Most vapers intuitively understand what is meant by "image" in the realm of ecigarettes. For many in the mainstream public, vaping can seem dangerous, misguided, or even tacky and uncool. For those who are a bit more charitable in their worldview, ecigarettes could seem, at worst, quirky and odd: the province of highly individualistic and tech-savvy potheads.
It's small wonder, then, that many vapers have been grappling with the desire to "brand" their habit, or to reshape public perception by imposing their own sense of identity onto the vaping world.
As such, The Telegraph set out to answer the question: Can vaping ever be manly?
To many longtime devotees, the answer is, "of course." But it's a pertinent question when you consider that many of us grew up with the idea that real men smoke real cigarettes (like a Marlboro cowboy). You know, the real mark of grit and brawn.
Of course, as The Telegraph points out, there are few things more typically masculine than competition and gadgets, and vaping has both (think cloud chasing and high-end vape pens).
"If we were looking for a Marlboro Man for the vaping industry you could look at someone like Nick Clegg - he swapped his fags for a blueberry-flavoured vape and apparently loves it!" said Amar El-zayat of Vape Emporium to the news source. "Actually, on second thought maybe we’d be better with A-list vapers like Johnny Depp, Tom Hardy and Leonardo Di Caprio."
Then again, the industry has been nurturing its feminine side lately with the introduction of slim, trendy-looking ecigarettes and burgeoning varieties of eliquid flavours (including the sweet and fruity ones). Just take a look at these pink vape pens -- or the forums dedicated to "manly mods" or "girly mods."
Of course, there's a lot more to vaping than conforming to gender roles, and many will attest that the appeal of ecigarettes is fairly unisex: Who doesn't like the idea of a fun alternative to cigarettes?
Besides, show us a man who says he doesn't love a good Passion Fruit Eliquid, and we'll show you a man who's lying.