Just a few years ago, electronic cigarettes were a relatively new phenomenon, but that has quickly changed. In 2014, you can spot people vaping all over the world. As ecigs have soared to unexpected levels of popularity, there is a vast subculture of vaping that has rapidly formed as a result. This week, Yahoo News took a closer look at the vaping community and the current ecig craze with mods.
Rob Walker did an excellent job of investigating what the ecig culture really cares about. He pointed out that there is a whole world of vaping action that happens far beyond the basic ecigs brands. “The movement revolves around electronic devices that deliver nicotine but otherwise hardly resemble cigarettes at all,” he said.
If you are unfamiliar with ecig hacks and mods, it can be an eye opening experience to really see what is out there. Experienced vapers work tirelessly to tweak their atomizers and customize their e-liquid blends. The result is a one-of-a-kind vape with maximum vapor and unique flavor. Walker pointed out that some ecig hackers get so good at their hacks that they go professional and sell the mods for hundreds of dollars.
Walker noticed that ecig mods were most often seen on ecig forums or through meet-ups at local vape shops. People proudly display their latest ecig builds like old car enthusiasts would show off their hot-rods. However, Walker believes that these vapers are more than just geeky ecig addicts. “These e-cig hackers may just influence how the emerging gadgets are thought of by politicians and policymakers in American,” he said.
Aaron David Ross, a New York musician, told Walker that the technical side of vaping instantly intrigued him. Ultimately, it was the idea of mods that drew him to electronic cigarettes in the first place. “A big part of the attraction was finding something that wasn’t attempting the impossible task of replicating the ‘analog cigarette’ experience,” he said. “It doesn’t feel like a cigarette in your hand, it doesn’t feel like one in your mouth. You don’t hold it the same way. Your lips aren’t in the same position. It’s a different thing. It’s about modifying the ritual in a way where you could get excited about the differences, as opposed to the similarities.”
It seems that mods are loved simply because they are nothing like a real cigarette. In fact, experienced vapers tend to look down on ecigs that look similar to analog smokes and they gravitate towards the more outrageous styles when they need to satisfy a nicotine craving.
Walker also interviewed Oliver Kershaw, founder of the popular E-Cigarette Forum and the E-Cigarette Summit. Kershaw said that in the past few years, “modders” have made e-cigs trendy. He pointed out that e-cigs that look like tobacco cigarettes are mostly inconsistent and that the newer generation of e-cig mods are much more effective for smokers seeking to quit. “These things have got to appeal to smokers,” he insisted.
While vaping is becoming a strong subculture around the world, there is also a presence of vocal opposition to electronic cigarettes. Critics fear that vaping will only make smoking acceptable again after activists have fought for years to create a negative stigma around tobacco. However, Walker discovered that e-cig fans were not hoping to promote tobacco use. In fact, it is just the opposite.
“Spend a little time talking to vapers, and you’ll find that a borderline-preachy opposition to tobacco and smoking is a recurring theme. Nobody involved in this scene has a high opinion of cigarettes,” Walker wrote.
Ultimately, electronic cigarette mods are a good thing for the industry because they promote vaping as an alternative to tobacco. They create a passion among former smokers that want to stay forever tobacco-free and they have found enjoyment in making their alternative as creative and unique as possible.
Do you think ecig mods are more effective than electronic cigarettes that look like tobacco cigs?