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Posted by AES Web Team on May 31, 2014
For years, the electronic devices that so many people have used to vape nicotine-infused liquids have been steadfastly known as “electronic cigarettes” or “ecigs” for short. After all, what else would you call something that mimics smoking in the traditional sense? And while most people are comfortable calling their products an ecig, there’s recently been a growing call to action to abandon this terminology for monikers like “personal vaporizer” or “PV.”
The reason for this recent push in nomenclature change has to do with the correlation between ecig units and traditional cigarettes. With the industry expanding rapidly and FDA legislation inbound, many hardened vapers feel that continuing to refer to ecigs as such will further their likeness to traditional cigarettes, thus grouping them in with tobacco products and their regulations, by association.
Is there any truth to this idea? Let’s take a look.
A rose by any other name
The first thing to consider about using the term ecig, is how people perceive it—namely, those people in charge of laying down the future regulations for ecigs and like-devices. Will an association with traditional tobacco products really hurt personal vaporizers at this point or is it too late for the correlation to be broken?
In the eyes of many, the connection has been made: the general public has already grasped the word ecig, the FDA uses it frequently to refer to vaporizer devices and most of the literature out there in the world today already bears ecig nomenclature. The common consensus is: ecigs are what they are, even if there are other names for them.
At this point, it’s fair to say that “ecig” is the term that will stick, just because it’s so commonly used. Will it affect how the FDA sees these devices and how they will come to regulate them in the future? Probably not, as the organization is very much set in its ways when it comes to classifying products by name.
A valid concern
Just because the FDA and general public have already made their mind up about using the word ecig doesn’t mean that the industry has to stay the course with this terminology, however. There’s a strong anti-smoking sentiment within the vaping industry that puts words like “ecig” and “e cigarette” at something of a denotation when it comes to speaking about these revolutionary products.
Those people fighting to free themselves and their hobby from the likeness of smoking are vehement in having their own words for their practice, which has largely made the anti ecig terminology movement stronger. At the end of the day, for these people, vaping is a life choice and one that isn’t associated with words like ecig.
What do you call it?
Whether you’re one of the people who adheres to the common moniker that ecigs have garnered or you’re someone that prefers to be more conscious in what they call their device, it largely boils down to persona preference when referring to vaping devices. Will calling it an ecig harm FDA perception of the products? Probably not. Will staying away from terms like “electronic cigarette” and “ecig” serve to show distinction from traditional smoking? Definitely.