On Monday, e-cigarette makers Gamucci will open the world’s first airport “vaping zone”in the Terminal 4 international departure lounge at Heathrow.
If the zone is a success, it’ll be seen as a huge victory for the burgeoning e-cigarette industry. But with a name like that it doesn’t stand a chance. Vaping zone. Say it out loud. You can’t, can you? Someone might be listening, and they’d probably punch you right in your stupid face if they heard you.
Is this what we’re supposed to call the act of smoking an electronic cigarette? Vaping? Are e-smokers vapists? Because vaping sounds worryingly like a form of sexual assault, or a bewilderingly ill-advised 1980s dance craze. Smokers must be furious. E-cigarettes were their big chance to become socially acceptable again, but whoever came up with “vaping” has ruined it. What’s worse: going outside to smoke, or sitting indoors to vap off?
And, just like actual smoking – hot smoking, as the vapists call it – all sorts of neologisms are bound to spring up around e-cigarettes. What’s the vaping equivalent of smirting (smoking and flirting), for example? Is it varting? And what are we to call cigaretiquette (the generalised behaviour surrounding smoking) in the age of e-cigarettes? Vaprotocol? That sounds like a cheap brand of bronchitis medication.
And vaping is just the tip of the awkward e-cigarette terminology iceberg. The website Ecigology (itself a terrible word that deserves to be bludgeoned to death) has a glossary teeming with ridiculous new words and phrases. It’s a world of “carts” and “cartos” that you fill with “smoke juice” and accessorise with “a drip tip”, being careful not to “flood your atty” and diminish your “throat hit”. Imagine being the sort of person who actually talks like this. It’d be like living your entire life inside an Australian remake of A Clockwork Orange directed by Chris Morris.
At least it will work as an inadvertent shot in the arm for anti-smoking campaigners. Forget bold-print health warnings and close-up pictures of diseased lungs, nothing’s going to repel you from a packet of cigarettes – electronic or otherwise – like knowing that you’ll have to stand in something as ridiculous as a vaping zone to smoke them.
Content by: Stuart Heritage
Image 1 by: Alamy
Image 2 by: Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP/Getty Images