The Future of Vaping: How it Will Affect Smokers and the Vapers
One thing that it’s easy to forget is that the most important thing in the e-cigarette regulations debate isn’t the effect on the tiny fraction of non-smokers – adult or youth – who might take up vaping, it’s how it affects those who the product was designed to help: smokers and the ex-smoking vapers who’ve already made the switch.
If the industry is decimated and companies with big bankrolls but little interest in innovation are left to hold court, how will the future of vaping look for smokers? How will things go for existing vapers?
The Future of Vaping: Table of Contents
Home: The Future of Vaping
Part 4: How it will affect smokers and vapers? (you are here)
Would You Have Switched With Only Cigalikes Available?
With the future of vaping looking set to be a very cigalike-dominated environment, we asked the advocates whether they personally would have been able to quit if ciglikes were the only options available:
It’s hard to say for me now, but my first e-cigarette was just unreliable. If it were the same form factor but better quality, it’s possible I would’ve stuck with it.
Nick (Grimm Green):
I did stay off cigarettes when only cigalikes were available. I started back in 2009 when that’s all we had. But we made it work. The problem is now we have all this wonderful technology and have the best vaping experiences that are possible. Back then we didn’t know there was anything better because there wasn’t anything better.
I stopped smoking in 1992. I began vaping in 2011 with zero-nicotine because I believed the product could save millions, but I needed to know what vaping was like. I loved it, and I continue to vape now, with 3 mg nicotine: it’s a nice pick-me-up. So yeah, it wouldn’t be an issue with me, it would just piss me off. I would stop vaping if the only choice was a cigalike.
No. I was a dual-user for a year, using cigalikes and smoking. They were a convenience product for me, and it wasn’t until I moved up to 2nd generation devices like the eGo batteries and CE4 tanks that I somehow, without effort, ended up ‘accidentally’ quitting. Cigalikes gave me the feeling that the technology had potential but it required me to make that extra step towards products that did not have the form factor that I was interested in at the time.
Will Smokers Still Be Able to Quit?
This is potentially the most important aspect of the whole issue. No matter what your view on vaping, one thing that cannot be denied is the fact that many smokers have successfully made the switch, and part of the reason for that is likely the fantastic array of different devices and liquids available. However, regulations look set to change all of that, so will smokers trying to make the switch in future enjoy the same success?
Given that inappropriate and unfitting regulation would destroy most of the industry, it stands to reason that accessibility will be low and as a result current smokers will have a much harder time finding and using (or affording!) vapor products.
Lynda Abshear (“Lynda73” of r/electronic_cigarette)
The expense of pre-filled cigalikes, along with the ineffectiveness of these devices, will discourage current smokers from making the switch.
That depends on the regulations. It could be better, or it could get worse. I know several smokers that truly believe that vaping is more harmful. Smokers wanting to ‘make the switch’ will find a way to do it, if they care enough.
It’s going to be a lot harder for smokers to make the switch. Limitations on product choice are probably going to be the main driving factor behind that.”
People will still switch, and that will be a good thing. However, without a broader range of products to appeal to many different kinds of people, chances are good the uptake rate will drop as compared to today.
Will Regulation Create a Black/Grey Market?
Those of us who’ve already switched to vaping will have a different set of issues if overly stringent regulations come into force. Speaking for myself, I honestly wouldn’t go back to smoking no matter what happened – I’ve vaped for long enough now that smoking has totally lost its appeal – but what would be more likely is that some underground trade in e-liquid and devices will develop. So, do the vapers and advocates think this will happen, and if it did, would they use it?
Yes and yes.
Absolutely, and yes I would, if I had to. Black markets are not always a bad thing. If the government winds up being heavy-handed about vaping then I would encourage a black market.
Excessive regulations will most certainly lead to a less safe market. People are already discussing ways to circumvent the proposed regulations in order to prevent a relapse into smoking.
Yes, I would use it.
Inappropriate and over-reaching regulation will most definitely lead to black or grey markets. And yes, I would use it. […] [But] the idea of stocking up and saying ‘I’m going to be fine’ is one that I find a little offensive, because it’s not about us as vapers, it’s just as much about all the smokers still out there who need to be able to live improved lives and see their kids and grandkids grow up without dying prematurely due to smoking.
Conclusion: “It’s going to be a lot harder for smokers to make the switch.”
While the advocates disagree on many points overall, their views on this specific issue are consistent, and perfectly summed up by Meg’s comment: smokers trying to make the switch will not have as easy a time as us already-converted vapers did. With innovation crushed under the weight of bureaucracy and the tobacco companies left to pick apart the carcass of the vaping industry, the only people we can be pretty confident will be worse off are the ones we’re supposed to be helping: the smokers.