What is the future of E-cigarettes?
Having already celebrated the 14th anniversary after the birth of the first modern/commercial E-cigarette, there are now, if not thousands, at least many hundreds of E-cig brands and co-brands in the market, looking all similar, serving the same function, and competing for the same group of customers. I have to say, if I were to be objective and just, even though I am, and perhaps, exactly because I am, most assuredly, a most ardent and passionate devotee of E-cig and its future prospect, that, for 14 years, apart from some minor technological improvements and ceaseless modification and alteration of appearances and materials, there has not been much substantial revolution or development in the department of E-cig design. Rather, the most sophisticated office would be that of the marketing and advertising, which, with their unremitting bombardment of customer brain surface impression and incessant promotion programs, have by far generated the most alive and robust communities in the industry.
That being said, I do not deny the efforts that E-cig designers put into the betterment and intended transformation of E-cig, the many long days and sleepless nights during which they toiled and scratched their heads trying to produce an idea scheme something new, something at least different, or the many millions of dollars they invested to experiment with possible materials, structures, and methods in order to come up with the best possible combination. No, I do not decry any of these. I am simply questioning, and that because I care about, the future of E-cigarettes. And it is not 5 or 10 years I am concerned about—even a child can, by observing the current prosperity of E-cig market, infer that E-cigs will be on the run skywards in the near future. Rather, it is The Future of E-cigs in this discourse I am concerned about—questions like, what function should E-cigs serve, what radical revolution might arise in technology, would it still be proper for E-cigs to assume the same name if and when its function or its very definition should the industry undergo profound changes? These are the big questions I am concerned about, as with the American scientists who are concerned about what was the future of V2 after the Second War.
Many people succeeded in quitting smoking with the aid of E-cigarettes, and perhaps many more failed because of the irreconcilable deficiency that E-cigs never can taste like real cigarettes. We must not look only the bright side of the equation. As an agent of smoking cessation, E-cigarette has its failures as well as victories, and unless there be significant renovations in this department, there is no telling whether other late-coming innovations might not overtake it or totally replace it. If E-cigarette is to have a future, it must be more effective in helping smokers quit.
What more can E-cigarettes do? Is it possible to transform E-cigs into medical equipments? Is it feasible to integrate functions of devices of another category as to render E-cigs versatile and multifunctional? Can E-cig devices at the same time test blood pressure? Can they, by connecting with the large merchandises in your house, in the case of cell phone battery runout, serve as controllers? Can they, by incorporating an extra hook, serve as bottle openers? There are so many possibilities of what E-cig devices can achieve given ample experiments and tests, and there are so many we can find out by just trying. Who knows what an E-cigarette can do 20 years from now?
However, the value of E-cigs does not necessarily need to be confined in the box of functions. Vaping, however imperfect it might be in any other aspects, has been and probably will continue to be one of the leading icons of new cultures and new lifestyles. It is this that the leaders of the industry need to dig deeper and explore further. How to elevate E-cig from the status of a smoking cessation agent to that of a symbol of an other-culture, figure of a new value?
This article does not propose to come up with answers. This is not my intention. I only wish to open a topic, and hope that the discussion of which would stimulate like minds and maybe the future course of E-cigs is changed by some genius, diligent and unsatisfied minds?
Tags: Vaping, E-cigarette