My journey into vaping

Day 162: Vaping is NOT Nicotine Replacement Therapy.


Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, or a medical expert, I am giving my opinion and backing it up with the research I’ve found. Please draw your own conclusions and do your own research. My opinions should never be taken as medical advice. I am not a scientist, or researcher and I might be wrong.

This really does feel like saying the same thing in a different way hoping that the right people might just listen this time. Before I started vaping I was already an activist. My first campaign was about breastfeeding, and the right to do so in public. From there I went to religion in schools, and why it shouldn’t be there. All the while I was battling the “experts” views on the utterly misunderstood chronic illness currently labelled M.E/CFIDS. All of my non-M.E fights can be matched with the ages of my children; I was looking at it all from the point of view of someone facing the issues that others simply had theories about. In all these fights I came up against experts telling me, “You’re wrong. You don’t understand the big picture. Your experiences are anecdotes, we have statistics and evidence to back us up.” And the killer anti M.E “it’s all in your head” from the Simon Mckee-Glantz of the M.E world, Simon Wessely. For him I wish only the karma he deserves. This is also why I don’t follow Dr Christian – vaping ally that he is. He doesn’t always do the relevant research.

From this background I came in to vaping, and immediately found myself up against the same old rubbish, with a pervading odour of ordure.


Why is this that over so many of the fights I’ve undertaken in my life, I get so much of the same old rubbish. Those who are a part of the experience have their individual experiences separately ignored and ridiculed. Each individual experience is irrelevant to the experts who are able to cast their eyes over statistics, have an AHA! moment, decide that “this is what’s happening” and apply their logic to sorting out the problem. a problem which they have never experienced and don’t fully understand. I know I’ve used this quote before, but it is so relevant to this fight:

“In their haste to be wiser and nobler than others, the anointed [the experts] have misconceived two basic issues. They seem to assume (1) that they have more knowledge than the average member of the benighted [smokers and vapers] and (2) that this is the relevant comparison. The real comparison, however, is not between the knowledge possessed by the average member of the educated elite versus the average [smoking or vaping] member of the general public, but rather the total direct knowledge brought to bear though social processes (the competition of the marketplace, social sorting, etc.), involving millions of [smoking or vaping] people, versus the secondhand knowledge of generalities possessed by a smaller elite group.” Thomas Sowell in “Visions of the Anointed.” — P. 114 [denotes my explanations]

The experts are still looking at tobacco smoking as if nicotine is the only cause of addiction to tobacco products. They then use nicotine, without tobacco smoke, to “cure the disease” of addiction. And it doesn’t work very well. It’s not allowing for the fact that nicotine isn’t a substance that gives a “reward” in the body or brain. So a top-up dose that tails off won’t cure the craving for tobacco smoke in most smokers over the long term. Nicotine is a substance that we take in to satiation point, and as such requires the other substances in tobacco smoke in order to be as addictive as it is in tobacco. Yet, instead of trying to work out why it doesn’t work, they keep doing the same thing while expecting different results. They then wonder why the people who they are trying to help are questioning both methodology and motive.

Vaping isn’t trying to “cure the disease” of addiction by replacing nicotine. It cures the addiction to the tobacco smoke by sending vapers cold turkey from it but with a strong psychological suggestion that what we’re now using is similar. It allows the ad-lib intake of nicotine to satiation by a method which allows for self-titration of the nicotine dose in the same way as the tobacco smoke did. Thus it becomes a direct replacement for tobacco smoking.

If you take vaping and turn it into NRT, it will fail in the same way as NRT does now. Vaping is not NRT.


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Author: Beki

A Mad middle aged woman who lives in the middle of nowhere, Scotland with a parrot, two Jack Russells, some koi, and a tank full of tropical fish. I have M.E. but that's really not important. I draw, paint, write, game, garden, blog and enjoy a good vape. I have three lovely grown up offspring, and 2 ex-husbands. I do genuinely have the legal title of 'Lady Rebecca Jane [SURNAME]', and am proud to support the restoration project which bestowed that title on me. I will happily explain where to find more information on this if you contact me.

8 thoughts on “Day 162: Vaping is NOT Nicotine Replacement Therapy.

  1. Very good points.

    I think there is another important difference most “experts” are totally missing or ignoring: The pleasure.

    Let me start with my own anecdote.
    When I first heard about some new gadgets called “electronic cigarettes” in was always in the context of smoking cessation. So I filed the information under “just another propably bad tasteing, surely useless NRT”. Dismissed. Years later (actually about 2.5 years ago) some ANTZ kept popping up on the media everywhere sprouting some alarmist BS about them. Now I got curious. Why would they rally against a useless NRT? What could prompt such obviously absurd concerns?

    I began to look for real information and found growing numbers of enthusiasts. Well, I’m a sceptic. It almost sounded too good to be true. So I tried it myself. Tentatively at first. But soon I was convinced and switched completely. What prompted me was a single factor: Vaping with its wide range of flavours simply can taste so much better than smoking!

    I never seriously intended to quit. Years ago I had to resort to patches when I had an operation on my nose and sinusses. At first I thought, I might give it a try. But it was not very satisfying and itching rashes only increased the dissatisfaction. That experience created an aversion. Not against nicotine but against NRTs. Later my curiosity had me drag on a nicotine inhaler. One drab drag was enough. I’d rather drink tea from a used ashtray. That propably tastes better. A friend told me that the gums taste even worse. And I’ve seen videos of people vomiting their guts out after trying the fancy new nictine spray. No need to try that myself.

    And here you have it: The big difference is the pleasure. Vastly superior taste in ecigs, sharply reduced pleasure in NRT’s!

    I can understand the rationalisation behind it: If NRT’s tasted better than smoking, then people might switch but never get of NRT’s and stay addicted to nicotine. Medicines are supposed and designed to discourage their use and thereby prevent addiction. Use them only when you really need them and this need overcomes the aversion.

    Well, I guess, that’s the theory. But with NRT’s I can see two major flaws:
    1. They completely miss the possibility of Harm Reduction. The only desireable result for them is total abstinence of nicotine. Anything less they consider a failure.
    2. Making the sinner suffer while repenting his sins might be satisfyng for the self-righteous preacher, but their victims be conditioned to hate the process and thereby inclined to avoid a repetition. But the yearning for the remembered pleasure remains.

    Offering something more enjoyable that is also less harmful may not lead to total abstinence, but still vastly improve the health. Or at least have less cumulative harmful impact. Replacing and surpassing some of the chemical pleasures provided by smoking (also addictive) substances other than nicotine with the sensory pleasure of taste is the first step of a long term change. Now when I remember smoking I don’t think of any of the good feeling associated with it. I only think of the inferior bland and uniform taste. I get more plasure from vaping. And should I ever quit vaping (impropable, but never say never) I won’t ever be drawn to smoking again. Just to vaping.

    That is also the reason why I think the postulated “possible gateway to smoking” is totally absurd BS.
    Is smoking a “gateway to NRT’s”? You have to force yourself or be forced to even consider these unpleasant alternatives.
    Who in his right mind and taste buds would ever willingly switch to something much less pleasurable and also more harmful?

    I’ve read a lot of anecdotes confirming this impression. Maybe some scientists could broaden their view and use this as a starting point for a scientifically solid study that irrefutably disarms all those misconceptions.


    • Oh very well said! I was getting round to a revisit to “why vape? Because I enjoy it.” and you’ve covered a lot of what I wanted to say. I think that this is very much why the whole idea of flavours is alien to some folk who just don’t understand what vaping actually is. A direct replacement for smoking tobacco has to include “pleasure” or it isn’t a direct replacement. A lot of quit methods still tried to persuade me that I didn’t like smoking at all, when actually, secretly and guilt-ridden though it was, I did. When one part of the logic fails, it all goes down.


  2. Coincidence? I just had reason to put the following in one of my posts… and here you are being backed up by ‘an expert.’ Perhaps in the field of nicotine dependence, THE expert. i begin with my experience then go to Fagerstrom.

    I had cause to visit the doctor a few years ago and he decided to try to find out how dependent I was on nicotine. He gave me a test called the Fagerstrom test for nicotine dependency. Nothing very remarkable in that, however, about two years later, another doctor and another test, the same one, but there was a subtle difference; it was now called the Fagertrom test for TOBACCO dependency. Why the name- change? It is simple. His test was not measuring dependency on nicotine; it was measuring dependence on smoking tobacco. He himself states, “Pure nicotine, for example in nicotine patches, even in doses comparable to those of cigarettes, seems to have very little dependence potential and it is unheard of as an initiating product; cigarette smoking however, sometimes even when little smoke is inhaled, is very dependence producing.” Not exactly what you say, is it? And there is more, he goes on, “It has been known for some time that cigarette smoke inhibits monoamine oxidase (MAO) the enzyme that catalyses the me¬tabolism of monoamine neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, thus potentiating their effects in the brain of smokers and thereby contributing significantly to reward and dependence. Nicotine is not directly responsible for this effect (Fowler et al., 1999). Acetaldehyde, an established constit¬uent of tobacco smoke, is a potent inhibitor of MAO and it has been suggested that this compound causes the MAO inhibition. In experiments with rats, nicotine self-administration is enhanced when the animals are also treated with acetaldehyde. Other studies suggest that the condensation products of acetaldehyde, salsolinol, and the harmans are more likely candidates as the inhibitors MAO (Talhout et al 2007). Other tobacco-containing alkaloids, like myosmine, anatabine, anabasine and nornicotine, also seem to have rewarding effects in the sense that they substitute for nicotine in drug discrimina¬tion tests, and increase nicotine self-administration (Clemens, 2009).” And more…” When injections of nicotine were compared with injections of tobacco particulate matter in rats, it was found that injection of particulate matter was more reinforcing and produced a different reward profile than nicotine (Brennan et al. 2013).
    If other constituents in smoked tobacco are also important in dependence, a consequence is that the term ‘nicotine dependence’ is often used incorrectly: it would be more accurate to refer to ‘tobacco dependence’ and even more precisely to ‘cigarette dependence’ when cigarettes are involved. (Fagerstrom 2012).


    • Strike, ” Not exactly what you say, is it? that is a jibe at the doctor whose article I was responding to.


      • I never saw any response by you to a doctor that I remember recently. This post was brought to you by anti-M.E rubbish popping up again, and me wrestling my copy of “visions of the anointed” from the parrot while trying to clean his cage this afternoon.

        Edited to add – your response elsewhere I found last night and think it should be a post in itself. Norbert and I are I think going from the information in this link: where the tests for dependency on nicotine.and the idea of addiction to nicotine alone is pretty much debunked. I’ve also been going through everything at with a great deal of interest.

        I think this is a classic case of “great minds think alike” 🙂


  3. This did the rounds on the vaping forums a few months ago – I don’t know whether you saw it but there are scary parallels


    • I know this man of old – I don’t agree with all of his diet ideas, but yes. His crowd based wisdom is a really good theory. I linked to this very youtube video in an earlier post. I do remember seeing it flash by on the forums too. Crowd based wisdom and quoting Sowell gives him a fair bit of credibility in my eyes. I think everyone with half a braincell ought to read “vision of the Anointed”

      (I also hate the fact that WordPress won’t thread beyond three comments deep, so this probably won’t appear as a threaded reply.)


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