The first vaping convention in Springfield, Massachusetts
You have probably heard a lot about electronic cigarettes in the past few years because these devices have become extremely popular among former smokers and the number of users is constantly growing. E-cigarettes are battery powered devices that heat up a nicotine mixture called e-liquid and transform it into rich clouds of vapor, mimicking the sensation of smoking but without all of the hazardous effects on your health. With no actual smoke, there is no ash and no carcinogens, therefore e-cigs have always been regarded as the healthier alternative to get your daily nicotine fix.
For vapers in the US, and especially for those in Massachusetts, this year came with a lot of excitement, as the first e-cigarette convention took place in Springfield during June 28-29. The meet up was held in the MassMutual Center which is situated only an hour and a half from Boston and just over a couple of hours from NYC. The event included 45 vendors packing over 40,000 square feet of space. The public was welcome to this event without any fees or pre-registrations.
The Tennessee Smoke Free Association director Dimitris Agrafiotis, of the told ABC40 the conventions particularly aim at people that are already hooked up. ‘If you’re a smoker you want to come in and see the various devices. There’s a huge compilation of devices, e-liquids, you get to try something out that works for you.’
The Vaping Convention Circuit' owner believes they do not hide the fact that nicotine is still present in cigs. ‘It is a safe alternative we’re not saying it’s completely safe but safer than tobacco.’
Almost a year ago the Massachusetts State House issued a bill that placed ecigs under the same regulations as all the other tobacco products. Dozens of the State’s communities including Pittsfield, Boston, and Taunton already prohibit the sales of these devices to people less than 18 years of age.
And even though smokers represent the focus group at these conventions another majority is also under the spotlight - the veterans.
‘It allows them to be more effective in what they’re doing, when you have less gunk in your lungs you can run further, work harder. You can be more effective and efficient as a soldier. You have less health issues, it benefits our national security, our safety, when our service members and military are in better health so they’re able to perform better. It’s great for everybody.’
About 80% of service members smoke, a tactic used to deal with high levels of stress. The convention collected donations to buy starter kits as well as to ship them to active duty members stations overseas to help them cope with their stress in a healthier way.
VCCNE2014 also hosted the launches of loads of new products and gave public the opportunity to test and try everything from e-liquids to high end equipment.