Friday, 27 February 2015

My vape of the day. 2015-02-27

For the past couple days I am vaping most exclusively on Ego One loaded with ANML Looper 6mg.


Ego One is small in size but not in performance. I am using it with stock sub ohm coil and vape is fantastic.  At least on par (if not better) with Kanger subtank and Delta II. Very well made, nice looking PV. Great performer.


My only concern is the choice of materials. It seems that Joyetech is now using similar "ceramic fiber" wrappers as in Aspire BVC coils.

When I saw first reviews I was very sceptical about ANML Looper. But after vaping it for couple days I have to admit - it's not bad at all.  Listed ingredients:


Strong (may be too strong) lemon / vanilla flavour but no artificial undertones. Not too sweet, plenty of vapour (higher in VG?). I don't like or eat cereals, but even as a tobacco lover I can give it solid 3 stars.


Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Reflecting on the past 30 days

Six months ago, when I seriously considered to stop smoking for the first time in my life vaping was the last on my list of options. After several unsuccessful attempts to battle the old habit with more conventional methods I finally turned to e-cigarettes. Now I am smoke free for over 30 days. I feel great and absolutely have no desire to go back to analogues. What have I learnt?
Please keep in mind that all below reflects only my personal experience to date.

Negatives:

  1. There are still many unknowns about the adverse impact of vaping. The industry is booming but unfortunately is unregulated. There are no standards, as a result companies are cutting corners to keep prices competitive. I simply don’t know what the product is made of or what the long impact of the materials/chemicals is. Some examples of questionable products. Aspire is using ceramic wrappers in their stock BVC coils. Joyetech is also using ceramic fiber (cilica, fiberglass) wrappers in their LVC stock coils. Are we inhaling tiny ceramic particles? Kangertech stock OOC coils are made from brass with chrome plating. Any risk of inhaling heavy metals? Majority of the batteries do not control the coil temperature, which may lead to overheating and production of toxic carbonyls. E-Liquids/juices may contain Diacetyl. 
  2. e-Cigarettes, as electronic devices,  are still in the stone age. Mostly poorly designed (not elegant, more like a “gang style”) and poorly manufactured. Lack of quality control is common across the industry. Don’t expect to find Rolex or Leica there. Tanks are leaking and batteries are unexpectedly dying. I don’t trust a single device in my possession. Technology is not there yet. In order to get vaping experience compatible with a real cigarette you will need something that is way bigger than a typical cigarette.  Maintenance is messy and time consuming. Be prepared to refill, recharge and replace coils/wicks on a regular basis. No, not even close to the Apple level of convenience, more like a PC XT 286 running DOS. I’d say most of the products are still at the hobbyist / DIY level. 
  3. Majority of e-Liquids have strong artificial undertones. Fruity cereal, caramel and candy alike. Very sweet to my liking and unpleasant for vaping.
  4. Most of the brick-and-mortar stores look like a tattoo parlour rather than an elegant tobacco boutique.  Same goes for staff appearance. I always feel like I am buying something totally illegal. Not cool for me. There are many wealthy smokers out there who would love to try vaping in order to quit smoking. They wouldn’t mind to pay premium for high quality well made products and care about their shopping experience. Just a food for thought for some store owners
Saving money by vaping?

I have spent about $600 in the first month but I have no regrets. Well may be except for $120 that I wasted on cigalikes.

Positives:

Vaping keeps me away from smoking. Period.  And yes, it is generally agreed that vaping is a better option than smoking in many regards. Although it shouldn’t be an excuse for poor quality control or poor choice of materials. The industry might not be legally regulated yet, but is being watched closely by the vast vaping community and all potential issues reported immediately.  My concern about poor choice of materials is just a concern at the moment. But it's growing. I don't trust any company on the market. But  I can reduce the risk. Aspire Nautilus Mini is on the shelf collecting dust. I have replaced Kanger stock coils with Kanthal based coils and rebuilt Delta II with real organic cotton wicks.  I am vaping at a lower voltage/wattage and keeping enough liquid in the tank to prevent dry hits and carbonyl production. New temperature control devices (DNA 40) might be an answer to this overheating story.  I am also waiting for Dr. Farsalinos’ conclusion on the safety of vaping.

More Canadian e-juice companies, like Dvineejuice, Flavour Crafters, DashVapes, Stinky Canuck are testing their products and providing ECTA certification. That's great!

I have not found my perfect e-juice yet but managed to significantly improve overall experience and taste by selecting “earthy” flavours and following simple juice breathing / steeping techniques before using it. Works for now.

In conclusion. 

My learning curve was bumpy but I am very happy with my decision to start vaping instead of smoking.  There are still many unknowns and annoyances but vaping is quickly evolving and I am absolutely positive that we will see many more better and safer products in 2015.








Sunday, 22 February 2015

One Month Smoke Free and vaping strong!

One month smoke free. I think this vapervesary deserves a bit more than my usual report. I am extremely busy at the moment but will update the blog in the next couple days. All I can say - I feel great!!!

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Flavour Crafters tobacco juices - my mini review

Since the very first day of vaping I am being on a quest for a perfect tobacco flavour. To date I've tried:

Boba's Bounty (AlienVisions) - not even close, sweet caramel+vanilla => trash can
Eclipse (Space Jam) -more complex with strong cherry undertones but still sweet  =>t rash can
RY4 (Dvine juice) - sweet, no tobacco undertones at all => trash can
American Reds (Jiffy Nic) - very subtle cheap tobacco tones, keep for now
Pipe Tobacco (Dvine juice) - very subtle cheap tobacco tones, keep for now


Here is my mini review of FC tobacco juices.

* All eliquids have beed steeped for 24 hrs (including 12 hrs breathing) prior to testing
* Gear: Delta II/Kanger Subtank/Aspire Nautilus Mini attached to iStick 30W
* Please keep in mind that taste/smell is highly subjective, so please take my comments with a big grain of salt

The first one. CUBAN CIGAR (PG <70%, VG 30% Nicotine 8mg)

My description: earthy, woody. Not a typical sweet/vanilla juice. Subtle tobacco and plum tones. Excellent throat/lung hit, very close to a real cigarette.

My wife's comment: smells like a butted cigarette or an ash tray.

Bottom line: not close to cigar, even to a cheap one, but interesting flavour. Not for candy/fruit lovers.

The second: FULL FLAVOUR TOBACCO (PG <70%, VG 30% Nicotine 8mg)

Not for me. Very heavy vape, strong flower-ish taste and smell. No tobacco accent.
My wife's comment: don't even think to vape it indoor.
Bottom line: off my list.

Next two:

EXPORT TOBACCO (PG <70%, VG 30% Nicotine 8mg)
Flavour is difficult to describe: rye whiskey with subtle nutty (cashew) and tobacco tones?. Very strong vape. Not bad flavour actually.

DK TOBACCO (PG <70%, VG 30% Nicotine 8mg)
Full flavour, spicy but unfortunately again very strong floral undertones (similar to a FULL FLAVOUR TOBACCO). Off my list

The last two:

NORTHERN 7 TOBACCO (PG <70%, VG 30% Nicotine 8mg)
Sweet tones, some floral tones, zero tobacco tones. Off my list

RESERVE CIGAR (PG <70%, VG 30% Nicotine 8mg)
This is one has very interesting character. It does resemble cigar, cheap Jamaican cigar for sure, but cigar tobacco nevertheless. Earthy, dry, strong nutty (Brazilian Nut?) and light honey / tobacco undertones. Tastes better on the "above the ohm" setting, mouth to lung.
My wife comment: I smell a cigarette. Did you smoke?

In conclusion:

I am impressed with Flavour Crafters. The company is transparent, they DO test their stuff and can tell you what's exactly in their liquids. Excellent customer service.
Their tobacco line is bold. Not all samples were to my liking but I have to admit few commonalities:
1. Each sample had distinct characteristics. Way less sweet/caramel/vanilla than other brands.
2. Each sample produced strong vape, very similar to real smoking (throat/lung hit)

At the end I picked up two: CUBAN CIGAR and RESERVE CIGAR flavours, but can also recommend EXPORT TOBACCO.





Monday, 9 February 2015

A gift from Flavour Crafters

I am on my third week smoke free. I am feeling much better, the cough is significantly diminished, the dizziness is completely gone. Everything is just great. Love vaping but don't like flavours.

I just got the package from  Flavour Crafters with set of their six tobacco juices.



What could be a better gift for my third week vapervesary?


Sunday, 8 February 2015

Legally vaping indoor and inside the car

My family finally allowed me to vape indoor (in my office) and inside the car!


Considering the weather outside - priceless!

Friday, 6 February 2015

Two weeks smoke free!

8:20 PM

Time flies. I am smoke free for two full weeks! Extraordinary.
Few updates.
First. I have new toys in my stable, Kanger SUBTANK-MINI and  Eleaf iStick 30W ($100)

Reasons for a new tank:
  1. Twice bigger capacity (4.5 ml vs. 2 ml Aspire Nautilus)
  2. Wick is Organic Japanese Cotton rather than unknown ceramic stuff in Aspire
  3. Comes with sub ohm coils (new to me)
  4. Comes with rebuildable unit (also new to me)
  5. Huge air holes (great for directly-to-lung hits, also new to me)

Reasons for a new battery:
  1. Supports sub ohm coils (0.4 Ω - 5 Ω) 
  2. Rebuildable (can make my own coils)
  3. Twice bigger capacity (2200mAh vs 1000 mAh Aspire CF VV+)
  4. Passthrough USB charging port at the bottom (no need to unscrew the device, can use device while charging)
  5. OLED Display (can see the battery life, voltage, ohmage, etc)
  6. Variable voltage and variable wattage
  7. Sleek design, looks like a nice cigarette lighter 

Size comparison:



The vape is....awesome! Tons of flavour and thick vape.


I am using it with stock sub ohm coil now but already planning to make my own coil in the near future.

Second. I got a response from Flavour Crafters and guess what? They are sending me a sample of their tobacco juice to try. For free. Very excited!

Third. I have joined e-cigarette forum, what a great place to learn about vaping. Enormous knowledge base.

All this stuff keeps me busy away from smoking for sure.