(NEW YORK) -- "Vape" is the Oxford English Dictionary's word of the year.
If you’re a little hazy on the meaning, it means to inhale and exhale the vapor produced by an electronic cigarette device, which are themselves also sometimes known as vapes. The word was coined as a way of distancing the act of e-smoking from the act of smoking combustible tobacco cigarettes, the OED said in a statement Tuesday.
Vapers -- the people who puff away on e-smokes -- are feeling pretty good about their pastime officially entering the lexicon. They've taken to Twitter and other social media sites to celebrate.
Word of the year honors were a long time coming for vape. Though the word was just added to the OED's online site this year, electronic cigarettes have been around since the 1960s and the term first came into use around 1980.
Vaping, the activity, didn't really catch on until a decade or so ago but now there are more than 250 brands of "e-cigarettes" available in a variety of flavors, including watermelon, pink bubble gum and java.
The Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association estimates that about four million Americans now use battery-powered cigarettes. They project sales of the devices to cross the one billion mark by the end of this year.
Vape beat out words such as "bae," a term of endearment for a romantic partner, and "slacktivism," which describes getting involved in social causes without expending too much effort.
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