Pavlovs Dogs And Vaping In Public

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Some have learned to irrationally fear anything that looks like tobacco smoking. E-cig vapor is 99% safer but still, elicits the same response.

Most people have heard of Pavlov’s dogs’ experiment, whereby dogs were fed every time a bell rang. After some time the bell ringing would make the dogs salivate even if there was no food present. A conditioned response to a familiar circumstance that happens at a subconscious level and is based on nothing more than learned responses to a stimulus.

This goes some way to explaining the reaction to electronic cigarettes that has become apparent in some media, governmental departments and in some cases the general public. Using an e-cig in public can sometimes elicit the same response in people as if you were smoking a tobacco cigarette. This and the plans to enforce medicinal regulations on e-cigs appears to defy logic and reason. Campaigners for e-cigs find themselves encountering negative attitudes at times from people that otherwise appear to be quite rational human beings.

Despite the overwhelming evidence that electronic cigarettes are a hugely safer alternative to smoking tobacco; Despite the fact that medicinal regulations would halt an industry that has started a health revolution by giving smokers a healthier option; Despite the fact that the cost to consumers would dramatically rise so removing one of the major incentives for smokers to switch; Despite all these things, still some otherwise rational human beings, are condemning electronic cigarette use and demanding excessive and disproportionate regulatory measures that will effectively kill the existing industry. They are already being banned in many places such as on buses and trains, with signs popping up lumping e-cigs in with tobacco cigarettes as if the rationale for banning them is the same.

Some of these people clearly have no vested interests, are good people and usually appear quite sane. So what is driving them mad about e-cigs?

Perhaps they are behaving like Pavlov’s dogs. Over the last decade, they have learned responses to any suggestion of smoking. The merest sight of someone smoking indoors would be enough to send many people straight into a panic. It is not necessarily a considered response, but a knee-jerk reaction based on a logical aversion to cigarette smoke that they have learned over the last decade due to repeated ringing of the anti-smoking bell. This is not such a bad thing because we do know that smoking is harmful, even second-hand smoking is harmful. So that feeling of fear is not irrational. It becomes irrational

It becomes irrational though when like Pavlov’s dogs, they are unable to dissociate the ringing of the bell, from the circumstances. The dogs salivate despite no food being present and the anti-smokers get defensive and fearful even if no tobacco smoke is present. Just the mention of the word cigarette, the sight of vapor, that looks to them like tobacco smoke, the sight of someone putting a pen-like object to their lips etc. These stimuli are enough to evoke a very defensive response in many people.

It is apparent that this is the case when you look at one of the arguments used by those wanting to ban e-cigs. They say that e-cigs will normalize smoking. They are clearly having difficulty distinguishing between smoking and vaping. They are feeling the fear and feeling a need to respond and defend, even though it is not logical. Scientific studies have demonstrated that

Scientific studies have demonstrated that secondhand e-cig vapor is harmless, it does not smell like tobacco smoke and dissipates very rapidly. But still, it is eliciting this negative reaction from some. Just as the ringing bell made Pavlov’s dogs salivate even though no food was being served, so the mere sight of something resembling a tobacco cigarette is enough to evoke defensive attitudes in anti-smokers.

So what can vapers do when confronted by these instincts that many people will feel justified to act upon
Stealth Vaping

It is not much you can do to override peoples learned responses. If given the opportunity, obviously allaying their fears with facts is a positive thing to do. But in some situations, it may be better to simply avoid pressing their buttons in the first place. It is still possible to use electronic cigarettes in public, even indoors, it just requires learning ways to use it that are not noticeable.

It is possible to minimize the amount of vapor you exhale, by holding it in a little longer and then exhaling quickly and through a very small opening of the lips. Blowing the vapor downwards this way makes very little visible vapor and even if someone sees you with your e-cig to your mouth, without the visible vapor to set off their panic, usually they will simply look away, realizing that there is nothing to really complain about.

It is also possible to make e-liquid that produces a lot less visible vapor. If when mixing e-liquid you use propylene glycol as the only diluent, the resulting vapor will be much less visible. This is because it is the aqueous glycerine diluent, that really adds to the visible vapor when e-liquid is vaporized in an electronic cigarette. The satisfying throat hit is not reduced at all, it is only the visible vapor that is reduced.

Some flavor concentrates added to e-liquid, can create a slight odor in the vapor. Nowhere near to the extent of the smell of tobacco smoke, but never the less still something that may draw attention. So if you want to avoid detection in that respect, it is also possible to use flavorless e-liquid. Not ideal for some who really enjoy the flavor, however in stealth vaping situations, a flavorless e-liquid, can add to the effect, rendering the vaping as almost undetectable, whilst still delivering nicotine with the all important satisfying throat hit.

Most ex-smokers who have taken to vaping instead, have found it very liberating to be able to once again fully enjoy going out for a meal, sit on a train or bus, spend time indoors relaxing etc. etc. without having to keep popping outside for a smoke. With many places already enforcing or currently considering bans, it is a good time to learn some stealth vaping techniques, to avoid negative reactions and hopefully lessen the negative reactions to vaping in public places.

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