No one can deny that truck drivers have been a force to be reckoned with since before the days of Jimmy Hoffa. The Teamsters Union may not be as influential as it once was in decades past, but it still packs a powerful punch when it comes to public opinion. A recent news story about vaping in the trucking industry is spreading like wildfire across the Internet. Even though truckers often get a back rap for being “unhip” or “conservative rednecks”, the article makes one thing perfectly clear.
It all started four days earlier when the trucking website, Overdrive Magazine, posted the results of a recent poll that demonstrated the vaping and e-cig preferences of some 1000 truck drivers in America. Results show that nearly 70 percent of currently active smokers have tried e-cigarettes and premium eJuice as a healthier alternative to smoking or as a tool to quit smoking altogether.
Photo Courtesy of Overdrive Magazine
Truck driving is a stressful job filled with extremely long hours, high-pressure traffic jams, and deadlines that must always be met regardless of rain, sleet, or snow. Meanwhile, those long periods behind the wheel of up to 16-hours per day can become quite boring and tedious, leading many truckers to smoke cigarettes as a way to break up the monotony and fight white-line-fever.
Even truckers who are reformed smokers have reached for an e-cig now and then during times of driving stress. Overdrive reports that some 20 percent of former smokers have tried vaping, which most consider a very positive sign. After all, vaping is considerably healthier than smoking traditional tobacco cigarettes and far less addictive. But as we all know, not everyone in our state and federal governments sees it this way.
The San Francisco Chronicle ran a news story on February 13, 2015, discussing the validity of e-cigarettes as a useful “stop-smoking” aid. While the underlying theme of the article is to use vaping devices only as a last resort, the Chronicle does paint e-cigs in a more positive light than in most major media coverage out of California recently.
The Chronicle interviewed a Ms. Roberta Keller, a pack-and-a-half-a-day smoker of over 50-years. She had tried quitting cold-turkey, using smokers gum, patches, prescription medications, and even an experimental therapy from Stanford University. The only method that worked was the e-cig. The 72- year old hasn’t picked up a tobacco cigarette in over 17 months.
If history has taught us anything, having the Teamsters on the side of the vaping community is a pretty good ace-in-the-hole to have. Part of the increase in popularity of vaping among truckers is its safer delivery method of vapor with fewer harsh chemicals. Being confined to the driving cab of a semi-tractor trailer for the larger portion of the day means that truckers rarely get exercise, tend to eat lots of fast-food, and usually have very erratic sleep patterns. Vaping is the one healthy habit that they seem very unwilling to give up.