One of the e-cig arguments often put forward by current smokers is that e-cigs are actually ineffective for their intended purpose. It’s often said with an underlying smugness, an inherent assumption that tobacco cigs are “the real thing” and e-cigs are just a childish imitation which could never replace their analogue habit. However, the – ordinarily heavier – smokers who claim this are probably basing their opinion on just one e-cig that they've tried, and it was probably the sort of thing you’ll find in your local gas station or convenience store.
The key point to convey is that all e-cigs aren't created equally. Like any other product in the modern world, you have the high-quality stuff (ordinarily with a matching price-tag) and the more affordable but less well-produced alternatives. When you pick up an e-cig at a gas station or retail outlet, you’ll likely get only a cigarette-alike, beginner-friendly model (commonly referred to as Starter Kits), and often not a particularly reputable brand.
Point out to them that for a heavier smoker, the poor battery life on some models really let the e-cig down, but if you find a good one it can last you a whole day and produce a powerful hit of vapor with every puff.
Similarly, you should explain about the different nicotine levels you can get – since low nicotine content could easily put off heavy smokers – suggest that they try 18mg or even 24mg at first, if it’s available. Although they may be operating under the assumption that they’d only want a tobacco or menthol flavor, you can also point out the multitude of flavors e-cigs give you access to. See if they want to join you on your next trip to your brick-and-mortar vape store so you can introduce them to the technology properly.
You can point them to our site (or other e-cigarette blogs and forums) if you don’t have a real-world vape store nearby. As long as they understand that many of the mass-produced e-cigs aren't the best for heavier smokers and have knowledge of the various options out there, they should concede and give them another go. If they get their hands on a high-quality starter kit and start exploring the various e-liquids and cartridges, they’ll at least understand why e-cigarettes are so popular. They’ll see that they work, or at least concede that they have the potential to help a significant proportion of smokers.
If they’re the empirical type, explain to them that there has been plenty of research conducted which shows how effective e-cigs are. For the type of smoker who claims e-cigs don’t work, the best example is the six-month trial that was conducted on smokers with no intention of quitting. Over 20 percent of those in the study maintained abstinence right through to the end of the study, and the group as a whole consumed 88 percent fewer cigarettes per day than they did previously.
Testing a high-quality product proves that the gas-station e-cigs are actually the bottom of the barrel, and for the toughest cookies to crack, clinical trials have repeatedly revealed the truth: e-cigs seem extremely effective indeed.