Are Pro-Vaping Messages Making It Harder to Quit?
Are Pro-Vaping Messages Making It Harder to Quit?
Amongst the out-pouring of propaganda in favour of e-cigarettes and vaping I wonder if any of the main players involved in its promotion, Public Health England (PHE), Action on Smoking & Health (ASH), and the tobacco & pharmaceutical industries, as well as independent vape shops, have stopped to consider the impact it might be having on e-cigarette addicts and smokers who want to quit?
We’re having more and more vapers attending our seminars in order to quit. Some of them smoke and vape, and some of them are non-smoking vapers, but they all have one thing in common; they want to be free of the addiction.
On an almost daily basis these “want-to-be-free” addicts have been bombarded with mainstream news fan-faring, what they describe as, the “health benefits of vaping”. Almost without exception the media “love-in” with vaping excludes the all-important caveat and context, specifically “the health benefits of vaping instead of smoking”.
Think I’m being picky? PHE and ASH claim that smokers are being confused by mixed messages and are mistakenly being led to believe that vaping is just as harmful as smoking. On one hand only a lunatic, a fool, or a nicotine-pusher would claim that vaping is harmless or unlikely to have some serious negative health implications. But smokers are not idiots – they have a good handle on the pros and cons of smoking and vaping and I have no doubt whatsoever that a vast majority of them understand that vaping is less harmful than smoking.
So why do repeated surveys indicate that smokers think the opposite? As a former chain-smoker myself, I remember only too well the excuses I used to make after each failed attempt to quit. Most of my quit attempts lasted only a few hours. It was a source of constant shame and embarrassment that eventually led me to make quit attempts in secret. Quite a challenge for someone virtually unseen without a cigarette in his mouth or fingers for nearly two decades.
Up until then I’d come up with any fake or phoney excuse for my frequent failed attempts to quit. I’d invent an appallingly bad day at work (when there had been no such thing), I’d deliberately manufacture and finesse an argument with my partner, so I could blame my cataclysmic return to smoking only a few hours into the attempt on her (non-existent) selfishness and her (non-existent) lack of consideration for my sensitivities at such a difficult time. The only limit to how deceitful, simulated, and fake my excuses for failure became was the depth of my imagination, and that was a well that never ran dry. I feel ashamed of it even today.
The point I’m making is simple, if I’d tried vaping and reverted to smoking, or was too terrified of being without cigarettes to even consider vaping, then my excuse for failing or not even engaging with vaping would be simple, “Why bother switching when it’s just as harmful as smoking?”
When asked in confidence, or even with full anonymity, about how many cigarettes they smoke per day, most smokers will dismiss the true number from their thoughts and declare a figure considerably lower. When I attended Allen Carr’s centre in Raynes Park, London, 20 years ago, I completed a short, confidential questionnaire. I found the very card recently in my files. On this record card, written by my own hand, on the fateful day that Allen Carr’s amazing method finally set me free from smoking, how many cigarettes did I declare that I smoked each day? Forty! I wasn’t a kid – I was in my early 30s, yet there I was, a full grown adult, not able to bring myself to tell the truth, thus deciding to fib. Why on earth had I found it impossible to admit that I was smoking 60-80 cigarettes a day? It was a mixture of fear, shame, and denial.
Without any disrespect whatsoever to Public Health England and ASH, they know very little about the psychology of addiction, therefore they believe the responses that smokers provide in surveys of their attitudes towards vaping. As a result, we’re all set to be bombarded with even more pro-vaping propaganda over the coming years.
That will happen without sparing a single thought for those trying to quit vaping, former smokers who battle against being lured back into nicotine addiction, and smokers who simply want to get free from nicotine addiction rather than prolonging it for the rest of their lives.
Cancer Research UK, an amazing charity that does amazing work, (bizarrely) spends donations received on advertising and promoting e-cigarettes. Perhaps it’s time for the people behind the thinking that inspires these, albeit well-intentioned campaigns, to consult someone who understands addiction.
The fabulous news for smokers and vapers alike is that Allen Carr’s Easyway Centres offer their money back guarantee regardless of whether you smoke, smoke & vape, or just vape. Complete the programme and if you’re not free from your addiction – your fee will be refunded in full.
Unlike smoking and vaping, Allen Carr’s Easyway is not only side-effect free, but entirely risk-free also.
From the desk of John Dicey, Worldwide CEO & Senior Therapist, Allen Carr’s Easyway
#QuitSmoking #StopSmoking #BeAddictionFree #AllenCarr #QuitVaping #StopVaping #SmokeFree