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Home for the Holidays? Explain Vaping to Granny Pearl

Home for the Holidays? Explain Vaping to Granny Pearl


Home for the Holidays? Explain Vaping to Granny Pearl

Vape on, vapers. We know some of you are getting ready to head home for the holidays. If this is your first visit back to your hometown since you've made the switch to vaping, you might want to prepare yourself for a round of interrogation or two.

Here, we'll  arm you with some answers to help you get through the gauntlet of family questions you're sure to encounter . . . in a vaping sense, at least. (You're on your own when it comes to explaining why you’re still single or debating politics with Uncle JimBob.)

Isn't that just like a cigarette?

No, Mom. It's a vaporizer. It heats liquid into a steam. It doesn’t ignite tobacco into smoke, so there's no ash or tar, no bad smell. Also cigarette smoke contains thousands of chemicals, some of them toxic. Whereas the vast majority of those toxins are not present in vapor, or they are present in much, much smaller quantities.

But it's still tobacco, isn't it?

That's the interesting thing, Debbie. Most vape liquids contain nicotine, which is also found in tobacco as well as a bunch of other plants. But the nicotine in vape liquid can be extracted from a plant or created synthetically in a laboratory without using any tobacco at all. In either case, it’s in liquid form. There are no tobacco leaves to be found in this device.

You're not going to be using that thing around the kids, are you?

Of course not, Grandma Pearl! Just like Uncle Ed sits on the back porch to enjoy his stogies, I wouldn't want to impose on anyone. It's worth noting, though, that unlike tobacco smoke, the vapor from my e-cig dissipates in a matter of seconds. Even though it hasn’t been found to pose the same risks to the people around me that second-hand smoke does, I'm happy to make sure my vaping doesn't offend anyone.

I heard on the news that those vaping thingies were created just to get kids hooked.

I'm sorry Aunt Eleanor, but there's been a bit of hysteria floating around the media in the last few months. Surely you've seen the same thing happen with other topics over the years.

Yes, there's been a big uptick in underage vaping recently. The companies being blamed for this are working with government regulators to turn things around. And when you look at the big picture there are fewer people, both kids and adults, smoking cigarettes today than ever before. That's a good thing, right?

Wait, are there drugs in that thing?

Heck no. My device is simply a nicotine alternative that's helped me switch from smoking. I'd be happy to show you the packaging from my vape gear and go over all the ingredients if you think I’m fibbing, which frankly, hurts my feelings, but that’s OK. I forgive you.

So this is what the kids are doing instead of smoking these days, eh?

Aw, c’mon Cuz, it's not just the kids. There are thousands and thousands of people in their thirties, forties, fifties, and even their sixties and older who vape. It's true that younger people are more likely to be open to switching from cigarettes, but vaping is for any adult smoker who wants to try a less harmful alternative. Since you smoke, if you'd like, I'll lend you my spare device and you can try it out for the next day or two to see if you like it.

But isn't keeping it running a lot of work?

It's really not much more complicated than smoking. You've always got to have a working lighter or pack of matches on hand, right? I've got to make sure I charge my batteries at night.

You go to the store to pick up a few packs or a carton? I go online and have fresh gear and liquid delivered to my house every few weeks.

You need to find a place where you're not going to bother anyone else with your smoke, and a place to trash the stinky butts? I can pull out my vape and take a few discreet puffs anywhere without making a mess or a stink, so I think my way is actually easier.

Say what you want, at the end of the day you're still using nicotine, so you might as well just be smoking.

That's the thing, Uncle Ted. On its own, nicotine is a highly addictive mild stimulant that's comparable to caffeine. Both are legal drugs that have been widely used in American society not to mention across the entire planet for millenia. I'm choosing what I believe is a better vehicle for it, and the ability to control my nicotine use with vaping is helping me not only taper its use but gain control of my life.

Why does it smell so good?

Well, unlike with cigarettes that only come in tobacco and menthol flavors and smell stinky, e-liquids come in literally thousands of flavors. If you can think of a yummy food or drink, chances are someone's made a vape liquid inspired by it. Most vapers tend to stick with flavors that taste like fruits, desserts, or bakery items. If you're smelling a vanilla cupcake, that's what I'm tasting. And it smells a lot better than my old smokes ever did—to both of us!


This guide should help you negotiate some tricky holiday conversations about vaping with family members. Remember, some of them might not be familiar with vaping, or might have formed misguided opinions based on what they’ve been hearing in the news. We hope these tips are useful to you and you can put them to good use around the Yuletide log.

Happy Holidays and Happy Vaping. (And say hi to Granny Pearl for us.)