I started vaping ironically and now I can’t stop

Lifestyle Sports | Lifestyle

Beware the fad!

Photo by StockSnap accessed via Pixabay.

Fads are always coming and going: fidget spinners, clout goggles and yodelling in Walmart to bother their innocent employees have been notable in the past few years. Us kids like to embrace these fads ironically, trying them out before they disappear with a few refreshes of our Instagram feeds.

I usually avoid fads because my friends already tease me enough. Vaping, unfortunately, was a different story. Just a disclaimer here ㅡ in this article, I make fun of vaping as a generally dopey pastime. I’m never referring to the people who use it as an aid to quit smoking (good for you if you are!). I’m talking about people like me: people who picked up a JUUL once for a laugh and seemingly haven’t been able to put it back down.

One of my roommates has been a hardcore vaper since high school (I’m not sure if “hardcore” and anything to do with vaping should ever be put in the same sentence, but I digress). When we first moved in together, I relentlessly made fun of him — as any good citizen should. However, curiosity eventually overcame me and I convinced him to let me try it. Big mistake. After occasionally using his vape outside at house parties, I eventually bought one of my own. Fast forward to five months later and I am frantically hiding my hefty collection of vapes, juices, and other paraphernalia before my parents come over for a visit.

You’re probably wondering, “Why don’t you just quit then, loser?” The thing is, being a student is unavoidably stressful sometimes, and I have always practiced somewhat destructive coping mechanisms to deal with it.  I come from a sheltered, middle-class background, so moving out into the real world hit me like a ton of bricks. Eating doughnuts used to be my method of choice, but my metabolism couldn’t keep up. I tried compulsive shopping, but now I can’t walk through my house without tripping over countless pairs of my shoes. I don’t drink during the week because I can’t join a frat and I’m not in first year any more, so what else am I left to do?

Thinking too hard about vaping puts me in a state of cognitive dissonance. I know it looks dumb, and there isn’t much research if it’s really any better than smoking cigarettes, but I continue to do it nonetheless. To preserve my pride, I buy vapes that only produce small clouds of smoke – small enough to pass off as my breath condensing in the cold weather. I know, I know, this tactic probably isn’t going to work once July rolls around.

If you feel superior for having not fallen for the vape fad, I have one small favour to ask: next time you see a girl with an air of shame sneaking a quick puff as she crosses into the Ring,  please don’t judge her or her obnoxious grape-scented clouds — she’s just biding her time until Tim Hortons brings out a line of fat-free doughnuts.