I published a survey that looks tiny, but has proven to be quite fruitful. Even more than I thought too. A couple hundred answers in now and a big picture is already emerging and I'm finding it truly fascinating. English and Finnish versions of the survey here :)
I had my suspicions on the progression and reasons for the apparent efficiency of the vaping habit and experience, based on my own experience I have been outlining a bit in this blog already. This is a very illuminating exercise and is intended to build upon my existing knowledge from the literature and user reports, focusing on an aspect that is very often overlooked in scientific discussions:
The experience itself as a social phenomenon.
Addiction has a weird status in the current society, it's a sort of "I'll know it when I see it" kind of thing and all the current attempts at defining it fail to adequately make any distinction between the supposed pathological patterns and simply just continuous behaviour. The former is included, but not necessary for the determination, which makes the whole exercise rather pointless.
I think a more comprehensive understanding of the behaviour is necessary, before the concept of addiction can be solidly defined, in a sense of determining what it's not. And this is what I am attempting to establish and solidify. Deeper understanding and knowledge.
Even if only for myself, though obviously I'm hoping I can make an impact past that as well.
But, for now.. As I obviously did not participate in they survey myself, I'll just give my answers here:
1. I smoked for around 17 years, with the last decade being a bit over 20 cigarettes a day.
2. What I would miss the most is the enjoyment I get from the experience, the sense of community, all the little fiddling with juices, coils and so on.. And being a part of something far greater than just e-cig advocacy. The emergence of vaping is not just a new technology and consumer product, it's a social phenomenon that highlights a lot of the failings of conventional wisdom around nicotine and addiction. I don't think I'd honestly stop doing research even if I'd quit vaping.
3. What got me vaping was a desire to decrease the distress caused by smoking while knowing it was harmful to not only in terms of health, but economical issues as well. Money did play a big part in the choice.
4. I continue vaping because of it's many benefits which I outlined above. Flavors are a integral part of that and the huge variety is something that keeps the novelty alive, the experience fresh and enjoyable.
5. I would like to thank everybody who is taking part in this quest of mine and hopefully you too will have realizations of new things along the way while thinking about these things. I love the community and the sheer enthusiasm that exists within vapers.
To be continued :)