Ever since the modern vape era started in the early 2000s a stigma has surrounded vape use. E cig and e-juice users ran with the “cloud chasing” trend when powerful mods became more prevalent, which turned the public off due to the, let's call it “boldness” some users had while enjoying their vaporizer in public. Big clouds, and lingering sweet smells were a common annoyance for people encountering e-juice users in the wild.
Lets be honest, we all hated seeing this guy at a restaurant.
While some of the hate was semi-warranted, it turned the word “vape” into an insult. When I first started seeing the rise in vaping I associated the word with fedoras and those anime button downs that also have flames for some reason. The overboard vape culture started by e-juice users was early enough in the modern vaporizer era that this stigma has stuck around to today, and has enveloped concentrate users into its anti-vaporizer circle.
As concentrate use started to expand from “stoner nerd” circles into “regular thc enthusiasts” people wanted an alternative to having to wield a torch while under the effects of concentrated THC to enjoy their wax. Portable wax vaporizers and disposable vape pens made it infinitely safer and simpler to use concentrates while on the go. Wax and dry herb vaporizers have the opposite goal of e-juice vapes: be discreet; but as soon as someone hears “vape”, they’ll assume you’ll be blowing “fat clouds” in their faces just to show off.
Bathe yourself in cotton-candy vapor.
Thankfully, this stigma is losing steam (or in this case, vapor).
THE NEW VAPE CULTURE
The usual “vape sighting” I see on my daily commute is someone slyly retrieving their pen style vape, taking a draw, and then easing it back into their pocket or purse. No vapor in anyone's face, and no scent of blue-unicorn-pepperberry lingering around even after the vaper in question is gone. This is the new vape culture: users needing a toned down, quick way to enjoy their vapor. By embracing conservative vapor production major vape companies are doing their best to usher in a new vape culture. Utilizing modern technologies and advanced designs have turned every kind of vaporizer into a “normal” looking accessory or appliance.
Vape pens are the biggest asset to pivoting away from the “we get it you vape” judgement by non-vaporizer users. The vapor that is drawn from these units has a dense mouth feel, so users can get the feeling of big, robust clouds without expelling them onto passers by. Coupled with the vapor production is the wide array of toned down, yet stylish designs these pens have. Modded e-juice vapes, and some concentrate mods, can look like something the superhero Blade would use to get an adrenaline boost before a vampire showdown with their boxy, “high tech” vibes. Newer vape pens, some of which are disposable, come in muted tones and elegant shapes that only draw attention to people who may be really trying to check your vape game out.
With the explosion in concentrate vaporization the new vape culture is trending towards restraint and consideration. Users need units, and even mods, that get the job done without drawing attention to themselves. Vape companies have seen this and have started to produce toned down vapes that work just as well as a torch and rig combo, without being all up in your grill with clouds. Models like the Boundless Tera, KandyPens Rubi (this one also can be used with e-juice), and the R2 Series GEN3 from #ThisThingRips give you on the go vape options that do their best to keep your vaping low-key and prudent.
Hoping to normalize vaporizer use, every type of concentrate and dry herb vape has been re tooled to blend seamlessly into your life, without screaming to the world you enjoy vapor. From the above mentioned portable vapes to desktop units there is a toned down looking vape for everyone, and the vapor produced will certainly feel like your in the clouds without enveloping an entire room. E-juice users are definitely able to use desktop vapes, but concentrate and dry herb enthusiasts are lucky enough to have most of these vape units designed for their private home use with designs that look similar to a stereo speaker or radio.
Bigger desktop vaporizers definitely produce what can be considered “clouds”, but these units are housed in your home (usually) so it is safe to assume those not using the vape won’t be surprised at the clouds and therefore, not feel as angsty as say, someone in a theater trying to enjoy a movie with a cloud of vapor being spewed in their direction. Units like the Silver Surfer Vaporizer, Dr. Dabber’s SWITCH, and Da Buddha (yes, the name is kind of insane, but you don’t have to tell people it) are able to be added to any rooms motif without making you feel like you’re telling the world “HEY, I VAPE, REALLY, I VAPE!”.
With the vape culture constantly growing and shifting, it shouldn’t be long before the stigma around the word “vape” is gone. New designs, better vapor feel, and a general rise in usage should help normalize public perception on vaping. Part of the responsibility does fall on vape users themselves, being considerate of others in a public space is something users should always be doing, this means maybe leaving your Cloud Chaser 5000 mod at home on the way to the family game night. So go forth vape users, responsibly enjoy your hobby as best you can and soon the “we get it you vape” vibes will be dust in the wind.
Charles Mockler is a vaporizer critic and writer at The VaporNation Blog, a leading source for expert opinions and information about vaporizers. His blogs are read by tens of thousands of people each month. He specializes in the latest technology trends including induction heating and decarboxylation.
Charles' goal is to provide readers with reliable, helpful, and balanced opinions on vaping. He does not recommend vaping to those who don't already smoke, but his articles do offer advice for existing vape enthusiasts including reviews and how-tos about the latest vaporizers. Charles has reviewed and tested a myriad of vaporizers and recommends people do as much research as possible before buying any vaporizer.
Charles was introduced to vaping after moving to Los Angeles during the vaporizer boom. A fan of "true vaporization," he prefers convection vapes with ceramic ovens. His articles include What is an Induction Vaporizer?, How to Decarb Dry Herb, and 8 Best Electric Dab Rigs of 2018.
A graduate of the University of Montana, Charles now resides in the Greater Los Angeles area where he reviews vaporizers and hosts a podcast about the Los Angeles Clippers.