Addiction without the consequences – a letter-by-letter guide to how smoking went cyberpunk
We, Pinar&Viola, are writing you this dA-Zed guide to electronic cigarettes about a completely new subculture of vaping that is emerging. Even though they were invented in China, we still find electronic cigarettes, and this new emerging culture completely in line with the American efficiency-oriented mentality. It's the nicotine equivalent of power yoga. You can build muscles and be zen at the same time. You can smoke without dying. Mat Dryhurst, a sweet techno/vape geek we met recently, convinced us that vaping is a completely different species from smoking. Except for their common point—the compulsive oral cig-kick—the vapor and the e-cig look, feel, smell and taste completely different. Here's our list of how vaping went from mass-market nicotine replacement to a 21st century lifestyle choice in 26 letters.
A IS FOR ANALOGS
A term used to describe tobacco cigarettes and e-cigarettes that are made to look like tobacco cigarettes. So nostalgic.
B IS FOR E-CIG BAR
E-cig enthusiasts no longer have to puff from their uncomfortable desk chairs. Introducing the e-cig bar, a retail and leisure space where members of the e-cig community can gather to indulge in and discuss this multifaceted subculture. Recently opened is the Henley Vaporium in SoHo, New York. Here, you can test out the latest products of the industry while enjoying a coffee and free WiFi. Vaping experts, or “vapologists” are available for consultation on the diverse range of products and recommendation of tasty e-liquid flavors. Los Angeles also offers few bars where you can e-smoke: Vape industry, eCigCity4 and The Vapor Spot.
C IS FOR CARTOMIZER/ATOMIZER AKA CARTOS/ATTYS
Cartomizers and atomizers, or cartos and attys are the pieces which hold and heat your e-liquid. Inside these (often transparent) tanks is where the vapor magic happens. It is recommended that you avoid disposable e-cigarette cartridges and purchase an e-cigarette that uses a cartom or atty. Some prefer cartomizers to atomizers because the tank is bigger. With proper care and these components, you’ll save time and money and keep your vapor going strong.
D IS FOR DRIPPING/DRIP TIP
The drip tip is the piece your mouth touches to inhale while vaping. The openings are usually large enough for you to be able to pour your e-liquid directly into the atomizer. These drip tips come in many shapes and sizes. For the ones who are less orthodox, you can vape through a thumb, a hello kitty, a turtle or even in a Despicable Me character, so have fun!
E IS FOR ELECTRONIC CIGARETTE CONVENTIONS
Don’t be discouraged if you live in a city not yet trendy enough to house a vaporium. Electronic cigarette conventions such as Vapefest move from city to city all over the US. These conventions serve as social gatherings, trade shows, educational forums, and as industry networking hubs to provide you with the optimal opportunity to indulge in the world of vaping. In less than two weeks, during two days, Virgina will be the state with the most vapers per square meter.
F IS FOR FOGGING
Fogging is a practice of producing maximum amounts of vapor. Smokers can adjust components of their e-cigs to deliver giant clouds and perform tricks that would put that caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland to shame. Search hashtags like #VapeLife and #VapeTricks on social media for inspiration during your next vaping session. If you’re feeling lonely, impress your ideal mate by delivering vapor hearts!
G IS FOR E-GO CIGARETTE
You’ve read about the hip new vaping bars. You can’t possibly wait until the next convention…how do you get started? The eGo cigarette is a quick, simple, non-customizable e-cigarette meant for starters and those who seek to test vaping as an alternative to smoking, in other words the kebab of the vape cuisine, often having a distant corporate look. EGo kits are great for beginners and available online with sleek carrying cases for those fashionable on the go. However as in any other subculture and practice, the newbies are frowned upon by the big boys.
H IS FOR HACKERS
You can walk into a vaporium and find a small group gathered and surrounded by screwdrivers, tubes and other tools necessary for building custom e-cigs. These e-cig hackers meet to take apart and rebuild their devices with different goals like producing more vapor and intensifying the flavors. These are the emering experts of the vaping subculture. They personalize every component of their e-cigarettes and are constantly on the look out for new ways to improve their vaping experience. Learn to hack your e-cig here!
I IS FOR INTOXICATED VAPING AKA DRUNK VAPING
Reddit's e-cigarette forum has a subsection on drunk vaping, where people post their drink with their juice, creating titles like: Jameson while vaping ice cake, Simtra and Hop Tanker paired with Poseidon and Nekked Peach, Founder's Dirty Bastard + Peanut Butter Chocolate This makes us think of the urban legend game where you combine the name of your grandmother and your pet to get your pornstar name.These images on reddit show the facelift of the nostalgic, romanticized cult of the most charismatic couple, alcohol and the cigarette where late at night, drunk vapers ponder upon questions of what art is, where they belong, where the hell their juice went.
J IS FOR JUICE
Juice, e-juice, nic-juice, and e-liquid are all terms used to describe endless amounts and combinations of flavors to choose from for your vaping experience. Juice can also be simply tobacco flavored (boring) or nictone-free. Vaporiums across the US offer juices in a range of fruity, sweet and savory, minty and tabacco-y flavors which will made saliva drip from the corner of our mouth while reading: Sweet tooth (vanilla, graham cracker) Mango dragon madness, Choco Loco Tobacco, Sluricane (peach, papaya, guava), Sucker Punch (dragon fruit), Strawberry fuzz (strawberry, peach), Swagger (tobacco, caramel, vanilla).
K IS FOR KEVIN SPACEY
In the hit TV show House of Cards, Claire Underwood walks into the room and proclaims “You’re cheating!” as her "quitting" husband Frank Underwood reassures us with his confident demeanor and cool voice that e-cigs are an “addiction without the consequences”.
L IS FOR LEONARDO DI CAPRIO AND JACK NICHOLSON
Who on earth would imagine that cigarettes, the long lasting symbol of tough alpha maleness and the last thing we could imagine to be electrified, would become a device with a usb stick to rejuvenate its battery. However, seeing them with two of the world's most charismatic men, vaping it effortlessly at Golden Globes or while nonchalantly giving an autograph, makes us question our dogma that cigarettes can only be cool when they slowly kills you.
Mod is the favorite google search term of the true vaper, unless you're a lazy one, a vape newbie or a French person who only carries an e-cigs for the locations, like a hospital, where he/she cannot smoke. From drip tips to cartomizers, the exper approach for the ecigs is tha mod can refer to several things. Mod can refer to the actual e-cigarette, also known as a personal vaporizer, or PV. It can also be used to describe the parts of the e-cig hardware that you can modify and customize. This is where the vape geeks come close to car pimpers, and where the vape bars will become the new street races. While in New York for the This is the ENDD symposium of Rhizome, we saw the best custom mods in the mouths of @matdryhurst @trend_reznor and @nightcoregirl
N IS FOR NICOTINE FREE
Nicotine-free vaping is where the argument that the personal vaporizer is something completely different than cigarettes gets validated. One may ask, "but what is the point"? The point is that you are at the verge of quitting cigarettes, yet you cannot get rid of your obsessive compulsive oral cig-kick. Another option is that you are just in a completely different state where you are try to lose weight and the peer-girl-pressure forbids you to eat any cheesecake, but who says you cannot have the taste of it in your mouth? Vaping a cheesecake juice is the fancier version of replacing small treats with juicy sugar free chewing gums. And of course, if you’re not a future-ex smoker, or have food-orexia, you could just be a normal kid that would love a fancy new tool with fancy new tastes.
O IS FOR ONLINE SMOKING ROOM
For the symposium on e-cigs Rhizome organized at The New Museum, we, Pinar&Viola, created an online smoking room. For a conference meant to debate about the future of smoking, we fantasized what was beyond it. We stripped the cigarette away from its physicality, like the way e-cig stripped it away from it's unhealthy disadvantages, and only left the crème de la crème, its relaxing aspect and social magic. The visitors of www.thesmokingroom.net have nothing else than sharing a cigarette and chatting in their agenda. Now the non smokers also have the right to have a break from their office hours, smoke cigarettes with 3 heads, and create smoke in the shape of a heart and LOL.
P IS FOR PROPYLENE GLYCOL
PG is one offour ingredients found in e-juice that is approved for human consumption. PG is what holds the nicotine and flavors and turns to vapor when heat is applied. PG and VG, vegetable glycerin, do the same work in e-juices and users may opt for VG or PG only liquids if they find sensitivity to either. If you would like your vapor to be thicker, you can try an all-VG e-liquid.
Q IS FOR QUIT SMOKING
Though widely discussed as a method of quitting smoking, e-cig businesses are legally prohibited from using “quit smoking” terminology in methods of promotion. Many e-cig users are former smokers and eager to promote e-cigs as an alternative to smoking tobacco. Some take out their bedazzled personal vaporizers in public and await questions from the curious and others participate in online forums in Reddit or E-Cigarette Forum.
R IS FOR RUYAN
The Chinese company Ruyan and the pharmacist Hon Lik, are known to be the responsible for the invention of e-cigarettes, however back in 1963, a visionary man named Herbert Gilbert patented a 'smokeless non-tobacco cigarette'. Attempts to commercialize Gilbert's invention failed and his product fell into obscurity. The first e-cigs were sold in 2003 before gaining an international patent in 2007. However, patenting an already patented product did not stop the American power house entrepreneurs to take action. Ruyan is currently in an ongoing patent infringement lawsuits against six U.S. electronic cigarette manufacturers.
S IS FOR SUB-OHM VAPING
Sub-ohm vaping requires a process of modifying your batteries and atomizer in order to produce higher volumes of vapor and therefore, look like you know what you're doing while vaping. Sub-ohm vaping is quite a controversial subject because it involves measuring currents and playing with different resistances which can cause a dangerous mess for those inexperienced. If you’re keen on trying it out, watch this man and look up the plethora of forum boards that will advise you against it.
T IS FOR THROAT HIT
Throat hit, what an expression! It sounds like something from a nasty Cronenberg saliva creature. Yet it is what you are thinking, the kick the vapers get when the nicotine (free or full) juice hits their lungs. Throat hits, much like with tobacco smoking, vary between users. Some that switch to e-cigs from tobacco smoking find them to be dissatisfying because they are used to stronger hits, yet it can be adjusted by upping the nicotine levels or taking longer drags.
U IS FOR UNDERAGE VAPERS
Underage vaping has been a touchy subject in the community. There are laws in place against marketing and selling e-cigs to minors but none against them engaging in vaping. With online stores readily available, any 13-year-old with a credit card can order an e-cig. Videos of minors vaping and their involvement in the subject online sparks many different opinions on the matter and whether it is hindering the vaping subculture. Can’t make up your mind? Check a forum or the always reliable YouTube comments.
V IS FOR GIRLS WHO VAPE
Like any other subject, electronic cigarettes are also fetishized and got their fair share of internet vanilla eroticism. There is a complete different ambiance from the plain old smoking fetish; younger, more jolly and covered under more smoke. You can see girls who vape on tumblr and on facebook.
W IS FOR WAR LANGUAGE
During the conference This is the ENDD at The New Museum, Tracy Jean Rosenthal made an interesting point on the language choice for the marketing of the e-cigs. She pointed out the phallic symbolism of the original cigarettes, concluding with how e-cigs channel the technological military mushroom imagery of the 1945 atom bomb, employing vocabulary such as atomizer, vapor and hit.
X IS FOR THE X-FACTOR
The E-Cigarette Forum has many discussions over reasoning for dissatisfaction in the transition from tobacco cigarette to e-cigarette. Many feel that there is something missing after making the switch to vaping. That “something missing” is the X-factor and varies from user to user. Some may not be using an equal amount of nicotine in their e-cigs as when they smoked tobacco cigarettes; others experience a lack alkaloids other than nicotine that are only found in tobacco cigarettes.
Two years ago, we ran into these breathable delights which are an extension of electronic cigarettes. However, what makes this vapor company unique is its vision. They market their vaporizer as a magic tool to stuff your face with pastries without getting any calories; to be more precise, as the world’s first calorie-free dessert. Please note that this product has existed for two years, which equals a century in the internet age. So, in a way, can we say that, like porn, the diet industry is always ahead of its time?
Z IS FOR ZENESIS
The word zenesis is part of the very creative terminology that e-cig mod makers use to name their ultra custom products. It's followed by Senisis, Titanide, Themis, Nemesis, big zazoo, Macaveli, Helix and Mark-VII Destroyer.