E-Cigarettes and Vaping, a Healthier Alternative to Smoking?

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From their advent, E-Cigarettes and vaping modules (mods) had a generally warm reception among smokers, as well as those looking for a gentle transition away from cigarettes and nicotine altogether.

While there was some disagreement in the scientific community, some were content to count the blessing in the possibility of second-hand smoke reduction. Others were happy at the emergence of more and possibly safer options for their cigarette smoking family members. Overall most reputable institutions, such us Public Health England has shared their opinion on “e-cigarettes” and finds them to be 95% less harmful than tobacco cigarettes!

This timid discourse on the pros and cons of electronic nicotine delivery systems took a sharp turn with the introduction of vaping and advanced personal vaporizers (more commonly known as PVs), particularly among younger adults. Where you have to load your e-cigarette with cartridges manufactured by tobacco companies, vape pens bring variety and excitement in the form of e-liquids, whose flavors and compositions vary greatly between brands and manufacturers. With the sudden boom in interest from the youth community came studies suggesting that vaping could be far safer than conventional cigarette smoking, leading further to the rising popularity of personal vaporizers in the public and in the media.

In light of growing interest, the vape industry went on to take their products a step further, introducing modified personal vaporizers (or mods) offering user-specified flexibility and customization not only with inputs, wattage and voltage settings, but also with components themselves. Vaping captured the interest of smokers looking to quit or reduce the probability of cancer, but also smokers seeking the best, most satisfying smoking experience available. It offered a stylish, nuanced and discreet alternative to traditional smoking that drew more interest from new and old smokers than e-cigarettes could ever draw on their own.

When the technology required to analyze and research the effects of cigarettes and tobacco smoking over the long term was not yet invented, they were thoroughly glamorized on the screen, in television and over the radio. Such ads and celebrity endorsements even managed to appear in some magazines and comic books. As we gain the ability to document and study cigarettes and  their relation to lung cancer, the pervasive glamorizing is steadily losing traction.  This is particularly true in digital media and among young adults, which can likely be attributed to the new fleeting word of mouth courtesy of social media.

However, the fascination with vaping and personal vaporizers runs much deeper; having already passed the test of scientific scrutiny on a number of occasions, vaping has gone on to win over enthusiasts with interests entirely unrelated to smoking and nicotine consumption. Employing specific elements of chemistry, physics and mathematics, the process of perfecting one’s personal vaping experience is deeply involved and allows personalization for each user.

Marketing And Competition

Perhaps the catchiest new addition in the vaping world is the growing phenomenon of competitive vaping (known commonly as “cloud chasing”, or stunt vaping). This lively pastime has proven to be an incredibly impressive marketing gimmick, drawing media attention and sparking public interest via the subsequent circulation of print or web coverage. Competitions are usually bundled in during vape conventions featuring models, guest speakers and giveaways, making media coverage doubly effective as a promotional medium.

Competitive vaping has also proven to be a potent marketing strategy to drive consumers and purchases. With rookie and veteran vapers alike continually experimenting with new setups, endless component combinations are used in hopes of blowing away competition. Contestants are offered recognition, merchandise and even cash prizes depending on the conditions or sponsors of an event.

The object of the competition is to blow as large a cloud of vapor as possible as far as possible, thereby showcasing the power and expert tuning of each participant’s modified vaporizer setup. This has done quite a bit to raise an interest among fans of mechanical or technological interests (computers and automobiles, for instance). The detail-oriented complexity of creating the perfect vape has proven to be a sustainable and rewarding fascination for vape hobbyists and enthusiasts.

Overall Reception

Although vaping and vape culture is in its infancy in terms of distribution and popularity in society, it is safe to say there are a number of  differences that distance the devices from their more infamous predecessors in the minds of the public and mainstream media.

There is no knee-jerk word association between vaping and lung cancer as there is a healthy amount of studies and advocacy on both sides of the argument. While time will bring further research into just how much better vaping is than smoking in terms of personal and public health risks, many are content knowing that existing studies affirm marginal improvement. We may finally have a solution to the scourge of second-hand smoke.

There have been no allegations of industry-wide dealings in the form of sponsorships and donations to political action committees, lobbies or film companies to peddle influence or indoctrinate impressionable minors. Due to diligent regulation, vaping is an activity adults must decide to take up on their own due to the sheer number of components in a vaping setup, all of which cannot be purchased without satisfying minimum age requirements.

Another difference is the reception of vape culture by celebrities and the mainstream media. Where there was a unified push against conventional cigarette smoking and the tobacco industry’s grip on advertising and the courts, there was a generally positive reception to vaping.

Several celebrities have taken up the alternative, and others use vaping to help quit any cigarette smoking. Others have gone so far as to invest in companies in a show of appreciation for helping them curb what they view as a self-destructive habit.

While only time will tell the future perception of vaping, there is certainly enough at present to positively distinguish vaping from cigarette smoking. It is an interesting alternative, an exciting hobby and a unique lifestyle that has captured the interest of many, and likely will not be going away` anytime soon.

About the author Patrick Banks

Patrick Banks is an entrepreneur, full-time dating advisor, and total health & fitness freak. He provides tips on how to exercise and eat well, boost energy and feel confident in your own skin. He believes a healthy body and successful social interactions are two main keys to happiness.

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