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Dealing with Difficult People When Using E-Cigs

Posted by on May 07, 2014 . .

When using electronic cigarettes, it helps to deal intelligently with your critics. After all, anyone concerned about vaping is really saying to you, “I want to be healthy. “ Or, they are essentially saying: “I want you to avoid being unhealthy.”

 The tension is coming from this person’s concern about wellness. It helps to focus on their concerns in this area.

Until more people are educated about e-cigs, some people will question them. After all, the average person doesn’t have a clue about their component parts or how they work.  Instead of arguing with them, here are some more neutral statements that can be said:

  • “I fully understand your concerns. Many people are still debating the pros and cons of e-cigarettes.”
  • “My goal is to avoid inhaling tobacco smoke into my lungs.  I did a lot of research on the safety of e-cigarettes before choosing this program to quit tobacco.”

Your goal in dealing with difficult people is this: Don’t escalate the argument. Your approach should not be to change their opinion.  If confronted about e-cigs, your words should be more geared to neutralizing an attack on your freedom to choose.

“My co-workers actually staged an intervention on my e-cig usage,” says a nurse we’ll call Deborah. “My well-meaning friends had all sorts of things to say about e-cigarettes, but they had no concrete facts to back up what they said.”

Deborah says she let them know she appreciated their concern. “But,” says Deborah, “I carefully explained that I don’t have chronic bronchitis anymore. I’m breathing much better than when I use to smoke tobacco.”

Stick with Positive Remarks

When dealing with difficult people who will challenge your usage of e-cig, try using different strategies from the standpoint of positive remarks: It’s not possible to give them adequate information in a single conversation.

No matter what you say, they still need to do some research on their own. Some will only believe good news about e-cigs if, for example, they read it in their doctor’s office—which they may. Physicians groups are now endorsing them.

You’ll be better off not getting offended with overbearing or impossible people who confront you. Try your best to express that you respect their opinions.  Then let them know the e-cigs are a replacement therapy for cigarette addiction that is working for you. Also share that e-cigs do no harm to others nearby.

People who get really ugly might use strong language or order you to stop. How do you manage those people? Do you argue with them? Do you back down and put away your e-cigarette?

“I was caught up in a loud argument at a children’s park one day,” says a police officer who uses electronic cigarettes. We’ll call him Dan.

“A woman was berating me for being a police officer and having the nerve, she said, to wear my uniform while I was polluting the atmosphere,” says Dan. “The more I tried to calm her down, the louder she shouted.”

Dan quickly put away his e-cig, because he wanted to share information. The woman, it turned out, did listen to Dan. He apologized for upsetting her, so she did stop her tirade and tune in to what he had to say.  

“I explained how an e-cigarette works,” says Dan. “She did not fully understand what they were all about. She told me she was upset because her brother had just died of lung cancer from smoking.”

Dan believes that people who become difficult over e-cigs may have issues with traditional smoking. “They want to warn everyone about how bad smoking is, or they may be scared they are inhaling something harmful from your e-cig,” he points out.

Avoid Conflict and Show Concern

Keep in mind that someone being difficult is usually driven by fear. They are not trying to be cruel or rude. They likely do believe that vaping is not that far removed from smoking traditional cigarettes.

By putting away your device for the moment, this helps you open a conversation. You can share that you had questions that needed clear answers before you fully trusted e-cigarettes.

The biggest challenge is to show concern for the other person’s feelings. If they make you angry, this is difficult to do, of course. But, your best strategy of the moment is to tell them: “I understand your concerns, and it’s natural to question everything about electronic cigarettes. I hope you’ll do some more research to find out how safe they really are.”

Dan puts it this way: “I believe if you’re rude to difficult people, they’ll automatically identify every e-cigarette user with you from now on. Be thoughtful and kind, so they’ll stay open to new information. Present yourself as intelligent and sensitive.  If you can’t convince them the safety of e-cigs, maybe they will open their minds in the future.”




FoxNews.com: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2014/03/28/e-cigarettes-doctor-view-good-bad-and-ugly/

Forbes.com: http://www.forbes.com/sites/susanadams/2014/04/29/should-e-cigarettes-be-allowed-in-the-workplace/

NewYorkTimes.com: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/08/science/e-cigarettes-help-smokers-quit-but-they-have-some-unlikely-critics.html?_r=0

Eater.com: http://ny.eater.com/archives/2014/04/why_we_should_fight_nycs_ecigarette_ban.php


New Hampshire Business Review: http://www.nhbr.com/March-7-2014/Are-regulations-necessary-for-e-cigarettes/

Modern Healthcare: http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20140426/MAGAZINE/304269962

The Morning Call: http://articles.mcall.com/2014-02-17/opinion/mc-e-cigarette-smoking-web-20140217_1_e-cigarettes-electronic-cigarettes-u-s-smoking-rate

Last update: May 07, 2014
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