'It's everywhere' - Overcoming a vaping addiction

'I was going through two disposable vapes day - I could smoke them anywhere'
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

17.10 15 Jan 2024

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'It's everywhere' - Overcoming...

'It's everywhere' - Overcoming a vaping addiction

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

17.10 15 Jan 2024

Share this article

Vapes have become more socially acceptable and are being used "everywhere", a man trying to detox himself off the devices has said.

Irish Independent Podcast Producer JJ Clarke said he used to go through two disposable vapes a day.

He said vaping clouds have now replaced cigarette clouds in nightclubs around the country.


The sale of vapes to anyone under the age of 18 has been illegal since last month.

Mr Clarke told Moncrieff he moved off cigarettes and on to vaping.

"When I was 19 I smoked [cigarettes] for two years - I was in a sort of James Dean phase and kind if devil may care," he said.

"I was smoking 20 a day and I smoked for about two years before I gave up.

"It took actually just going up a single flight of stairs for me to be sort of winded.

"So, I gave up smoking using the book, Allen Carr's Easy Way to Stop Smoking.

"It basically works on the supposition that you're not smoking because you like smoking, you're smoking to relieve the crave for nicotine - and that's all that it is."

'A natural shelf life'

Mr Clarke said he was off cigarettes for 10 years, but that changed last November.

"I was at a friend's apartment just waiting for him - I think he was taking a shower - I was just sat on the couch and there was this tubular device beside me," he said.

"I picked it up and I sniffed it and it smelled like watermelon; I presumed it was a scent diffuser to make the apartment smell nice or something.

"Two or three minutes later my friend comes out and he goes, 'Have you tried that?'

"I took a single drag and it was like an explosion of watermelon in my mouth.

"Fifteen months later I'm buying two disposable vapes day - €7 at the cheap end, €10 at the more expensive end - I could smoke them anywhere.

"Cigarettes have a natural shelf life that once the flames hit the butt you put it out, but vapes you can just vape all the time."

A woman smokes a disposable vape. A woman smokes a disposable vape. Image: Mikhail Reshetnikov / Alamy

Mr Clarke said he was working from home going through two vapes a day.

"There's 600 puffs per disposable [vape], so I was heavily addicted," he said.

Mr Clarke said vaping has become more socially acceptable.

"Cigarette smoking you have the ashtray taste but also you have the smell that comes with it," he said.

"Women get the smell in their hair, lads get the smell in their clothes so that's naturally antisocial.

"But when it smells like Red Bull or Strawberry Ice or Cotton Candy... you go out to a nightclub and at around 11pm they stop policing vaping inside.

"You're permitted to vape inside and this fallout cloud emerges about the dancefloor.

"Some nightclubs actually have vape vending machines and you can buy them for €7 to €10 a pop.

"It's everywhere, even on the Luas or the upper deck of Dublin Buses, people are just vaping willy-nilly."

'A moment of clarity'

Mr Clarke recalls needing to find his vape first thing in the morning when he was still in bed.

"You can feel your heart rate increase when you pull on [a vape] because you're inhaling something that's not air, it's thicker than air," he said.

"It was probably at that point that I had a moment of clarity that I need to get off these.

"It was the same as smoking except it was a nice taste, which is frightening."

Me Clarke is now on day nine of a vape detox using a four-pronged approach - including willpower without the use of aides and telling your friends and family for support.

The HSE does not recommend vaping as a way to stop smoking.

Listen back here:

Main image: A teen vaping on the street. Image: Steven Gill / Alamy

Anyone affected by issues raised in this article can freetext QUIT to 50100 or freephone 1800-201-203

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Allen Carr's Easy Way To Stop Smoking Cigarettes Disposable Vapes Dublin Bus JJ Clarke Moncrieff Nicotine Nightclubs Vapes Vaping Vaping Addiction

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