I first learned of this in an article from Filter Magazine.We have all at points been exasperated by how vaping is bundled together with tobacco products and even diseases (EVALI) being associated with vaping when it was caused by illicit THC cartridges.
In an attempt to get the terminology standardised and establish categories of products, a team of researchers from the UK have created an initial version of an Ontology (categorisation) of Tobacco, Nicotine and vaping products. The research was funded by Cancer Research UK.
You can read the full report here – “Toward an ontology of tobacco, nicotine and vaping products“.
This is very important as such things as taxes and legislation put items into categories and in a lot of Governments Vaping and Vaping supplies are categorised as Tobacco.
Of course the EVALI tragedy is another example – the term stands for “E-cigarette or Vaping Product Use Associated Lung Injury”. Which of course scared the crap out of vapers and would be vapers. It turned out it was due to dodgy THC cartridges with Vitamin E Acetate added. But unfortunately the name was not amended and still lurks like a nasty fart online.
So a clear set of categories are needed which cover e-cigarettes, nicotine, tobacco and variants.
As this is just a proposal this is obviously subject to change but is definitely a huge step in the right direction.
Below are lists of the suggested terms and categories…
Major Classes of tobacco, Nicotine and Vaping Products
Types of Tobacco Containing Products
Types of Nicotine Containing Products
Types of E-cigarette
Manufactured Cigarette Attributes
Tobacco Product Parts
E-cigarette Product Parts and Characterisation
Impact On Vaping
As mentioned above being able to classify vape products as being different from tobacco products is of huge benefit.
Also just standardising the language used in vaping would help prevent confusion and make the subject more accessible to beginners.
Sometimes the sheer complexity of devices and methods can be overwhelming to people who just want to vape to quit smoking. Being able to produce a Glossary of terms which should be pretty standard across the industry would be super helpful.
The conclusions section of this research states the following…
“An ontology is proposed that makes important distinctions between tobacco-containing products, nicotine-containing products and vaping devices. It identifies subclasses of these and properties of these subclasses. We have reported an initial version of the ontology. The aim is that the research and practitioner community can make use of the opportunities provided to comment on and help to extend the ontology and that journals and funders will encourage and support researchers to use the ontology to improve clarity in their writing.”
So far I am really pleased the ball is rolling on standardising the terminology and look forward to updates and (fingers crossed) the terms being used regularly in the vaping industry, Heath, Government and research sectors.