THE QUICK FIRE INTERVIEW
GH: How long have you been vaping for?
DD: I picked my first e-cig up in early May 2009. Within ten days, I'd switched completely.
GH: What’s your favourite e-liquid and why?
DD: At the moment it's a toss-up between Pure Evil Scream Queen and Hometown Heroes Rice Crispy Treats. Both are creamy, sweet and more-ish - and both make for very tasty clouds!
GH: What was the first e-cig you ever tried and where did you try it?
DD: That was an oversized cig-a-like. A drummer mate of mine came into my rehearsal studio with it on the Sunday of the week I'd had a reprimanding visit from the Environmental Health bods trying to fine me for allowing smoking indoors. I had a go on it, and the rest is pretty much, history.
GH: What made you switch from the tobacco tubes to e-cigarettes?
DD: I could Vape indoors; everywhere I worked, as a sound engineer, had a smoking ban, and it was also looked down on to smoke over a mixing desk. By the time I'd been using E-cigs for a few days, I forgot to take my smokes to work one day, and never bothered again. The one thing I wasn't looking to do was quit - I just enjoyed E-cigs more than smoking. It was that simple.
GH: What made you move from high flying careers to e-cig promotion?
DD: I’m not sure I promote E-cigs, as such. What I do do though, is campaign hard for people to have the right to choose. Given I was retiring anyway, it seemed the right thing to do - I'm a big lad, with a big mouth, and I'm not scared to use it!
GH: How do you see the future of vaping taking shape over the next 5 years?
DD: In the UK, I think we're good. I've got a lot of work to do, alongside my colleagues in the NNA, to make sure we keep to the right path and hold the Department of Health to account to make sure that idiocy doesn't take root. Globally, though, the situation is not quite so optimistic. Australia, for instance, gets worse by the day, and the USA has a whole other barrel of worms to sort out. In their case, their legal system will, I think, be of advantage to Vapers but it's going to be an uphill struggle. In Oz, well, how do you battle wilful idiocy? As a group, every vaper everywhere in the world needs to sing from the same hymn sheet and oppose anti e-cig idiocy at every turn. We have to present a united front - even those of us fortunate enough to live in relatively enlightened countries.
GH: In your experience, what has been the biggest turning point for the vaping industry?
DD: In Europe, preventing the execrable EU from forcing medicinal regulation on us and also getting major public health bodies to engage with us and listen to us. Worldwide, that will eventually prove decisive.
GH: Your wife is also a vaper - how did you meet and did one of your inspire the other to take up vaping?
DD: We met at college - what seems like a million years ago! To say it was love at first sight may seem clichéd and trite, but that's pretty much what happened. Well, for me anyway. For Gill, not so much! As for E-cigs, once I took mine home and she tried it, she too gave it a go and like me, found she enjoyed them more. And coughed less - bonus!
GH: What advice would you give to those looking to give up smoking in favour of e-cigarettes? What was the hardest part for you?
DD: It wasn't hard, it isn't hard and I have always looked at the word "switch" as opposed to "quit". So, in effect, folks are simply, "changing their brand". Look at it that way, and all the negativity of the word "quit" just goes away. You find something you enjoy more than what you were doing and it becomes a simple thing. Start messing about with quit dates and "having to do this" and you're just making life difficult when it doesn't have to be.
GH: What’s been your most embarrassing moment in the world of vaping?
DD: Being me!