Sunday, September 6, 2015

From Now On, Refer to Your E-cigs as Advanced Personal Vaporizers

stop calling them electronic cigarettes
This photo was posted by mecha101 (@mecha101) on Sep. 4, 2015 at 11:18 a.m. PDT

I found this visual quote on the Instagram page of mecha101. I like the strong message. What mecha101 said in the caption made me think. I'm sharing my reactions to his comments and my thoughts on what a change in terminology would entail through this post.

I agree that using tobacco-related terminology doesn't help much in differentiating personal vaporizers as non-tobacco products. I'd like to think I'm making a difference by using vaping, vape and vapor not only as nouns or verbs, but also as adjectives to describe products and other items that are related to vaping.

However, totally removing the words e-cig, cig, e-cigarette, smoke, smoking, hookah, e-hookah, e-cigar, and cigar may not be practical right now. The e-cigarette industry doesn't have an extensive vocabulary when it comes to describing the variety of vaporizers and related devices that have been created to cater to a diverse market.

Let's say, we're trying to distinguish how the use of an e-hookah to vaporize and inhale flavored shisha is totally different from the inhalation of vapors produced by heating nicotine-containing liquids. If we were to drop the term "e-hookah" in favor of non-tobacco words, how do we go about describing the device and how do we differentiate its use from other vaporizers?

So, do we now call the e-hookah as a "personal shisha vaporizer" or maybe the "electronic vaporizer of molasses-covered dried tobacco"? That's a mouthful. It will never stick.

Another problem I see is in the general use of the terms "advanced personal vaporizers" and "personal vaporizers" to refer to a variety of devices.

How do you distinguish those vaporizers used by marijuana users to vaporize flavored THC liquids, cannabis oil, and dried herbs? How would you differentiate those from the tabletop vaporizers used by people to inhale the rising herbal mist from the vaporized medicinal botanicals?

Don't you see how difficult it can be for us to communicate clearly when we start limiting our vocabulary? Perhaps, we should start inventing terms and phrases in relation to vaping and vaporizing before we start removing those unwanted words.

Despite the contrarian views I presented here, I truly support the idea of building a pro-vaping lexicon. In deference to the original proponent of this cause, I'd like to end this post with an ad verbatim quote from mecha101:

Vaping has developed into a lifestyle and industry that is a serious threat to the tobacco conglomerates as well as its supporters. We must continue to draw the line between us and them with simple things like changing our language in advertising, marketing, education, and every day speech.

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