The vaping industry has been going strong for the past few years, and there are many new faces in the vape culture. That being said, the marketing around it has become a bit problematic because it focuses on a narrow subsection of vapers. Sure, the image of the hip, young, and pretty, and yet a bit edgy 20-something with coloured hair and ripped jeans riding a skateboard with their vape in hand is going to sell.
Unfortunately, the tatted out youths, supposedly counter-culture while wearing branded jeans and, for some reason, a beanie hat on a hot California day, is but a fraction of people interested in vaping. You’re as likely to see people in their 30s and 40s in vape shops, a regular 9-5 crowd with a family, just looking for an alternative to a pack of smokes.
So, does the vaping industry cater to those people? Does it welcome them with open arms and help them start their vaping journey? Not really. Let’s look at why that is, what the industry could do better, and why it should start welcoming all smokers.
The “Young and Edgy” Image is Bad for Business
Despite what all the stock photos would have you believe, no one is going to bat an eye if they see a person vaping, as long as that person doesn’t behave obnoxiously. In an era where everyone and their grandmother smokes, you don’t get any extra street cred for taking a hit out of your pen.
What you do get is a chance to switch to something less harmful and a whole lot less stinky. Vaping with friends for a couple of hours and not having your whole apartment stink for the next day is something that everyone can get behind.
And yet, the attitude that a vape pen would somehow look weird in the hands of someone in their 50s pushes a lot of potential customers away.
The more mature crowd is pressured into thinking that, for them, vaping would be the same as if they wore bright, colourful clothes and yelled out slang words that they don’t really understand.
It’s sad to see that because these are the people with disposable income to skyrocket the industry and make it better for everyone.
The 9-5 Crowd Stands To Benefit more from Vaping!
For those in their early and mid-20s, it’s all about achieving a specific cool look, having fun, and adding another accessory to their outfit. On the other hand, smokers with families are always worried about second-hand smoke affecting their partner and their kids.
They are marginalized by society, with no-smoking signs on every corner, often asked to smoke outside their own house on cold winter nights.
These are the people who need vaping in their lives. The vapour doesn’t stink up the place, and you won’t hear your partner complain about tobacco-flavoured kisses ever again.
A Lot of Smokers want to Quit, but Can’t Stand Going Cold Turkey!
While some smokers see vaping as a way to get their nicotine fix without troubling others and making their own lives difficult, for others, it’s a way out. Sure, there are a handful of people who quit cold turkey and never touch cigarettes again.
However, these are usually 20-somethings who’ve smoked maybe a pack a day for a couple of years in high school and college.
I’m sure we all know at least one or two friends or family members in their forties who’ve chain-smoked for two decades now and are having a tough time kicking the habit. Cutting down first is the only way for most long-term smokers to give up cigarettes eventually.
An even better option is switching to vaping, where you can slowly reduce the amount of nicotine you take in over several months. You just get weaker and weaker e-liquids every couple of weeks, until you’re ultimately left vaping a flavoured e-liquid with no nicotine in it.
The best part is that you’ll also have the habitual side of your addiction under control because you’ll still have something to do with your hands and mouth.
As you can see, not everyone at the vape shop is a too-cool-for-school college kid. There are people from all age groups and different walks of life looking to get into vaping, and often for good reasons.
That’s why the vaping industry and the whole community should be more welcoming and help show these people how things work.