As an e-cig user, have you found that vaping’s quite a social thing? Have you made new friends because you vape together? Or got drawn into online communities through your e-cig use?
Well, according to a recent study, if you have it wouldn’t be surprising, as it claims that e-cigs encourage not just personal, but social behaviour. Indeed, a culture has sprung up around vaping precisely because of that – it’s not just about the individual; it’s about people.
It’s long been known and accepted that conventional smoking can play an important role in bringing people together and consolidating groups (co-workers ‘going on a ciggy break’ or revellers meeting and talking outside a pub/ bar) – and now it appears e-cigarettes are doing a similar thing, if a little differently.
In her study, Imogen Bevan (a researcher in medical anthropology at the UK’s University of Edinburgh) looked at the everyday lives of vapers aged between 18 and 26 in France, discovering that they socialise in bars, restaurants and e-cigarette shops precisely because of their shared interest.
However, she points out that for many vapers, it’s also a hobby as much as a recreational activity. Owing to the vast number of different flavours available all over the world – a terrific collection of which you can buy and so try out via No.1 EJuice – some e-cig users have got to know each other through online forums dedicated to sampling the latest tastes and become vaping friends. As Bevan points out, “the most passionate users in the field compared their hobby to wine tasting”.
So, while the very first vapers were – and, still now, those new to vaping often are – drawn together by a healthy alternative to smoking, they now have “something stronger in common than smoking cessation … they come together to celebrate a new practice and novel possibilities”; these possibilities being all about “refined tasting” and “extensive tinkering”. In short, vapers love to try out different flavours and do so while playing about with different e-cig equipment – and enjoy bonding with other vapers as they do so.
Vaping then, according to Bevan, isn’t just about the “gustatory [taste] pleasure” or a “non-medicalised management of health” (an alternative to smoking) or “endless possibilities for individualised tailoring”; it’s about all of these things and getting to know and becoming friends with other e-cig users. Vaping for the win!