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From these circumstances, I may be a little too confident in my abilities of persuasion when it comes to converting more and more smokers to become vapers. Furthermore there still seems to always be a lingering doubt, a loitering suspicion or perhaps an unidentifiable sense of guilt.

Why would that be? Most likely because it’s not as if my conversion rate has been 20 for 20 when informing people of the amazing possibilities the vapelife can bring. Basically, there have been countless strikeouts that somehow feel more disappointing than the self-satisfying home runs.

The Biggest Challenge = The Biggest Disappointment

What has been the most challenging is convincing family and close friends of switching to the use of vapor products. Although I was successful with helping my Aunt transition slowly, it has been nearly impossible persuading the best friends I’ve been fortunate enough to have for decades.

Should I be forcing my views so extremely onto those closest to me? Indeed, vapers all know the science is there, Vaping is absolutely a harm reduction method for smokers. If the smokers are wanting to quit, then it seems necessary as an advocate for Vapor to introduce Vaping into their lives.

One of my best friend’s I’ve known since Middle School and played basketball on the same team for years has been the most difficult case of Vaper converting. As soon as I get him a new vapor device, he cuts back from smoking a pack a day, vapes, then returns back to smoking more returning back to smoking cigarettes

An Interview with the Subject

When I recently sat down with James Murphy, I asked him why he thought the attempts to switch to vapor seemed to be falling short? His reply consisted of not honestly knowing what the exact cause was, but he did provide a number of possible reasons. So many reasons, that perhaps this conundrum has more to do with personality compatibility than it does with any other possible explanation.

For instance, Murphy is an extrovert who lives in the city. Therefore, he loves to frequent the nightlife available in his metropolitan area. Jim goes out to bars nearly every night, not only because he is a very social person who enjoys a drink, but he also works in an industry where bars and restaurants are his customers and business associates.

Furthermore, Murphy feels that there is a strong social factor involved with allowing him to return to smoking so easily. He says,”If I’m out at the bar and I need to get away from a certain group of people or a certain person, it is the perfect excuse to ultimately excuse myself by going outside to have a cigarette. While at the same time, being a smoker is a great conversation starter for approaching the people I want to speak with and initiating an instant connection.”

James also adds to this justification, by stating “Also, it gives me a reason to go outside because I can’t just sit at a barstool or stand in the same area, I’m constantly moving – I have to keep moving no matter where I’m at and that might be from my A.D.H.D.”

Of course, the fact that James may have a slight case of attention deficiency could be the entire reason behind his need to continuously switch back to smoking. Then again, many could easily make the argument that becoming a Vaping hobbyist could also easily be something that would be advantageous for these specific circumstances.

It’s All My Fault

Murphy admits, my approaches to try to assist him with switching from full-fledged smoker to a full-time vaper are much too aggressive and sometimes demeaning. Not to mention, Murphy states “When you constantly tell me the same things over and over, it just makes me want to do the opposite of whatever it is that you tell me about how I need to quit smoking and keep vaping.”

Therefore, the opposite of what I tell him he should do would, of course, consist of Jim continuing to smoke. Considering this, this is another factor and in other words, “red flag” as to why you should not try to convert some of your best childhood friends into vapers, due to the fact that, although we may trust in eachother wholeheartedly, we also joke so often it can get to the point of how siblings banter and bicker.

Agree to Disagree or Maybe All Fault Is On Me

Regardless, I absolutely agree with Murphy with this point he makes. In socially constructed reality, our best friends, we typically tend to communicate much differently than we would with mere acquaintances.

So, I am absolutely more aggressive and pushy and I see how it can be overwhelming for Jim, but I honestly don’t have anything to gain from him quitting smoking, except for my best friend existing on this earth longer than if he were to continue poisoning his lungs with tobacco smoke

So, if I have nothing to immediately and automatically gain selfishly from this switch, except for prolonging my childhood friend’s life span, shouldn’t he feel grateful that someone is pushing him to quit one of the worst habits a person could become addicted to? Maybe.

Then again, I’m a vape advocate, so perhaps I am biased. Not to mention, as a Sociologist I should be well aware that we take criticism from those we are closest with the hardest.

What is frustrating for me is I will buy him another device that is known to be a great device for transitioning off cigarettes. For instance, the current device he is using and not using is the eGo AIO “All-in-One” – many would agree that is a decent device for transitioning from cigarettes

When I asked if he wants to quit smoking, Jim says he does, but he also admits that smoking has become a part of who he is. Smoking cigarettes has become engraved into his identity. All vapers can surely relate to this I’m sure, as The majority of us you’re all once smokers as well there is also a part of him that doesn’t want to quit smoking…obviously.

For me, I quit dipping smokeless tobacco and smoking tobacco cigarettes overnight, which I am by no means attempting to express a twisted sense of boastful pride. Perhaps, naturally since it seems like it was an effortless miracle in my experience with switching to vapor products and the successful feats of flipping 20 smokers into vapers, this is why the situation has become so frustrating as an advocate. so why is one of my best friend’s not able to do the same

Unanswered Questions Might Be Unanswerable

Can we still operate as responsible advocates while simultaneously maintaining long standing friendships with smokers? Or am I the only advocate who has had such an experience? Or am I being a good friend, yet at the same time abandoning my duties as an effective advocate? Maybe it’s more like vice-a-versa? From here, so many of these questionable questions continue.

Does Advocacy supersede or outrank Friendship? Should it? It is often said that true commitment requires absolute sacrifice. Should I be viewing converting smokers into vapers as an accomplishment? Many may disagree but the only answer which comes to mind for this inquiry is, “HELL YES!” However, should we be willing to potentially damage are closest relationships to convince our friends who smoke that they must embrace the vape? HELL if I know.

Only time will tell. Perhaps all my fellow advocates out there could lend a hand by encouraging my friend James B. Murphy IV to quit smoking. After all, this is the vape advocacy mission.

Murphy adds, “Yes, of course I want to quit, but I’m not going to quit whenever you think you’re helping me to quit, I’ll quit whenever I feel like I’m helping myself quit.” So, then the question becomes, does Murphy truly want to quit? Or am I forcing him to not want to quit each I time I continue to nag him about it?

So Many Variables May Require a Future Study

Clearly, there are far too many factors to discover the end-all, be-all solution given these circumstances. This entire scenario is creating more questions than answers. At this point, all I can do is rationally assess the situation and ask questions because I do not have the answers.

Then again, maybe YOU do. Of course, at the Vaping Post, we are well-aware our readers are very knowledgeable vapers and intelligent people. Therefore, please feel free to leave comments below. Suggestions, criticism, insight, stories of similar experiences, anything you’d like to add would be greatly helpful for the advocacy movement since whatever you say may help me be a better advocate and friend or perhaps help Jim quit altogether. As stated previously, helping smokers quit is the mission, right?

Remember to check for further developments in this story by visiting the Vaping Post regularly. With your insights, perhaps we can help another smoker quit for good.

  • castello

    It is just like when your close friends used to tell you to quit. The pushback is real 🙂 Most of them will come around I think. I’ve been encouraging my ex for 5 years and she loves it when she can’t smoke but that is about it for now. The media could help us but don’t hold your breath.

  • Tara Caron Antonuccio

    I am having the same experience with my sister. We grew up living with a mother who smoked and both began smoking together as young teens (I was 14, she 13). My mom and I have both been smokefree for almost two years because of vaping. I, like you and my mom, transitioned easily, and it spurred me into the research and into becoming an advocate. I was amazed how easy it was, and how enjoyable. I thought it would be easy for my sister too.
    But it hasn’t been. Instead, she continues to smoke, only vaping occasionally despite my best efforts. I bring up vaping a lot, and try to figure out why she doesn’t just quit. She finally just said she doesn’t want to.
    So I’ve tried to drop the issue. She knows I am here with the help, facts and information she needs if she wants it. But it is frustrating for me. I just want her to live longer and healthier.

    • Fergus Mason

      “She knows I am here with the help, facts and information she needs if she wants it.”

      But she doesn’t want it. And she doesn’t *need* it either. If your smoking friends and relatives are resisting your evangelism, don’t try to think of more persuasive ways to convert them; LEAVE THEM ALONE. You know how you feel when Jehovah’s Witnesses ring your doorbell? Well, JWs are what some vapers are in danger of becoming.

      • Tara Caron Antonuccio

        That’s what I’ve been doing. I don’t want to nag or pressure her because I don’t want to be THAT person. Nor do I want to push her away.

  • Fergus Mason

    “Can we still operate as responsible advocates while simultaneously maintaining long standing friendships with smokers?”

    What? Seriously? I’m disturbed that this question is even getting asked. Who are you, Stan Glantz?

    • Tony

      Wow. Just now seeing this comment. Really? Why would you compare anything I’ve written to Glantz? That is so disrespectful. Settle down vapefam! Here’s a better question for you, Don’t we write for the same publication? Yes, I believe so. What I wrote was a question, not a statement. I’m not saying I believe that. This was a personal story about my best friend who I’ve had some very intense arguments with about the Vaping situation that have almost led to physical altercations. So, it is a reasonable question to ask if you’ve experienced it. Then again, perhaps you usually support censorship? Are you Kim Jong Un? No, probably not. See how you can analyze things numerous ways? I’d expect a little more professional courtesy in the future. Pretty sure I’ve never once criticized what you’ve written with direct insults. Why are you analyzing every sentence Im writing anyhow? Because I think you are looking a little too far into a reasonable question about a situation you were not there for. As a matter of fact, I make it a point to direct one of your article topics in a hyperlink in almost all my articles. Why? Because I’m a professional and I’ve been doing this for years in multiple publications, it’s called respect. You gotta learn respect to earn respect my friend. I would expect my fellow VapingPost writers to perhaps support my work as I always do for you. What are you trying to prove with this outlandish statement anyhow? Picking one sentence from a multi-paragraph article makes me think you have other motives, if that’s the case, just stop now before you post something even more out-of-line. Thanks for the support bud. I will continue to suppport your articles, but I suggest reconsidering ever calling out any dedicated vape advocate by accusing them of being comparable to Glantz. Now that is what’s more accurately disturbing, when you target a fellow VP writer who quit smoking w/Vape Products who has clearly supported your work for years. Naw, it’s actually disappointing. Hope to hear some positive feedback in the future. Thanks again.

  • Fergus Mason

    “Should I be forcing my views so extremely onto those closest to me?”

    No. Definitely not. Stop it.

  • LEGOates

    Have you tried emphasising the financial advantages? For THIRTY-NINE years I smoked two packs a day of heavy duty gigs (Old Gold filter kings) and seemed to be one of those lucky ones who never developed smoker’s cough or the other ills (lingering colds, bronchial infections etc) one usually associates with heavy smoking. I wasn’t particularly interested in stopping and in fact had never tried.
    The ONLY reason I tried vaping was as a pacifier, something to get me through the workday so I wouldn’t have to sneak outside five or six times an hour for my nic fix. Big surprise, I actually preferred vaping to smoking–which I no longer enjoyed but “needed”. The main reason I made the complete switch? Monetary, I was saving over three hundred dollars a month, and quitting was not only pain/stress free (else I wouldn’t have bothered) but, once I got into re-building, I’d found a new “hobby” where I enjoyed perfecting my technique.

  • Chanah See

    Here’s the thing. Most of us who smoke enjoy smoking. I bet you enjoyed it when you smoked. And you’re (presumably) a grown-up, and it was your decision. Same with your mates. The thing about friendship, if it’s real, is that you accept people for who they are. Full stop. If smoking is so unacceptable to you, perhaps you need to find new friends, instead of seeing your smoking ‘friends’ as a bunch of self-improvement projects to make you feel virtuous.

    Nobody likes an evangelist. And you don’t need studies, they’re already there in history, from those who nag incessantly about religion to save someone’s soul to the temperance movement. It doesn’t work.

    If you do not value your friends as individuals, as people who deserve a degree of self-determination, by all means continue what you’re doing. It won’t be long before they leave you, but hey – maybe some of them will be vapers then.

  • So when was it that you became part of the Tobacco Control anti-smoker movement?

    You do realise, don’t you, that Tobacco Control are going to screw you over just as comprehensively as they’ve screwed smokers? They don’t care if you’re one of their useful idiots right now, doing their work for them. As soon as the opportunity arises, you will be sacrificed on the altar of Public Health along with the rest of the vaping community.. Your sycophancy will count for nothing.

    Because whatever they might say, they hate vaping and vapers as much as they hate smoking and smokers.

    So I would suggest you keep your advocacy to yourself, and avoid inflicting it on others who have no interest in your Politically Correct Damascene conversion.

  • waltcody

    Does it occur to you that for many, if not most, smokers the idea of sucking on the plastic or metal tip of a heavy medicinal-looking and non-hands-free object, let alone one that requires constant tending, can never compare to the ease, pleasure and feel of a cigarette? Then, too, even now –with more anti-vaping laws in the wind–vaping is increasingly prohibited everywhere smoking is so there’s not even a social advantage. Your vaping friends still have to “step outside.”