Vaping and e-cigarettes are the new cool thing–and for good reason. Vaping is a common stepping stone for cigarette smokers who want to quit. It provides nicotine, just without the toxic chemicals of smoke, so it’s better on your body and easier on the lungs of people around you. Vapor also delivers less nicotine, so it’s a good way to step down on the addiction. E-cigarettes don’t necessarily have to contain nicotine, either, so if someone simply enjoys the habit of smoking, it can be a non-dangerous way to indulge in the action. Although vapes and e-cigarettes operate slightly differently, they perform essentially the same functions and come under the same studies and jurisdictions.
“Vape culture” is definitely on the rise. Craft vape shops are popping up everywhere, and it’s super easy to get all styles of vapes, devices, and liquids for vapes. These vape shops are also smoking lounges, which has created a community of vapers (people who vape). Vape culture does more than simply promoting vaping; it tracks studies on nicotine and international and domestic laws regarding e-cigarettes. One of the main concerns regarding vape culture, though, is that it tends to be a man’s culture, even though women are twice as likely to try vaping. Vapers have a bit of a reputation to show off, and marketing seems to focus primarily on young men: advertisements for vapes often include highly sexualized images of women. Although vaping is on the rise, it’s lack of female inclusion could quite possibly be holding it back.
There are still some questions surrounding e-cigarettes and vapes.. Nicotine certainly has negative effects on the body, especially regarding heart disease and heart attacks. The chemical in e-liquids can irritate the eyes, and it is even possible for the lithium batteries in the vapes to explode–potentially in the smoker’s face. We also don’t know the long-term effects of vaping or the liquids involved, because it simply hasn’t been around that long. Additionally, many high school students have started vaping; so while it’s a great way to help long-time smokers break the habit, it may also be a gateway to creating new smokers among younger people.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has stated that it plans to eventually regulate e-cigarettes, but right now, regulation is simply up to the states; however, only four states have managed to pass taxation laws on e-cigarettes. Most e-cigarettes are owned by the major tobacco companies, which are very powerful. Their lobbying has been fairly successful in delaying regulation and tax regarding e-cigarettes and their relationship to smoking laws. In many states, it’s illegal to vape indoors, or even within 15 feet of a door; there are only four states that don’t regulate indoor vaping. There are definitely exceptions to this rule, however. For instance, in Oregon, it’s legal to smoke on Coos Bay Casino, because it’s on Coquille Indian land, which has Tribal sovereignty. So if you want a fun night out where you don’t have to step outside every hour or so for a smoke, this could be a great way to go.