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There has always been something oddly rewarding about releasing a plume of smoke from your mouth and nostrils. It is an act of nonchalance and indifference that is somehow confident, sexy, and anti-establishment.
Even before we knew smoking was bad for us, we saw it associated with all kinds of rebels, movers and shakers. Hippies have long loved their tobacco pipes (and their stronger substances), renegade cops are never seen without a cig hanging from their lips, and pretty much every Hollywood ‘rebel’ sports a leather jacket and a cigarette.
If you were to visit Woodstock in the 70s, you would find the air was thick with smoke – not to mention quite a few tents! Those hippies loved to inhale and experience the present moment, rather than worry about material things or their petty everyday problems.
But then we discovered the problems associated with smoking. We discovered that it could increase blood pressure, heighten the risk of cancer, cause a range of breathing difficulties… we learned that it was addictive, that it was terrible for pregnant mothers, and that it ultimately led to wrinkles and stained finger tips.
In other words, it lost that anti-establishment vogue and instead became a symbol of poor health and poor life choices.
But something was lost in the process. Pubs and bars never quite felt the same without the thick smog of smoke to wade yourself through. And festivals likewise seemed to lose some of their edge and their sense of freedom.
But the answer it turned out, would lie with a device that had already been embraced by the hippie community: the vaporizer or ‘vape’.
Vaporizers were popular among festivals along with pipes and cigarettes for a simple reason: they provided a fun, social, and convenient way to smoke marijuana.
Today, the vape is likewise used for smoking tobacco. And what do you know? It provides many of the same benefits (the jolt of energy, the pleasant taste and warmth) but with very few of the downsides. There’s no tar, no carcinogens, no yellowing of the teeth and finger tips. It has a much cleaner and healthier image.
But if vaping were introduced as an entirely new concept, it may never have caught on. It might have felt forced – like a Nanny-state government mandate to try and get us to stop smoking ‘terrible cigarettes’ and to instead enjoy in some clean (boring) fun.
That’s not the case. Why? Because the vape likewise has that same association with freedom, with fun, with the hippie lifestyle. As something that has been used at festivals and parties for generations, it’s already a subculture with its own paraphernalia. There’s already a pleasing routine involved with the use of vaporizers.
It manages to marry a modern, healthy attitude, with the irreverent spirit of those baby boomers.
And guess what? Now that cannabis (dry herb) is also being legalized in many areas, vaping is being used in that way too – still without the damage to the lungs or the cells. Even where marijuana isn’t yet used recreationally (legally), it is becoming an increasingly popular treatment for managing pain and chronic illness.
Whatever you stick in here, a portable vaporizer is a great way to unwind with friends and to let your troubles wash away. And it can even make a great gift – as something that will last a long time and that can come in a variety of colors and styles.
So, dry herb vaporizers have made the transition from Woodstock to modern hippies and healthy technology. We’ve come a long way!