“Vaping,” the act of using an e-cigarette, presents a new way for smokers to satisfy their nicotine cravings. However, it’s a lot more than just a newfangled way to get your nicotine fix. An entire subculture has blossomed around the trend in recent years, complete with events, clubs, and spokespeople.
If you’re new to vaping and are considering buying your first e-cig, congratulations — it’s a popular hobby for a reason. But there are some things you should know about vaping before you make that first purchase.
Many vapers credit vaping with helping them quit using traditional tobacco products. Building your own “hacked” e-cigarettes is a big deal, and vapers love to collect cool vaping stuff. The vapor itself is a big part of the appeal, and there’s no limit to the e-liquid flavors you can enjoy.
1. More People are Choosing E-Cigarettes than Ever Before
You may be surprised to learn that it isn’t the nicotine in tobacco cigarettes that makes them so harmful to your health — it’s the thousands of other chemicals created when tobacco is burned. At least 70 of those chemicals are known to cause cancer. But nicotine isn’t one of them. It’s just what keeps smokers coming back for more.
E-liquid, on the other hand, contains four ingredients, all of which are safe for human consumption. Nicotine is often one of those ingredients, and many vapers prefer e-cigarettes to the real thing. Several vapers use nicotine-free e-liquids because they enjoy the flavor, the vapor, and the physical act of vaping.
2. Creating Your Own “Mods” Is a Big Deal
When you first start vaping, it’s perfectly reasonable to buy a starter e-cigarette just to see what you think of it. But for hardcore vapers, creating your own “mods” is a big part of the hobby’s appeal. Mods, or modified e-cigarettes, hail back to the early days of vaping when the only e-cigarettes available in the United States were cheap devices imported from China. Vaping enthusiasts started hacking these devices to make them more efficient and effective. Today, vapers modify their e-cigs to control the amount of nicotine or vapor they can inhale, the amount of e-liquid a single device can hold, or just because they want to build an e-cigarette out of an old Nintendo controller.
3. Vapers Love to Collect E-Cigs and Accessories
If you get into the vaping subculture, you’ll find that there are vaping conventions and events all around the country – and many of those in attendance spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on e-cigs and vaping accessories.
Vapers love to collect one-of-a-kind mods and hand-made accessories that they can show off to their friends and online followers. Be careful; it’s easy to spend more than you can afford once you see some of the unique products vendors have for sale.
4. Playing With the Vapor Is a Big Part of the Fun
For many vaping enthusiasts, the thick clouds of water vapor you can exhale are the best part of using an e-cig. You can pretend to be Gandalf from “The Hobbit” and sit outside on a summer’s day blowing smoke rings. Or, you can join cloud-chasing contests at your local vaping convention and try to blow the biggest vapor cloud. Just remember to be discreet when vaping in public; blowing huge plumes of vapor can make members of the general public uncomfortable, especially if they don’t know what vaping is all about.
5. E-Liquids Come in Every Flavor Imaginable
Sure, there are plenty of e-liquids available in traditional tobacco flavors if that’s what you like. But you can also buy e-liquids in any flavor you want, from strawberry or chocolate right on up to single-malt Scotch. If you don’t like any of the flavors for sale online or at your local vape emporium, you can mix your own blend — it’s easy enough to mix e-liquid using propylene glycol, vegetable glycerine, candy flavorings or a natural flavoring, and nicotine, if you want. But be careful.
If you’re new to the vaping scene, you have a lot to learn about this vibrant subculture. Many vapers fervently believe in vaping as a way to avoid tobacco and as a fun hobby. Whether you ultimately choose to dive deep into the scene or just stick with a store-bought e-cigarette, you’ll find that vapers are a friendly and welcoming bunch that just wants to share their passion with the world.