Few “underground” cultures have seen as rapid a rise as the vaping culture in Australia. Despite regulations that create extensive barriers and encourage Australians to spend money with foreign suppliers in order to purchase nicotine, the numbers of vapers are increasing and they’re enthusiastic about the activity. From events like VapeFest to online forums, blogs, and communities dedicated to vaping, it’s clear the activities are growing.
A Growing Trend despite Australian restrictions
Estimates of real numbers are hard to come by, but the upward trend is obvious. Already, there are estimates that vapers will outnumber smokers in the United States and Europe within a decade. Though regulations in Australia gave us a late start, it’s gaining traction nonetheless. Seventeen percent of smokers have tried it as of last year, and the numbers continue to grow. It seems likely a greater percentage will try the products as more information about ordering nicotine from foreign suppliers becomes available.
There are now websites in Australia dedicated entirely to the practice, and they provide information from simple to complex. For new vapers, there is basic information designed to make starting easier. For established vapers, reviews of the many types of equipment and many types of “juices” (the flavored liquid that will be vaporized to be inhaled), and homebrewed liquids.
With or Without Nicotine
There are explanations of how to order the best and safest liquid nicotine for those who desire nicotine as part of the experience, and there are even vapers who avoid nicotine altogether. They continue to enjoy yummy flavors with the psychological release of vaping. Even though they have kicked the nicotine habit, the behavior of inhaling is still relaxing.
A Social Event – Vaping Clubs
Vaping has become a social event as well. Although Australia has yet to see the rapid rise of vaping clubs such as those becoming increasingly common in the United States and England, the activity is growing dramatically, leading to increased discussion about vaping in secret, vaping in public, and the need to educate non-vapers about the safety involved.
There are even subsets within the vaping culture such as cloud chasers, who use large vaporizers and therefore send billowing clouds of vapor out with each exhalation. In general, most of the culture is supported as any culture is: shared interests drive communications and shared behaviors. There’s also shared defense against perceived “threats” from those opposed to vaping and those desiring to regulate it.
We just love anything that is called VapeFest, regardless of how huge an event it is or even if it’s a small local celebration. The Melbourne VapeFest is a delightful mix of both. With the assistance of various Australian vendors (many of which are facing legal trouble, being only able to sell e-cigs and e-cigars without nicotine-based e-liquid) the event was a success lasting five hours.
Due to legal restrictions, no nicotine flavors were legally sold or shared, but there were still 15 different zero nicotine flavors to sample, along with different designs of pipes, cigs and e-cigars, including some amazing handmade sculptures. Cartomizers were also on hand, and the many vaper family members compared volt and watt systems, while discussing the fine art of juice making.
About 50 people showed up which is a great success considering the size of the small lounge. The event hosts even gave away door prizes and contest prizes, which included three disposable mini-kits, tub mods, basic kits, and starter kits from some of the top companies. The event was so successful for the ATACA (Australian Tobacco Alternatives Consumer Association) they are looking to host another VapeFest in Melbourne at a bigger venue for next year.
Vaping on the rise in Australia
All signs suggest that the number of vapers in Australia will continue to grow. Worldwide, vaping is already an industry that surpasses $2 billion, and some analysts such as Wells Fargo believe record declines in tobacco profits come as a direct result of the rise in vaping. While the continuation of the trend may be greatly impacted by regulatory action, as governments finally come to terms or refuse to come to terms with the reality of the growing popularity of vaping, for now there’s no end in sight at all.
What about you?
What’s your vaping culture where you live? Do you have a hang out or do you prefer doing it as a private party? List them below with their location.