Looking back over the past 12 months, it's been a roller coaster ride in the world of e-cigarettes. Although e-cigs have grown increasingly popular during the past five years or so, 2013 was a banner year for users of electronic cigarettes. As New Year's Eve approaches, let's take a look at some of the highlights in vaping that took the world by storm this year.
Heathrow opens 'vaping lounge'
In an unprecedented and widely applauded move to offer passengers more choice, officials at London's Heathrow Airport opened the world's first ever "vaping lounge" in the airport's Terminal 4. According to Bloomberg, the lounge measures 322 square feet, and opened Nov. 25. The move signifies a growing need to address and accommodate the rising number of people who are turning their backs on traditional tobacco cigarettes and embracing e-cigs as part of their modern lifestyle.
The decision to open a vaping lounge was also well-received by members of the public.According to The Telegraph, a recent survey by aviation consultancy firm Skyscanner revealed that a majority of adults would have no objections if other airports followed Heathrow's lead by opening e-cigarette lounges at other locations. Of course, it might be some time before other airports follow in Heathrow's footsteps, but given the fact that Heathrow is one of the world's busiest aviation centers, it might not be as long as you might think.
Big Apple restaurants embrace e-cigs
Let's face it, New York City isn't the friendliest city when it comes to smoking. The first major metropolitan area to ban smoking in many public places more than a decade ago, New York might seem a little hostile when it comes to e-cigarettes. However, this is not necessarily the case, as several leading restaurants in the Big Apple have no problem with patrons vaping after dinner.
In a separate report, Bloomberg Businessweek highlighted several eateries across the city that welcome guests who want to use e-cigarettes in the establishments. Among them is Do or Dine, a hip restaurant in the equally trendy borough of Brooklyn.
"I'm happy to have them," said owner and head chef Justin Warner, as quoted by the news source. "Nothing is worse than our kitchen having to hold/replate/refire an order because a guest decided to step out for a puff between courses. God forbid the guest smokes American Spirits, as that can be a 10-minute ordeal."
South Beach Smoke launches new flavors, stylish look
Of course, no end-of-the-year round up of vaping news would be complete without mentioning the major developments we made at South Beach Smoke in 2013. One of the biggest changes was the introduction of our bold, stylish new branding. Designed to reflect the iconic Art Deco aesthetic that Miami Beach is known for, the redesigned packaging and all-new website mirror the timeless elegance of the period and combine a striking new brand with the top-quality products we're famous for.
Similarly, it would be remiss of us to fail to mention our exciting new range of flavors that we debuted earlier this year. We already offered one of the widest ranges of flavored e-cig cartridges before the new tastes hit the market, but now, nobody else can compare. If you haven't tried the new range yet, 2014 is the perfect time to do so. If you prefer playful, inventive tastes, go for our Double Apple or Grape Hookah flavors. Looking for something unique? Then our Orange Mint has to be tasted to be believed!
Whatever your plans for the new year, make the switch from tobacco to e-cigs. We just know you'll be glad you did.