6.29.20

Vapes, Vaping, & Image

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As we’ve mentioned in the past, behavior is one of the pillars on which your image rests. To put it simply: the things you do impact how others perceive you. A new behavior  – vaping – rose to immense popularity a few years ago as a means to help cigarette smokers quit. As such, we think it’s a good idea to discuss vapes, vaping, and how it impacts your image.

To be clear: this post won’t discuss different kinds of vapes or the health effects of vaping. We don’t claim to be experts in that market, and medical research on vaping is still in its early stages (though initial results don’t bode well). Our focus is solely on how vaping impacts your image.

Smoking, Vaping, & Image

To understand vaping, it’s important to discuss historical context. Since vapes came about in large part as an alternative to smoking, let’s take a look at cigarettes.

Smoking & Image

vintage ad for lucky strikesSmoking cigarettes regularly was a workaday habit in the early-to-mid twentieth century. Tobacco companies even used images of doctors in their ads, alongside statistically dubious claims about how many doctors preferred one brand over another. This ubiquity meant that society would perceive smokers as perfectly normal and mainstream.

In advertising, smokers were – and still are – portrayed as cool. The men in these ads could be wealthy bon vivants, sophisticated jazz musicians, or rugged cowboys. All were variations on a traditional masculine ideal.

This was the case through the 1980’s or so. Research on the negative effects of smoking and second-hand smoke spurred a wave of anti-smoking laws that started taking hold in the 1990’s. Save for the occasional cigarette ad, the image of a smoker is now one of someone unhealthy, arguably inconsiderate, and of lower socioeconomic status.

What Does Vaping Say About You?

man in custom tuxedo vapingBecause vaping has only been around since about 2006, we as a society have not come to a general consensus on it. This is perfectly normal – not only are elements and perceptions of image regional, they also change over time. Smoking, once widely accepted but now largely shunned, is a prime example. The way we perceive vapers (not vapors) today may very well change in the next twenty years.

man in glasses using a vapeOne thing we do know is that vaping is hugely popular amongst young people, and as such is associated with youth culture. We see men and women who appear to be in their thirties vape too, of course, but this is something you should be aware of should you take the habit up.

Note that while it’s healthier to vape than to smoke, it’s still harmful, both physically to your body and conceptually to your image.

When & Where To Vape

young guy in leather jacket vapingIf you choose to vape, the best rule of thumb is to simply treat vaping like you would smoking cigarettes. This largely centers around respect for others: just as second-hand smoke is easy for the nose to detect, so is vapor.

Keep it outdoors unless you’re in your own home or someone else’s who has invited you to vape. Never vape on mass transit, and avoid blowing vapor near other people.

Final Thoughts

Vaping’s popularity will surely increase in the short term, and it will be interesting to see how it will be perceived in the coming years.

If you have questions about how to manage your image, we’re here. Call 215-310-0219 or email us at info@henrydavidsen.com to start a conversation.

Please consider supporting those that have been displaced due to COVID-19 to get back on their feet with a donation to Career Wardrobe’s OutFIT for Work campaign.  $50 provides a full interview outfit for an individual seeking employment.

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