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Your cousin loves her new e-cig, your friend from work can’t get enough of his vapour cigarette, and you’ve just heard that your favourite celebrity has signed on to endorse a line of electronic smokes. What’s the difference, or are they just using different names for the same thing?

The answer is yes. Electronic cigarettes, e-cigs, vapour cigarettes and electronic smokes are all terms for a small, battery-powered device that generates vapour. This vapour can include nicotine, but that’s not a defining characteristic. BLACKHAWX prefers to call them electronic cigarettes or e-cigs as that’s the name we feel will dominate in the long run.

Vaporizers are the exception. They’re similar to electronic cigarettes, but have a different construction and generate the vapour in a slightly different method. You’re less likely to see a vaper with a vaporizer though – they only account for about one third of the sales.

Electronic cigarettes are big business. The global industry was valued at over US$2.2B in a 2014 report released by Wells Fargo Securities. Further research by Citi indicates that over 25% of smokers have started using e-cigs, although the report isn’t clear whether that’s as well as or instead of traditional cigarette usage.

You can call them e-cigs, vapour cigarettes or electronic smokes. But figure out what you’ll call them soon, because the way sales and adoption rates are trending, you’re going to be talking about them a lot more often.

Now that we've cleared that up, check out our electronic cigarette starter kit to join the movement.