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From nowhere to everywhere in no time at all: the rise and rise of vaping


There’s no getting away from it; the rise of vaping has been dramatic – you may even say staggering. If you’re not a committed, a regular or even a first-time vaper, it all may seem a little alien; even a little cultish perhaps. What can the rise of vaping be attributed to? What’s it all about – a far less harmful and much more preferable alternative to smoking, a habit or on its own or a hobby? (Clue: it’s all three of these things) Anyway, below we address the nature and rise of vaping and try to answer some of these questions…

Vaping – so what is it?

Basically, vaping involves using an electronic cigarette (an e-cigarette or e-cig) to heat up flavoured – and usually nicotine-containing – e-liquid (or e-juice or vape juice), thus transforming the latter into vapour so it can be inhaled from the end of the e-cig and exhaled by the vaper.

To that end, those who vape, because they’re using e-cigs or ‘vaporisers’, are, yes, referred to as vapers rather than smokers – and to distinguish them from conventional tobacco smokers. Indeed, as pointed out, they’re not actually inhaling smoke anyway, but vapour; itself made up of relatively harmless ingredients, including propylene glycol, flavouring, vegetable glycerine and nicotine.

Celebrity trendsetters

In addition to its benefit for those seeking to quit the enormously harmful habit that’s smoking (studies repeatedly demonstrate it’s playing a significant role in these terms; one that’s surely only likely to increase as it becomes more popular and widespread itself), vaping may well owe a degree of its current popularity thanks to the trendsetters of our age – celebrities, that is – being seen out and about sucking on e-cigs of their own.

Why are they doing so? Well, no doubt for the exact same reasons non-famous vapers do – as an aid to give up tobacco and to try out a new and exciting activity and see what it’s all about. So, to name but a few, we’re talking the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Katy Perry, John Cusack, Sean Penn and even Jack Nicholson.

A social activity

Another point of interest that signifies just how popular vaping has become – and that it’s not just a passing fad or a several-year-long trend but something that’s here to stay – is the existence of vaping zones, lounges and ‘vaporiums’, as they’re sometimes called. What are they? Well, they’re a clever creation; an opportunity for people to vape indoors but while socialising away from home, being that they combine an e-cig shop with a lounge and usually a café. It surely beats smoking outside a pub or restaurant in the rain! Indeed, to underline that, consider the fact that the first vaping zone anywhere in the world was erected in the International Departure Lounge at Terminal 4 of London Heathrow Airport – talk about glamorous!

Common terminology

Finally, in our look at the nature and ever rising popularity of vaping, it’s important to note that once you throw yourself into it you’re also through yourself into a whole new, exciting, dynamic and fun culture. And it’s a community that, like it or not, is awash with a lot of terminology – new words to get your head and tongue around. So, to give you a good idea, here are some of them…

Clearomiser – this refers to a device that’s a tank or unit which, screwed on to the vaping device’s battery, helps to hold the e-juice inside in place; a clearomiser also contains the atomiser and coil/ wick (both crucial components for heating the liquid) and can be self-contained or rebuildable to enable customisation

All-day vape – basically, an e-juice that’s ideal for long use; especially good for those flavours that you want to come back to time and again

A dry hit – one of these is bad news; it’s a burnt taste that’s caused by too little e-juice being in the e-cig/ vaporiser and a sign your device requires topping up

Sweet spot – the perfect vaping experience achieved through experimentation and a combination of flavour of e-juice, strength and voltage, resistance, wattage and PG/ VG content in terms of e-cig power

Vaping journey – the term for the exciting period of discovery first-time vapers experience when they’re checking out a lot of new products and technology and seeing what works for them, as well as reaching out to and connecting with others throughout the ever growing vaping community.

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