The results are in, and 2014’s word of the year according to Oxford Dictionaries is “Vape.” To users of e-cigarettes this should be no surprise, nor should it be to most of America, who like many others around the world have seen vaping stores crop up all over their cities and towns. Word of the year honors was probably a long time coming for “vape.” The word was only added to the Oxford English Dictionary online site this year, but the electronic cigarette has been around since the 1960s. The term “vaping” did not come around until the 1980s, but with the exponential growth of the product in the last few year the word “vape” has now become part of many people’s everyday vernacular.
Oxford defines “vape” as a verb meaning “to inhale and exhale the vapor produced by an electronic cigarette or similar device.” The word can also be used as a noun to describe the device, for example: a vape pen.
The Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association is now estimating that about 4 million Americans currently use e-cigarettes. They project sales of the vaping devices to reach 1 billion dollars by the end of 2014.
To users and makers of vaping devices, the word of the year honor is just a sign of the growth and popularity of e-cigarettes in the last few years. By offering a nicotine delivery system with no smoke that is less offensive and healthier than combustible cigarettes, e-cigarettes have skyrocketed, showing unprecedented growth in an industry that hadn’t seen a new and successful product in decades. The health benefits of e-cigarettes have also been measured in their ability to be used as a tool for quitting smoking.
Vape beat out such other words as “bae,” a term of endearment for a romantic partner, and “slacktivism,” a word used to describes getting involved in social causes without expending too much effort.
Oddly enough, this term (Vape) has mostly been accredited to those “vape” marijuana and not to the expected ejuice vaper. But its safe to say if you ask most people who smoke weed, the term “vape” would be almost totally linked to someone who uses a vaporizer to vape e-juice rather than a weed smoker. Oxford might be the ultimate dictionary source but I feel they are giving “vape” the wrong title – under these given circumstances.
Over the last few years, I personally feel ( as a vaper) that this term has been slightly tarnished. Since the public eye doesn’t see doctors and teachers vaping but instead the 20-something with multiple tattoos and piercings on street corners blowing clouds, there seems to be a negative stigmatism that’s been attached to the prototypical vaper. But the fact is, this eclectic group of people who choose to blow huge clouds on the street corner, or out of their car – making it looks like its practically on fire – or simply sitting on their porch are in a way hurting the overall vaping community. The way that society (and the government) view this much better alternative is probably not going get any better unless we realize that we don’t need 200+ watt mega mods just to fill a craving.