Vaping has been in constant rotation on the news over the past few years. It’s been heralded as a new alternative to smoking. It crept up from obscurity over the last decade and, as of recently, has become the number one way people consume nicotine. Whatever your views are, vaping is ubiquitous. It’s absolutely everywhere you look. So how was it that this trend took its foothold as a staple in global society?
But first, if you’re not too familiar with vaping, let’s address what it is. Vaping is a means of consuming nicotine in which the compound is extracted into a stable substance, mixed with varying levels of propylene glycol or glycerine, and heated using a coil mechanism to release said nicotine as a vapor. The vapor is then inhaled as a nicotine delivery method. Vaping is extremely popular. Here are the various factors affecting the rise of vaping, and the industry as a whole.
How Vaping Beat Its Competitors
Vaping beat out gums and patches by such a long shot that the other two aren’t even mentioned anymore. But how and why? Vaping offered an alternative to the old combustion nicotine delivery, giving customers an experience comparable to the original act. These, to the surprise of many pioneers, were the deciding factors of its success and continue to be a reason why people switch to vaping.
- When you talk about smoking, there’s nothing more iconoclastic than the image of a ploom of smoke rising from someone’s lips. Gums do not do that. Patches do not do that as well. Vaping, on the other hand, gives the visual stimulus people often associate with smoking. There’s an actual cloud being created. It’s the same visual that first got people to start using tobacco to begin with back when Sir Walter Raleigh brought tobacco back to England from The Americas. The English were obsessed with the aesthetics of producing a cloud.
- Another reason why vaping beat out the competition is that, much like smoking, satisfied multiple Freudian fixation happens at once. Patches have none. Chewing fulfills a weak oral fixation. Vaping satisfies a tactile, almost haptic need, as well as the classic oral fixation that cigarettes are famous for. When first brought to market research groups, customers compared the hand and mouth feel of each vaping mechanism, not just the action of inhalation.
- Then there’s the number one driver, aside from nicotine content, that customers look for: throat hit. It’s what lends descriptive terms like: “punchy” and “full bodied” to the experience of vaping. Throat hit is part of the same realm that propelled carbonated drinks to stratospheric popularity over juice. They both have the same sugar content, but one feels different. Throat hit in vaping is a detail that is just as sought after as the actual nicotine. Even then, unbeknownst to consumers, they are one in the same. The perceived throat hit is directly related to the amount of nicotine present in the vapor itself. In traditional smoking, there are many more factors at play, having been manufactured with thousands of additives to get it just right. If you’ve ever inhaled a cigar, you know what true organic matter smoke feels like. The next step down is the carcinogen-enhanced “perfect hit” of a cigarette. Parallel to that is the cleaner, non-combustion throat hit of a vape.
Vaping also gave opportunities to young entrepreneurs. It serves as an avenue for small players to build up their knowledge about business in general, and large players to maximize their reach in a multi billion dollar industry. Because of this, the entire entrepreneur market opened its arms to vaping. There’s gadgets, quality nicotine for vape in the form of e-juice, accessories, retail branding and marketing, online stores–you name it.
The multiple facets of the vaping industry are ripe for additions and new ideas. That’s the beauty of vaping. Because it’s new, it can always improve. It can always grow. Like technology in general, there are massive amounts of moving parts. But the downside of opening up the industry to so many aspiring entrepreneurs is that some people have been known to make their own extracts of nicotine. The early days saw expansion, so rapid that people were bottling their product in the back, with no sanitation or even gloves.
The reality is, consumers were taking these potentially contaminated products into their lungs. It’s imperative that business owners trust quality materials from legitimate manufacturers. The consequences of choosing otherwise could mean a downturn in the business.
Another driver of the vaping industry is the consumers themselves. With clever marketing and a whole lot of followers, the vaping industry introduced what all industries hope to create: a vaping culture. Vaping culture is as vast as it is well packaged, and each represents a great driver for growth.
- The predominantly male early market of vaping established itself by contributing a crafty side to a novel field: tinkering. The home engineers and the gadget enthusiasts flocked to vaping because of its potential for modification. They can add, design, and tailor the experience just for them by physically opening up a vape and tinkering with its components. It’s LEGOs for grownups. This has been a primary focus of the entire vaping world. It gives an immediate positive feedback by just working. It’s perfect for young adults that seek hobbies.
- Competitions contributed significantly to the social market. The crowds, colors, and attractive models all helped push vaping forward. The internet presence was massive and had never been seen before, by the old combustion nicotine industry. All of a sudden, you had college-age models in neon paint competing against others on who can do tricks with plumes of smoke. Celebrities started to endorse products and, not long after, vaping had their own celebrities. They crossed over with tattoo culture and car modification. They created a global “scene” which, in turn, increased its social value by magnitudes.
Vaping is here to stay. It’s gained so much ground over the last decade that, even if it coasts where it is now, will rake in multiple billions of dollars. And with the rise of new deliveries like salt-nic, the market will only grow.