“Shame is the most disturbing experience individuals ever have about themselves; no other emotion feels more deeply disturbing because in the moment of shame the self feels wounded from within.”
— Gershen Kaufman (contemporary scholar of shame)
The quote listed above is from an article on the website, Psychology Today about “Shaming” and how people feel when experiencing “shame” — which clearly illustrates how “no other emotion feels more deeply disturbing” like being wounded from within.
Considering this, it is significant to inquire what purpose exactly does the behavior of shaming others ultimately accomplish? Yet, at the same time, the answer becomes quite clear and the act of shaming is thus nothing more than juvenile behavior.
Vapers are known to be very passionate and proud of their successful transition. As nonsensical as the concept of VapeShaming truly is, it is also directly observable, openly funded and therefore increasingly present within our current social reality as vapers.
But, why? Why would someone ever be ashamed of vaping? Good question. As vapers, we are passionately proud to have invited this new modern technology into our lives.
Especially those vapers who have been smoke-free since before the dreaded and harsh regulations that hammered down the communal enthusiasm attached to the vape culture.
So, again, why would anyone feel embarrassed, afraid, apprehensive, reluctant or ashamed of achieving their personal goal of quitting smoking via vape juice?
Shouldn’t this be something that is celebrated on countless platforms, whether for the self-satisfaction from one’s own emotional state or perhaps a socially embraced appreciation?
Smoker-Shaming Used on Vapers
First things first, Vaping is Harm Reduction from Smoking. It is significant to understand that Vaping is Not the Same as smoking.
However, the anti-vaping establishment wishes to communicate a false narrative to the public that vaping is no different than being a smoker, in order to impose countless harsh regulatory measures that places a stranglehold on the industry.
Quitting smoking has proven to be one of the most difficult personal struggles a person could ever imagine without direct experience.
For many people, the experience is largely the same — society drills the idea that smoking is a horribly addictive habit that can create potentially fatal consequences and so smokers wish to rid their lives of cigarettes.
As a result, wanting to quit is fueled by a number of social forces similar to peer pressure.
Smoking has been linked to fatal diseases, so naturally, people hope to quit to regain the full potential of their health and wellness that has not yet already been lost and damaged forever.
The most pressure to quit is likely in direct correlation to the fact that from the health risks involved, more and more people detest the very thought of smoking and often project this disgust onto the individuals who smoke.
Since society has grown to largely despise the very act of smoking, those who choose to smoke are stamped with an undesirable generalization of what type of person they likely are
This begs the question, would we do this sort of thing to any other group of people nowadays, as we live in the 21st Century?
In 2018, while many individuals remain feeling dissociated from the mainstream, it seems the majority have grown far more tolerable of others different from themselves.
Well, at least, far less confrontational — in reference to comparing past times of extreme intolerance characterized by what our history tells us.
Therefore, many believe there has been a development of more accepting views of nearly every group of people society has historically denigrated.
Smokers have been shamed in the U.S. for decades and now from the inaccurate correlation that vape juice and cigarettes are one in the same, the option to shame those who have moved on to the healthier alternative of vapor devices has become a new form of expressing hateful and envious attitudes.
Consequently, this very concept allows for the unnecessary creation of “Closet Vapers” to become a reality.
Truth & Lies About Vaping
When it comes to vaping, there should NOT be a stigma attached to such an astonishing technological breakthrough. There is nothing inherently wrong with vaping. It was designed as a healthier alternative to smoking and it has lived up to the promise of its purpose.
Tens of Millions of human beings worldwide have proudly quit smoking — all thanks to the vape industry and the impressive progress by applying highly effective approaches to innovation, allowing for about a 95% safer alternative.
Vaping is truth and truth seems to be a feared enemy in modern America
As vapers, we are allowing the opposition to share and spread an entirely inaccurate narrative that vaping consists of nothing different than what actually makes up the act of smoking. Vapor devices are being categorized as equatable to cigarettes.
Their message is much simpler than ours:
“Vaping is smoking, all you need to do is look. Look at the people doing it; look at how they spew that aerosol everywhere, just like smoke. These people claim it is healthy in order to influence your children. Don’t fall for it! Vaping is Smoking.”
This narrative message above is a fable — it is an entirely false narrative that should be condemned and never condoned.
The truth is that Vaping is NOT Smoking. It’s not a matter of opinion, but physics, chemistry and basic statistics quantify numerical figures which tell a factual story with numbers — as the saying goes, “numbers don’t lie, people do.”
Taking the proud attitudes that are a natural result of switching to vapor devices and turning it against us. Though, unfortunately, we must accept the fact that this entirely inaccurate comparison of claiming there is an equivalence to smoking and vaping is absolutely real, yet it also an extreme misconception so unnecessarily designed by business interests who stand to lose revenue as the vape industry expands.
The fact is that for every new vaper, we find an ex-smoker. From a business standpoint, this is something very threatening to the opposition of vaping.
Even though, quitting smoking and switching to vaping, is technically something that has created a positive difference in someone’s life we must remind ourselves it has likely created an opposite reaction in another’s life.
Don’t Be Ashamed Of Vaping
Celebrating the achievement of quitting smoking must remain a key feature to this culture. However, keeping it to a point of respectful expression is necessary just as sportsmanship is in sporting events.
After all, economics is a competition or a weapon depending on where you are positioned in the system.
If we think that just because a product is good that it will stay unaffected and forever embraced then we have lost our minds and have no focus on the true social reality we function within.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with being proud and celebrating our success. Yet, to celebrate our beliefs is also to open ourselves up to ridicule, making us an easy target. Is that to say that celebrating is also making yourself vulnerable? Yes, of course.
The concept of “Vape-Shaming” seems slightly outlandish and for good reason. It is entirely unnecessary. It would not exist without the openly direct tactic of relentlessly equating vaping to the one thing vaping has been proven to reduce harm from — that is, of course, smoking.
Vaping is and always will be the healthier option, though the system we operate in would rather paint an incorrect portrait of a false narrative that the general public easily subscribes to.
As Americans, we were taught growing up to tell the truth and to be honest. It’s time we start treating one another better and building trusting relationships through a stronger expression of genuineness.