Bulbs In the Sky

My attempted comment on this post rewritten here due to length

Disclaimer this took a while and I have not gone through it for edits much please forgive me it’s late*
TL:WC:R (To Long: Who Cares: Read)

Find Original Article here

Luke’s Comment:

    Wow, you didn’t even acknowledge vaping as the current standard used by England with a success rate that quite frankly spanks everything right back into where they actually are a failure.   Here’s the thing everything you said about counselling and support I completely agree with only I’m not sure you know why that works as you didn’t mention what I see daily as the glaringly obvious facts and realities.

  1.  Your approach attended scheduled counselling and support groups is a luxury few have the time to possibly make happen.   So unless you’re earning enough to add those hours of non-income generating or non-family time hours to your schedule it’s a waste of breath to even bother starting.
  2.  Patches irritate skin and gum that should only be chewed twice them held to rest in the mouth is such a glaring insult it’s laughable.  Who the hell is going to consciously monitor how they chew gum while on the job or anything for that matter?

I do not mean to be rude.  Where you are right is that it takes a community to raise a child, it takes support from family to accomplish anything that’s tough but moreover, it takes breathing room and a friendly face to open a dialogue about the possibility of success and how the road there works before you even begin to help.  We are not sick people nor are we dumb or troubled or in need of medication. And everything you itemized has this medical type approach at its root. If I were a doctor I’m sure that’s the only way I would approach it as well. But I’m not a doctor, I used to fix robots and machinery. Now I work retail, where I sell vaping products but I freely do my best to give hope.  Here’s the difference between you and me with both of us trying to help people quit. (and I’m not passing judgement just trying to offer insight into what I see wrong). Let’s look at this with some context.

Scenario 1:

Take Josh, Josh is working a regular job plus mandatory overtime at the local auto plant.  He’s working 60 hours a week minimum. His wife Yolanda is at home say nursing a newborn baby.  Josh a smart guy, has only landed a job where they can afford one car which he takes to work and home leaving anything outside the house a monumental task for Yolanda.  Life’s tough but things could be worse.  
Now Josh has been smoking since grade 7 and Yolanda can’t stand kissing him from the awful taste that never washes out.  She tries but it’s half-hearted and Josh gets frustrated and everything else loses joy because of it.
So, Josh has tried the medications to quit decides he’s gonna not go that route but wants to give it another go to make life not only more affordable but a little more romantic as well.  it’s a Tuesday and her birthday is on Friday he figures 3 days of no smoking will be noticeable and make a good gift. he starts work at 3 pm this rotation and knows your open so he stops in.

*** forgive the rest I have no idea the process at your clinic and will assume a lot.***

He’s failed many times before and is less worried about the likelihood of long term failure as he is about the next three days, He’s waiting in line poking at familiar pamphlets full of happy slogans and Calming images all of which are really made well.  They imply and promote a feeling that once he uses that product all his dreams will come true. The faces of the models, betray their big smiles and light sweaters with giggling kids in hand. Heaven right? Well, he could care less about that slim possibility and he only wants to make it past the weekend, And have now had the time to realize the slipping expectation of success already sabotaging his plan before he’s even reached the counter! He’s stressed and wants a cigarette.  Ughhhh he didn’t think he’d be tested so soon this is turning in to failure from the start.
“Next please!”
Oh, thank god, he approaches a counter or office like environment all very clean and flat like the dentists or an ER waiting room.  He gets some of that excellent bedside manner and attention only Canadian professionals can do which only makes you feel a bit on the spot.  But he continues to answers the questions. After all, they are recording them for his case file. It still feels as if he’s giving a history before a procedure or something.
Man, that smoke on the drive to work is gonna be a good one today.
He signs up for the morning group which he should be able to make it to twice this week which is a boost of positive encouragement, See?  The stars are finally aligning! OH crap, he forgot her brother was flying into town this Wednesday! So, only group session this week 1 still better than none it’s still a positive.  This Friday is going to happen come hell or high water.  
    After some discussion and weighing of the various potential side effects, he decides the patch is the best tool for this job.  Even if the skin gets a rash as it does when in contact with most adhesives/ it’s only the shoulder he’s stuck it to. But he has stomach trouble and who the heck only chews twice really! It like they are set up him up to buy another box or something.
   Ok, he pays his bill which surprised him at the $80 cost he only wanted 2 strengths to be flexible and to add a bit or remove a bit as it goes.  Whatever pennies to the savings, then the question which would seem only to validate a promise of success was asked.
– ” You want a trash can for your pack of smokes?”.
Is he ready to throw away the pack before he leaves?  Dammit, the 2 people now behind him are watching him for the answer and he was just seconds away from lighting his now much anticipated last smoke.
– “Oh we can’t afford to was money with success rates as abysmal as they are with these.  I’ll hold on to them I think”.
He’s joking and getting a smile out of the other two the clerk seemed a bit hurt but no matter he’s already reaching for the lighter and heading of to work.
   He’s completely convinced that he’s gonna go to that group meeting Thursday.  He leaves his pack in the car slaps on a patch and goes to work.
    10 hours later he’s heading home not having touched his pack but feeling like a heel because while he hasn’t touched his own smokes to simply break routine would leave him eating lunch alone and he wanted to talk to Eric and Richard as they do every day at break time.  As he greets Eric and Richard they notice he’s not pulling out a pack and extend theirs as an offer assuming he forgot his inside. One smoke won’t matter much right? Well, 4 breaks later 1 smoke became 6 due to Richard getting a new brand and they had to try, and Eric is one to not miss an opportunity to get a rise out of someone about any little thing.  Having a smoke was more a survival thing really. Even if it meant letting himself down.
Its a relief Yolanda doesn’t know about his plan either.  He can at least spare himself the feeling of letting her down as well tonight.  Might as well have one more before he goes in the house.
End Scenario 1.
NOTE: I’m pretty sure I lived something very similar to that story.

Scenario 2:
Josh is thinking to quit and on his way to face the counter and get some patches when he sees the local shop.  He’s been curious about it and decides to pull in and parks the car. he still has half a smoke left and he’s trying to remember what had Yolanda mentioned the other day, was it her brother that had picked up vaping and now no longer smoked?  He thought she was even mentioning something about him being a juice maker now? He wasn’t too sure what that had to do with vaping but he did realize this has really been distracting him as he was obviously not paying attention to her as he normally would…  Ouch! Damn it! He let the smoke burn down to low and it’s burnt his fingers.  It’s so annoying when that happens he thinks rubbing his finger where the coal kissed him.  To add insult to injury it means he also missed what might have been his last few puffs! Maybe he should have one more just to settle down?  Crap look at the time he heads inside.
‘Ding Dong’, knocks a bell on the door.
– “Hey there”
A voice calls.
– “Come on in.  Welcome to my shop.”
The clerk seemed to be expressing a genuine excitement that Josh had come in, and, who clearly liked skulls in tattoos and rock and roll! ….wait, is that The Offspring playing on the radio?  He hasn’t heard them since the ’90s! Wicked tune and feels like the singer knew he was coming today as he jokes about the lack of confidence he’s got! The atmosphere is certainly more relaxed, maybe a bit too relaxed his attention is drawn to what looks like a very expensive ‘thing a ma jig’ in the cabinet.
 “So you look like your new to vaping, how much do you smoke?
Ask’s the clerk Josh tells him about 3/4 of a pack per day ‘Sans’ Beer.  A pack and a half if he’s had a few. The clerk laughs and tells him he quit drinking a year before he switched to vaping and always wondered how much of that hangover was the beer and how much was the chain-smoking.  Josh jokingly says.
– “Sell me something that helps me to stop smoking and I’ll tell ya Saturday morning!”,
– “That’s a deal says the clerk,”
Much to Josh’s amazement, the clerk had such confidence Josh wondered if the Clerk knew they were talking about quitting smoking?
– “I’ll do ya one better! If ya make it back with that good news I’d normally throw ya one of the free samples I get from manufacturers but since regulations, I can’t give away juice so I’ll give ya 50% off your next bottle! How might that be?”
– “That would be pretty awesome, I think?”
Still a little in the fog about what’s going on he asks
– “Two questions first: how much is that gonna cost me today and what do you mean by a bottle of juice?”
– “Brother, since you’re just starting out and you don’t yet know what you will like or dislike.  We’re only gonna look at the entry-level devices unless you already know what you want? If not, for a kit and juice today out the door you looking at about $60 plus the governments share.  Let’s try a few first to see if we can narrow it down and I’ll get you a price”
Josh, a bit shocked and expecting a bit more of an upsell or personal questions.  Heck, he wasn’t sure what he expected but the conversation was rolling as he was looking at that expensive thing a ma jig.  but a kit and juice today out the door you looking at about $60 plus the governments share. Do you think that’ll work for ya? “Josh, a bit shocked and expecting a bit more of an upsell or personal questions or well he wasn’t sure what he expected but the conversation was rolling as he was looking at that expensive thing.

– “Yeah, that works.  but I want a good one I need it to work.  I don’t want to cut corners I can’t fail Yolanda this time it’s her birthday on Friday,”
The clerk seemingly makes one appear out of nowhere stretches a rubber tip over the end as tells him.
– “Go ahead – have a pull”
While handing it to him.
– “Just draw in like you do a regular cigarette”
– “Where’s the button?”
– “No buttons, ” he says.
With the clerk watching a bit too intensely Josh puts the device to his mouth an pulls a drag in and inhales, Wow it’s cold! He almost coughs but he catches himself then opens his mouth to exhale and notices suddenly that he can taste..  is that strawberries? WoW! This is not to bad! He takes another hit a little better prepared this time and BAM now that is a great flavour!
– “Yeahs I forgot to warn ya, it’s a cooler flavour”
– “It’s nice”
He says while taking another drag.
– ” How much nicotine is in here?  “
He asks a little worried about not thinking to ask before he took the drag… oh well.
– “None! “
– “That’s incredible it’s a great experience!”
– “Well here’s the thing vaping is all about harm reduction and you will have to do your own research to feel good about defending your decision against naysayers, check out the Vapers Advocacy and Education Project.  Their site is VAEPworld.com its built and curated by a Canadian nurse from Calgary who is really bringing a needed resource to our fight for recognition and fair data-driven regulations”
Josh went for another drag then remembered an article he saw in the paper last week
– “Ok, man to man here, what’s the deal are these going to give me popcorn lung?”
The Clerk was laughing
– “Google it, but look for the amounts of diacetyl in vaping than the amounts in cigarettes, you’ll be surprised.  then ask how many confirmed cases have ever been reported”, said the Clerk.
– “You’re right, heck I even mentioned to you that I had reservations had it not been for my wife who is getting a big smoke free kiss when I get home, I may not have stopped in today with the hop of kicking these damn things!”
Josh pulled out his pack of smokes and handed them to the clerk as if he hadn’t seen a pack before.  Holding them loosely as if to show they carry far less weight then gets attributed to them he asks,
– “What did you pay for this pack?  I know its gone up since the last pack I bought”
– “$15.99 Can you believe that!”
– “Ha ha ha that’s Brutal! You’ve probably tried to quit what ?  5 – 6 times in your life?”
– “Phhhhh at least “
– “I’ll bet you a double-double at least once you didn’t even tell anyone you were trying did ya!”
– “I owe you a coffee, I got this coworker whos a great guy but man he likes to joke around and its tough enough ya know?”|
– “What I know is that the old way used to be a very solitary battle that would have you fighting a battle against yourself with only your will power to somehow know what to do and as such society would quickly hold that as a statement about you as if your either a superhero or a failure at everything”
– “Right!”
– “Well, I can tell you vaping worked for me and here’s why.  That will not be a device you use forever nor will that be the only flavour you’ll ever vape”
The clerk leans in jokingly as if to keep the conversation private
– “Don’t tell the clinic down the road any of this as they might steal my customers!…….Kidding!”
– “It’s simply this, while you used to fight your battle alone the very act of coming in to try new juice prevents that, think of this shop as your war campaign headquarters and me and all the people you meet as your reserve troops here to help you out where we can.  and trust me vapours LOVE to talk about the latest product and offer tips that helped them have success, you may even be tempted to come to one of the competitions that we throw where we order in some Pizza and have some pop and water out and people come out to build their own coils so they can compete in the cloud competition”
– “What grown men and women standing around seeing who can blow the what?  Biggest cloud? really?”
– “Yeah, the biggest, the densest, the distance, it’s all tongue in cheek fun but it brings people together and that’s what matters cause hey if you’re in here competing in the comp you’re not out there killing yourself with the cigarettes and besides, she’s worth it right?”
Said the clerk with a smile
– “Absolutely!”
Josh looks at his watch
– “Crap I gotta run!”
– “That happens let’s head over to the register and get you on your way”
The Clerk Cashes Josh out and hands him his new vape, and extends his hand for a shake which was met with a pensive excitement by Josh.
– “Just remember, its harm reduction not a time time succeed or fail, check the site and arm yourself with knowledge for the break time banter, and even if you have one don’t give up as one used to do.  Just reach for your vape instead the next time. By the next time I see you, I guarantee you’ll have some questions and ideas about how you want it to be a bit more this or a bit more than and you’ll do great”.
– “I gotta run thank you for taking the t..”
– “Nah go I’ll see ya around, and don’t hesitate for a second if ya get stuck or have questions to stop in. It’s why we are here!”,
– ” Saturday!”
Josh Shouts almost out the door.
The clerk smiles.  Yup, that’s why he left his Career and the security it had built to work his own store.  Nothing like seeing hope and potential from someone who had long ago decided to never allow hope in.
Now to the glass display cleaning! Oh look at that, Josh’s pack of cigarettes on the counter…  The clerk chuck them in the garbage, smiles and says to himself “What pack?”
End Scenario 2
I don’t think I can articulate it better than that and I hope anyone reading this who’s debating the vaping route to remember while every shop will be different in its own way.  Having visited hundreds and hundreds of shops in my day, I can tell you it’s rare that you won’t find someone as passionate about it as our clerk was and who genuinely wanted to help you succeed and has more often than not been through the same thing too.

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