How Cool is Vaping? (Vaping is Cool)
Sometimes it takes a while for a new way of life to be accepted as “cool” to the general populace. Change is strange, and the initial skepticism to vaping still lingers, though it is becoming more and more mainstream. Today, we will explore whether vaping is cool or not, and we will conclude (spoiler alert) that vaping is cool.
Somehow, smoking was cool first.
The association between smoking and coolness dates back before living memory. Historical figures such as Mark Twain, Ulysses S. Grant, Al Capone, Babe Ruth, and Sigmund Freud constantly chomped cigars. American heroes on the front lines of World War II were supplied cigarettes in their rations. Revolutionaries, artists, bad-boys, movie stars, rockstars, authors, and comedians were often chain-smokers.
Somehow, smoking was associated with coolness. Finding out it was unhealthy only made it… cooler, somehow. Some say it’s the Freudian oral fixation. Some say it’s the Freudian “death-drive.” Some say Freud has been widely discredited.
Perhaps it’s a primal association: fire. Holding a tiny flame, a glowing ember, has a subconscious link to early humanity’s dependence on fire. How many times have you gotten lost in your head, staring into a campfire?
It could be as simple as marketing. Big Tobacco paid good money to have their products featured in magazines, movies, and billboards. Watch a season of AMC’s Mad Men, and you’ll get a glimpse into the business side of smoking’s appeal.
One thing’s for sure: there’s nothing cool about hundreds of thousands of preventable deaths. It’s time for a sea-change in perspective.
A New Technology:
People are positively hysterical about new technology. Look at Apple’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference, in which thousands pay thousands to see new gadgets unveiled. A mass-mania occurs every time an incremental improvement to an iPhone is announced.
Keep in mind, people weren’t always so excited about computers and electronics. It was once a dry, clunky science in which a minority of tech-elites had access.
A similar phenomenon has occurred with vaping. At its genesis, with a patent from H.A. Gilbert in 1963, electronic cigarettes didn’t catch on. The patent was made, and was never successfully brought to market until Hon Lik introduced the “modern” electronic cigarette.
Since then, the technology has progressed to make vaping accessible to more and more people. Just like computers, the technology of vaping is advancing at a break-neck pace. Since millions have made the switch, and the industry is now making billions, I think it’s only a matter of time before society as a whole accepts the fact that vaping is cool.
The Hobby Effect:
Prolific writer Stephen King once wrote, on the subject of fiction-writing, “In polite society, we call our obsessions hobbies.” I couldn’t agree more. Hunters, piano restorers, stamp collectors, online gamers, and vinyl-record collectors (to name a few) are not passive about their hobbies. Hobbyists live and breath their passion. In the case of vaping enthusiasts, this is literally true.
To hear an elite vaper talk about their setups, juices, and cloud production is like hearing a high-end mechanic rave about performance cars. The level of passion here seems ludicrous at first, but is quickly contagious. Spend enough time with a hobbyist, and soon you’re speaking their language. Eventually, your passion might eclipse theirs…
A Shift in Media Coverage:
If you see electronic cigarettes in a movie or TV show, more often than not, vaping is met with scorn and incredulity. I’ve yet to see vaping addressed as a fact of life, and not a laughable novelty, in a production. This is similar to interracial couplehood, or transgender issues. Shocking at first, hotly debated, and then widely accepted. Society itself has a bit of a mass learning-curve, in which behaviors and ways of life evolve from unthinkable to mainstream. It is my personal hope that vaping becomes normalized in the media in the coming years, so that cigarette sales continue to plummet.
When’s the last time you saw the hero of the movie vaping without catching flak for it?
Revolution is appealing:
There’s nothing more exciting than being a part of history. To join a cause, rally, and scream yourself hoarse over an issue is undeniably appealing. If you think of vaping as a revolution, and not a practice, it becomes larger than just an activity.
Whether you think vaping is cool or not, if you vape, you are a part changing the world. Never underestimate the effect you have on your surroundings.
Something to think about:
Do you think vaping is cool? If so, what makes it cool to you? If not, what is your reasoning?