Word for Wednesday: Vape 

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Some of the words we look at in our Word for Wednesday feature are hundreds of years old, while others began appearing in the English language much more recently. One newer word that’s been cropping up on the news and in conversations a lot this year is vape

Vape is a verb used to describe the act of inhaling and exhaling vapour from an electronic cigarette. The word can also be used as a noun in reference to the electronic cigarette itself, similarly to how a ‘cigarette’ is sometimes called a ‘smoke’. Other terms for these types of devices include ‘e-cigarette’ and ‘e-cig’. 

There are nearly three million people vaping in the UK right now, according to figures from Action on Smoking and Health. Most of these vapers are former smokers who are using electronic cigarettes to help them give up tobacco. Although electronic cigarettes mean users can inhale nicotine in vapour rather than smoke, it doesn’t mean they are risk-free. Limited research has been done into the dangers of vaping and in the USA current investigations are being made into possible links between vaping and serious lung problems. 

Though vape seems like a word that was invented in the last few years, it actually dates slightly further back than that. In the 1980s, vape was used to describe a ‘non-combustible cigarette'.  Vape is an abbreviation of ‘vapour’ which comes from Latin and has been used in English since the seventeenth century.


16 Oct 2019
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