Introduction: What Drives Us
Once upon a time, smoking was
the cool thing to do.
Big tobacco companies helped make sure of it, downplaying the health hazards and playing up the smooth, sublime inhale of a satisfying cigarette. The health issues eventually became too colossal to ignore, with their hazards trumpeted across the land in the media, on teen-oriented TV shows and pretty much everywhere else you turned.
Quitting smoking then became the cool thing to do, primarily for your health but also to avoid ostracism – by your friends, your pet cat and society as a whole. The idea of electronic cigarettes quietly tiptoed onto the scene, providing an alternative to smoking that purported to be healthier, safer and not as offensive to the nose.
The idea began its crescendo, picking up players and steam along the way. Due to the unregulated nature of the industry, vaping soon exploded in cacophony. Strange flavors and even stranger ingredients made their way into e-liquids designed to serve as a smoking substitute. Ingredients like diacetyl, acetoin, ethylene glycol and diethylene glycol showed up. Characterizing flavors of mint chocolate truffle, bacon and whiskey nestled next to e-liquid bottles of bubble gum and cotton candy. They appealed to food lovers. They appealed to drinkers. Some probably appealed to minors. They may have even appealed to curious chemists. But they had less of an appeal to former smokers.
Most smokers looking for an alternative were not looking for candy or bacon-flavored choices. Even flavors meant to mimic tobacco were weak and blatantly artificial concoctions that failed to capture the authentic tobacco taste.
Many smokers thus went back to smoking. It was easier. It was more satisfying. And, for goodness sake, it didn’t taste like cotton candy. Harmony could only be restored to the vaping industry if someone could create an authentic alternative to smoking. Black Note is that someone.