The vaping industry has always been driven by technology, and the members of the vaping community have helped to drive the industry’s continued improvements by always demanding better experiences. Vapers want greater convenience, better flavors and bigger vapor clouds – and sometimes, they want all of those things at once.
In addition to the fact that vapers have always been very demanding consumers, another factor that has influenced the development of the industry is the fact that the products have extremely short lifecycles. The hardware manufacturers overseas make most of their money by convincing customers to buy the latest and greatest products, and that means every new vaping device needs to come with a bullet list of exciting new features in order to convince buyers that it’s a worthwhile upgrade.
Sometimes, the new technologies that come out of the vaping industry are so revolutionary that they change the nature of vaping itself – and we’ve seen a few of those technologies really come of age in 2021. These are the three technologies that have transformed vaping over the past year.
Without a doubt, the single technology that has influenced the vaping industry more than anything else in 2021 has been tobacco-free nicotine. To understand why synthetic nicotine has been such a big deal, though, you need to know a bit about how vape juice works.
Even before vaping existed, there was a major demand for pharmaceutical-grade liquid nicotine. Nicotine extracts aren’t just used for e-liquid; they’re also used for all of the nicotine replacement products on the market including gums, lozenges, patches and inhalers. The need for liquid nicotine has kept tobacco growers extremely busy because all of the world’s liquid nicotine was extracted from tobacco leaves. Although many plants do contain nicotine – eggplants and tomatoes are two examples – no plant other than tobacco is rich enough in nicotine to be useful for extraction purposes.
The fact that most of the world’s nicotine comes from tobacco has never been much of a problem for the pharmaceutical companies, who are generally happy to manufacture nicotine replacement products using nicotine from any source. It’s different for the vaping industry, though, because the vaping industry has always sought to differentiate itself from the tobacco industry. Vape juice isn’t a tobacco product, and it isn’t consumed by combustion – and yet, the fact that e-liquid traditionally uses nicotine extracted from tobacco has kept the two industries connected more closely than most vaping companies – and many consumers – would like.
Today, though, the laboratories of the world have finally made tobacco-free nicotine a reality by synthesizing it from different molecules that react with one another. After the reaction is complete, the nicotine can be extracted from the solution by adding a solvent that causes the nicotine to crystalize. Tobacco-free nicotine is an amazing creation that will finally make it possible for the vaping industry to separate itself from tobacco for good.
There is great demand – both among vape juice brands and among consumers – for tobacco-free nicotine. As the laboratories increase their production to meet that demand, it’s likely that almost every e-liquid company in America will be using only synthetic nicotine by the end of 2021.
Mesh Vape Coils
Aside from the e-liquid – which is obviously of vital importance since it’s the thing you inhale – the most important component of any vaping setup is the atomizer coil because it’s what determines the device’s vapor production and flavor.
Since the beginning of vaping, the atomizer coils were traditionally made from resistance wire wound into spiral-shaped coils. While that design worked well and proved to be quite reliable, vapers eventually began to demand vaping devices that produced bigger clouds and bolder flavors. The desire for bigger vapor clouds wasn’t really compatible with the traditional wound vape coil design, though, because wound coils designed for high performance have extremely high power requirements and tend to pop loudly during operation.
The mesh coil replaces the traditional wire-based vaping coil with a small sheet of mesh that’s rolled into a tight cylinder. Compared to a wound coil, a mesh coil has similar surface area – and therefore, similar vapor production capacity – with much lower mass and a much flatter cross section. Those characteristics allow mesh coils to produce enormous vapor clouds in near silence and at much lower power levels compared to wound coils. They work so well that virtually every vaping device and vape tank on the market began using mesh coils by default or had mesh coils available as an option in 2021.
Pod-Based Vape Mods
One of the most significant changes in the vaping industry over the past few years is that most beginning vapers no longer use small vape pens or cigarette-shaped “cigalikes.” Instead, they use devices that store their e-liquid in removable plastic pods. Pod-based vaping devices have been greatly beneficial to beginning vapers because they’re very easy to use and are optimized to provide a great experience with nicotine salt vape juice. With those two features, they’re both simple and satisfying.
Until recently, though, pod-based vaping devices had one shortcoming in that they didn’t offer an upgrade path for vapers who had gained experience and wanted to use something that provided greater features and more power. If you wanted to upgrade from a pod system to something more powerful, you’d need to buy a full-sized vape mod – and that would require using a device that stored its e-liquid in a tank rather than a pod.
In 2021, a new type of vaping device – the pod mod – has made it possible for pod system owners to upgrade without giving up the type of vaping device they enjoy. A pod mod stores its e-liquid in a convenient pod, but it also offers the advanced features – like adjustable power delivery and airflow – that you’d previously have only found in tank-based mods. Without a doubt, the latest pod mods have been the fastest-selling vaping devices of 2021. With almost every vape product manufacturer in the world now introducing pod mods of their own, this trend isn’t likely to change any time soon.