Inside the World of Vaping: a Subculture and Growing Market

Posted by on October 24, 2014
Inside the World of Vaping: a Subculture and Growing Market


Vaping Jargon & Facts

By: Brittany Morrisey

E-cigarettes are all the rage these days as more and more smokers continue to make the switch from traditional tobacco cigarettes. Since their introduction into the United States in 2007, the devices have created a $1.5 billion industry that is expected to eventually surpass the sales of traditional cigarettes.

Also known as e-cigs, these little electronic devices were invented in China by a pharmacist who wanted to create a safer way for smokers to get their nicotine fix without breathing in all the harsh chemicals of regular cigarettes. Rather than breathe in smoke, users breathe in a vapor  composed of water, nicotine, flavoring, propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin.  The concoction is called ‘vape juice’ that comes in a multitude of flavors including bubblegum, vanilla and mint.

Additionally, enthusiasts of  e-cigarettes are known as ‘vapers’ (See a trend here?). And these smokers are not quitters.  In fact, this group of consumers are repeat buyers who want access to the newest e-cig technology that allows them to customize their smoking experience from the flavor down to the creative custom bottle labels.

Meanwhile, the Federal Drug Administration and other health groups have been closely watching the growing e-cigarette movement, and they want to completely change how the products can be labeled and marketed.

filling an ecig clearomizer

Photo Credit: Filling an e-cig clearomiser. Credit: Jon Williams/Flickr Creative Commons

FDA Rules on E-Cig Labels & Controversy

Currently, the FDA does not regulate the labeling of e-cigarette products. But that won’t last long as the governmental body is working on rules to regulate the labeling, marketing and distribution of the products.

Meanwhile, health groups and local governments have called for a ban on vaping in public places .

E-cigarette detractors are mostly hung up on two issues:

1. Whether the long term use of the product is safe or at least significantly more safe than smoking analog cigarettes.

The Jury is still out on this one.  There haven’t been any long-term studies to measure the safety of e-cigarettes. Contrary, studies haven’t conclusively proven that people who vape are harmed by smoking e-cigs.

2. Whether the product is helping people who are are already cigarette smokers get a safer way to get a nicotine fix or inviting a new generation to get hooked on nicotine.

According to U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D- West Virginia),  e-cigarettes are prime for being marketed to children because e-cig fluid comes in fruity flavors.

This is not supported by any real evidence and is just speculation.

So, the jury is still out on this one, too.

Nonetheless, whether supported by fact or suspicion, e-cigarettes will be eventually regulated by the powers that be.

Meanwhile, despite all the detractors, it doesn’t seem like the vapor will clearing up anytime soon.

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E-Cig Jargon for Newbies

Analog cigarette– Those traditional cigarettes with the cancer warnings on the package

Atomizer- The part of the e-cigarette that heats the vape juice and turns it into vapor to be inhaled

Cartridge (Cart) – The part of the e-cigarette that holds the vape juice

Vape Juice, E-juice, E-liquid, E-cig fluid – A mix of   water, nicotine, flavoring, propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin that is heated up and turned into vapor for the smoker to inhale.

Dipping- The process of of adding vape juice into the e-cigarette atomizer that uses an exposed wick. The wick is dipped into as small amount of vape juice to absorb it.

Direct Dipping- Instead of dipping, you’re dropping a small amount of liquid into the e-cigarette atomizer.

Throat Hit- The sensation the user feels when inhaling e-cig vapor. Different e-cigs and vapor juices produce stronger or weaker sensations in the throat.

Vapor drop-off- When the amount of vapor produced by the e-cigarette is significantly reduced due to a dry cartridge, low battery, or a broken atomizer.

More definitions here.

If you have an interesting fact about some vaping jargon please feel free to post it in our comment section.

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