GrimmGreen speaks about his enduring passion for vaping and why he will always be a cheerleader for the industry.
It has been six years since I last spoke to GrimmGreen, so it was great to catch up with him again for Vape Live.
We met in 2015 at Vapefest Ireland and he was one of the very first people I interviewed for Vapouround.
While many people and brands have come and gone in that time, he has stayed the course and is one of the best-known names in the vaping world.
YouTube is the platform on which he built his reputation and his unending passion for helping smokers quit is what has propelled him to the success he enjoys today.
GrimmGreen has amassed more than 83 million views on YouTube where he has 390,000 subscribers and the numbers keep on climbing.
On Twitter he describes himself as a professional tobacco control advocate and says simply: “I help smokers quit.”
When we met in Dublin, the US was the vaping capital of the world and all the big names in the industry seemed to be based there.
Now vaping is under attack from politicians, special interest groups and the media and the entire US federal regulatory process in disarray.
So I asked him…what went wrong?
“It’s a mess right now,” he said, adding: “The US vape industry got too big, too quick and then politicians got involved and suddenly it wasn’t just about getting smokers to quit anymore.
“Politics can take something really simple and make it really overly complicated, which is what happened in the United States.”
He said constant warnings from politicians and the media about the ‘youth vaping epidemic’ understandably scared parents, despite the data showing that the opposite was true.
“We currently have the lowest youth smoking rates in the history of our country.
“Between 2019 and 2020, youth vaping had already dropped something like 20 per cent in the United States.
“It’s crazy that this didn’t get reported but we constantly hear about youth vaping, youth uptake and youth epidemic, regardless of what the actual data says.”
He said testimonials from vapers telling how they stopped smoking were vital for getting the message across to the lawmakers, parents and non-smokers alike.
“When we tell our stories we are slowly changing minds. This is going to be a long climb up the mountain, changing one person’s mind at a time.”
“If you have your chance to do a testimonial for anybody then do it. Tell your story. Share your experience. It is an amazingly powerful thing to do.
“We can then take these stories to legislators to show them that thousands of their constituents have made the switch from smoking to vaping.
He added: “It is a punishing process, but when we tell our stories we are slowly changing minds. This is going to be a long climb up the mountain, changing one person’s mind at a time.”
The YouTube star, whose real name is Nick Green, described his own personal part in the process.
“I’m trying to get smokers to switch to vaping and make sure that vapers stay vaping. That’s my mission and as long as I stay on that mission then I’m good and that’s my clear path to what I want to do.
“I’m just a big cheerleader of vaping. I’ve seen what it can do for me and for tens of thousands of people who have told me that they finally quit with vaping.
“I see people who have been unable to quit smoking for 50 years and then along comes this little miracle battery with liquid and suddenly, they can breathe, walk up a flight of stairs and taste their food again.
“After seeing this first-hand, how can I not be the biggest cheerleader for vaping? Vaping has to win. We have to save smokers’ lives.”