Vaping is arguably the most popular phytochemical consumption method, with statistics indicating that over 10% of American adults vape. The statistics also show that the practice is widespread among diverse age groups, as 20% of adults aged 20-29 and 16% of those aged 30-64 vape. Moreover, 2021 market research data estimated the global vape industry’s worth at $18.3 billion.
Despite vaping going mainstream, many vaping history and cultural elements remain within vaping circles primarily due to the negative propaganda around the practice. However, below is a sneak peek into five fascinating facts about the thriving vaping culture.
The Vaping Concept Is Older Than You Think
According to one chronological account of vaping, Hon Lik, a Chinese chemist, and inventor, designed the first contemporary vaporizer device in 2003. However, other inventors had filed patents for vaporizer device prototypes from as early as the 1930’s Lik’s device was the first commercially viable prototype.
Lik’s employer patented and manufactured the device on a large scale, introducing the first vaporizer to US and UK markets in 2006. The device was the predecessor for refined and high-performing vape products like HHC vape products from Astro Eight.
It took four years for vaping to catch on; its popularity skyrocketed in 2010, when vape companies introduced diverse vape flavors, raising the demand for vapes. That’s why most vapers would tell you that vaping is a late 2000s invention.
However, the first-ever historical account of using heat to release and inhale botanical plants’ phytochemicals was 2000 years ago in ancient Egypt. Ancient Egyptians heated rocks and placed herbal botanicals on the hot rocks before gathering to inhale the fumes during religious ceremonies and recreational activities.
The ancient practice led to the development of the “shisha” culture in Modern Egypt and most of the Middle East. Indians also have a vaporization culture, although they call their apparatus a “hookah”. Therefore, the vaporizer as we know it today has had numerous precursors in history.
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Vapes and E-cigs Are Not Synonyms
Although some individuals and online publications use the terms e-cigarettes and vapes interchangeably, the two are entirely different devices. They vary in their anatomy and application.
Regarding anatomy, an e-cig features a design pretty similar to the traditional cigarette because its primary purpose is harm reduction by mimicking the feel of a traditional cigarette. Therefore, it features a pre-filled vape cartridge combined with an atomizer to form a “cartomizer” attached to a low-capacity battery and lack control buttons.
On the other hand, vaping devices come in various designs, from simple vape pens to vape pods and powerful portable and desktop devices called vape mods. However, the basic anatomy of a vape device features a refillable vape tank separate from an atomizer rather than a “cartomizer”.
Vape devices also feature a designated mouthpiece and substantially more powerful batteries. Their design variations allow for a customized experience, and customers can choose to buy a frill-free device or complex devices featuring bells and whistles.
In terms of flavors, e-cigs typically feature menthol and tobacco flavors that mimic traditional tobacco cigarettes. In contrast, vapes feature diverse flavor profiles, from fruit, candy, and dessert to scotch and terpenes from distinct cannabis strains.
Vaping Is Tech-Savvy
One factor contributing to the growth of the vape culture is the amount of innovation that makes vape devices more efficient and user-friendly. Besides drawing consumer attention, the vape industry’s innovative nature also caught Silicon Valley investors’ eyes.
Silicon Valley is at the heart of almost all technological and software developments globally, meaning the vape industry is pretty special. One significant victory for the vape industry was the development of the Plug and Play Technological Center and Innovation Hub exclusive for vape startups.
The program selects 20 applicants annually from a pool of vape startups and gives them three-month access to the incubation center’s resources. Such resources include data experts, innovators, artificial intelligence and app developers.
Moreover, more investors in Silicon Valley are also working to establish vape-centric incubation hubs. Therefore, vapers can expect some digitally savvy vape devices in the future.
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A Thriving Vape Culture Exists
Vaping extends beyond gadgets and vape juices to include cultural events where vaping enthusiasts get to interact and bond over vaping knowledge. One such event is the “cloud-chaser” competition, where vapers compete to blow vape clouds the furthest distance and perform vaping tricks.
However, if “cloud-chasing” is not your thing, you can also attend a “vape meet”, which is like the comic convention for vape geeks. “Vape meets” present an opportunity to interact with vape brands, sample vape juice flavors, view or test the latest vape devices, and make friends.
Some vape enthusiasts also exchange gadgets and showcase their vape device customization during such events. However, the latest sensation in the vaping culture is the creation of vape-themed mixtapes.
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Vaping Is More Fun
Technically vaping sessions last longer than any traditional method of nicotine intake. That means your total intake of nicotine might remain the same while you may have it for a greater period.
Smoking burns botanicals, leading to the production of tar and other harmful substances like carcinogens as byproducts. However, vaporization only heats plants and plant extracts to the ideal temperature for phytochemical release, preventing tar release.
Vaping is more than a casual pastime; it is a cultural phenomenon that inspires creativity and authenticity. Therefore, the vaping industry is worth exploring, whether out of curiosity or passion, to discover the fascinating opportunities it holds for you.