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Do You Speak Vape? Vaping California Style

Do You Speak Vape? Vaping California Style

Electronic cigarettes, generally referred to as e-cigs, were introduced into the United States less than 10 years ago. The benefits they provided quickly became obvious, and their popularity grew rapidly. Unsurprisingly, the one state which accepted them instantly was the trendsetting state of California.

California had established a reputation for being “anti-smoking” and was a leader in banning smoking in public places, on public transport, and then in restaurants and cafes. It even extended the ban to some open spaces like childrens’ playgrounds.

So, how were Californians supposed to get their “nicotine fix”?

electronic cigarette nicotine

E-cigs were the answer. This alternative system for getting nicotine into the body owed its initial success to the fact that is was the closest option to the smoking experience. Alternatives, such as nicotine patches and nicotine gum, could not replace the feeling of satisfaction of holding a cigarette, inhaling, and then exhaling the smoke.

However, e-cigs were more than just a mechanical means of delivering nicotine. They spawned a whole new social subculture with its own language and specific locations where the experience of using these devices could be shared.

Firstly, a new word was coined to describe this experience. Because the devices emitted a water based vapor when exhaled the process was named “vaping” and the users were termed “vapers,” paralleling “smokers” and “smoking.”

E-cigarettes comprise a number of components, such as a battery operated heating coil, a reservoir containing the nicotine or other flavored liquid, and an outer cover. Vapers have created a whole new language for describing these elements which is totally incomprehensible to outsiders.

The following statement by a vaper was reported by Owen Bennett Jones, the correspondent for BBC News in Los Angeles:

OWEN BENNETT-JONES, PRESENTER, NEWSHOUR, BBC WORLD SERVICEThere’s a cloud-chasing meet and I want to win. And no. Not the clouds in the sky. So here’s the set-up. I want a sub-ohm rechargeable, authentic mech mod so that I that can crank up the power. And a metal rebuildable atomizer. Drip tip, of course, and then a wire coil with a dual silica wick.

I know its old-fashioned but, you know what? I’ve never liked the eco wool. And steel mesh? I haven’t seen one of those for months now. That’s for cave men.

Nic level? Three milligrams. And, let’s go for organic kosher shazamazam – it’s a bit like the grape candy you can get in Korea, if you’ve ever had that.

This is a good example of what could be termed “vapespeak” and is an indication of how e-cigarettes are creating their own social experience.

In California alone there are reputed to be around 1000 vape shops where vapers can meet, buy their supplies, and socialize. Some of the locations actually look like bars. Others have relaxing lounge areas where customers can vape and have a cup of coffee. And the newest phenomenon is locations appealing to niche markets of vapers wanting, for example, to listen to rap music or appreciate art as they vape.



Because of the growth, success, and increasing use of e-cigarettes, California legislators are beginning to turn their attention to the possibility of controlling or regulating their use, at least in public places. With its history of political correctness in the field of public healthcare it is likely that California will place some limitation on the public use of e-cigarettes.

However, since it is generally accepted that e-cigs are considerably less harmful than tobacco, there is no doubt that many Californian vapers will happily keep on vaping.