How Vaping Became so Popular
Since its humble beginnings of electronic cigarette lookalikes that a small group of people used as a smoking alternative, vape culture has evolved into something special. Thanks to technological advances, there are currently thousands of different types of vape products to choose from created by various brands. Vaping’s presence in the media is evolving as well, going from night-time infomercials to full publications that cover technology, business, and lifestyle aspects. It’s a phenomenon that is currently celebrated worldwide as vape-enthusiasts indulge in the lifestyle.
Let’s take a look at the evolution of vaping culture and the impact it has made on the lives of smokers all over the world.
History Of Vaping
In 1963, a creator named Herbert A. Gilbert filed the first electronic cigarette patent. This was described as a smoking alternative that didn’t rely on the need for combustion. His design looked almost identical to e-cigs (cigarette look-alikes) and embodied similar concepts such as flavor cartridges, heating elements, and smokeless flavored air.
It wasn’t until the initial patent filed by Gilbert that manufacturers began developing this type of product, though. There is speculation that the big tobacco companies intimidated the process as, at the time, cigarette advertising and marketing was a big deal. Anything that could have jeopardized their popularity with consumers was, obviously, frowned upon… And we all know the steps that corporations are willing to take to protect the success of their unhealthy products. A less addictive, healthier alternative to tobacco-filled cigarettes was definitely a big threat to their stance and if made popular in the 60s, could have changed the industry dramatically.
It wasn’t until 40 years later, in 2003 that this revolutionary invention resurfaced and was put into the works by a Chinese medical researcher named Hon Lik. Due to his struggle with an addiction to smoking, Hon Lik was inspired to create such a product as the e-cig. He felt as though smoking was ruining his life and after losing his dad to lung cancer and failed attempts at using the nicotine patch, Lik had a dream that initiated the start of putting the development of Gilbert’s forgotten product on the market.
In 2006, upon the completion of lots of research and trial and error, Hon Lik’s smoking alternative was officially released to the public internationally. This first e-cig included a battery, a plastic cartridge that contained a nicotine solution, and something called an ultrasonic atomizer. This was just the start of an electronic smoking experience revolution that would take place in the years to come.
Current Types of Devices + Products
Also known as cig-a-likes, mini electronic cigarettes are the smallest models of vape devices in existence. With their appearance being strikingly similar to tobacco cigarettes, they are a good option for people who want to be discreet about vaping and not attract too much attention. Since mini e-cigarettes are small, easy to handle and simple to use, they have become popular with smokers who are transitioning into vaping for the first time.
These devices are available in both disposable and rechargeable options. With the battery life being fairly short on the rechargeable e-cigarettes, people who choose to use these often have to keep multiple minis on-hand. Depending on the products they choose, many heavy smokers may find mini e-cigarettes to be disappointing; only a small amount of e-juice can be packed into them, which can make the smoking experiences unsatisfying for veteran smokers.
Vape pens are mid-sized electronic cigarettes; about the size of a cigar. The battery size for vape pens are larger than minis and the battery life lasts longer with uses. These devices also offer a higher concentration option which makes them more popular with heavy smokers.
Once only available for liquid concentrations, there are vape pens now available to accommodate smokers who prefer a wax concentration or dry flower.
Vape Mods and Portable Vaporizers
Vape mods and advanced personal vaporizers (APVs) are the largest form of portable vape devices currently available on the market and they provide the most customizable experience for users. Because of this, they are considered to be the best option for vapers to invest in but they are also more expensive. The difference between these two devices are the way they operate; mods are mechanical and APVs are electronic.
Mods and APVs are usually shaped in two ways; either a tube shape or a box shape and the parts of the devices can be mixed and matched. There are also many options that can be customized such as changing the voltage, different types of tanks, temperature, the amount of liquid being used at once and more.
A product of the evolution of vape culture has been the rise of a plethora of vape companies. Selling everything from the actual vape concentrates to replacement batteries, you can find a variety of brands to choose from in headshops.
A well-known, more premium vaporizer brand is PAX. Created by PAX Labs Inc., the PAX vaporizer is a sleek, sophisticated and innovative designed device built to function with both liquid concentrates and dry herb. This is a great example as to how vaporizers have evolved from the simple mini electronic cigarettes to better fit the needs and lifestyles of people who vape.
Brands are not only constantly reaching to develop new technology in the vape world but to develop high-quality merchandise aesthetic as well. Even Snoop Dogg has his own versions of the vape pen in a collaboration with the G-Pen brand; these are designed with a map of streets in Long Beach California, Snoop Dogg’s hometown.
With the thousands of brands in existence (and still emerging) today, anyone is bound to find one that fits their style and vaping preferences.
Vaping Culture in the Media
What started off as a more discreet and healthier way to smoke, vape has begun to build more of a presence in the media. There are currently full publications dedicated to vaping such as VAPE Magazine and Vape News. These vape-focused media outlets cover the topics of technology, business, lifestyle, and future trends.
In mainstream media, vape culture remains quite a controversial topic. There are concerns over the health effects and how its use is rising among underaged teens. Many outlets have called vape users hypocritical for thinking it is better to vape than to smoke and it has been brought to light that people have been abusing its discreteness by vaping while driving at the same time.
As vaping continues to become more popular, we’re sure to see more stories and research-based findings of it in the media in the future.
The Vaping Lifestyle
More than just an alternative to smoking, the culture of vape has evolved into a lifestyle. There are vape events, like national expos and global festivals that people travel to attend. These events usually include presentations from exhibiting brands manufacturers in the vape industry, entertainment such as vape contests and dance shows, workshops and panel events, and more. Just like any other industry, the vape industry has been sure to cover all the bases when it comes to developing a full-on lifestyle experience for consumers.