One of the best things about the vaping community is how friendly, helpful, and generous vapers are to one another. It should come as no surprise, considering that many business owners in the vapor industry are former smokers who started their business out of a desire to help others.
If you’re a current e-cigarette user, there’s a good chance that you can remember a time that you needed some help or advice from someone more knowledgeable and experienced. Some are lucky enough to have close friends or family members to help them along, but others have to look to their local communities or go online for help.
That’s why many vape shops, forums, and online e-cigarette communities have set up “pay it forward” (or “vape it forward”) programs in their communities. It’s a way to “spread knowledge and goodwill throughout the community, while making use of neglected juice and equipment,” as vaper Ian Jones puts it.
It turns out that most people who have been vaping for awhile have a lot of extra unused equipment lying around. But it takes a whole community to successfully connect vapers with unwanted e-cigarettes with the smokers who need them.
You should consider joining a pay-it-forward group if:
- You are a vaper with extra e-juice, equipment, or an extra e-cigarette you don’t use anymore lying around. Maybe you experimented with a few different ecigarettes before finding The One, and your old ones are just gathering dust in your closet. If that sounds like you, consider donating or lending one or two of the e-cigarettes you don’t use anymore to a new vaper or a smoker you know who wants to try a smokeless alternative.
- You are a smoker who’s thought about trying a vape at some point or another. You don’t have to know anything about vaping or know what kind of e-cigarette you want yet—the point of pay-it-forward programs it to make it simple and easy for smokers to give vaping a try. All you need is the desire to give e-cigarettes a try and there’s a good chance there’s a more experienced vaper out there who would be happy to set you up with a solid beginner’s e-cigarette and teach you everything you need to know.
Vape It Forward Online
Online forums are a great way to learn about and experiment with vaping in the midst of a community of like-minded individuals. New vapers can connect with and share experiences with other beginners, and they can also benefit from the wisdom and expertise of the more experienced vapers in the community.
There are several forums and online communities set up specifically to help vapers donate starter kits, accessories, and e-liquids to smokers who want to try vaping. Most of the donors are former smokers who want to help others make the switch, and are willing to give advice and gear to help out others in need.
The Vaping Underground has a fairly active pay-it-forward forum where members can post threads about vapor gear they are in need of or are willing to donate. There is also a Reddit community called “Vape it Forward” with thousands of subscribers participating. Their motto is: “As we vape, we accumulate, so let’s pass on the good fortune!”
These online communities are good for more than just getting free stuff, though. They are made up of thousands of friendly vapers with loads of knowledge and advice to offer, so make sure to check them out!
Vape it Forward Local
You can also get involved in local pay-it-forward groups and co-ops by scoping out opportunities in your local vaping community. There are many local vapor shops and activist groups around the world that have set up programs to help new vapers and smokers looking to switch get their hands on free and inexpensive supplies.
Your local vape stores are a good place to start; check to see if your local shop coordinates a pay-it-forward program for customers. They sometimes provide email lists and other programs to help connect new vapers and smokers with more experienced vapers who have extra kits and gear to donate.
But you don’t have to go through a shop or organization. Vaping it forward can be as simple as donating to someone you know who’s in need, whether it’s a struggling new vaper or a smoker you know who has thought about making the switch.
If you know other vapers in your community, consider encouraging your friends to make an effort to “vape it forward” and donate their extra gear to someone they know who might use it. You never know when you might have the chance to make an impact and change someone’s life for the better, forever!
There are also “swap” programs for new vapers that help those new to vaping experiment with different e-cigarettes and e-liquids. They provide an easy way for new e-cigarette users to trade e-liquids and e-cigarettes with one another.
Swap programs are great for new vapers having a difficult time finding an e-cigarette style or flavor that works for them. They allow new vapers the chance to experiment and see the best that vaping has to offer without having to invest a lot of time and money while they’re still getting started.
Swap programs are important especially because research shows that smokers are more successful at making the switch to vaping when they have access to variety. Second-generation devices, in particular, are the most satisfying smokeless alternatives, but many new vapers give up before they get a chance to try one.
Have Old E-cigs? Why Not Vape it Forward?
It’s important to continue and to expand vaper-led educational campaigns and pay-it-forward programs. Not only is it a great way to help people in need, but it shows the rest of the world what the community is all about.
Some people unfairly stereotype vapers as arrogant and disrespectful, but anyone who’s truly interacted with the vaping community would know better. The e-cigarette community is full of generous, genuine people who care about improving their lives and about the wellbeing of others.
The vaping community is full of experienced vapers who are willing to go out of their way and donate their time, money, and equipment to help others successfully switch to a smokeless alternative. But even though the rude and obnoxious e-cigarette users sometimes stand out the most, it’s the quiet, helpful, and respectful vapers that truly represent the heart and character of the community.
In a world where vaping is often falsely linked to smoking and Big Tobacco, vaper-led charity efforts are vitally important for preserving the reputation and legitimacy of e-cigarettes. Pay it forward programs communicate to smokers, parents, lawmakers, and government officials what vaping is really about.
Take a little time to consider today what you might have to offer others in the e-cigarette community, whether it’s vaping gear, knowledge, or even just encouragement and a listening ear. A little bit of your time and effort could help another struggling smoker become a happy vaper and make the world a better, healthier place to live in.