Usage of the Oxford Dictionaries 2014 Word of the Year, “vape”— defined as the act of smoking an electronic cigarette — has doubled this year compared to 2013.
First used in the 1980s, “Vaping has gone mainstream,” according to Oxford Dictionaries editorial director Judy Pearsall.
Celebrities who vape and growing debate on the public dangers and the need for regulation contributed to the “marked” increase, she added.
Mark Kagan, director, Logic Ecigs Australia told C&I WEEK that the popularity of the word “vape” reflected the fact that “e-cigs are accepted internationally and are starting to be accepted in Australia as people understand the difference between ‘steaming’ and ‘smoking’”.
Mr Kagan said that sales of Logic Ecigs were increasing with the big tobacco companies now also selling similar product. He expects that the word “vape” will continue to increase in usage as more and more consumers are looking to the product as a way to reduce or stop smoking.
Although Australian regulations prevent e-cigarettes being sold or advertised as an aid to quitting, Mr Kagan said, in his experience, “Ninety per cent of the people who contact me are looking for a way to reduce or quit smoking,” and that e-cigs are “really beneficial to the Australian public as the harmful chemicals are contained in tobacco smoke and tar, and not in the steam (or “vape”) from e-cigarettes”.
Australian legislation currently prohibits the sale of nicotine based e-liquids, filter tips or disposable e-cigs (although these items may be imported in limited quantities for personal use).
Queensland will, in Mr Kagan’s opinion, lose a valuable opportunity when, on 1 January 2015, e-cigs “go under the counter” as new legislation comes into effect banning the marketing and display of e-cig products in that state.
Nevertheless Mr Kagan sees a bright future for the sale of e-cigarettes as the product continues to gain acceptance Australia-wide. The Logic Zero brand of e-cigs is already widely available through retailers including NewsLink, United Petrol and BP and, under a recent deal with Metcash, at selected IGA, FoodWorks and Ritchies stores, with more stores to follow.
There seems to be no doubt the word “vape” – like e-cigs themselves – will only continue to grow in popularity.
“Contactless” also made it onto the Oxford Dictionaries list as the use of cards with special chips to make payments in retail outlets and on public transport becomes increasingly common.