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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

We Might Not Agree About E-Cigarettes, but Can We All Agree That "Vaping" Is a Terrible Word?

Posted by on Tue, Mar 11, 2014 at 3:25 PM

As an ex-smoker, I'm very leery of e-cigarettes. I think they're another way for Big Tobacco to convince smokers to try to tone down, rather than quit, their cigarette habits. Most everyone I know who tried to switch to e-cigarettes for the health benefits have wound up back on, uh, analog cigarettes within a matter of weeks. Having "failed" at their attempt to curb their smoking habit, they become even more disillusioned about quitting, and they're less likely to try to quit again.

But the biggest question about e-cigarettes has yet to be answered: Are they anywhere near as bad for your health as cigarettes? We just don't know, and we're still figuring out how to regulate the burgeoning e-cigarette market. This report by Dierdre Lockwood contains the most level-headed thinking about e-cigarettes that I've seen in one place. Here's a taste:

Compared with tobacco products, e-cigarettes are a safer option for smokers; they don’t deliver many of the harmful by-products of tobacco combustion, says Maciej L. Goniewicz, a toxicologist at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, in Buffalo. Nicotine is addictive and can increase heart rate, but it poses lower risk than the carcinogenic compounds in tobacco smoke, he says. The glycerol and propylene glycol in e-liquid are generally recognized as safe by FDA.

“But there’s no reason for experimenting with this product if you’re not already smoking tobacco cigarettes,” he adds. Little research has been done on e-cigarettes’ acute health risks, and their danger, especially for long-term use, is unknown. As the devices are unregulated, the quality control of the more than 250 brands currently on the market is uncertain.

There's a whole lot more in Lockwood's report, including the possibility that e-cigarette users might be inhaling tiny particles of metal into their lungs, and you should read the whole thing if you've been thinking about e-cigarette use.

On a more surface level, the thing that I don't understand about e-cigarettes is the way the industry seems to be coalescing around "vape" as a verb to describe the use of their product. There is nothing at all appealing about replacing "vape" for "smoke" or "vaping" for "smoking." It's a terrible, unappealing word that, overnight, everyone seems to have agreed on as an industry standard. Since e-cigarettes are going to be around for a while, can Big Tobacco at least spend some money on promoting a different verb? Mist? Fog? Cloud? Steam? Puff? Something? Anything?


Comments (27) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
Remember: vape is a crime of violence, not sex.

Only you can prevent "date vape."
Posted by Pope Buck I on March 11, 2014 at 3:28 PM · Report this
Dougsf 2
They know they can reach well outside the cigarette-smoking demo. E-cigarettes are the wine coolers of tobacco.

And yeah, getting misted sounds way better than getting vaped.
Posted by Dougsf on March 11, 2014 at 3:31 PM · Report this
everything about using a e-cigarettes screams out Pretentious Douchebag. As such, the verb 'to vape' fits perfectly and should not be allowed to change.
Posted by genevieve on March 11, 2014 at 3:32 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 5
All the obnoxious douchenozzles I've met who showed off their glowing blue LEDs < My friends and family not dying of lung cancer.
Posted by undead ayn rand on March 11, 2014 at 3:46 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 6
too late.
Posted by Max Solomon on March 11, 2014 at 3:56 PM · Report this

Agreed, but just for added emphasis, can we alter the pronunciation to "vaep" (as in "happy") instead of "veip" (as in "say")?
Posted by COMTE on March 11, 2014 at 4:05 PM · Report this
treacle 8
No Slog poll? Whatever is this world coming to?

Also yeah, too late. E-cigs being whatever they are, their existence trails behind the larger, boxy, table-based MJ vaporizers which have been around for several years... and with which one 'vapes'.
Posted by treacle on March 11, 2014 at 4:10 PM · Report this
Fnarf 9
"Vape" reminds me of something porn stars do when they spread real wide.
Posted by Fnarf on March 11, 2014 at 4:18 PM · Report this
theophrastus 10
"huffing" perhaps? amounts to the same thing; inhaling vaporized solvents, nicotine, and unregulated gawdknowswhat flavorants. beware the vaporized devil you don't know.
Posted by theophrastus on March 11, 2014 at 4:27 PM · Report this
SPG 11
Just like top hats and kilts, we can add e-cigarettes to the list of things that look totally stupid when you do them.
I'm also with @3 on letting them call it vaping just to reinforce how stupid it is.
Posted by SPG on March 11, 2014 at 4:51 PM · Report this
Why do people refer to smoking as a habit? While there may be habit-like elements to it, it is fundamentally an addition.
Posted by I Got Nuthin' on March 11, 2014 at 4:52 PM · Report this
How about the term "cig juice". I hate that term, I think of big glasses of chewing tobacco spit. Bleah
Posted by I Love IPA on March 11, 2014 at 4:54 PM · Report this
Time for legislation that categorizes e-cigs as exactly the same thing as regular cigarettes.
Posted by I Got Nuthin' on March 11, 2014 at 4:55 PM · Report this
Amen to "vape". What an awful word.
And @2 "the wine coolers of tobacco" {smile} and they probably will entice the jello shot generation.
Posted by crone on March 11, 2014 at 4:55 PM · Report this
Vape/vaping is just a marketing term at this point anyway; few-to-none of the e-cigs available for sale everywhere are actually capable of the temperature control necessary to achieve vaporization while still avoiding combustion. True, they do have advantages over a traditional cigarette such as an electronic ignition source and controllable amounts of nicotine per dose, but you're still inhaling (and exhaling!) carcinogenic smoke.
Posted by Henry on March 11, 2014 at 5:06 PM · Report this
I'm okay with vaping. It's analogous to smoking and we need a word for "smoking but with e-cigarettes." Puff is already associated with conventional smoking; mist, fog, and cloud are associated with weather; and steam is associated with saunas, teapots, compost and other piles. Vape just sounds odd because it's new. Smoke is also an weird-sounding activity for a human.
Posted by chris in dk on March 11, 2014 at 5:35 PM · Report this
mikethehammer 18
If we simply banish them all to Antarctica as a modern day penal colony, they'll be free to develop their own unique language.
Posted by mikethehammer on March 11, 2014 at 7:31 PM · Report this
JonnoN 19
fwiw, all 3 "vapers" I know are ex-smokers who haven't gone back.
Posted by JonnoN on March 11, 2014 at 8:30 PM · Report this
It's called "being just as disgusting as a smoker," granted that's more than one word.
Posted by treehugger on March 11, 2014 at 8:58 PM · Report this
Am I wrong to be shocked how many people seem to forget that NICOTINE is a poison, and causes lung cancer?
Pesticides and poisons aren't "added" to tobacco, but Nicotine is extracted from tobacco and one of it's early uses was pesticides! Fortunately, in 2011, it was made illegal to use nicotine as a pesticide. I quit a 35 year cigarette habit by chewing nicotine gum(not the old square icky stuff, but the modern kind- 4 ml. of nicotine
blast with candy coated flavor for the nicotine fix, and smoked weed for the smoking fix. Eventually (2 years!) I easily quit the gum, now if I could just quit this damn weed I could be much happier!
Posted by Derelect St. Homo on March 12, 2014 at 12:00 AM · Report this
How about "problematize," as used in the post directly above this one?
Posted by Relling on March 12, 2014 at 12:20 AM · Report this
Buttercup 24
@22: they make e-cigs for weed. They don't hurt your lungs or make you smell funky. You don't have to carry a lighter or a separate canister or pack anything. E-cigs / vape pens, whatever you want to call 'em: they rule.
Pro tip: Just cover the glowing part with your hand, Coolio.
Posted by Buttercup on March 12, 2014 at 2:37 AM · Report this
fixo 26
I am grateful that my experiment with e-cigs over the course of a year or so got me completely off a stupid return to a smoking habit. Having lost my last e-cig for the umpteenth time a few months ago, I have not replaced it and don't need it either. As for my son, who became alarmingly fond of smoking cigs around age 17-18, I happily pay for his e-cig habit. He is off the smokes entirely, and his e-cig use is tapering off. No doubt people have a variety of experiences with e-cigs, just as they do with cigarettes, but count me among those who regard e-cigs as a godsend. Amazing, the pious, broad-brush condemnation by many on here, as though everybody using e-cigs is doing it as a fashion statement, or because they are misguided dupes and idiots, rather than people really wanting to get off tobacco.
Posted by fixo on March 12, 2014 at 10:20 AM · Report this
undead ayn rand 27
@22: Yes, you're wrong. Smoke is what causes cancer, not nicotine.
Posted by undead ayn rand on March 12, 2014 at 11:33 AM · Report this
Fnarf 28
furthering @16:

"Combusting is not vaping. However, almost all e-cigs that claim to be portable dry herb vaporizers simply combust herbs. This includes popular devices, such as the Atmos Raw Rx, Ago G5 pen, and devices by Yocan just to name a few."…

E-cigs are universally the shitty kind of vaporizer that actually combusts the material. E-cigs produce smoke, in other words, just like cigarettes.
Posted by Fnarf on March 12, 2014 at 3:34 PM · Report this
@28: Only if they're the kind that use 'herbs'. The e-cigarette generally uses a liquid.

That blog you linked to is only a week old.
Posted by clashfan on March 12, 2014 at 10:16 PM · Report this
Per the CDC: (…)

Overall percentage of smokers who say they want to quit completely: 68.8%
Overall percentage of smokers who attempt to quit in a given year: 52.4%
Overall percentage who will succeed: 6.2%

I am not an entitled douchebag, @3. I do not belong on a penal colony in Antarctica, @18. I am a long term habitual smoker who has been trying repeatedly to quit for a decade. So far my puffstick (or ecigarette, or vapor pen, or whatever you want to call it) is doing more to help me do that successfully than any other therapy on the market (nearly all of which I have tried).

If they're making a difference in that 6.2% success rate, I would think that people like you, who have been screaming about how disgusting my addiction (it is NOT a habit) is for decades, would jump for joy at having fewer "disgusting smokers" (thanks, @20) around.

And yes, vaping is a stupid word.
Posted by Dahlielah on March 14, 2014 at 5:04 PM · Report this

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