For a lot of people, vaping is more than just a nicotine device, it’s a hobby that they have embraced far beyond their former nasty habit. Vaping has had an incredible rise in such a small amount of time, relatively speaking. So given this fact, it is always interesting to see how vaping has impacted the larger world since its inception. Vaping has the chance to change every single smokers world when they make the switch, but in terms of the bigger world, how has it affected the normal order?
What I want to do is take a look through some of the ways that vaping has had a much larger impact than simply an anti smoking tool. How has vaping transformed the world, or at least had a worthwhile impact?
No better place to start than at big tobacco’s doorstep. The biggest threat to worldwide tobacco companies sits in our hands and it is fair to say it has cost them billions so far since 2010. It is easy to forget that there was once a time when your only choices to quit smoking were either chewing gum or medication, that is if you didn’t just want to quit cold turkey. So the fact that millions around the world have chosen vaping and managed to quit is a testament to how good vaping is as an anti smoking cessation tool. The impact on tobacco however is far bigger than meets the eye, especially in the western world.
Take a look for example at share prices at BAT (British American Tobacco) are falling year on year. Going back only 2 years ago you are looking at drops of around 10% in the market which is big money for a multi trillion dollar industry. They have spent much time trying to expand and to try and claw some money back but the problem they face is that in the western world, their customers quitting aren’t coming back again. Combine this with lawsuits around the world, including America, Brazil and Canada for various reasons regarding health, it isn’t looking too good for the big tobacco companies. Vaping is also having an indirect impact on the company , the mysterious vaping deaths in America that happened in August 2019 also had an impact on share prices. It seems that BAT are struggling to level out year on year and are now putting their efforts into the heat not burn products. However even there they are infighting and suing before the products have really found a footing, almost like E-Cigarettes have them rattled.
You can even look to the likes of Altria or Imperial Brands for another example on how vaping has impacted tobacco through the market activity over the years. Over in the UK we have the BLU brand of pod system vaping devices and over in America we have Altria using hostile takeover of JUUL. What this is showing us, is that tobacco companies are seeing that the future is indeed vaping and have been trying to establish presence within the market as their fall back once tobacco finally loses control of its shares. Where we have established brands already in the vaping industry, tobacco may never get their control like they once knew without undercutting their competition directly. So long term , we could see the vaping industry giants as the new tobacco level of dominant presences in the nicotine deliverance industries here in the western world.
The next impact that we will take a little look at is health, more specifically, how has health improved over the past 10 years since vaping has become mass market. As we all know, smoking related illnesses contribute to a significant amount of healthcare issues throughout the world due to the many complications that smoking can cause. So as millions have made the switch, or used vaping to quit, it proves to be an interesting reflection from 10 years ago.
Unfortunately due to the many varying diseases, it can be difficult to really pinpoint the statistics in the short term. Back in 2010 there was 88000 (rounded) deaths attributed to smoking in the UK. Compare that to 2017 and this figure had dropped to 77,800. However much like the common phrase attributed to vaping research, actual numbers need a much longer span to really highlight the effect of vaping bringing down the biggest preventable death rate. We are seeing a difference already so here’s to hoping over the next 10 years we see that number drop significantly more. As many vapers are late adopters to vaping in this time period, there is still the possibility of smoking having an effect so this will be a long term view rather than short as other factors will be.
However the better source is through the number of smokers dropping year on year, to the point where we see vaping has really made a difference. Back in 2010, it was said that 29% of the adult population smoked, even going back to the 70’s and that number was anywhere between 40-50%, certainly in the male population. We can attribute the decrease from then until now to the wider public knowledge of the effects that smoking can have before the number steadied out. So as of 2019, the number of smokers has actually dropped to 15%, almost half of the smokers have quit. You can use varying factors over the past 10 years but it surely is no coincidence that the smoking rate has halved as the availability of vaping has grown in that time. So where we may not be able to directly correlate the long term effects just now, we can certainly see the amount of people who are removing themselves from that statistic, potentially reducing the death numbers longer term.
Remember, despite every one of us quitting smoking with vaping, we would like to hope in another 10 years, the number of smokers drop simply because there isn’t any new ones to take their place, which would be a lovely contrast to the eastern world.
Something we have touched on in another article, popular culture is starting to embrace (and demonise) vaping to the extent that it has become part of western society. Given that 10 years ago vaping was relatively unheard of to the majority of the population, we have seen vaping feature on the silver screen, TV, even in many award shows. As the rate of smoking on the big screen is falling to remove the advertising, vaping is very slowly replacing it in either socially context scenes or simply to repeat the one sided argument peddled by anti vaping groups. We are seeing product placements slowly creep into the backs of scenes much the same way as you see the main characters drive by a Starbucks. This exposure of vaping is bringing the general consensus into the norm, which is a huge improvement compared to even 5 years ago where vaping was seen as the same field as a cigarette. More and more celebrities are making themselves seen with a vaping device than every before, removing the stereotypes that has existed. The significance of the normality cannot be downplayed here, the more exposure that vaping gets in the wider world, online or in the papers, never mind on TV helps another smoker decide vaping would be a better option.
Even in everyday language, vaping is starting to creep in more and more crossing generations. We all know the famous American term now ‘JUULing’ relating to vaping, with the brand being used much the same way as Hoover or Coke. This in itself is a major breakthrough in western culture, as despite the company being used, it has reached the point where brand has become language. Even going below the popular culture, how many family members in the older generations know what an E-Cigarette or a vape pen is now? Compared to again, 5 or so years ago? The wider knowledge may not be there but the product, the terminology is now understood, even if those same people aren’t clued up on a tablet or fancy smart phone. So this knowledge is again significant in terms of making those generations aware that there is a choice, with the ‘grey vapers’ significantly rising in the last few years.
We can’t wrap this article up without talking about how industry has changed throughout the world since the mass market arrival of vaping. For any product that exists, there is an industry for it. You can buy your fancy new product from its source or its counterfeit/cheaper version over in china. You can buy similar products from Harrods or Poundland, there may be a quality difference but somewhere there is factories making their versions of that product. So where does vaping come into this? Well, slightly different but equally as important.
10 years ago, what products did we sell here at Drip Hacks? The answer is none at all, we didn’t exist. We started out in 2015 and very quickly became one of the biggest online retailers in the country. However how did the bosses here at Driphacks manage to grow a business so big in such a short space of time? It was because of vaping giving them the chance to put their expertise to good use. How many companies exist now because of vaping? How many hardware manufacturers as well, all huge companies now, 10 years ago not so much. So many talented people around the world have been able to build companies as a result of vaping existing. If you want to see the effect that vaping has on the world, no better place to look at your local vape shop or the brand of E-Cigarette you have in your hand right now. Just think how many people are employed by the vaping industry now. How many experts in their field, a field in which didn’t exist 10 years ago for the most part. That is what makes the impact of vaping in the world so significant here, thousands who contribute to an entire worldwide industry that is still in its infancy. Imagine how big vaping could be in another 10 years, how big those companies can grow?
So the truth is, vaping is having a massive effect on the industry and yet we are still only at the beginning. When we look at the likes of health and tobacco, the effects vaping will have on the world is much more long term and dependant on where you are in the world, which we have covered before. However when it comes to popular culture and industry, the effects are much bigger in the short term, which you can see on a daily basis now. Vaping is changing its part of the world slowly but surely, even existing politically now, who would have imagined vaping to be a big issue in the Whitehouse? Hopefully we will revisit this in another 10 years and perhaps then we will see some much bigger impacts within the world from vaping, with many more lives saved.