2 weeks ago

A vape, short for vaporizer. It sounds like something you’d hear in a sci-fi run. Like part of a weapon. In simple terms though, it just turns liquid into air vapor. Commonly associated with electronic cigarettes, AKA e-cigarettes.

You’ve probably heard of them, or have seen them, if you ever been to a downtown most of the world past 2009. People blowing out ludicrous amount of smoke, that you could only get from a wizard’s pipe. It is a wrong assumption though, as it smoke, but water stream. Making them more like old trains. The vapor comes from the liquid juice inside of the device, and traditionally has nicotine and any flavoring one can imagine, and turn into a liquid first.

Originally this little thing have been invented by Hon Lik. A Chinese man, who was both a really heavy smoker, and a doctor specializing on the field of traditional Chinese medicines. Yes that is an actual thing in China, and you have to complete university like all the other doctors.

Hon Lik stopped smoking when his father died from lung cancer. Although opium haven’t raged there since the Opium Wars, tobacco left a far more lasting impression. More than half of the adult male population was a regular smoker around that time.

Hon was thinking of an alternate way to smoking, and like all self-conscious smoker (or any doctor more like) knew that nicotine is a mistress with a strong leash. He developed the contraption of the first e-cigarette, where an electric battery runs an ultrasonic device to turn liquid nicotine into vapor. Skipping all that tar which turns into smoke from burning the tobacco. He was quite successful with it, by 2004 it became really popular in the Chinese domestic market.

Unfortunately, it was a relatively simple invention. Meaning it was relatively simple to copy and mass-produce without Hon Lik’s say so. As many, many Chinese and US producers just used the pattern illegally.

That is not to say Hon Lik is a tragic figure. At the time of this writing, he is still alive and well, doing quite good with the money from the domestic market, as well as the out of court settlements the cigarette producers threw at him.

Now, not to credit everything to one man. British entrepreneurs have improved the evaporation rate, and this the volume of the smoke with the cartomizer. Which is a heated coil, that did far better at processing the liquid than the ultrasonic waves. They also understood the joys of marketing, and thus modding was born. The practice where one can get custom designs for their cigarette cases. Like with phones, or debit cards.

Of course it wasn’t all that golden. Some people like to roll their own cigarettes, but if you smoke, and tried that, you can see how it is a hassle. Getting the paper, the tobacco, rolling it up, and who really has enough from both of those for a single cigarette? It isn’t for everyone.

Using the old vapes is a bit like that. You have to worry about the liquid. Refilling it, having enough, and make sure the case isn’t cracked. Otherwise it will start leaking it away. Not to mention where are you going to put all that liquid if you fancy another flavor instead? Finally, there is charging the batteries. No battery, no vaping.

So obviously the newest step in the evolution, are the disposable vapes. Devices that come pre-charged, pre-filled, and with various flavors. By producing them like that, they are cheaper because of the economy of scale. The also allow less prepared buyers to just buy and enjoy them, at the drop of a hat. Although from a distributor’s side they will need to stock a larger variety to be available.

Quite a few years of development made the vaporization more effective, the battery life longer, and the size of the devices smaller.

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