Vaping Pop Culture 101

By Matt Casadona

Vaping has quickly become one of the most popular alternatives to smoking tobacco, as well as a trendy option enjoyed for its own sake. Vaping is enjoyed by people from all walks of life, from those recovering from tobacco and cigarette addictions to college students looking for a fun and safe way to party with their friends. 

What started as a niche hobby enjoyed by only the most dedicated enthusiasts has expanded to encompass an entire line of adult products, rivaling tobacco, marijuana, and alcohol. Especially with the dawn of E-cigarettes, a convenient and low-cost alternative to older, more intense vaping rigs, vaping has gone fully mainstream. 

Are you curious about the history of vaping, and how you can get started with the fun new hobby sweeping the nation? Read on to find out more about vaping. Consider this your intro to Vaping: 101. 

The History of Vaping/Smoking

Inventors have been toying with e-cigarettes since at least the 1960’s — maybe even as early as the 1930’s — but the first really commercially viable vapes didn’t hit the markets until the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. 

The first e-cigarettes were produced in China, and were originally only popular in Asia. Then, in 2006 and 2007, e-cigarettes officially became legal in Europe and the USA. This opened up a huge new market for the novel product, allowing average Western consumers to dabble in the smoking alternative. 

Many people who smoke in a more traditional manner will use glass pipes, rolling papers, bongs, and other tools. Rolling papers are very popular among this group, with brands now offering all different types of materials. Some brands carry rice papers, hemp papers, and ultra-thin papers, while others carry wood pulp papers. Additionally, you can buy king size papers, cones, or regular sized papers, depending on your preference.

The vaping industry definitely has a more recent history than other smoking empires, but its success and engagement is growing exponentially. There’s an exciting road ahead for vape enthusiasts!

A Great Cigarette and Tobacco Product Alternative

After a few years of research, scientists deemed that e-cigarettes are less carcinogenic than cigarettes; that means they are less likely to produce cancer-causing chemicals that can damage users’ lungs and eventually lead to lung cancer. 

Lobbying and vaping activist groups continue to apply pressure from, demanding that regulators recognize the potential benefits offered by vaping as an alternative to traditional cigarettes and other forms of tobacco smoking. 

After years of regulatory battles with the FDA, many of which focused on stopping e-cigarette and e-liquid manufacturers from marketing their products to minors, vaping companies were largely successful. 

Vaping Goes Mainstream

With innovative, tasty, and totally legal vaping options now widely available, it’s safe to say that vaping has gone fully mainstream. Popular online vaping companies sell wide varieties of flavors, enticing long-time vaping veterans and new vapers alike. 

What started out as a niche alternative for recovering tobacco addicts has now bloomed into a full-on party sensation, enjoyed by the likes of college students, concert-goers, ravers, and podcasters.

Health Controversy

Of course, the new success was not without its setbacks. In 2019, the country was shocked by a series of gruesome vaping-related deaths. As many as 34 people died from a strange condition called E-Cigarette or Vaping Associated Lung Injury (or EVALI). 

These strange and difficult to explain deaths caused a nationwide panic, with parents of teenagers especially becoming terrified of the thought of their youngster falling victim to EVALI. After months of diligent research, however, the culprit was discovered: vitamin E acetate, a common chemical used by drug dealers to bulk vapable THC. The chemical was largely not found in legal vaping products, however, including most legal and medical THC oils. 

With renewed confidence that safe, regulation-abiding vaping products do not contain the harmful chemical that is responsible for EVALI, vapers have begun to return to their hobby. 

An Industry on the Rise

As real cigarettes continue to decline in popularity, and marijuana becomes legal in more and more states of the US, vaping has never been more popular. Whether as a suitable cigarette alternative for those recovering from addiction, as a fun and convenient way to consume cannabis, or just a fun recreational way to party, vaping is on the rise. 

That leads us to an important question — are you curious about giving vaping a try?

How You Can Get Started Vaping

The good news? You can get started vaping today. Vaping is legal, safe, and most of all: fun! It’s as simple as strolling into your local gas station and picking up an e-cigarette — or, if you’re looking for the good stuff, try out a specialty vape retailer to find the right e-liquid and hardware to suit your lifestyle and taste preferences. 

Kinds of Vapes 

There are various kinds of vapes available on the market. The first thing to consider is what you want to vape:

  • THC: THC, the active chemical in cannabis, is available for legal medical use in many states, and legal for recreational use in a handful — with promise that more states will legalize the substance in the near future. If you’re looking to vape THC, head down to your local dispensary and ask the budtender what their e-liquid options are.
  • CBD: CBD is THC’s more mellow cousin; it’s the stuff in marijuana that gives you that chill, relaxed feeling. CBD e-liquid is also available at most marijuana dispensaries that carry vaping liquid and products. 
  • Nicotine: For recovering smokers, vaping nicotine can help you slowly wean off the substance. Smoke shops and vape shops often carry e-liquid with varying nicotine contents so you can slowly ease off the stuff.
  • Tasty juice: Sometimes, you just want to puff fatty clouds for the fun of it, and for that sweet e-liquid flavor. For hobbyists looking for tasty treats, nicotine-free (and THC-free) e-liquids are a great option. 

Once you decide what you want to vape, you have a few options when it comes to how you want to vape:

  • E-cigarette: This is a slim, convenient option. E-cigarettes are just a bit bigger than a traditional cigarette, and can be kept in your pocket or purse with ease. 
  • Vape pen: For more serious enthusiasts looking to buy larger canisters of e-liquid and blow bigger clouds, a full on vape pen can be a great (and reusable!) option. 
  • Mods: Vape mods are for the most dedicated vape-lovers. Often coming with customizable features, capacity for larger e-liquid containers, and more, mods are for serious vapers. 

What the Future Holds for Vaping

The future looks bright for vaping. With tons of flavors to choose from, customizable appliance options, and more and more states legalizing marijuana — making THC e-liquid legal, too — there’s never been a better time to be a vaping enthusiast. 

About the Author

Matt CasadonaMatt Casadona has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with a concentration in Marketing and a minor in Psychology. He is currently a contributing editor for 365 Business Tips. Matt is passionate about marketing and business strategy and enjoys the San Diego life, traveling and music. 

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