Cloud-chasing (electronic cigarette)
Cloud-chasing is the activity of blowing large clouds of vapor using an electronic cigarette.
E-cigarettes gained popularity in the US in 2007. The exact origins of the activity are unclear. Using the devices for "cloud-chasing" began in the West Coast of the US. "When automotive manufacturers first started out, they were not thinking about a sport to be called Formula One. You always have groups of people who are looking for excitement," Hon Lik said in respect to cloud-chasing in 2015.
Competitive vaping is increasing in popularity internationally, spreading from the US and Canada to Indonesia. It was well publicized around 2014, when sites such as Mashable, Gizmodo, The Guardian, and The Huffington Post ran featured articles on the activity. Vaping contests are arranged in many vape trade shows internationally. The competitions are becoming a routine event at some local vape shops.
Some cloud-chasers known as "professional vapers" take part in cloud-blowing contests in what is a called a "cloud competition", competing against one another to exhale the largest and most interesting clouds of vapor, sometimes in shapes such as rings, balls, streams, or ripples, or doing tricks like the French inhale. The French inhale is exhaling the vapor out of the mouth and inhaling it into the nose at the same time, forming a cloud over the upper lip. Competitive vaping is attracting spectators, known as "cloud-gazers". Many teenagers participate in cloud competitions.
Two major cloud competitions in the US are the International Cloud Championships in California, and the World Series of Vape, in Las Vegas. The World Series of Cloud Chasing content took place in the UK in 2016. There are also competitions in New Jersey, Illinois, New Mexico, and at the Vaporium in New York. Canadian Cloud Circuit began in Ontario, Canada in 2015. Some consider it to be a sport and competitors can win prize money typically in the range of $250 to $2,000. The World Vaping Championship has a total prize purse of $100,000. Some competitors are sponsored by e-cigarette companies. This counteracts travel and equipment expenses. There are also teams. Some sponsors are organizing teams. A Competitive Vaping League is being developed.
There are rules and judges. A list of rules are explained on a number of websites. Vapers compete by standing back-to-back when blowing the cloud of vapor. The person who exhales the larger cloud of vapor moves on to the next meeting. The cloud of vapor is measured using a yardstick or by a ruler on the wall next to the competitor. In Plano, Texas in 2015, the cloud of vapor reached about 5 feet. The cloud was measured at 6 feet from another vaper. The judge Matt Maynard said, "There is a skill to being able to keep a ball of vapor together without it dissipating."
A handful of later-generation e-cigarettes are designed to create large plumes of vapor. The devices are customized. A growing subclass of e-cigarette enthusiasts called cloud-chasers assemble their atomizers in such a way that can produce extremely large amounts of vapor by using heating coils with a resistance of less than 1 ohm Ω).
By using a coil with very low resistance, the batteries used can be stressed beyond the margins of what could be considered safe use. This could present a risk of dangerous battery failures. A higher resistance above 0.1 ohms is recommended for onlookers and user safety.
Cloud-chasers are not always interested in the nicotine released from the vapor. Most cloud-chasers do not use nicotine. Many choose mixtures that are made without propylene glycol and nicotine, but use higher amounts of glycerin to produce larger plumes of vapor. Professor Fiona Measham, who led a smoking-related research project stated, "Among some more experienced vapers who prioritise competency in 'cloud chasing' skills, nicotine is actively avoided as it could disrupt their vaping 'performances', particularly given the quantities consumed".
The majority of vapers go for sub ohm tanks or rebuildable atomizers for producing more vapor. A higher power setting by using a variable voltage device increases vapor volume. Increasing airflow over the coil increasing vapor output. This requires an atomizer with an adjustable airflow. The way the vaper inhales can affect the vapor being created. For vapers using sub ohm tanks or rebuildables with plenty of airflow, inhaling kind of quickly gets better results from the airflow. When the airflow is opened too much it creates thin and weak vapor.
As vaping comes under increased scrutiny, some members of the vaping community have voiced their concerns about cloud-chasing, claiming the practice gives vapers a bad reputation when doing it in public. Long-term vapers maintain that some vaping newbies are making the industry's image look bad by exhaling large clouds in public. Some vapers are concerned that the vaping competitions bring a stigma to vaping by making the activity appear more comparable to gaming activities. Some vapers believe that cloud-chasers are partly responsible for the negative media attention. Cheryl Richter, the financial secretary of the National Vapers Club says that "it gives vaping a bad name, and we don’t need negative publicity." Though, cloud-chasers dismiss the naysayers.
Some restaurants and bars have banned e-cigarette use. Others permit e-cigarette use but do not allow cloud-chasing. Many vapers openly condemn the activity, saying that those who attempt to blow the large amount of vapor indoors will lead to those who are still doubtful about vaping to support restricting their use.
Many "Vapers" use e-cigarettes to take part in tricks like blowing smoke rings, the dragon, tornados, and various other vape tricks. The dragon is exhaling vapor out of the nose and mouth at the same time. Other tricks include the "Push the O" move and Jellyfish. The "Push the O" move is exhaling a vape ring and pushing it aside with their hands. The Jellyfish is blowing vape rings within vape rings. E-cigarette users also form "vortexes" by tapping their devices to form sparkles. There are a number of YouTube videos showing people engaging in smoke tricks using e-cigarettes.
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