Over the past decade, the electronic cigarette (or "e cig") industry has ballooned in size. Two years ago, the market was valued at $1.7 billion, and since then it continued to grow. Today, more than 2.5 million people in the United States use e cigs. There are approximately 16,000 vape stores in the U.S., which grew from 10,000 last year according to the Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association. Vaping kits come in all shapes and sizes, and there are more than 7,700 flavors from 466 brands to choose from.
What makes e cigs so popular? For starters, they are easily transportable and small enough to fit in your pocket. The thousands of flavors you can choose from means there's at least one flavor out there that will tickle your fancy. Moreover, some of the vaping liquids come with very low or even zero levels of nicotine. Low-nicotine liquids, in fact, outsell normal-to-high nicotine liquids by two to one!
Another reason that accounts for the popularity is the vapor itself. Vape liquid provides a smooth and comfortable smoking experience that many smokers prefer over the harsher and more pungent fumes of tobacco smoke. It's unclear whether smoking vapor is better for your health than inhaling smoke but in terms of comfort, vapes lead the way by far.
There is some controversy over the overall health effects of smoking vapes, especially when compared to tobacco. More research definitely needs to be done, which is something the e cig industry overwhelmingly supports. Regardless of the specific health effects, vape smokers are usually more than satisfied with their products, which is made evident by its exponential growth over the last 10 years or so! And why not? With thousands of flavors to choose from (including those with no nicotine), e cigs are leading the way in smoking in the U.S.