Vape Nation: Culture Shock and Adoption
If you haven’t had the chance to see the amazing H3H3 productions on Vape Nation, it’s hilarious and insightful, and I’ve attached it here because it is well worth the watch.
But what makes this so funny? Satire is often the best way to look at a piece of culture or have a proper grasp on an idea, like what South Park does with practically everything. When you watch Vape Nation by H3H3, you get to see Ethan Kleins point of view on Vaping and the vaping culture as well as interact with people who are in the business and several smoke shops.
And for the most part, people love it, mainly because he’s goofy, but when you catch on to what he’s talking about, you realize the aspects of the culture and how it is being adopted by mainstream audiences.
There are two aspects of vaping that I think he covered well in the video that I’m going to dissect. How he thinks it’s being marketed and how little new users get to learn about vaping.
How it’s being marketed – Ethan Klein is on a mission “To rip some sick vapes.” Between what he constantly asks people for and the videos he splices it with, it’s clear that vaping is less about smoking and more about smoke. People are excited by and want to see as much vape art as possible when they are smoking and it has some serious draw with people who might not even be interested in smoking at all.
Not only that, but in the video they do not mention nicotine, percentage of product, or anything else. There is no interest in the feeling you receive from vaping.
How Users learn to Vape – In the video Ethan coughs all the time because he is purposely hurting himself to vape. Now if you’ve seen other videos of his, the cough is a staple of his humor, but the fact that very few people correct him or show him how to vape properly are a problem. There’s the shot of the guy in the vape shop telling him not to hold in for so long, but if you’ve ever smoked with anyone who’s new, they have no idea what you’re talking about.
In the end, I think that Vape Nation shows exactly what the future of vaping will be for the community and for many people who are wanting to start their career in Vaping and smoke shops. There is a diehard community of people who enjoy vaping for the feeling it gives you, but the mainstream appeal of it right now has everything to do with what vaping looks like. In a way, vaping is going through its Marlboro man moment. Vaping is cool right now because look at everything you can do with the smoke, not smoking itself.