Electronic Cigarette Society and Culture
Consumers of e cigarettes, sometimes called "vapers", have shown passionate support for the device that other nicotine replacement therapy did not receive. This suggests e cigarettes have potential mass appeal that could challenge combustible tobacco's market position.
As the electronic cigarette industry grows, a subculture has emerged which calls itself "the vaping community". The online forum E cig-Reviews.com was one of the first major communities. Another online forum known as UKVaper.org was the origin of the hobby of modding There are also groups on Facebook and Reddit. Members of this emerging subculture often see e cigarettes as a safer alternative to smokingand some view it as a hobby. These groups tend to use highly customized devices that do not resemble the earlier "cig-a-likes". Online forums based around modding have grown in the vaping community. Vapers energetically embrace activities associated with e cigarettes and sometimes act as unpaid evangelicals according to a 2014 review. A 2014 Postgraduate Medical Journal editorial stated that e cigarette companies have a substantial online presence, as well as many individual vapers who blog and tweet about e cigarette related products. The editorial stated that vapers "also engage in grossly offensive online attacks on anyone who has the temerity to suggest that ENDS are anything other than an innovation that can save thousands of lives with no risks". A 2014 review stated that tobacco and e cigarette companies interact with consumers for their policy agenda. The companies use websites, social media, and marketing to get consumers involved in opposing bills that include e cigarettes in smoke-free laws. This is similar to tobacco industry activity going back to the 1980sThese approaches were used in Europe to minimize the EU Tobacco Product Directive in October 2013.
E cigarette user blowing a cloud of aerosol (vapor). The activity is known as cloud-chasing.
Large gatherings of vapers, called vape meets, take place around the US. They focus on e cig devices, accessories, and the lifestyle that accompanies them. Vapefest, which started in 2010, is an annual show hosted by different cities. People attending these meetings are usually enthusiasts that use specialized, community-made products not found in convenience stores or gas stations. These products are mostly available online or in dedicated "vape" storefronts where mainstream e cigarettes brands from the tobacco industry and larger e cig manufacturers are not as popular Some vape shops have a vape bar where patrons can test out different e liquids and socialize. The Electronic Cigarette Convention in North America which started in 2013, is an annual show where companies and consumers meet up. As of 2014, e cigarette availability in US stores is increasing, especially in places with low taxes and smoking bans. In the US they are more likely available in places with a higher median family income.
A growing subclass of vapers called "cloud-chasers" configure their atomizers to produce large amounts of vapor by using low-resistance heating coils. This practice is called "cloud-chasing" and is growing more popular. By using a coil with very low resistance, the batteries are stressed to a potentially unsafe extent. This could present a risk of dangerous battery failures. As vaping comes under increased scrutiny, some members of the vaping community have voiced their concerns about cloud-chasing, claiming the practice gives vapers a bad reputation when doing it in public. The Oxford Dictionaries' word of the year for 2014 is "vape".