In Miami, you can dedicate an exposition to just about anything. So with the rise of electronic vapor cigarette hubs popping up all over the city, it was only a matter of time before someone organized a weekend-long convention on the new trend.
Behold the World Vapor Expo Electronic Cigarette Show, three days dedicated to all things in the "emerging global vapor market."
Plainly put, "having vapor in your lungs is better than having smoke in your lungs," says World Vapor Expo co-founder, Gordon Gerstein. He believes that e-cigarettes are saving lives, and that putting on an expo of this caliber will help bring awareness to the smoking community.
Electronic cigarettes are actually tobacco-free; instead of burning tobacco, the tiny plastic stick heats up liquid. The liquid then turns into vapor and users can mimic traditional smoking habits.
"This technology has the potential to improve the lives of hundreds of millions of people who have become addicted to nicotine and its deadly delivery device: the traditional cigarette," explains Gerstein.
Photos courtesy of Gordon Gerstein
There already exists a growing culture around "vaping," which mostly attracts a younger crowd, Gerstein says. But he's hoping this weekend's expo also attracts the attention of the "untold millions of older smokers who are looking to quit smoking."
The Expo is divided into two parts: part educational, made up of speakers, workshops, and seminars; and part trade show/"vaping party." The first day will consist of networking opportunities for exhibitors and vendors, and the next two days are set aside for the general public.
Guests are encouraged to "hang out and try new and different flavors, have a drink, and listen to some great DJs."
For those older attendees who may not have much experience with e-cigarettes, they can "expect some one-on-one time with an expert getting them set up with the technology, while the more experienced — usually younger vapors — can mingle," says Gerstein.
With over 160 vendors — "from manufacturers to big tobacco companies launching vapor alternatives, and small local shops to major national brands like Vapor Shark and Vapor Zone*" — there will be plenty to see, hear, and puff at the World Vapor Expo.
Gerstein is so confident on the influence of the Expo that he asserts: "People will quit smoking who come to this show. It's that simple. Not everyone, but many people will put down a cigarette and pick up an e-cigarette and never look back."
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World Vapor Expo takes place Friday, June 6, for industry insiders, and Saturday and Sunday, June 7-8, it will be open for the general public. Tickets start at $10 for a single day entry, and $15 for a weekend pass. Visit worldvaporexpo.com.
(*Update, March 15, 2016: Vapor Shark and Vapor Zone have since been rebranded and consolidated into VaporFi).