Following on from last week’s article about the EU regulation and electronic cigarettes it opens up the question, “what will vaping be like in the future?”. Sitting in my office, vaping my futurist looking e-cig MOD I started to wonder what the future of e-cigarettes will look like.
Now I don’t mean whether big Pharma will manage to eradicate vaping or governments manage to restrict their use. I am confident reason, truth and public opinion will eventually triumph. People will be using electronic cigarettes for years to come, whether there are restrictions or not.
In my opinion we are at the start of a massive revolution of nicotine consumption and a path of innovate design and technology. People have been using nicotine for over a thousand years. The recent innovation of electronic cigarettes for safe consumption is a turning point in the long history of its use.
History of the E-Cig
The tobacco plant has existed for millions of years. Palaeontologists in Peru found tobacco which dates from the Pleistocene Era, 2.5 million years ago. Tobacco was introduced to Europeans in the 1500′s by the Spanish and was known as the ‘sacred herb’ due to its valuable medical properties. It wasn’t until the 1920′s that a link between smoking and lung cancer was made. German scientists discovered the connection and the first anti-smoking campaign in modern history began.
The evidence continued to mount and by the 1980′s political action was taken. Rates of smoking in the developed world began to decline and cigarette smoking started to become socially unacceptable.
Then in 2007 the electronic cigarette hit the market. A pivotal turning point in the history of nicotine use. It has proved to be a disruptive innovation and has thrown the use of nicotine in society back into the spotlight.
Rise of the E-Cig
When I was travelling around the world a few years ago I remember being asked about my e-cig on a daily basis. Every person I spoke with would ask me about the device, how it worked, what it did, why it was better than smoking. These devices seem to attract a lot of attention and every one I met was interested in finding out more about them.
Things have changed rapidly and electronic cigarettes are practically mainstream. E-cigs have defiantly gone ‘viral’ in the last few years. Just look at the mass of YouTube videos, forums and social groups made around vaping. This explosion is a testament to how appealing, useful and attractive these devices really are.
Being at the start of this social revolution is very exciting. Similar to the first mobile phone or computer connected to the internet. The future is hard to predict and who knows what developments and advancements are to come.
No doubt we will see more innovations in the design of these products and people will look back at our current devices much like we look back at early mobile phones and outdated technology.
Rechargeable battery life technology has been lagging other electronics for over a decade. A serious development is surely soon to come. The development of Nanowire technology could see batteries storing more than 5 times the charge, 5 times as small and rechargeable in 10 seconds. This would dramatically reduce size and allow for extra tank space. We could see a device that is smaller than current ego styles with massive e-liquid capacity, with enough charge and juice for several days or more.
Nano-wire technology could also revolutionize the atomizer, although I suspect we will see a completely new radical design which may revolutionize the way liquid is fed and vaporised.
Future of the E-Cig
Conclusive studies on the effects of electronic cigarettes are yet to be completed. But if the medical studies recently announced conclude that using electronic cigarettes are no more harmful than use of caffeine will we see nicotine use be re-accepted into society as a regular normalised thing? Now that we have found a safer way to consume nicotine why wouldn’t it be available similar to coffee or tea, caffeine drinks or even alcohol?
We conclude that electronic cigarettes show tremendous promise in the fight against tobacco-related morbidity and mortality. By dramatically expanding the potential for harm reduction strategies to achieve substantial health gains, they may fundamentally alter the tobacco harm reduction debate.
-Journal of Public Health Policy
No-smoking campaigners worry that this de-normalization of smoking is disrupting the quit smoking movement. They worry it will ruin the time and effort over the last decade to reduce the harm from tobacco smoking. But there is no evidence that e-cigs are a gateway to tobacco smoking.
Of course we still need tobacco plants to synthesize nicotine for our liquids. But the process of adding harmful chemicals and preservatives will disappear. Technology will advance and make these devices even better and easier to use. People have enjoyed nicotine in society for hundreds of years, now that we have found a safer way to use it, electronic cigarettes are set to change the world of tobacco as we know it.
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