Weird flavours, mishaps with water and constant fear - if you've swapped cigarettes for ecigs then this may come as no surprise
1. The fear #1Oh, the fear. Vapers live with the constant, unwavering threat of some part of our apparatus letting us down.It's not like if you smoke. Chances are somewhere nearby will always sell you some kind of cigs. Or you can just steal one off someone.With vaping it's different. What if you run out of juice? What if the bit at the end burns out and nowhere sells them? What if you run out of battery?The running-out-of-battery panic means many of us have an automatic rotation system: one is always there fuelling up in the corner, quietly easing your mind. Possibly a third in your bag. One friend keeps one behind each ear just to be on the safe side.If you're like me, you have evolved an irrational fear of ever being too far from a USB socket. The best pub seat is the now one near the plug.2. Stealth vapingAgain this is where vaping is a major departure from cigarettes.Someone might just notice if you lit up in the cinema, for example.Not so with e-cigs. I have craftily enjoyed a vape in any number of locations previously out of bounds: buses, coffee shops, public meetings.Then there's planes. As a panicky flyer I always assumed they tell you not to because it makes the plane fall out of the sky, so I held off.But I'll let you into a secret. It doesn't. Following some stealthy experimentation - by others, I stress - I can report vapes on a plane do not lead to air disasters.(Caveat: if you get thrown off the plane for doing it anyway, I am not liable.)
3. Vaping in the car. In the warm.This is obviously unique to those of us who drive, but it's another unexpected bonus of the e-cig revolution.No longer do you have to wind the window down on a freezing cold morning to get your fix.No longer do you have to turn up the radio when you get onto the motorway to drown the roaring of the wind, just so you can finish your disgusting habit.It's a remarkably simple pleasure.READ MORE: Young mum left with horrific eye injury after e-cig battery EXPLODES in her faceREAD MORE: Mum complains as school confiscates e-cigarette from son with 10-a-day smoking habit4.
The fear #2
When I first decided to write this I asked a friend, a veteran vaper, for her ideas.Panic seems to run through all of her suggestions.Here are some of them.The blind panic of losing one. The blind panic of the battery flashing low unexpectedly. The blind panic of accidentally leaving it plugged in overnight and thinking it's going to blow up in your face. The blind panic of trying to find one abroad (see below).Considering it's something people do to calm themselves down, vaping is surprisingly fraught with uncertainty and terror.5. Ecigs and water: not friendsThis is perhaps unsurprising, but the creepy thing that happens when the stick-type e-cigs (the ones that look like actual cigarettes) do come into contact with water is hard to describe.They kind of start glowing repeatedly and slowly, a bit like watching an alien slowly die.More than once I've dropped one in the sink, fished it out and thrown it in my bag on the off chance it might start working again.Months later I've found it there in a side pocket, still very quietly glowing on and off like it's breathing, still silently dying.6.
The fear #3Holiday vaping.
Ultimately what's behind e-cig related panic is the terror that after two years on the wagon you'll be in a scenario where you can't access e-cigs – and end off falling back into the all-too-welcoming arms of Malboro.Never is this more the case than on holiday.Last year I went on a long-haul break for the first time since I'd started vaping – and the time most people would have spent choosing a bikini was spent meticulously planning my requirements.What if they don't do e-cigs there? (They didn't.) Exactly how many different chargers and bits and pieces am I going to need to pack? WILL I GET THEM THROUGH SECURITY WITHOUT BEING ARRESTED?The friend above once took me on a particularly stressful trek across Majorca when she ran out of disposable ecigs, just to find a specific shop that sold them.The ride there was pretty tense. The ride back, less so.7. Weird flavours. I mean really weirdThis one is a revelation.Vapers are not tied to the choice between that disgusting tobacco taste or that disgusting tobacco taste with a bit of menthol added in.Among the unlikely flavours genuinely available are Jaegerbomb ('a mistake', according to one colleague), donut, Fruit Salad (as in those chewy sweets from when you were a kid), Malibu and absinthe.If that all sounds a bit sweet/alcoholic, then you could go with pizza, smoky bacon ('the worst thing ever', according to the internet), roast beef and chicken tikka massala.The world's your oyster. I haven't found oyster flavour yet, admittedly, but it's probably in development.