Take a walk down the street, and try having a conversation with people on the road.
Chances are, you will find eight out of 10 people who have grown to despise the vape community and culture.
Could it be the general smugness displayed on vapers’ faces? Or the cloud chasers who cloud up an entire space?
Stigma aside, there are countless reasons why we vape and the truth is, it’s not with negative intentions.
The vaping debate has hit the ground on all levels in social circles – ambivalent sentiments, the “it’s just vapour” defensive statements, or the pro “why should I vape instead of smoke” have been brought up and discussed in fair amount.
The demographics across different countries, culture and age groups vary and people’s behaviours are in a constant limbo – not really making a stand on either side but rather, switching to whichever option works best for them.
The use of e-cigarettes, or more commonly known as vaping has reached a peak, with young people being drawn into the vape culture, but really, what is it that drives one to vape?
The Only Way To Reduce Smoking
A common reason for vaping is that it can be used to help people quit smoking. 22-year-old Amir Hossein used to smoke a pack of cigarettes daily.
“With vaping, it’s funny how I have cut down on cigarettes. I used to smoke every other hour but now I am not as regular as I used to be with smoking. Within a year, I am confident that my lifestyle and smoking habits will change, for the better of course,” said Amir.
“The act itself is inspiring and not as damaging when I think of cigarettes. With vaping, it is the act of inhaling water vapour through a vapouriser or electronic cigarette. With that, water is heated, flavour is released, nicotine (the only addiction) comes to a boiling point, and there you have it,” added Amir.
For a lot of vapers, vaping is seemingly harmless and the culture and community so strong. With myriad e-juice flavours and a bulk of information available online, it makes more sense to give it (instead of cigarettes) a try, without the expense of drastically damaging one’s health.
There’s nothing more appealing and soothing than relying on your vape device to give you a moment to think and contemplate on things. For many vape users around the world, vaping is a social and hangout pastime, that given 30 minutes a day in total to vape, it is enough to provide clarity of thought.
You can call vaping an art, a hobby, a lifestyle – whatever the reason, people are getting their oral fix via vaping.
Cloud Chasers Sub-Culture
A sweet burst of vapour with swirls of clouds, vape cloud has turned into a subculture and is almost likened to coffee art. A quick search on Instagram under the tag “cloudchasers” and you will see thousands of pictures of people taking a hit with vape clouds.
It isn't surprising to see a vape user performing cloud tricks with his vape device to demonstrate his skill and the quality of device.
The sensation of blowing a large cloud in vaping is known to have a sense of accomplishment for the vape community, and in turn helps one disregard other temptations such as constant munching of junk food and excess of cigarette smoking.
The Type of Hit
After two weeks of getting into the vaping community, a lot of vape users will come to realise that their preferences and understanding of vape culture and vape trends have risen. Phrases like throat hit, clouds and flavour are commonly heard.
In fact, e-cigarette UK had surveyed more than 1,100 vapers and found that over three-quarters considered throat hit important or very important when they were first getting started.
What is throat hit in the first place?
According to e-cigarette UK, the “throat hit” from an e-cig is the feeling it gives you on the back of the throat as you inhale.
A strong throat hit is similar to a cigarette and hits the back of your throat which makes you cough. While a gentle or weak throat hit is when the vapour goes down smoothly and there is a lower nicotine level.
For vape users, a good throat hit lies in the quality of the vape juices and variety of sweet vape juice flavours.
Whether it is sweet or creamy, there are so many e-juices that you can choose according to your tastebuds, which again is a major draw for the average vape user.
The Rise of Pop-Culture
When Leonardo DiCaprio made headlines after he won his first ever SAG award this year, there was more news about how the actor was spotted puffing on a vapouriser during the show. People were enthralled by his cool demeanour and classy act when he took a vape puff.
Social media went into a frenzy with tweets and posts talking about the #vapelife. Media outlets such as E-news, provided vivid details describing DiCaprio’s vape puff during the awards stating “DiCaprio’s mouth stands open just so, poised for a hit of that sweet, sweet vapour”.
The heightened social media engagement brought in awareness to the vape lifestyle and showed vaping in a different light.
In the past, a brief feature of vape culture was used in the comedy TV show, 2 Broke Girls and political TV show, House of Cards that brought further attention and discussion to the vape culture.
Vape Accessorizing Galore
10 years ago, the thought of an alternative to cigarette smoking was unheard of. A decade later and things have changed. There’s a whole industry contributed towards the vaping trend from clothing, magazines, bags and accessories as well as various flavours in the form of e-juice. Publications, influencers, magazines and websites have even emerged.
With the mountain of information available, the average vape user has so many choices to make when he decides on vaping.
In UK, there are vaping cafés mushrooming across the nation with many operators choosing to establish their outlets close to cafés or where the coffee culture runs deep.
The UK ranks as the most free country when it comes to vaping and it is only a matter of time before other countries adopt this approach.
The Burgeoning Vape Community
Unlike cigarette smoking, the learning curve for vaping is a steep one. If a vaper does not have a cultural fit, it might be hard for them to get into it.
It’s not as simple as smoking a cigarette. There are questions about the e-juice flavours, the vape experience and on whether the equipment works or not.
However, the start of the vape community on social media groups like Reddit and Facebook have made it easier for one to pick-up the vape trend.
Topics and discussions such as why vape, the pros and cons of vaping, and the general know-hows are well covered.
In fact, most vape companies have also taken an active stand in increasing their knowledge share with vape users making it easier for the new vape user to be part of a culture that will allow them to gain some hands-on experience before diving deep into it.
Ultimately, there are endless reasons as to why we vape but with the growing culture and articles surrounding the vape phenomenon, there are certainly a lot of upsides to it.
Why did you or your friends start vaping? Tell us your story in the comments below and you might get featured on our zine! :)