“You want a what for your birthday?” was what my boyfriend asked. Even though I had been doing extensive research on these smokeless devices for about two weeks and sharing the information with him, I think he had gotten pretty good at tuning me out when I talked.
“An e-cig kit,” I repeated and even showed him the top three I had narrowed it down to. “Surprise me!” I said and then crossed my fingers he’d get one for me when my birthday rolled around in less than three weeks. Luckily he did pay attention and even upgraded the kit I wanted.
Still as I started using my new “toy” he seemed skeptical. When I was using this instead of joining him for a smoke outside after dinner, though, he became more curious than skeptical. The true test was my circle of friends. That first BBQ one of our friends hosted put me at the center of attention, whether I wanted to be or not.
Everyone looked at me like I had some strange unheard of device and then the questions started.
- “If it doesn’t produce smoke, what is that?”
“Vapor,” I explained. “The device heats up and creates a flavored vapor that doesn’t leave a bad smell on your clothing, skin or hair.”
- “How does it work?”
“It’s battery operated, which is what helps the vapor be created. Although I can also plug it in or use a USB cord to work it,” I answered before another question came at me.
- “What does it taste like?”
“Well right now I’m using a cherry cola flavored cartridge, but there’s everything from traditional tobacco flavors to super creative flavors you can’t get from regular cigarettes.”
Finally the focus turned from me to the food and I was off the hook. I couldn’t help wonder what exactly it was my friends were thinking about me and my new hobby. Had I made a mistake? Should I have left it at home? And although I thought as an adult I didn’t care about stuff like this, did my friends still think I was “cool”? Seemed a shame to think my friends would think less of me just for using an electronic version of the tobacco cigarette they were still hooked on.
Behind the Scenes
Over the following few days I got the answers to those questions and more. My phone seemed to ring off the hook with calls, texts and emails coming in. The questions continued as I realized it was just that my friends wanted to get educated about the smokeless mechanism I had been using.
I tried to give some answers, but I also gave my friends links to check out or keywords to Google to find their own answers. I knew for me part of making the decision to go e-cig came from the research I invested. I couldn’t tell my friends what to do or make decisions for them.
I could give some advice and continue to answer questions. Which is exactly what I did for what felt like weeks if not months to come. If nothing else I felt better about being a smokeless device user. I also felt secure that my friends at least hadn’t written me off for my new hobby.
Here Comes the Validation
One of the best moments came not long after that first BBQ, about a month after that night in fact. Our friend’s daughter was getting married and we all got to reconnect for the event. My boyfriend and I had barely been at the reception five minutes when our friend Angie came up to us.
“Either of you got a light?” she asked and pulled out a cigarette. At first I thought it was a bit thoughtless of her to ask since she knew both my boyfriend and I had made the switch to electronic. As I started to tell her that, she grinned ear to ear and ignited her electronic device.
“Just kidding,” she said and proudly showed us her new electronic cigarette. At the end of it all she also added, “And Brianna I owe it all to you. I can’t thank you enough.”
I tried to play it off like it was no big deal. I mean really who was I to take credit for a decision she’d made on her own that she may have made at some point even if she hadn’t seen me using one? But I had to admit it felt pretty good to feel like maybe I had played some small role in her decision making.
“By the way,” she added, “I think Marcus wants to thank you too.” She pointed at another of our friends who was over by the DJ booth and was obviously using an electronic version of the cig. Once you know that glow you can spot it anywhere.
I’m glad I’ve been with the brand I have for almost a year now and look forward to converting more of my friends.