2018 was a great year for vaping: mods became even more portable, nic salts exploded in popularity, new events popped up all over the world, and flavour-chasers stepped up, just to name a few. It’s already halfway through 2019, and the year’s flying by.
Here’s are our hottest vaping trends of 2019 so far:
Vaping devices have evolved so much over the years, and we’re seeing even more high-tech features this year. It’s been quite a leap from the very first vape pen! Driven by customers clamouring for more quality and variety, businesses have consistently pushed the boundaries of vaping with new products.
One feature that’s bringing in a lot of sales is the LCD or OLED screen, through which vapers can view and adjust variables such as temperature, voltage, and wattage. These screens are already common, but in 2019, there’s a strong push for vaping devices to have all-in-one capabilities, similar to smartphones. Several devices have wi-fi built on so that users can update their mods quickly with a single tap. Smartphone integration is another exciting add-on, along with fingerprint recognition and Bluetooth app downloading.
Pod kits first went mainstream last year, with the JUUL Pod leading the charge, and they’re gaining even more traction in 2019. Aside from being extremely portable, pod kits are easy to use, serving as a low barrier to entry for new vapers.
Their design may already be basic and minimalist, but there’s still room for improvement. In line with other vaping devices, pod kits this year are incorporating more advanced tech, from high-capability chipsets to Bluetooth connectivity. One limitation that manufacturers are trying to tackle is the small number of e-liquids that each pod is compatible with. They’re tweaking pods to be compatible with more e-liquids as well as creating more flavours.
In a nutshell, pods are getting a power-up. At the end of the year, they’ll be more customisable, with longer battery life and sleeker features, and they’ll cater even better to customers’ needs.
(Courtesy of vaping360.com)
Nic salts are another current market sensation. They contain nicotine in its natural state, as found in tobacco leaves—in contrast with the freebase nicotine found in regular e-liquids.
The difference is mainly felt as a stronger nicotine rush since their nicotine is absorbed much more quickly into the bloodstream. With only a few puffs, you can experience a more intense vape. The throat hit is also gentler, so it’s possible to vape nic salts at, say, 30 mg nicotine strength without choking as you would with regular e-liquids. These unique characteristics have made nic salts ideal for experienced vapers craving more nicotine and vapers who want to quit smoking.
One downside is that sub-ohm vapers haven’t been able to enjoy nic salts as much. However, nic salts with lower concentrations such as 3 and 6 mg are being released, and it’s likely that many sub-ohm vapers will be vaping nic salts soon.
Higher VG E-Liquids
E-liquids with 70% VG (vegetable glycerin) or higher are in demand this 2019. An e-liquid base consists of both VG (vegetable glycerin) and PG (propylene glycol). The balanced ratio is 50:50, but e-liquids with high VG have several advantages. For one, they produce larger and thicker vapour, making them ideal for sub-ohm vaping or for performing cool vape tricks. Their natural sweetness and soft throat hit are also appealing, especially for novices who want something light and pleasant.
As preferences continue to lean towards sub-ohm vaping and sweet flavours, consumers turn to high VG e-liquids to satisfy these. In addition, high VG e-liquids are less prone to causing allergic reactions compared to high PG, which can induce nausea, migraines, and a sore throat in rare cases.
Traditional wound coils have been the standard for a while, but they’re not the top choice anymore. More devices are being built with mesh coils, and you can now find these in nearly every bestselling tank.
What makes mesh coils so special is their structure. They have a higher surface area for absorbing e-liquid, and this results in consistent, flavourful hits without requiring too much power. Many vapers are raving about this, regardless if they like cloud-chasing or regular vaping.
Not only can mesh coils turn a lot of e-liquid into vapour all at once, but they also fire up more efficiently, and you can definitely feel the difference once you take a puff. On top of this, the heat is spread out rather than focused on a single area, so mesh coils last longer—meaning less maintenance and replacement work.
Shortfill e-liquids have been around for a while, and they’re still a mainstay in 2019—with a twist. To give a quick background, vapers love them because they solve a pressing problem. E-liquids should only be sold at 10 mL per container, but the loophole is that this only applies for e-liquids with nicotine. Short-fills are a clever way to get past this, consisting of zero nicotine e-liquids in sizes as large as 50 to 100 mL. Conveniently, these come with nicotine shots so you can mix your desired concentration.
Vapers wanting bigger bottles doesn’t come as a surprise, but in 2018 (and 2019), they’ve also been purchasing smaller bottles—in other words, shortfills less than the standard 50 mL. It turns out that these serve as samplers so vapers can try out lots of unfamiliar flavours before buying a bigger bottle of what they do like.
The vaping industry may still be young, but regulations have already been set in place. Although still prone to changes, the TPD (Tobacco Products Directive) regulations tackle the sales and manufacturing of vaping products all over Europe, making adjustments for each country as necessary.
In a bid to keep vaping under control amidst the rush of new businesses and products, authorities are becoming stricter and enforcing more rules. Manufacturing rules have stayed consistent, emphasising safety and quality, but businesses are tightening up on their branding and advertising. For example, businesses have had a track record of hyping up their packaging to imitate well-known food products or even using bright, flashy colours that would attract kids. The EU-TPD cracked down on this, declaring that branding should be more mature and understated. The product itself will stay the same, so you don’t have to worry about your favourite e-liquids changing flavour!
One of the most controversial and debate-prone aspects of vaping is its effects on health. In 2019, more studies are being conducted and public awareness is increasing, thanks in part to educational campaigns and open communication from health professionals.
As early as 2015, Public Health England (PHE) already released a report concluding that vaping is up to 95% safer than smoking, and a second PHE report in 2018 added more evidence to this. Unfortunately, this is still not known by many smokers, many of whom still believe vaping is as harmful as smoking.
The UK’s Advertising Standards Agency allowed companies to promote vaping in 2018 by showing its health benefits, which might help clear up misconceptions. Health professionals and politicians are also rallying for vaping as a way to transition from smoking. We definitely need more scientific studies on vaping, which is an evolving industry, but discussions about vaping are already becoming more research-based and grounded in fact.
Many of these trends carry over seamlessly from 2018, while some are only becoming prominent in 2019. In general, the vaping industry is expanding and diversifying, offering up more options in response to each vaper’s unique taste. We might already be in the middle of 2019, but more developments are poised to happen over the coming months.