Whether vapes appear in a YouTube parody video or are being passed around at a college party, they are increasingly becoming part of our culture. The first modern electronic-cigarette was invented in 2003 by Hon Lik, a Chinese pharmacist, and was first sold in 2004. Over the years, vapes have become more and more popular, especially for young adults and teenage consumers. Some companies advertise e-cigarettes and vaporizers as tobacco-smoking cessation devices. Operating under the assumption that vaping is better than smoking cigarettes, and that by having cigarette-smokers switch over to vaping their overall health will be improved.
While many may agree that vaping is a better alternative to heavy cigarette-smoking; there is a misconception that vaping has little to no health consequences. Vaping is a relatively new phenomenon, and as a result, researchers report that there is currently not enough scientific evidence out there regarding how vaping affects individuals’ long-term health.
Vapes are powered by their battery; these batteries are rechargeable–some can be charged with a Micro USB cable and some need to be charged with a separately sold charger. Vape batteries are attached to an atomizer, which vaporizes the e-liquid in the vape. There are a variety of different styles, brands, sizes, tanks, and colors vapes come in. These differences come in a vast range of prices consumers pay. The simplest vapes, tend to be smaller in size, and hold less juice, and have shorter battery lifespans. The one pro to these simple vapes is that these are the least expensive. When vapes become more complex, they have larger tanks, mods, ability to change vape settings, and hold more juice; they get pricier.
Consumers who feel hesitant to purchase vapes are more likely to feel comfortable buying the simple and cheaper vapes. When consumers become irritated with the short battery life of the simple vapes or how often they have to refill the vape tanks with e-juice, a more complex and expensive vape looks more appealing. The fact that vapes come in so many different brands, shapes, colors, and abilities allows a higher number of consumers to find a vape that interests them.
There are clear differences between how vapes in the United States appear and are sold as compared to cigarettes. On September 22, 2009, a ban was passed which prohibited cigarettes from containing any “additive, artificial, or natural flavor (other than tobacco or menthol)” from being manufactured and sold. This ban was passed in an attempt to reduce smoking in the United States, and e-liquid in vapes were able to avoid this ban. The e-liquids come in an almost endless amount of different. Consumers can buy cigarettes in a grocery and drug store; however, vapes and e-liquids are sold in stores that exclusively sell vape products. This exclusivity creates this idea that vapes are luxury items and may even symbolize a higher social status, which consumers strive to achieve. Starbucks employs a similar marketing strategy with its drink sizes-tall, grande, and venti. These unique size titles create a sense of culture and feeling of in-group status for consumers.
Cigarettes, their appearance, and packaging often have few color variation and have large warning signs about the health risks associated with tobacco-smoking. Vapes, on the other hand, can be sold in bright colors with exciting patterns and do not have the same warning labels cigarettes have. It should also be noted that cigarette commercials on television shows, radio stations, and children’s shows have been banned. It will be interesting to see how Vape Naysh culture will continue to develop.