The Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year is…
November 18, 2014 1:31 AM   Subscribe

vape

The shortlist included bae, normcore and budtender.

(In 2013 the word of the year was selfie).
posted by chavenet (103 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
 
A friend of mine a month or so back pulled out a pack of cigarettes and I was really surprised at it but couldn't put my finger on why- I knew she smoked, after all. It was only later that I realized I was surprised because virtually everybody I know who smokes has switched to vaping and seeing a friend with an actual, paper-and-tobacco cigarette had become the unusual thing.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:56 AM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


To vape - to place a small metal tube in one's mouth, for the dual purposes of drawing smokeless vapour of tobacco and looking like a tosser.

At least pipe smokers leave behind a pleasant smell, though you can't do this without looking like a self-conscious affected prat either. Unless you build wooden boats, or are over 65. Then you are good.
posted by C.A.S. at 1:58 AM on November 18, 2014 [7 favorites]


Vaping = smoking without smoke, normcore = fashion without fashion, contactless = contact without contact, slacktivism = activism without action, ...
posted by pracowity at 2:13 AM on November 18, 2014 [31 favorites]


Interesting! The burning of undesirables is a method of consumption that is quickly falling out of favor in the marijuana community, as evidenced by the surging popularity of oils, extracts and to a lesser extent, edible products.

Sometimes I wonder if the act of smoking things for their desirable components is a very longstanding technology which is on the way out in favor of healthier inhalation delivery systems. See: Volcano vaporizers, e-cigarettes, the aforementioned weed consumption methods, etc.
posted by fieldcannotbeblank at 2:18 AM on November 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


budtender

Ugh.

I hate "weed culture", but i especially hate how everything has to have it's own special name. dispensaries, medibles, all the 50% white dude with dreadlocks 50% twee crap.

No, dude, you're just a cashier who works in a retail store. They don't call the guy who works at the liquor store a bartender, or a sommelier or anything.

This didn't used to bug me, but mostly because i just didn't hear it that much. But now that it's legal here, the awful twee pointless weed-phrases are everywhere and it just makes my goddamn head explode.
posted by emptythought at 2:31 AM on November 18, 2014 [14 favorites]


Vape - An activity one should enjoy in privacy, because a) everyone might think you are a douchebag and b) someone might try to talk to you about it and it will be boring and you will never escape.
posted by louche mustachio at 2:38 AM on November 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


Truth be told I have spent a fair amount of time behind the counter of bulk-liquor selling establishments and compared to most of our clientele I am certainly in a position to offer suggestions or if need be, go so far as to advise them on what to buy or how to make certain drinks. I may not have carried the title of sommelier but the lack of the title didn't make my knowledge about the hobby any less valuable. If I was just someone who took money for purchases I would not have held my job and I'd think that applies to the dreadlocked white guys working in these smoke shops too, but I could be wrong.

I can certainly understand people not liking weed culture, especially when it comes to the nomenclature. I hope all the name calling is a result of the industry being newly legalized in many areas as well as becoming more socially acceptable, and that these naming conventions will fall in favor of more informative names. Bubba-dubba-death-star-turbo-smash doesn't tell me much about my potential purchase!
posted by fieldcannotbeblank at 2:40 AM on November 18, 2014 [8 favorites]


I think that most of the excellent names that weed-related stuff has is because they're stuff people come up with while stoned. Perhaps stoners should move onto naming other things, like the apparatuses of government or branches of modern philosophy.
posted by NoraReed at 2:43 AM on November 18, 2014 [8 favorites]


budtender

Ugh.

I hate "weed culture", but i especially hate how everything has to have it's own special name.


I dunno. A friend had bought some pot he thought was the kind he liked, and I forgot what the name was, but I asked him what he liked about it, and I went to a local legal weed store (here in WA) and said "I'm here looking to get pot with these effects: X Y Z", and the "budtender" (no clue if that was his title... marijuana sommelier?) said, "Oh you're looking for one of these" and pointed to three selections... I snagged two, and one of them was declared by my friend as "the best pot I have ever smoked" and he wanted the package it came in (from the legal pot store) so he could maybe buy more if he ever went there on his own.

I don't know whether "budtender" is the right name for that or not... but I've certainly walked into bars and said "I want a Manhattan made from a good local bourbon" and had them make something entirely excellent...

so... *shrug*
posted by hippybear at 2:44 AM on November 18, 2014 [13 favorites]


Perhaps stoners should move onto naming other things, like the apparatuses of government or branches of modern philosophy.

Dude! It's when you think about that thing... where you do that thing that makes you do that other thing... and you end up realizing... yeah!
posted by hippybear at 2:45 AM on November 18, 2014 [8 favorites]


hippybear - I am in total agreement with you that unique, identifiable names allow for greater consistency and consumer satisfaction. I'll argue the other hand though that while uniqueness is good, without a regulating body we end up with ridiculous treasures like Booga Booga OG, Alaskan Thunderfuck, Darth Vader OG, AK-47, Green Crack, Granberry Skunkhound, Plunkbottom Diesel, South African Flyswatter, I could go on...

Someone call the IEEE's vaping cousins. We need standards people!
posted by fieldcannotbeblank at 2:54 AM on November 18, 2014 [4 favorites]


the awful twee pointless weed-phrases are everywhere and it just makes my goddamn head explode.

"East Coast Milkshot Compilation " is not pointless.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 3:05 AM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


I learned a new word today.

'retronym'.
posted by el io at 3:05 AM on November 18, 2014 [4 favorites]


Unless you build wooden boats, or are over 65. Then you are good.

This guy, a friend of mine, smokes the pipe. I think he's good too.
posted by Pyrogenesis at 3:09 AM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


I feel like I missed an incident where a dude in a fedora brought his declawed toddler to vape at a Michelin-starred restaurant and paid with food stamps, because I don't really understand the ire. Like, maybe it looks doofy? The name is stupid? I don't know, it's less smelly than smoking and seems kinda neat. I'd probably do it if I still smoked.
posted by Metroid Baby at 3:22 AM on November 18, 2014 [27 favorites]


I buy my farm fresh produce and my requisite left-leaning biweekly periodicals from a younger guy who smokes a pipe. For reasons I can't identify he comes off as absolutely normal.
posted by fieldcannotbeblank at 3:30 AM on November 18, 2014


> "... the awful twee pointless weed-phrases are everywhere and it just makes my goddamn head explode."

Do you find them a bit ...

Vapid?
posted by kyrademon at 3:47 AM on November 18, 2014 [12 favorites]


Unless you build wooden boats, or are over 65. Then you are good.

Or if you're the sociopathic ruler of the Seven Kingdoms.
posted by sobarel at 3:47 AM on November 18, 2014


Like, maybe it looks doofy?

The people I've seen "vaping" (there, I've said it) locally look like people smoking cigarettes in long poncy cigarette holders. Like the kind of people who would want you to notice them smoking. I half expect them to be wearing fingerless gloves and have a monocle on a string and maybe a feather in their cap.
posted by pracowity at 4:02 AM on November 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


I'm vaping right now! Mint cream flavor with my coffee at the moment. I don't think I'm a douchebag (etc.), just a fairly sedate, married, middle-aged lady with a dog who doesn't want to smoke, but had a hard time quitting (and quitting, and quitting, and quitting) until trying vaping. All the people I know who vape do it for the same reason.
posted by taz at 4:14 AM on November 18, 2014 [22 favorites]


I quit smoking over five years ago, and while I should dislike cigarettes intensely at this point, I find I still like the smell. Though only when it's not in an enclosed place--then it's just overpowering. I've been considering vaping to scratch that itch, but I'd hate to start a habit all over again, having to scratch that itch many times a day. Never again, that.
posted by zardoz at 4:24 AM on November 18, 2014 [5 favorites]


This is what vape culture looks like.
posted by dr_dank at 4:25 AM on November 18, 2014 [14 favorites]


I wish we could vape (old sense) vaping in public places, because nicotine gives me a fierce headache and the d-bag over there vaping on the subway or in the departure lounge is just smoking and not giving a fuck.
posted by scruss at 4:30 AM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


No, it's about ethics in marijuana journalism #vapergate
posted by Renoroc at 4:35 AM on November 18, 2014 [11 favorites]


At least pipe smokers leave behind a pleasant smell...

Says who? Cigar smokers say the same thing about their addiction, too. Tobacco burning, in general, smells like ass. And then there's the stench that clings to and follows the smoker around long after they've had their fix.

My son smokes, unfortunately, and has been using an e-cig for awhile now, but hasn't been able to ween himself off regular cigarettes. So, he does both. Drives me up a wall.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:37 AM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm vaping right now! Mint cream flavor with my coffee at the moment. I don't think I'm a douchebag (etc.) [...]

I know you're not. But the look of the thing (and maybe the body language that naturally comes with it) makes me think I'm going to hear, "Hello, dahlink."
posted by pracowity at 4:40 AM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Goddamnit! As I drive around the city here, I'm constantly having bus benches throw ads for electric cigarette vendors in my face: Mid Town Vapes! Discount eCigs & Vapes! Best Price Vapes!

I find the word offensive. Aesthetically, that is. I don't have any issues with that go beyond it sounding really stupid. And it does.

This feels like the Oxford dictionary has gone out their way to notify me that, yes, it bothers me more than it should.
posted by Ipsifendus at 4:43 AM on November 18, 2014 [5 favorites]


I've had one cigarette* in the last 13 years after giving up, and damn, this thread is making me salivate involuntarily. This can't be good!

*It was both very enjoyable and a terrible idea.
posted by Wolof at 4:49 AM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


ack, Wolof, get outta this thread!!

/stern voice
posted by taz at 4:59 AM on November 18, 2014 [9 favorites]


Conceptually, I love vaping because cigarette smoke makes my eyes all itchy. Walking through office buildings' outdoor "smoking areas" is pretty miserable, and vaping really does improve that. In practice, I feel like half the devices look like the goddamn Caterpillar's hookah. Land of contrasts.

I am fully on board with cannabis vaping, though. The high-end devices are at least attractively designed.
posted by uncleozzy at 5:01 AM on November 18, 2014


I learned a new word today.

'retronym'.


As opposed to "retroNIMH," which is deep nostalgia for Don Bluth films.
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:09 AM on November 18, 2014 [16 favorites]


I'll argue the other hand though that while uniqueness is good, without a regulating body we end up with ridiculous treasures like Booga Booga OG, Alaskan Thunderfuck, Darth Vader OG, AK-47, Green Crack, Granberry Skunkhound, Plunkbottom Diesel, South African Flyswatter, I could go on...

I know! Let's play "Microbrew Beer or Weed Varietal!"
posted by Slap*Happy at 5:10 AM on November 18, 2014 [14 favorites]


The problem with the term "vape," is it kind of calls up "vampire" and "cape," and so should refer to some move Goths do when going through doors to keep their capes and long sleeves and tailcoats from getting caught.
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:10 AM on November 18, 2014 [9 favorites]


Tobacco burning, in general, smells like ass.

I find cigarette smoke acrid and unpleasant, but pipe tobacco aromatic and sort of sweetly leathery and musty in comparison. It's the same note you get in old Oloroso sherry-finished whiskies and those dark dried Mexican Pasilla chiles.

There also seems to be a huge qualitative difference between what my clothes used to smell like the morning after going to a (pre-smoking ban) gig and my pipe-smoking grandad's tweed overcoat.
posted by sobarel at 5:11 AM on November 18, 2014 [5 favorites]


#ChristianDadsWhoVape
posted by saladin at 5:11 AM on November 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


Vapers gonna vape vape vape vape vape.
posted by Metroid Baby at 5:15 AM on November 18, 2014 [5 favorites]


Goths apparently are into wearing late '90s aerobics and jogging outfits these days. No capes, sadly.
posted by Slap*Happy at 5:15 AM on November 18, 2014


pipe tobacco aromatic and sort of sweetly leathery and musty in comparison

My pediatrician smoked a pipe, and his office always smelled so great. Scent is incredibly evocative, and to this day, every time I smell sweet pipe tobacco I think of Dr. Rosenberg, and it's always a fond memory. A few of my peers who also used his practice report the same thing. I've contemplated taking up pipe smoking (I haven't) just to have the scent around.
posted by uncleozzy at 5:15 AM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


This feels like the Oxford dictionary has gone out their way to notify me that, yes, it bothers me more than it should

I have the opposite feeling, that the Oxford people have gone out of their way to annoy me by picking such an aesthetically displeasing word.

My feelings about the word aside, though, I couldn't be more pleased about how many people around here have switched to high tech "smoking" technologies of one kind or another. It must be cheaper than the tobacco cigarettes because I see it everywhere, including in the smoking patio of pretty downmarket bars. I like it because it is far less stinky and nasty than regular cigarettes (or gag, cigars), though I agree with the comments above about the wonderfulness of pipe tobacco outdoors in the autumn.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:16 AM on November 18, 2014


No capes, sadly.

"Health Goth" cannot be a real thing. You cannot mix "healthy" with the dream of dying of consumption in a garret. Smoking can help with the cough, though.

In other news, I also find pipe smoke the only pleasant kind of smoke. I think it may be because my father smoked a pipe for the first couple of years I was alive, and, for all his faults, he was a really good dad with babies (e.g. liked carrying us around, changed diapers and cleaned up vomit with a good will, and so on). I expect I associate the smell with deeply buried good memories. Cigarette smoke I associate with fraught relationships, regretful mornings, and the assholes who smoke at bus stops.
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:21 AM on November 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


I still think that most of the vaping setups I've seen look like robot dicks. Therefore, when I see someone vaping, in my head they're "blowing the robot."

Call me, Oxford. Call me.
posted by COBRA! at 5:24 AM on November 18, 2014 [10 favorites]


Health goth is about as real as any other marketing ploy.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:25 AM on November 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


Huh. Pretty amazing how concerned people are at what vapers look like while vaping. Guess that's their priority then. Like the new money dude last Saturday night who told me in front of his Heemstede trophy wife I looked like I was sucking dick.

To which I replied, "You've got some experience doing that then, eh?" before my wife pulled me away in a fit of giggles.
posted by digitalprimate at 5:52 AM on November 18, 2014 [5 favorites]


There's a Bulwer-Lytton entry waiting to happen that combines "vape" with "moist," "vajazzled," and "manscape."
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 5:52 AM on November 18, 2014 [5 favorites]


The problem with the term "vape," is it kind of calls up "vampire" and "cape,"

vape
posted by zamboni at 6:05 AM on November 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


My only qualm with vaping is that it is marketed as a "safer" alternative when I don't think the health risks are well understood, nor is it regulated. I just kicked an 8 year cigarette habit and have considered vaping but can't really justify replacing one enormous health risk for another potential one. Also, as Zardoz pointed out, it feels good to be rid of the incessant compulsion.
posted by johnnydummkopf at 6:11 AM on November 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


It's a bit of a derail at this point, but as an avid pipe smoker I just wanted to point out that pipe tobacco comes in a huge variety blends which range from all-natural to any fragrance (topping) you can think of. When most people think of "pipe smoke smell like grandpa", they're remembering the standard drug store blends which tend to be heavily topped.

Most conscientious pipe smokers will choose a pleasantly or nostalgically topped blend when smoking in public so as to arise as little ire as possible.
posted by gilrain at 6:13 AM on November 18, 2014


There's a Bulwer-Lytton entry waiting to happen that combines "vape" with "moist," "vajazzled," and "manscape."

Bonus points if you can use the last in the sense of "mans cape" and "man scape." And include tobacco vaporization in the mix.
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:16 AM on November 18, 2014


Wow, I really expected them to jump on the "before anyone else" nonsense but maybe Time magazine already ran that into the ground. Good job, Oxford Dictionaries.
posted by fuse theorem at 6:20 AM on November 18, 2014


To which I replied, "You've got some experience doing that then, eh?" before my wife pulled me away in a fit of giggles

Next year, maybe the Oxford dictionary will have a new word for countering a homophobic crack with another homophobic crack.
posted by item at 6:25 AM on November 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


I vape; after a decade of trying to quit (and failing repeatedly) I switch to vaping and haven't smoked, or needed to smoke since.

The reason they look like a big robot dick (and yeah... they do) is because to get a decent amount of vapour you need about 8 - 10W of power. My smaller e-cig has a 2300mAh battery in it; that's enough to vape for most of a day. That's the same battery capacity as my smart phone! Using LiPo is a bad idea in something you can easily drop, so we're kinda stuck until they come up with better mass-produced battery energy density. Then of course you need to store 2-3ml of liquid in it to vaporise during the day, and that's why they look like they do.

A lot of vapers start with those 'sort of the same size as a real cig' ones - then realise the 400mAh battery and 0.5 ml tips last like a couple of hours, and they're carting around chargers and spare tips to last the day. Way easier to just have a big robot dick and charge and fill it overnight. Even if you do look like you're smoking a hookah; beats all the dirty looks you get if you smoke real cancer sticks.
posted by ArkhanJG at 6:26 AM on November 18, 2014 [16 favorites]


As someone who no longer smokes (but was never a hardcore smoker), I am glad e-cigs exist because two of my good friends who are heavy smokers have been able to wean themselves gradually off the amount of nicotine they inhale. They tried all other methods for quitting so this seems to be one that takes.

I bizarrely thought about trying out e-cigs and realized, "Wait, why would I want to smoke again in any form?"
posted by Kitteh at 6:27 AM on November 18, 2014 [4 favorites]


I dunno. I think the huge high-capacity vaporizers look pretty cool in a Blade Runner/Brazil/Transmetropolitain Cyberpunk-Retro-Future sort of way, especially some of the first models, which were these rough looking, hand-machined and wired contraptions.
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:36 AM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


"How did that girl even get in here? Do you see her? She sooo short and that dress is so tacky; who wears cheetah? It's not even summer; why does the DJ keep on playing Summertime Sadness? After we go to the bathroom, can we go vape a cigarette? I really need one. But first, let me take a selfie!"
posted by I-Write-Essays at 6:38 AM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


I honestly thought I was being discreet, like maybe I was chewing on the end of a pen or something. Sorry for setting off anyone's douche alarm!
(Could anyone point me to vape juice that tastes like a pipe tobacco?)
posted by whuppy at 6:46 AM on November 18, 2014


I've smoked since I was twelve when my grandparents first started buying me cigarettes and have tried to quit all sorts of ways with little long-term success, and I would never go back now after vaping. I don't even think about it anymore, vaping is so much better. I don't really see kids getting too crazy with vaping, because it costs too much to get up and stay running. It's cheaper long term but much more expensive up-front. At any rate, it's helped me give up an even worse habit, so I'm happy to endure the usual cultural shaming shtick.
posted by saulgoodman at 6:50 AM on November 18, 2014 [7 favorites]


i have friends who vape and friends who smoke.

Smoking looks cool, badboy, smells like too late nights at the coffee shop. Maybe i would smoke, if i wanted to be cool.

Vaping looks like taking medicine. I do not need medicine and so i will never vape.
posted by rebent at 6:50 AM on November 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


I don't have a problem with the technology. That word is another matter. I never understood the "moist" thing until I saw "vape" in print. Since then, vape has become the garbage pail kid of my vocabulary, a word that has all of the cognitive feel of toilet humor.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 7:05 AM on November 18, 2014


While I appreciate not smelling as much cigarette smoke, when I see people vaping--with their little light-sabre-hookah devices--it always brings a picture of this guy to mind.
posted by blueberry at 7:21 AM on November 18, 2014


And, this is the first time I have ever heard of this word or the practice it refers to.

Obviously my world is just tiny.
posted by dlugoczaj at 7:40 AM on November 18, 2014


As usual, Sean Tejaratchi of LiarTownUSA has this covered. Vaporback Piper.
posted by fiercecupcake at 7:40 AM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


"vapehate" for next year's dictionary.
posted by Segundus at 7:52 AM on November 18, 2014


Was it Infinite Jest that had a character who wore a hash pipe on a necklace and would constantly reach down for a hit, hands-free? Anyways, that's what vaping reminds me of.
posted by slogger at 8:00 AM on November 18, 2014


Wasn't it someone here on MetaFilter who said if they'd been reading an SF book ten years ago that used neologisms like "vaping" and "selfie" they'd have thrown it across the room before getting to page seven?
posted by straight at 8:05 AM on November 18, 2014 [9 favorites]


I think I could handle the word "vaping" if it didn't inspire so many even more terrible store names, each guaranteed to put up a sign that is an abomination in typesetting and logo design. It's all the signs for Vapoligy, Vapology, Madvapes, Viper Vape, Cafe De Vapor, Volt Vapes, VaperTec, Vapor Depot, Golden Vapor, Vapor Emporium, VAPE: The Vaper Outlet that make me feel like I'm living in a terrible 80's SF movie.
posted by straight at 8:17 AM on November 18, 2014


"Vaping" is the sort of thing protagonists in an L. Ron Hubbard novel would do.
posted by sobarel at 8:21 AM on November 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


Vaping, as it has been practiced in my presence bothers for a couple of reasons:

1.) People who assume that because it's not "smoke," they are welcome to vape in places that are otherwise non-smoking. I've seen it in public buildings, in the hall ways at school, and once in my own basement. Smoking is banned indoors for a lot of reasons, including the fact that other people don't want to have to breath in your secondhand fumes. God only knows that's in that e-cig liquid, and so I'd like to not have to breath it in.

2.) Speaking of what's in that e-cig liquid... if it was just tobacco extract in water, I'd be much more in favour of it. But from what I've smelled, many people choose all liquids with all sorts of fake aromas added -- you know that fake air freshener "strawberry" smell? or "banana"? Why would you breath that in? And because of the unregulated nature, even the vapers for the most part don't really know what's in the product.

So, I have no more or less problem with e-cigarettes than I do with regular cigarettes, and I hope that e-cig users continue to be seen by society the same way that regular smokers are.

The word "vape" is only as terrible as the practice is. It's fitting.
posted by sparklemotion at 8:22 AM on November 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


This is what vape culture looks like.

And I know this is just a tasteless joke, but for real there's a part of my brain which sees all these signs for VAPE and Vape Hut and The Vape Store and briefly parses it as 'rape,' which is super-unsettling as well.
posted by straight at 8:22 AM on November 18, 2014


No, dude, you're just a cashier who works in a retail store. They don't call the guy who works at the liquor store a bartender, or a sommelier or anything.

Actually, a sommelier would be a good comparison. Some of these guys can tell you absolutely everything about the strains' cultivation, taste and smell, and whether it will give you the munchies, make you talk about how we are all made of stardust, help your back pain, or put you to sleep. It's not a hard, exact science, but neither is pairing a good Malbec with Chinese-Style Ribs with Guava Barbecue Sauce.* It's about knowing the product.

I don't think budtender is the best neologism, but I'm willing to cut the marijuana community some slack because they are so excited.

Mellow, but excited.

*Thank you Food and Wine, as I would not know Guava Barbecue Sauce if it bit me in the ass.
posted by bibliowench at 8:27 AM on November 18, 2014 [4 favorites]


I guess to me "vaping" just seems like a pretty fitting word, because what else do you call it? It's not smoking. "Vaporizing" sounds clunky and would just get shortened to "vaping" anyways. It's like "tweeting" - yeah, kind of weird I guess, but what else do you call it?

Anyways, one of these days I really should make a post on the craziness going on around e-cig regulation. There are actually a ton of studies, more all the time, and it's looking like "about as harmful as coffee" but the shortage of long-term studies makes a lot of people skittish. As well as the idea that there's some heavy Big Tobacco action going into making up junk science, because, well, that shit actually happened before... but Big Tobacco's play in this is actually to release really shitty e-cigs while pushing for stricter regulation, because they can afford to comply and it pushes out the huge number of independent sellers eating away at their sales right now. Ahh, regulatory capture.

The thing is, unless long term studies come up with some very serious health issues that just don't seem likely, electronic cigarettes could be one of the biggest public health benefits in years. Because they work like gangbusters to get people to quit smoking.

Speaking of what's in that e-cig liquid... if it was just tobacco extract in water, I'd be much more in favour of it. But from what I've smelled, many people choose all liquids with all sorts of fake aromas added -- you know that fake air freshener "strawberry" smell? or "banana"? Why would you breath that in? And because of the unregulated nature, even the vapers for the most part don't really know what's in the product.

The independent community is also a fascinating aspect in that they're doing juice analysis and naming and shaming vendors who use harmful ingredients (which are very few and far between, actually - both vendors who do that, and harmful ingredients that would have any reason to be in the juice in the first place). Threads like this are common.

You'd actually really have to go out of your way to make harmful e-liquid. Propylene glycol and/or vegetable glycerin base, nicotine, FDA approved flavorings... and that's it. Incredibly cheap to produce, with ingredients that have been studied to hell and back. The only really major concern in the flavorings is the use of diacetyl, which can cause a nasty condition known as "popcorn lung" when inhaled in high concentrations over a long time (it's a buttery flavor that was used in popcorn and was being used for "custardy" flavors in e-juice). Word spread very fast and vendors rushed to get products including diacetyl off the shelves. It's the only time I've ever seen self-regulation in action, but it's such a different ballgame with e-cigs since the producers are largely part of the community and word spreads fast. It's like seeing a unicorn.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:42 AM on November 18, 2014 [21 favorites]


Is it worth pointing out that vaping marijuana works differently than e-cigs? I think there are some vape applications that use hash oil or other liquid extracts, but for the most part weed vaporizers just heat up the herb to an optimum temperature so you vaporize the good stuff without combusting the bad stuff. It really is much less hard on the lungs and throat, or so I've heard...

I come from a long line of extremely stubborn tobacco smokers with all the lung cancer that goes along with that, and I would dearly love to get any of my family members to use e-cigarettes instead of regular cigarettes. Even if there are some unknowns, the American Heart Association admits that it could have harm reduction benefits [pdf], even if it doesn't lead to smoking cessation. That link is to a 20-page pdf policy statement also has a good summary of the human health research that's been conducted so far about e-cigs, including the secondhand exposure issues - sounds like you get exposed to a small amount of nicotine but not much else, and at much lower concentrations than from regular smoke.

Anyway, it's certainly not anything I'd ever take up as a hobby, but it would still probably be a vast improvement for most smokers. I'm really not understanding the hate here. Is this mostly a "get off my lawn" thing?
posted by dialetheia at 9:05 AM on November 18, 2014 [4 favorites]


The independent community is also a fascinating aspect

Hmm. It didn't occur to me that all the terrible names and logos might imply genuine local businesses that haven't been subsumed or pushed out by a slick corporate entity that would use more professional branding.
posted by straight at 9:06 AM on November 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


You can tell by the Papyrus
posted by jason_steakums at 9:08 AM on November 18, 2014 [4 favorites]


But from what I've smelled, many people choose all liquids with all sorts of fake aromas added -- you know that fake air freshener "strawberry" smell? or "banana"? Why would you breath that in?

Can you get it in New Car Scent?
posted by Metroid Baby at 9:17 AM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


I thought long and hard about taking up vaping to quit smoking. I decided to quit all nicotine cold turkey instead. I was tired of being a slave to my nicotine cravings. After reading Alan Carr's quit smoking book for literally the twentieth time, the message finally stuck this time. It wasn't difficult to quit once I got myself into the right frame of mind. I'm really amazed by how easy it's been after many, many failed attempts. I was pretty sure I'd die with a cigarette between my lips.

After 28 years of smoking a pack or more a day (plus nicotine gum the last few years), I haven't had a cigarette or gum or anything else with nicotine in 9 days. I feel great and I don't miss it at all.

If I can do it, you can, too.
posted by double block and bleed at 9:35 AM on November 18, 2014 [5 favorites]


double block and bleed, I honestly mean this: thank you, and congratulations!

I have only seen people vaping, or operating such a business, downtown here near my office -- and all look slightly dorky and awful. But I hadn't ever known of anyone using it as a transitional way to get off of nicotine entirely. So now I will stop sneering at the bros with cigarette holders, and instead think of the Regular Smokers who just want to quit.

Stick with it, man.
posted by wenestvedt at 9:42 AM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


> I hate "weed culture", but i especially hate how everything has to have it's own special name.

In the '90s I knew a guy who referred to weed as "tasty nugs." He would usually make weird little hand gestures, kind of like a belly dancer's, as he said it.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:43 AM on November 18, 2014


wenestvedt: "double block and bleed, I honestly mean this: thank you, and congratulations!

Thanks.

So now I will stop sneering at the bros with cigarette holders, and instead think of the Regular Smokers who just want to quit."

Most people I know who vape want to quit smoking, or at least want to stop inhaling all of the terrible crap in cigarettes. I don't think anyone even tries to pretend that it's cool. They are just afraid of giving up nicotine. I know I was.
posted by double block and bleed at 9:49 AM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


The interesting thing is that I and most people I know who have switched to e-cigs can just... forget to vape. For hours. And not get a craving! It's a ludicrous thing, because when I was smoking it was an ever-present urge. I'd imagine there must be other addictive compounds in cigarettes besides nicotine. And it makes sense, I mean the nicotine in patches and gums is never enough to sate the urge. But having an analog to the actual sensation of inhaling smoke with the vapor seems to be enough to make up for the rather lackluster feeling you get from replacing cigarettes with just nicotine.

Oh, also, re: research
posted by jason_steakums at 10:05 AM on November 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


I don't think anyone even tries to pretend that it's cool.

I wish that was true. I see vaping being marketed on the nightclub scene constantly, and associate it with that crowd. Which isn't cool to me, but vape companies hosting nights at Las Vegas clubs definitely figure coolness into their marketing. Granted this seems like a vocal minority situation, with the majority just vaping to quit smoking, but it's hard for some to overlook that image.
posted by dogwalker at 10:15 AM on November 18, 2014


Vaping is weird right now. Everything vapey is an Android phone, and I can't find the iPhone.

I'll be over here with my nasal snuff.
posted by oceanjesse at 10:15 AM on November 18, 2014


I think the bigger story here is that slacktavism was on the short list, but couldn't put it over the top because they had no effective ground strategy.
posted by Nanukthedog at 10:16 AM on November 18, 2014 [7 favorites]


Lots of people who vape think it's cool, but not in some "21st century Don Draper" kind of way. The attraction is the typical nerdy gadget-based hobby stuff. See the (almost totally worksafe) VapePorn subreddit.
posted by jason_steakums at 10:24 AM on November 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


The thing with vaping is that people can get understandably upset if people are blowing huge plumes of vapor around them, but it's totally not necessary. Unlike cigarettes, you don't have to exhale anything at all; you can just not exhale immediately (hold for a couple of seconds) and it disappears – there's no released vapor cloud at all to annoy anyone. You need to be mindful to do it this way, but it's really easy. If you want to, you can vape nearly invisibly in this way with a small setup; no one will even notice unless they are paying particular attention to you. But some people do the huge clouds in public spaces thing, which sucks because it contributes to making people (apparently) hate vapers. However, just because some people are irritating with their cell phones (talking loudly, using them during performances and in darkened theaters, etc.), it doesn't mean everyone who finds a cellphone a useful personal item is an asshole.

At any rate, it's a different scene where I am. There's not really any big deal about vaping in the sense of people being outraged, or even annoyed by it, and there's not advertising everywhere, or even many physical shops. A lot of the highly regarded innovators in independent vaping tech are here (in Greece) though, which is interesting.
posted by taz at 10:50 AM on November 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


I think I'm addicted to the physical act of smoking, possibly more than nicotine now. I've quit with Alan Carr a couple of times; I managed almost two years quit at one point, and thought I was quit for good. And one day, the stress just was more than I could handle, and there was my old crutch. God, that cigarette tasted horrible, and it made my head spin. Other times it's been when others around me have been smoking and I was drunk... I don't know any smokers who don't want to stop, but it's such a bastard of a thing to quit and stay quit.

I've been vaping for almost 2 years now and not a cigarette since; and slowly but steadily reducing the nicotine level. The usual stuff you buy in the shops is about 1.1 - 1.4 % nicotine for 'normal' strength, 1.8-2.0% for strong. I started at around 2.1%, and am now down to 0.6% that I mix myself. 0.4% is considered to be 'not physiologically active' for vaping - that's the max level EU legislation was set to allow at one point.

I'm hoping that once I wean myself off nicotine entirely, and go down to 0% vaping (just flavor and PG/VG) I'll then be able to wean myself off the comfort feeling of warm smoke at the back of the throat. Smoking has been my go-to companion in times of distress for well over half my life, and for me at least, that seems to be the thing that's always drawn me back in. Vaping has, for me at least, been a passable substitute. And I try not to be a dick about it -I mostly stick to smoking areas - and outside home I keep the vapour down instead of blowing it everywhere - unlike smoke, I don't get the choke reflex.

I know that there aren't long term studies on vaping. But there are plenty on the ingredients that go into the liquid, and all bar nicotine are commonly ingested/inhaled with no apparent long term issues individually. Nicotine itself doesn't appear to be too dangerous, when separated from the rest of the stuff in cigarettes.

Even so - smoking has a better than 50/50 chance of killing me. The shit in burning tobacco is so, so nasty that frankly even if they're putting rat poison in the e-liquid, I'm probably better off.
posted by ArkhanJG at 12:10 PM on November 18, 2014 [5 favorites]


Do I still count as normcore if I continue to wear my big black boots from when I was definitely not normcore? Or have big black boots been normalized to the point that they fit into this brave new fashion trend that probably covers something like six or seven billion people?

I'm not bothered about being normcore, mind. I just want to know if I am accurately using a new term for how I've been dressing for thirty or so years.

Because despite the fact that my fashion sense never really changes, I always rotate back into being fashionable every few years.
posted by quin at 12:12 PM on November 18, 2014


For those who are vaping instead of smoking: Thank you SO MUCH. (Sincerely!)

I'm not a smoker or vaper, and my throat and lungs really hate cigarette smoke. When I'm walking down the sidewalk and I see someone smoking, I immediately start trying to figure out how to minimize the amount of smoke that gets into me - can I cross the street, can I time the holding of my breath long enough to get through the cloud, etc.* But when the person is smoking a vape rather than a cigarette, I get this overwhelming sense of relief and gratitude, because it means I get to keep breathing normally and not change my route. Glorious!

*(I try to do this in a way that isn't noticeable, because I'm not trying to get into a fight or something. Though one time a guy saw me planning my escape, and started to give me crap about it, but then he got close enough that the coughing started - it sounded like a donkey dying of a particularly bad disease, so he shut his mouth and moved on.)

I have no idea whether vaping is healthier (less unhealthy?) than smoking for the smoker, but for the bystander, I'd be surprised if second-hand vapor were anything less than a huge improvement over second-hand cigarette smoke.
posted by heisenberg at 12:39 PM on November 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


Don't worry guys, the cops are on the case. Apparently enough people are making liquid from hash oil now that there's a name for it and everything. Expect your friendly neighborhood vaper to enjoy a bit of hassle while the popo check to make sure there isn't any of the demon weed in that there pen.
posted by wierdo at 12:44 PM on November 18, 2014


COBRA! : I still think that most of the vaping setups I've seen look like robot dicks. Therefore, when I see someone vaping, in my head they're "blowing the robot."

Are you kidding? this is why they're awesome. 90% of the ones i see look like something directly from blade runner, from some dirty fucked up vaguely cyberpunk future.

This summer i was at the park flying my quadcopter, we were taking turns playing music wirelessly on my jambox, talking about palcohol, and a bunch of people were smoking ecigs. i look over and an i-miev and a tesla are stuck in traffic.

RFI overwhelmed the Rx on my quad, and it almost crashed into a toddler. The mom took a picture of me with her smartphone so she'd have "evidence". Then i got a snapchat from someone bragging about their new outfit, and realized "yea, this future thing is futuring pretty hard rn".

It's definitely, along with awesome pocket computers smartphones another sign that yea, we're slowly getting to that cool scifi future.

oceanjesse: Vaping is weird right now. Everything vapey is an Android phone, and I can't find the iPhone.

The main problem is that all the very design oriented, nice looking stuff doesn't perform very well or has terrible battery life or whatever. I have several friends who are designers of various stripes who really care about aesthetics, proper design, and good build quality... and even theirs are a little ehhh. There's some nicer looking ones, but i agree, most of the good ones are of the altoids tin with the warp core from a star trek model and a baby bottle pop nipple(just twist it, dip it and shake it!) variety.

I think you made a prescient comment now though, but undershot it. I think we're in this stage of the technology, we haven't even gotten here yet.

Pretty much i'm saying that the iphone is out there, in some design studio being worked on. Whatever it is and is going to be like though, i think it's several years out.
posted by emptythought at 12:54 PM on November 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


As someone who hates the smell of cigarette smoke and works with end-stage lung cancer patients, I want to be thankful that vaping exists. But man, everyone I've seen doing it has come off as such an ass.

Obviously my exposure has been limited, but at least 75% of the people I've encountered vaping have been doing it in a place where smoking is not allowed, while making what seems like intentional, hostile eye contact with everyone around them. It's like they're daring someone to challenge their right to vape in that building or on the airplane* or whatever. If your whole goal in vaping is to piss off the people who don't want you to smoke indoors, maybe the chip on your shoulder is a bigger problem than your nicotine addiction.

* (So is vaping allowed on airliners? One of the smuggest vapers I've ever encountered was on a Delta flight, and I had no idea whether that was legal or not or if there just weren't any rules yet or what.)
posted by vytae at 1:12 PM on November 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


Also interesting is the proliferation of snus - it's converting over a bunch of people who were using chewing tobacco. It's not a good product to be addicted to, but it's not the filthy, mouth-destroying horror that chaw is. In Europe, snus users have some of the lowest cancer and disease rates of all tobacco users, and fancy, high-tech looking snus displays are going up alongside the e-cig displays in all the gas station convenience stores hereabouts.
posted by Slap*Happy at 1:30 PM on November 18, 2014


Do I still count as normcore if I continue to wear my big black boots from when I was definitely not normcore? Or have big black boots been normalized to the point that they fit into this brave new fashion trend that probably covers something like six or seven billion people?

Truly in many ways the early 90's were a cultural peak for America.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:31 PM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


This is the one I want to get, now with 90% less robot dick.

http://www.vaporizerwizard.com/firefly-vaporizer-review/
posted by I-Write-Essays at 2:09 PM on November 18, 2014


...that's not an e-cig.
posted by I-baLL at 3:54 PM on November 18, 2014


*...that's not a robot dick.
posted by I-baLL at 3:55 PM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


I don't vape or smoke or anything, but now I sort of want one that actually looks explicitly like a robot dick, or at least like one of the more interesting light-up rabbit vibrators
posted by NoraReed at 6:23 PM on November 18, 2014 [4 favorites]


Here you go, NoraReed.

j/k though, of course; don't take up vaping! It can be a godsend for people who are trying to quit smoking, but I don't suggest it otherwise. Not that you really would, but you know.
posted by taz at 10:37 PM on November 18, 2014


those are pretty adorable, but not really what I meant by "rabbit vibrator" (sort of NSFW, I mean, it's a wikipedia link about sex toys)
posted by NoraReed at 10:58 PM on November 18, 2014


(So is vaping allowed on airliners? One of the smuggest vapers I've ever encountered was on a Delta flight, and I had no idea whether that was legal or not or if there just weren't any rules yet or what.)
Business Insider:
In February 2011, the AP reported that the Department of Transportation "says the use of smokeless electronic cigarettes is prohibited and plans to issue an official ban."

But when we asked the DOT if that official ban was ever issued, a spokesperson told us to ask the FAA. The FAA told us it allows U.S. air carriers to make their own policies regarding e-cigarettes, but that "Currently, U.S. air carriers do not allow them since they contradict the no smoking ban as well as produce a propylene glycol emission when smoked."

Hoping to clear things up, we contacted Airlines for America, the country's largest airline trade association, per the FAA's advice. Their spokesperson told us simply, "In the absence of definitive governmental guidance, airlines are deciding this issue individually."

So we went to the airlines, and finally got a few answers.

Here's the bottom line: No, you can't smoke e-cigarettes in airplanes. At least not in planes operated by large American carriers.

JetBlue says that although electronic cigarettes "may be non-hazardous, JetBlue does NOT allow the USE of them on any of our flights," because the vapor they produce is a "nuisance."

United bans all "simulated smoking materials," including e-cigs.

Here's American's response: "American Airlines does not allow electronic cigarettes to be used onboard."

Delta's answer was similar: "Delta does not permit the use of electronic cigarettes on board any Delta or Delta Connection aircraft."

In an April 2010 issue of its "Spirit" magazine, Southwest Airlines classified "electronic cigarettes and smoking devices" as "Never Permitted" (via the Global Advisors Smokefree Policy).
posted by zamboni at 8:09 AM on November 19, 2014 [3 favorites]


Vaping has been a godsend for me, although I find myself absentmindedly doing it all day since I don't have to physically light a cigarette, I can do it inside (my house) without leaving a smell, and it doesn't irritate my lungs. And I am one of those people who likes the flavored liquid (mostly tobacco, coffee, and a little bit of toffee) because then it satisfies my urge to smoke and snack.

But I feel the same shame about vaping as I do about be a 40-something mom who is fanatical about video games. I am definitely operating outside my demographic, and I get weird looks from the young people who see somebody's mom trying to act like a cool kid.

I am definitely not into the vaping subculture though. I want a vice, not a hobby.
posted by bibliowench at 8:10 AM on November 19, 2014 [2 favorites]


One of my friends, who was a very heavy smoker (like, dozens of rollies from coffee time to bedtime), has taken up vaping, and it seems to have worked really well for him--he's totally nerded out about the tech, and every time I see him he has a newer, fancier robot dick (dude would like that phrase), and he's talking about hand-wound coils and battery tech and shit.

But he's smoking less. A lot less. And I suspect he will someday quit smoking entirely, and, then, someday move from vaping to another weird obsessive hobby (you know a dude like this).

So, all in all, I kinda like vaping, although I don't think I'll ever buy a rig myself.
posted by box at 5:39 AM on November 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


There's probably nothing wrong with enjoying the occasional draw off an ecig with a zero nicotine flavored juice of some kind, at least if it's otherwise only glycerine and propelene glycol. Perhaps it will turn out to be problematic, but it seems unlikely since you're not actually burning anything.

I suspect the air quality in most major urban areas is worse for your lungs than PG vapor.
posted by wierdo at 9:49 PM on November 21, 2014


If I had asthma I'd make an ecig inhaler. Just for kicks.
posted by I-baLL at 6:50 AM on November 22, 2014


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