My journey into vaping

Anti-smoking propaganda kept me smoking.


It has only been six months since I considered myself a lifelong smoker. I remember the attitude well. In some ways I haven’t lost that attitude at all because I now consider myself to be a lifelong vaper struggling against similar adversity. Whenever a new anti-smoking campaign started, I was aware of the adverts the first couple of times they flashed past on the TV. I’d watch, make a disgusted noise, and light a cigarette. The more outrageous the advert, the more I wanted to smoke. Anti-smoking campaigns always made me smoke more often, and made me even more stubbornly determined that I was never going to quit.

The finger wagging condescending anti-smoking zealots used half-truths and junk science in those campaigns and I recognised it. I understood the deliberate deceit and resented it. I also resented the constant drip of nocebo images that festooned my smoking materials. I understood that these too are harmful; this point is ignored whenever raised. This just served to add to my resentment towards the message and made me dig my heels in even further. They also used horrifying tactics, turning my friends and family against me. They targeted the ‘pester power’ of my children, setting the scene for many family arguments and upsets and undermining my abilities as a parent in a nasty, underhanded way. Society as a whole became hostile towards me. Not towards my habit, but towards me as a smoker. This is now really starting to reap what it sowed as violence against smokers becomes more common. The end does not justify the means; and in fact these tactics did not stop me smoking. They just made my life more stressful, which in turn made me smoke more.

For the last thirty years I have resented the anti-smoking message to the point of swearing out loud at it and physically making rude gestures towards it, even when alone. It has made me that angry. It really has been a huge factor in my relapses as well. When already stressed and angry, the trigger of an anti smoking advert has twice caused my relapse to smoking. Anecdotal? Well, yes of course it is. That does not make it any less true. I see the same horrendous, outrageous anti-smoking propaganda, getting more blatant every day, and I still rage.

First do no harm.


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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.

14 thoughts on “Anti-smoking propaganda kept me smoking.

  1. It could have been me that wrote this post! Absolutely me (and millions of others too) Thank you.


    • These are the things that need to be said. It is only now, looking back with the extra objectivity of having switched that I can see how much it was affecting me. Glad it resonates and you are very welcome.


  2. Not only did they keep me smoking they sent me back to smoking a few times. In a way I’m thankful the worst of them don’t approve of vaping. Not wanting to be like them is how they drove me back. If they were for vaping I might think there was something wrong with it given their record of being wrong and lying about everything.


    • I think they are actually doing us an unwitting favour by forcing us to fight. I wish it wasn’t so but perhaps they’re scoring an own goal by uniting us.


  3. “Love the sinner, hate the sin” is a philosophy that tobacco control seems to have missed. To TC, they are one and the same – reducing the amount of smokers is not about health, its about control and winning a game, and we were just the hapless pawns in their power play. Now they think they can do it to us again as vapers, and are shocked when we fight back. Not this time, TC. We know you are wrong. We know you are lying. We know this is a battle worth fighting, and we know we will win it.


    • And as Clive Bates has pointed out they have blinkers on when it comes to assessing the harm of their own policies. The game is indeed the eradication of tobacco and nicotine, and it is a mindless crusade with collateral damage that hasn’t even begun to be assessed. As vapers we’re coming into this fight forewarned and forearmed. We won’t back down; out of my cold, dead hands.


    • Love the sinner hate the sin is in so far for my taste an very silly concept in as that no human can possibly separate the two in its mind and the hate always spills over.
      But TC seem to have turned into something religious so it is maybe an fitting concept….maybe similar to the anti alkohol freaks.
      What all this people are missing is that everything can be a drug so to be honest they would have to be against.. everything, including HelloKitty (yes i know people who are definitive addicted)


      • It does very much depend on your definition of addiction and drug to be sure. I think a dependence that does no harm should be irrelevant. If a habitual dependence is harmful though it doesn’t automatically give anyone the right to intervene. Addiction is bandied about with no true understanding of what it actually means which annoys me. We’re not talking about addiction here, we are talking about simple habit; there is no compulsion to use nicotine to the exclusion of all else. It is not a lifestyle destroyer. Simple use will not incapacitate and simple use can’t be fatal. What’s needed is both a proper sense of perspective and a sense of proportion.


      • (Replying to myself for there is no button to do that else)
        In general I am not the opinion that drugs by them self should be of much concern regarding the law exept a few choice ones who are outright nasty (crack and meth comes to mind)
        Educating about drugs yes, a lot of honest information and the suggestion that one should think thrice about using them absolute!
        If one wants to fight drugs then improving general social and economical climate comes to mind, happy people tend to have less interest in drugs, some people though will be always interested, no matter if they are legal or illegal (the drugs)

        The sense of proportion and reality though, there i am not optimistic, the soberty crowd does not really compute there, I know heroin junkies and alcoholics with an better sense of reality….


  4. Oh, so true!
    Thank you!
    You are not alone!


  5. If we were fat, black or of a certain ethnic groups what the government and anti smoking organisation are doing would be classed as discrimination and prejudice, even drug addicts get more respect than we do.


    • Unfortunately not entirely true. while it is true that if any other section of society was being treated as smokers are, with segregation and discrimination considered normal, there would be outrage. Trust me when I tell you that to be at all ‘overweight’ is to be discriminated against in different ways but as blatantly as smokers are. I have a chronic illness which means that I have been both ‘underweight’ and ‘overweight’ in the last twenty years. My life is very different depending on which I am categorised as at the time. Drug addicts are offered the choice of harm reduction techniques, but the same harm reduction message is being fought against when it comes to smoking. In some cases it is the same people who argued so hard FOR drug harm reduction that are fighting against tobacco harm reduction. In my opinion the message is being twisted and distorted by people who have vested financial interests in maintaining the status quo. What is certain is that they have brought the anger of both smokers and vapers on themselves. Beware the unintended consequences of good intentions.


  6. I used to get shamed alot smoking outside. One lady singled me out in the actual outdoor smoking area and flounced up to lecture me. I asked if that was her SUV; when she said yes I told her to shut the f up. (P.S. I am over 50 years of age.) I posed a question to several other moralizers: you want to commit suicide, so you lock yourself in a garage with A. a cigarette or B. a running car. It is very obvious which one will kill you faster, but in my opinion smoking is the scapegoat for the carbon monoxide poisoning largely being caused by our beloved cars, especially the huge gas guzzlers and diesel engines.
    And for all of the delightful shaming addicts who reminded me I chose to smoke, I did, but, like almost every smoker out there, I began to smoke as a CHILD and how many good decisions did YOU make before the age of 20? Not too surprisingly, of everybody I have asked, no one said more than zero.
    The children they are actually worried about are all the children who ARENT picking up the proven killers, burned tobacco cigarettes, because without those, smoking will be DEAD, no matter how many lawmakers were bribed with our blood money not to outlaw burning cigarettes, which everybody knows damned well will kill them and which they have heavily poisoned to be sure no one can stop, once hooked. They use this as an excuse to demonize one fifth of the adult population – hardly a lunatic fringe group! – and wonder why nobody really liked that. Insert any other minority group in place of the word ‘smoker’ and see how offensive it sounds.
    The ugliness behind shaming smokers is far more insidious, and less attractive, than the act of smoking ever could be. Also, since there is no vaping for that condition, it seems to be harder to cure. Maybe Big Pharma could invest in making (and fast tracking) Shamex, for all the legions of shamers out there who now have less to do, since vapers wont be shamed the way that smokers had no choice but to endure. Remember vapers are the former smokers, like myself, who could NOT be shamed into submission, and shaming is a very unhealthy activity that costs the public far, far more than money in the long run.
    As far as I know (and I did smoke for 36 years, and know smokers as people) shaming never helped ANYONE quit.


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