Elsewhere in these columns, I have droned on about the merits of this phenomenon (you go find the pieces – I’m busy with THIS right now).
Well, developments have occurred – but first, a quick summary of the story so far…
E-cigarettes first emerged around 1960, when the first rumblings about the health issues associated with smoking began.
The devices looked like cigarettes, but contained cartridges of nicotine, a vaporising chamber and a battery.
However, given the tiny batteries had to heat an ELEMENT, they did not last long – and nor did the whole thing.
But fast-forward to the Millennium – and now, battery tech had delivered a whole new range of high-powered, quick-charging batteries (L-ion, etc.)
Thus, given the by-now MASSIVE anti-smoking movement, it was deemed to be a phenomenon whose time had COME.
Initially, the devices sold were not dissimilar to the Sixties ones – just with a longer life-span. But it was soon realised that making them look like now-UNpopular cigarettes was akin to “fun furs” – users would incur WRATH.
So with this in mind, manufacturers shed the limitations of the tiny e-cigs and designed “Vape Pens” – which had rechargeable batteries large enough to last over a DAY.
The current most popular is the “eGo” unit. Labelled “CE4” (or 5 – with or without a plus sign) or -T (or any number of other names) they are now made by any number of – primarily Chinese – companies.
In fact, the devices are a bit like BROOMS. Once you agree on a thread size, ANY company can make heads or handles – in the case of vape pens; clearomisers (vaporisers) and battery packs – to be swapped around as desired.
Plus the vape JUICE is suitable for all of them.
And unlike their western counterparts, Chinese companies do not waste time and money suing each other over copyright – they just go ahead and design, manufacture and SELL…
But how is this now playing out, World-wide? Well, predictably some governments, fearing a huge drop in tax revenue, have set their Lies, Bullsh*t And Sleaze departments the task of DEFEATING this “threat” – and predictable measures have been taken.
Nevertheless, trying to stem the tide of vaping equipment and juice from small packet post reminds one of King Canute (young readers, Wiki him).
But it is not all fun and games. While ALL vape equipment and juice manufacturers have steadfastly refused to label their goods as “smoking cessation devices” – opponents try to claim they ARE.
And the recreational-drug communities have leapt on the devices as delivery systems for all SORTS of nasty substances. Which is grossly unfair; whilst no longer having to SMOKE weed is a GOOD thing – some of the OTHER drugs are seriously BAD.
Of course, this is not the fault of the devices – if you get drunk and mow down a bus queue, no-one will blame Toyota.
But it reflects badly on those who have smoked for decades because the only other option was quitting – and who now possess an infinitely healthier way to enjoy the relatively harmless substance (nicotine is akin to caffeine) they are addicted to.
It is also WAY CHEAPER – even in countries with LOW cigarette tax.
And since the batteries output 4 VDC, you can recharge them from ANY device with a 5 VDC USB port – your TV, DVD-R – even this computer.
Doubtless modern cars have them too (my car is a 20-year-old classic).
Or you can go old-school and plug the charger into a mains adaptor.
Finally; throughout this piece, I have called these devices “vape pens” – but while eGo is the name of the most popular BRAND – no-one thought to find a name for the device itself.
You will see them called “e-Cigarettes” – but they no longer look anything LIKE a cigarette.
Or “Shisha Pens” – but shisha is a COMPLETELY different thing. It is the SE Asian word for “Hookahs” – which are water pipes that BURN various substances, then bubble the smoke through water to cool it – and are just as unhealthy as cigarettes, if not MORE so.
It is like “toilet” or “live-in lover” – things that affect everybody, but which there are only euphemisms to describe.
So while you cannot WRITE with a vape pen – I suppose we are STUCK with the term…