaping have been the West's answer to a prayer. I know China has lots of good ideas - but for me personally, the e-cig has been one of it's best!
We are still getting used to the idea of this amazing invention. Lots of people are suspicious of it - but I think it's unstoppable now. But maybe mainly in more wealthy countries among people who can afford it. I have just given a load of stuff to someone I know who is very strapped for cash, and who would like to try vaping. For someone like that, even disposables look expensive.
I was reading an article that appeared in Canada - (see below). I think it has some good points in it - and some of these points will apply to countries where electronic cigarettes are more expensive than smoking. And where communities do not have access to shops, or the internet. Vaping in a country where cigarettes are cheap seems a little crazy, especially because the cost is greater and to a new electronic cigarettes user, the experience is not always better.
Paul Bergan asks at the end of his blog "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?"
And I think the answer is yes. I think we are privileged.
The points Paul makes are below the link to his article....one of them that struck me is that you can't offer e-cigs around as you would a cigarette. Mind you, I never did, because I rolled my own, and they had been well and truly licked by me! Only the most hardy friend accepted one.
Vaping will grow for other reasons than being healthier but it will still remain out of the reach of some people1. 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?