Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Juice Review: The Druid's Brew, whole range

I remember Druids Brew from Vapepit back in 2013 (I think). A lot of people were talking about the fantastic Bread of Heaven back then and I also got to try it, but I don't think I ever got around to write a review... don't know why really. Anyway, I talked to Paul again not long ago and he offered to send me all three juices in the Druid's Brew range as soon as the new Crow Black was released. So here we go:

Bread of Heaven 
Tested on: Steamcrave Supreme RDTA (Dual Horizontal Clapton @ 0.35 ohms, 60 watts)
People struggle a bit to describe this juice, and I'm no exception. To me different flavour notes seems to pop up and disappear out of the blue almost every time I pick it up, while other notes and flavours stay the same. It is a tobacco vape, quite sweet and somewhat spicy without being able to tell you what spices. I some times get the feeling there is honey and malt in there which makes sense, especially for the malt as I seem to recognize some of the notes from Long Bottom Leaf an Shire Malt by Epipemods. Then I some times get citrus on the exhale. This juice has been around for quite a while now (2013 I think) and people seem to either love it or hate it... with the love group being the largest one, or at least loudest. I think it is a fantastic juice that keeps throwing me little surprise parties all the time.

Crow Black

Tested on: Steamcrave Supreme RDTA (Dual Horizontal Clapton @ 0.35 ohms, 60 watts)

The newest addition to the range is described as "A medium-sweet, creamy pudding vape with a dark twist." Like the Bread of Heaven it is kind of a mysterious juice and not that easy to pin down all the different flavours. I guess the base is a pretty sweet creamy vanilla pudding of some kind, but there is also some spices there that creates the whole mystery. You're left wondering what on earth you are vaping. I get hints of caramel as well maybe, but also some times I think I can taste ginger or even cinnamon bread. Quite a mystery this one, and definitely unique, but once you give up on figuring out what you're vaping and just enjoy it, it is indeed a great juice that goes especially well with black coffee. I'm quite sure you'll pick up other flavours than me if you try this one...

Snow Queen
Tested on: C.O.V Defiant tank (0.5 Ohm ceramic coil, 50-60 watts)

A menthol tobacco blend. Tastes quite sweet and in my opinion maybe more mint than menthol. It haven't got that insane cooling sensation that you get from very strong menthol, but more of a mellow, sweet, warm mint. No insane throat hit, but a nice little bite at the back of your throat. It also got some unique flavours to it, might be some hints of citrus or floral flavours, and I also pick up some kind of herbal flavours. I suspect you'll find quite a few of the same ingredients that you find in Bread of Heaven in this as well, and this gives it the unique, kind of undefinable character that made me love the Bread of Heaven. Very well balanced and probably the best menthol/mint tobacco I've ever tasted. An all day vape and definitely a juice you need to try out. Coming from me that's saying quite a lot as I'm not usually a big menthol tobacco fan. This juice though... fabulous and very very smooth. Try it!

Thanks a lot to Druid's Brew for sending me the juices for review, and also worth mentioning is that Druid's Brew offers a special deal for us Norwegians: To make sure we can safely order as much juice as possible below the customs limit, Druid's Brew has created a 70 ml package and a special discount code for us Norwegians. Now that's what I call taking care of your customers!

Vapour UK

  • All my reviews are my honest opinion even if I am affiliated with the company manufacturing or selling the product. 
  • The products in this review was sent to me free of charge for the purpose of the review.
  • This review does not contain affiliate links.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Meanwhile, in the REAL world, vaping kids don't move on to smoking

We've all seen the reports and research trying to prove that vaping is a horrible new trend among our children. Amazingly quite a few people still believes in the gateway theory so when seeing that the number of teens that have tried vaping is on the rise we get the inevitable shouting and screaming: "Think about the children!" I've argued earlier that this makes absolutely no sense and that it's more plausible that e-cigarettes acts as an internet firewall, a one way gateway out of smoking addiction not into it, rather than a gateway to smoking.

So not long ago, when my daily google news search for Norwegian articles about vaping returned an article in a local newspaper from up north titled "Smoking is out, but e-cigarettes are in" I thought... not again. And in a way, I was right. The article featured a doctor claiming e-cigarettes are just as dangerous as cigarettes and he is very concerned that the kids believe otherwise. Luckily the comments section below was filled with facts and quite a few calls for this guy to get another job. This is all the same crap that we've seen a million times by now so I'm not even going to bother to point out how completely incompetent and misinformed this guy is and why. Well on second thought, I can't help it... I mean the guy actually proclaims this: "... but it's still tobacco... ". Seriously... you call yourself a doctor?

What caught my interest in this article was what the interviewed students said about smoking... and e-cigarettes. First of all they say that there is virtually no social pressure to start smoking, it's just not cool any more. They're also very clear about that it is indeed not very good for you. And then:
"There are some who have started using them [e-cigarettes that is], especially e-cigarettes with strawberry flavour. They say that they taste so good. But why can't they just eat strawberries?", asks a couple of the girls.
Hmm... maybe e-cigarettes are a bit cooler than eating strawberries? Kids at this age do a lot of stuff to be cool! It has always been that way, and it will always be that way... period! Think about this... could it be that e-cigarettes have taken over the traditional cigarettes coolness? So the kids who would have started smoking are now trying e-cigs instead? That doesn't sound so bad does it? Then there is this:
"It's mostly in 8th grade [that would be 12-13 year olds] that they use e-cigarettes. It was popular in 9th grade earlier", the students explain. 
Then they get this question: What about 10th grade?
"They're done with e-cigarettes."
Oh... so they moved on to smoking then? It sure doesn't look that way when you look at the numbers: 100% of the boys claim to NOT smoke, as do 97% of the girls. So it looks like they've just stopped using e-cigarettes without moving on to smoking then? That is some gateway effect you have there. Whether or not these kids are using nicotine in their e-cigs the article says nothing about, but honestly I don't think that matters as not even Norway biggest Stanton Glantz fans managed to come up with a single strand of evidence that nicotine is addictive when tobacco is not present.

After reading this article I came to think about my own kids, who are now about to finish 10th grade. When I had just switched to vaping they were in 8th grade (well not long after at least) and I remember them telling me about kids in their class who had tried them... even used e-cigs quite often. So I asked them now if they knew of anyone who use them. "Nah... think they stopped". And do they smoke instead? "Nah... not many of the students smoke. It's not cool".

This all fits very well into all the statistics now showing us that e-cigarettes use among young people are increasing, but at the same time smoking onset rates are falling faster than ever. And when the kids are done experimenting with e-cigarettes, what do they do? Well it seems like they just stop. I've said it before and I don't really see any reason not to say it again: Vaping is not a gateway to smoking, if anything it is a firewall that saves kids from smoking. We've also seen how age restrictions on e-cigarettes actually drive teens to cigarette smoking, something that also fits quite well into the story these kids in the north of Norway tell us.

There is a lot of twisting and turning numbers going on in an effort to make us all believe that vaping will turn our kids into lifelong cigarette smokers. Meanwhile... in the REAL world, the kids themselves tell us another story, and it is a story that fits the numbers very well without bending them to fit reality. The discussion whether vaping leads to smoking should have been dead long time ago. Instead we should focus our attention to the somewhat unpleasant discussion on how age restrictions on vaping really affects smoking and vaping rates among teens. As you can read about in the link above we have seen numbers indicating that having the same age restrictions on e-cigarettes and tobacco cigarettes actually leads to more teens picking up smoking. Is this what we wanted?

Vapour UK

photo credit: E-Cig + E-Scooter (Vaping on a Hoover Board) via photopin (license)

Friday, 20 May 2016

Review: Aromamizer V-RDA & Squonkmod by Steamcrave

Some vapers I know have been squonking for years claiming this is the future of vaping. For those unfamiliar with the term squonking here's a definition for you from the urban dictionary (where else would you find one?):
The act of squeezing e-liquid from the reservoir of a bottom-fed e-cig mod up into the atomizer.
Now for some reason squonking haven't really become mainstream. I'm not sure why. What you're essentially doing is connecting a tank to your dripper, and many of those that use drippers do it because they like to fiddle with it and change flavours a lot ... might be one of the reasons. On the other hand, it gives you the option to have a device with the benefits of a dripper when it comes to flavour, large juice capacity and probably leak free. And who knows... when Kanger also have released a squonkmod, maybe it's time will come.

Steamcrave have already impressed me with the Aromamizer family and I've done reviews of pretty much the whole family. So when I wanted to try out squonking it was only right that I started with their squonkmod and the V-RDA atomizer.

In the box(es)
The V-RDA and Squonkmod can be purchased as a bundle but it will still come in two separate boxes. You can also buy the squonkmod separately (of course) or bundled with some of the other RDA's in the Aromamizer family that supports squonking.

  • The Squonkmod with one juice bottle installed
  • Spare bottle and tube
  • USB charging cable
  • User manual
    Aromamizer V-RDA:
    • Aromamizer V-RDA with the glass barrel section installed
    • Black delrin driptip
    • Stainless steel barrel section
    • Allen key
    • 510 driptip adapter with spit-back protection
    • Squonk-ready center-pin (the standard one is installed)
    • Spare o-rings and screws

    • Juice Bottom feeding
    • 10ml Juice bottle built-in
    • Power mode and TC mode, my version supports Ni200 but newer version also supports Stainless Steel coils
    • Single 18650 battery
    • Magnet battery door
    • Voltage: 3.1~4.2V
    • Output voltage: 1-9V
    • Output power: 7-60W
    • Resistance: 0.1-4.0ohm
    • Temperature adjust: 200F - 600F
    • Charging: 5V/1000mA
    • Dimensions: 59*88*26mm
    • Gun metal color
    Aromamizer V-RDA:
    • 25 mm diameter
    • 22.4 mm diameter build deck
    • Stainless steel 304
    • 47.5 mm height
    • 2-post velocity style deck
    • Adjustable "cyclone airflow"
    • Bottom feeder or normal dripper
    Look and feel

    When it comes to looks the Squonkmod and the V-RDA is a perfect match. The 25 mm diameter V-RDA sits perfectly flush on the mod. The V-RDA looks pretty cool using both the glass and the stainless steel barrel section. I prefer the glass though, and as for the other Aromamizer family members with glass sections, you can get colored glass for this one as well.

    The Squonkmod feels light weight, but still pretty solid. There are some button rattle but not something that bothers me a lot. The display is clear and easy to read, and I like the way it tells you it's charging and when it's fully charged (You'll see "Charging end" on the display)

    In use

    Quite a lot of atomizers comes with Velocity style build-decks nowadays, and there is a reason for that. It's a dream to build on. The one in the V-RDA is quite big and you can fit some pretty big coils in there if you want to. The atty comes with both a normal center pin, so you can use it as a normal dripper, and a squonk pin to use with any squonk mod. The airflow is adjusted by twisting the ring at the top-cap so it will lift from the "tank-section" letting more air down into the spirals that goes on the outside of the atty and enters the bottom of the chamber. The whole thing is easy to take apart and clean.

    The mod does not require a master degree to operate either. It has the standard 5 click to turn it on and off, you switch between temp-control and normal mode by holding down fire and up buttons and you adjust either power or temperature using the up and down buttons. The door covering the battery and squonk bottle is kept in place by some pretty strong magnets, and I had no problems with it falling off accidentally, it can actually be a bit tricky to get off but no problem once you get used to it. Re-filling is also quick and easy, just take the bottle out (tube and all), refill and plug it back in.

    It's the first time I try squonking, and I quite like it to be honest. It takes a little while to get used to how much and how often you need to squonk to keep your wicks perfectly saturated, but once you get the hang of it it's a great way to vape. Unless you totally oversquonk and flood your atty, and then put it upside down, there is no leaking issues at all. I've kept the mod in my pockets upside down, laying on the side and it has been thrown around in my backpack but I've had no leaks. I still get the occasional dry-hit though, especially after having vaped on other devices for a while and then switch to this, cause I forget to squonk.


    The V-RDA is an awesome RDA. You get the fantastic flavour that I've been getting used to from my RDTAs. According to Steamcrave their "cyclone airflow" is supposed to enhance flavour. I have to admit that I'm not an expert on how airflow affects flavour, but what I do know is that Steamcrave is doing something right, cause they have managed to create a great tasting atty.

    When it comes to the squonk mod, I'm not totally convinced be honest. I mean it's not really bad, and it works pretty well if you don't try to push it to hard. I guess that is the problem for me, I get the feeling it is not strong enough to run the V-RDA at it's full potential. First of all the V-RDA has a pretty big deck allowing for some pretty big builds that would need more than 60W. Also, running the squonk mod at 60W, I've tried some clapton builds, will drain your battery in no time. I get much more vape-time on my SX Mini M class running on 60W with basically the same build. I also tend to get the "check atomizer" message when it's just been turned on, it almost seems like it uses some time to "find" the atomizer. When running the mod at 60W on around 0.4 Ohm clapton build I get the "low voltage" warning after just a few puffs and then I have to turn down the watts to be able to vape on.

    Now I'm running a 0.6 Ohm dual coil (think it's 28AWG) and at 40W I get pretty good performance and pretty good vape time. In other words... I kind of like the mod, the way it's built and the design ideas behind... but I feel it is too weak. So what I'm left with is that the squonkmod is a good device, but it doesn't have the power to get the most out of the V-RDA. If you're running at around 40W, maybe lower as well, you'll probably be happy with it, but if you build for 50-60W I don't think you will.

    However, I now see on that a new version of the squonkmod will be sold after May 15th, which has already been, so my version is out of date. The new version will also support temp. control on SS coils, which is good cause I really can't be bothered to even try it with Ni200... such a pain to work with. It may be that they've done other updates as well that might solve some of the issues mentioned above.

    Pros and cons 

    + Awesome flavour
    + Large juice capacity
    + Easy to refill and clean
    + No leaking ... at all
    - Squonk-mod is a bit too weak for the V-RDA (IMO)


    I love the V-RDA and I think the squonkmod is quite a good design but I think it's a bit too weak. The V-RDA will allow for some really tasty builds, but in my opinion you need more power to run it at full speed. The Squonkmod is priced at $59.99 right now and the V-RDA at $39.99. However the best option if you want both is the bundle at $79.98, which is a bargain if you ask me. So to conclude, the V-RDA is an awesome atty and the Squonkmod is a good device but could use a little tune up to match the V-RDA. If the mod had been a bit stronger and more stable at full power I'd say this is a great kit.

    Thanks to Maggie at Steamcrave for offering a decent discount, making this review possible.

    Vapour UK

    • All my reviews are my honest opinion even if I am affiliated with the company manufacturing or selling the product. 
    • This review does not contain affiliate links.

    Breaking news: TPD could be stopped in the UK!

    We got some good news today and again it comes from the UK: Lord Callanan has tabled a "fatal motion" in the house of lords today. I'm no expert in UK politics and how this works, but apparently this means there is a real chance that the TPD could be stopped in the UK. You can read more about it on the Ashtray blog in a guest post by Ian Gregory of Abzed and The 100k Campaign.
    Unless Lord Callanan is forced by pressure from Downing Street to withdraw his motion there will be a debate and a vote. Under parliamentary rules if the Lords agree to this motion the statutory instrument implementing the TPD in the UK will fall. Such procedures are called “fatal motions” because the regulations get killed outright and do not go back to the Commons.
    You can find even more links and info about it on, and there is a petition that I urge everyone to sign.

    Again, my thanks go across the North Sea. If these efforts end with the TPD being stopped in the UK it will open a lot of eyes around Europe and we might see more political moves to stop it in other countries as well.

    The All New Cool Fire IV TC100.

    Monday, 16 May 2016

    Review: Para Tank by Vaping Outlaws

    A while ago I was asked by the guys at UKEcigstore if I wanted to try out the upcoming Para Tank by Vaping Outlaws. This is a "coil-less" tank system, quite different from what we've been used to for a while now and looked similar to the Altus tank that claims to be the worlds first "coil-less" tank. The first version I got was just for testing and giving some feedback, and honestly... I was not happy with it at all. There were several issues... leaking, low capacity, very long ramp-up time, no top filling ... and the ceramic heating plate died on me when I was going to re-wick. I bet I wasn't the only tester that sent them feedback on this. So the question is: Has Vaping Outlaws managed to fix these problems?

    In the box

    The box I received didn't have the final content, some bits were missing since it wasn't released yet, but according to the website this is what it's supposed to be in the final box:
    • The Para Tank
    • Replacement Glass
    • Some cotton
    • User manual
          • Razor Chip Technology (more on this further down)
          • Top Filling
          • 4.5ml Juice Capacity
          • Optional 0.4ohm and 0.6ohm Chips (not tested in this review)
          • Laser Engraving
          • Pyrex Glass Tank
          • Dimensions: Height 48mm, Diameter 22mm, Height with drip tip 56mm
            Look and feel

            The tank look pretty good in my opinion. The simple design, with the logo discreetly laser engraved on the top cap work really well. Vaping Outlaws have used black and yellow in all their designs so choosing a yellow o-ring is of course the right choice. One of the things that wasn't that good on the first device was the air-control ring that was either to tight or to loose (the design on the bottom section was a bit different on that one)... build quality wasn't that good in other words. On this new version, however, the ring is just tight enough and easy to adjust. In other words, this new device feels solid and well built.

            In use

            The so called Razor Chip Technology is something quite different from what we've been used to for quite a while now. Instead of a coil heating the liquid, either in pre-built replaceable heads or built by the user, we here have a chip heating the juice. The wick is just a patch of cotton folded around the chip. When that's done the chip (with the cotton folded around it) is pushed into the chimney-piece (or whatever you want to call it) so the cotton sticks out a bit through the
            slits on both sides. Then the bottom ring is screwed on to complete the center piece which is then screwed into the bottom piece.

            Again, one of the biggest problems with the prototype unit I received first was that the process of re-wicking wasn't good. This has been redesigned and now re-wicking is actually quite simple and very quick. All you need to do is take it apart, fold your new cotton patch around the chip and put it all together. Pretty hassle free if you ask me and quicker than re-wicking your normal coil based atomizers, once you figure out the right dimensions for the patch. First time I tried it I cut a square patch with the length or the sides around 2 mm more than the diameter of the center piece, so it would stick out around 1mm on each side. But I think I did not use enough cotton, the patch was to thin, so it did not wick fast enough and I got dry hits from hell. The next try I used cotton from UD, just cutting the same dimensions from a "sheet", and that seems to be just about the right thickness. No dry-hits, even on 100W, unless I'm really chain vaping this thing. Seems to wick well enough even if the tank is nearly empty, which also was a problem with the prototype. As I said there were no cotton included in my sample box, but it is on the content list for the final version, so you will probably get some pre-cut patches that will give you an idea on how to make your own as well. This redesign is no less than a great success in my opinion.

            Another thing that's changed is that the tank now has top filling. You just unscrew the top cap and fill. The o-ring at the bottom is the only thing holding the glass in place when you do this, but it seems to be tight enough and I've had no problems. Top-filling means you can fill the tank all the way to the top, which means a substantial increase in juice capacity.

            As for leaking issues... there are none any more. At least I haven't had any since I got the wicking right.


            The flavour of this tank is really nice. That was actually also one of the few things I was happy with on the prototype. The ramp up time on the prototype was just horrible, but the final version is a lot quicker, so they have done some adjustments. It still requires a bit of time when it's cold, and to get a flavour and vapor production I'm happy with, this tank requires quite a lot of power. I guess some people would be happy with this one on 40W, but I'd say you need at least 50, maybe 60. I'm vaping it at 75W and pretty happy with that, but I've also tried it at 110W and it works great there as well.

            As you see on the specification list, you will be able to get 0.4 and 0.6 Ohm razor chips. The one in my device is around 0.5 Ohms. This will affect the operating power ranges and performance. I'd like to get my hands on those optional chips and try them out once they're available.

            Vapor production on this tank I'd say is ... well not bad. It's not producing the biggest clouds, but not the smallest either. It's the clean, crisp flavour that is the main advantage of this tank, cause it is indeed very good.

            Pros and cons
            + Great flavour
            + Easy to re-fill
            + Easy to re-wick
            + Easy to clean
            - Needs quite a lot of power (on the 0.5 Ohm chip)


            I have to admit, after trying the prototype, I was very sceptical to this tank. The prototype had quite a few issues... actually it was kind of shit and I would never have recommended it. The final version on the other hand, I have no problems recommending. I haven't really had it long enough to be able to say how long a razor chip would last, but it is supposed to last for a very long time so even if the tank itself is kind of expensive (£79.99 at UKEcigstore), it is a very economical choice since cotton is the only thing you need to replace.

            I'm impressed and happy that Vaping Outlaws have fixed most of the issues I complained about in the prototype. I told them that I thought this razor chip technology was an exciting idea, but the implementation was poor. On the final version they've got the implementation right as well. There are still areas of improvement, like ramp-up time and more resistance options, so now I'm looking forward to seeing more tanks with this kind of heating elements. To answer the question I asked in the introduction: Yes, Vaping Outlaws did indeed fix the problems, and has come up with a great tank that is definitely worth trying out.

            Big thanks to UKEcigstore for sending me the Para Tank for this review.

            • All my reviews are my honest opinion even if I am affiliated with the company manufacturing or selling the product. 
            • The juice was sent to me free of charge for the purpose of this review.
            • This review contains affiliate links.

            Sunday, 15 May 2016

            The war against the TPD is a war for democracy

            Queen Medical Centre - one of the hospitals
            where the ban is now lifted
            A couple of days ago, in my last post, I sent a big thanks across the North Sea to Matt Ridley and the UK House of Lords for joining the pro-vaping forces in the war against the EU and their TPD. Today, I want to send another thank you to the UK, this time to Nottingham. To the bosses of Nottingham University Hospitals NHS trust to be more precise, for giving vaping the green light lifting the ban on e-cigarettes outside their buildings. Dr Stephen Fowlie gave the following reason for lifting the ban:
            We have a duty to help our patients and staff make healthy life choices, and can't ignore the potential benefits of electronic cigarettes as a nicotine replacement therapy. We're now allowing e-cigarettes on our grounds to give our patients, staff and visitors more choice in how they quit smoking.
            This war is about more than just e-cigarettes and vaping. As the debate in the House of Lords revealed, and what a lot of vapers have suspected and pointed out for quite some time, the TPD "were scripted in Brussels by pharmaceutical companies desperately trying to protect the sales of their widely unloved nicotine replacement therapies" (Matt Ridley). This was confirmed by Martin Callanan and he should know this better than most... he was there when it happened. This makes it a war against a system that allows big wealthy companies or industries to rule Europe, using the European Commision as their sock puppets to regulate markets in a way that will make them even more wealthy at the cost of European lives. In the case of the TPD it is Big Pharma pulling the strings but if we allow this to happen I can see other industries and companies scripting regulations that will effectively leave their markets in the hands of a few big players.

            The way I see it, allowing the TPD to happen is a step towards making the EU a toolbox for the already wealthy that they can use to customize their markets for their own benefit. It's a step towards weakening the European democracy, handing the power over to the money. Obviously, for most of us, this is not a step forward but rather a giant gleap backwards.

            This is also one of the reasons that not only vapers and smokers should care about this, everyone should open their eyes to what is happening cause eventually we will all be affected by it in one way or another. Allowing the TPD to happen will not only prolong the tobacco epidemic, leaving several generations of our children with the unnecessary risks of tobacco smoking, but it will also open some doors in Brussels allowing those with a lot of money to write the laws as they see fit. I could have written the same things about the FDA and their deeming regulations. Even if you're not a vaper, and never smoked a cigarette in your life, the outcome of this war will affect you.

            Today my big thanks goes to the Nottingham hospital bosses not only because they have saved a lot of lives in Nottingham. It's also because they are showing Big Pharma the finger by lifting this ban, and in this case the fact that they are medical professionals running hospitals makes it a particularly important finger. By lifting the ban they send a message that they will not let Big Pharma and corrupt politicians dictate their policies. It's an example that I hope many medical professionals will follow. As Dr. Fowlie says: It is their duty to help staff and patients to make healthier choices. Thereby it is every medical professionals duty to stand up and tell the public the truth about vaping and add weight to the statements of politicians doing the same.

            Medical professionals have great power in this case, maybe even more than they realise. Without their support Big Pharma and the ANTZ are seriously weakened and we're one step closer to winning real democracy back. Thank you!

            The All New Cool Fire IV TC100.

            Friday, 13 May 2016

            Featured post: Clearing the Fog for Women in Vaping

            It’s no secret that the number of people vaping in the UK has grown exponentially over recent years. The use of e-cigarettes and thus e-liquids has tripled since 2014 so that now over 2 million people in the UK are puffing on these electronically fuelled digital cigarettes rather than the analogue tobacco filled, cancer inducing cigs.

            Earlier this year, The Telegraph reported that e-cigarette sales have increased by 75% and global sales surpassed the $6bn for the first time ever, suggesting that more people are attracted to the vaping lifestyle than ever before. Despite the inevitable fast approaching hindrance that the Tobacco Products Directive will inexorably impact on the sales and production of e-cigarettes, the number of people switching to e-cigarettes is not falling.

            For many of those who made the big leap from the smokey cylinders to vapour producing mod boxes, it has become a way of life rather than just a habit. A lot of ex smokers have thrown themselves full heartedly into the vaping lifestyle culture leaving no room for nostalgic thoughts about their love affair with traditional cigs. This culture born out of the need to get rid of a bad habit whilst still getting the kick of nicotine, keep a shared identity and continue with a hobby, is a strong and fully established one.

            As with any culture, there are niches, ways of doing things, shared ideas, competitiveness and partiality. Traditionally, (well, since 2007) the vaping industry has proved to be very male heavy. Why? There are several theories as to why, but it would seem that it mainly boils down to the fact the the products are very techy; involving modifications and building which appeals to a typically masculine love of gadgetry. Similarly, the popular notion of cloud-chasing taps into testosterone fuelled competitiveness which is difficult for women to break into. As a result, men have taken the limelight and the lead role on the vaping stage – an industry originally designed to save lives that has been transformed into an edgy and somewhat skilled lifestyle as well.

            Surprisingly, despite this glaringly obvious male dominance, now, over 50% of vapers are female. Whilst in the past, women have partaken in mostly being the face (and other body parts) of the vaping industry, the gender imbalance is being felt less and less in the industry with woman making up a large portion of those attending expos and not just there as a pretty face but selling and giving information on products. Also, more female friendly products are being sold in shops and online such as pink mods and other small devices. Whilst this isn’t to everyone’s taste, it’s definitely a step in the right direction. Although, some women do still claim to feel out of place in vaping shops due to the heavily male marketed products and hefty male presence.

            One important aspect of the vaping industry that is really helping to endorse women is reviewers; there are hundreds of fantastic female e-cigarette reviewers globally. This means that not only can women share their opinions and relate to one another online, but also, when a woman new to vaping researches vaping, they’ll come across a plethora of women already stuck into the vaping world and making an impact.

            There are some incredibly influential women in the vaping industry all with unique stories, exciting journeys and fantastic insights into the world of vaping. One of these women is Jess-Marie Cornell, the owner and designer of Double Helix Design Accessories. She says that she vapes to “help keep a healthier lifestyle and stay off of cancer sticks” and has been tobacco free for 4 years. She says that she was inspired to get involved in the vaping industry through the customisation of e-cigs. As a result of this, Jess-Marie was able to turn this passion into a business so now makes charms to hang off tanks and drip tips. She isn’t alone in this journey – hundreds of talented women have been able to make a lifestyle out of the money they earn from being involved in the industry from photography, modelling, reviewing, and owning businesses.

            The notion that the vaping game is a man’s domain is fast becoming outdated. With the rise of female vapers, simultaneously comes the rise of women entering into the fast paced culture and lifestyle of vaping. It’s important that the vaping industry makes entering into the culture as easy and welcoming as possible for women by continuing to produce more female friendly products and dismiss any prejudices about women’s ability to build and understand the technical aspects of e-cigarettes.

            It’s undeniable that change is happening and that it’s happening for the better - and much like the rest of Western society, equality is fighting its way through one industry at a time.

            This article was written by Grey Haze, a UK vape store stocking e-cigs and e-liquids. I haven’t published many posts from vendors before, but Grey Haze is not only a vendor, but they’ve also got a great blog, with some reports from big vaping expos featuring a number of vaping celebs. You can visit their website here:

            The All New Cool Fire IV TC100.  
            • Opinions and ideas expressed in guest posts are entirely the authors and may or may not reflect my own. 
            • I will always make sure that it is obvious to the reader that a guest post is a guest post.
            • I do not pay or get paid for guest posts.
            • If a guest post is written by someone working for a company that I am affiliated with, it may contain affiliate links. This post does not contain affiliate links.

            Thursday, 12 May 2016

            British Lords joins the pro-vaping forces

            Matt Ridley - the man we can thank for this
            debate in the House of Lords
            As I said yesterday, the fight against deadly regulations by the EU and FDA have turned into a full scale war. We've been aware that in the UK the government has been quite positive to vaping and not been that afraid to say so publicly either.
            In December 2015 David Cameron became the first world leader to endorse e-cigarettes. He told a packed House of Commons that they were "a very legitimate path" which had helped a million people in the UK to quit tobacco smoking (
            But now it seems British politicians have taken this some huge steps further and fully joined the pro-vaping forces in this war. In a debate in the House of Lords the EU TPD was, as Christopher Snowdon puts it, savaged. I think the transcript, video and summaries of the debate says it all so I'm not going to comment any further, and to be honest I'm a bit lost for words... in a good way.
            Political support for the TPD among Westminster politicians has close to disappeared. All that is left is the legal shell (Ashtray blog)
            You can find a summary, note and transcript on the Ashtray blog, and Christopher Snowdon has also published the transcript and taken the time to highlight some of the best parts and added a couple of comments. I recommend reading the whole thing through as it is indeed some of the most enjoyable reading I've done in quite some time. There is also a video of the debate available on youtube. I've picked out a couple of my favourite quotes below. 
            Thankfully—and my noble friends will know how painful it is for me to say this—the European Parliament voted down the folly of exclusive medicinal regulation, but it did not vote down the rest of Article 20 of the tobacco products directive which, in that wonderfully undemocratic way, is now being forced upon us. The truth is that these regulations were scripted in Brussels by pharmaceutical companies desperately trying to protect the sales of their widely unloved nicotine replacement therapies. What we have before the House is still a piece of legislation that is not fit for purpose. When even the Department of Health says that it risks increasing smoking, we know that we are facing a moral responsibility as legislators to review this in great detail. It most certainly should not just be nodded through.
            - Matt Ridley
            Nevertheless, we ended up with this directive. It was a messy compromise and it is very badly worded, but it is a lot better than it could have been had we not campaigned on it. My noble friend Lord Ridley is quite right to point out the somewhat murky role of various pharmaceutical interests in the production of the directive. When I asked questions in the Commission and the Council—it seemed to me self-evident that these devices were brilliant for reducing tobacco smoking, which I thought was what we all wanted—I asked why they were even in the directive in the first place, given that it is called a tobacco products directive and e-cigarettes are not tobacco products in any sense of the word. The answer I received many times was that this was argued for by the pharmaceutical industry, which would have an awful lot to lose if e-cigarettes supplanted or replaced nicotine patches and gum. I do not know the truth of that, but it seems that it was very successful in getting what it wanted.
            - Martin Callanan (who was an MEP at the time the TPD was created)
            This is truly a terrible piece of legislation, and I plead guilty for the part I played in helping to produce it in the first place. However, it is not too late to undo some of that harm and to help encourage the taking up of e-cigarettes and, consequently, a reduction in tobacco consumption. Instead of trying to restrict e-cigarettes, the Government should in fact be trying positively to encourage them.
            - Martin Callanan
            I certainly hope that enforcement will be more Italian than traditionally British, if I may put it that way.
            - David Prior (Health Minister)
            As I said, I'm a bit lost for words, but I believe a big thanks to the British is in order. From the trends I've seen in the UK lately, I suspect, and I hope this is not the last time I send a big fat THANK YOU across the North Sea. Again, I encourage you to read the whole transcript or watch the video... there is a lot of goodies in there.

            Vapour UK

            Wednesday, 11 May 2016

            The fight against draconian e-cig regulations just turned into a full scale war!

            In my last post I encouraged vapers not to give up and keep on fighting the TPD and FDA deeming regulations with all means available. This is by no means over, and as Steve from the excellent Steve K's Vaping World pointed out yesterday: The Vaping industry isn't dead yet! Neither are the vapers, I might add ... every single one of us is still alive and kicking. Actually that's what this is all about: Staying alive, both figuratively and literately.
            The bottom line is you have some time before you won’t be able to buy stuff any more.  So there’s no need to panic or horde just yet.  It’s also very likely that there will be some lawsuits and legal challenges thrown at the FDA which may also stall the process.
            We still have some time before the draconian regulations hits us with full force, and as Steve here predicted; there will be legal challenges and this will end up in court before this is over. He was quite right about this ... yesterday the first legal challenge was official: Nicopure Labs Challenges the FDA’s Deeming Rule. I don't think it will be the last legal action we see either. On Guide To Vaping you can read that An army of advocates is rising and the message posted by all the big US vaping organisations on facebook on Monday:
            Today, CASAA, SFATA, AEMSA, AVA and NBS have formally announced their coalition to pursue legal and legislative strategies now that the FDA’s final deeming regulations have been released.

            The coalition will continue working to determine the correct litigation strategy and legislative actions.

            We will be informing the vapor industry and community of next steps, deadlines, PR objectives, and grassroots efforts.  Organizations interested in participating should contact coalition partners.

            Please feel free to contact any of the organizations listed above for more details in the coming days.
            No doubt the industry will fight back. It is an industry that is fighting for it's right to exist, and when fighting for your life you will fight fiercely.

            As vapers and consumers there are also things we can do to help out. Steve has some suggestions:
            Consumers, it’s not time to leave this all up to the vendors either.  
            While lobbyists and lawsuites do fuel the political engine.  So do voters. Let your lawmakers know you aren’t happy.  But be civil.

            I suggest making actual phone calls or writing to every elected official you can vote out of office. Explain what vaping means to you, and how important it is as a political issue. Be polite and sincere. Use your own words, not a form letter.
            But writing letters and calling elected officials is not the only thing we as vapers can do. As I've said earlier, spreading information and educating the public is one of the most important tasks in this fight, and lets not forget about recruiting new vapers. More vapers means more stories to be told, more manpower to educate the public and politicians and more voices to tell the truth about vaping and exposing the lies we're being told... and the people behind them.

            Speaking of lies... in my previous post I said that it's time to get the heads rolling. I do believe certain people have reason to be quite nervous today, as today it is finally time for the world premiere for Aaron Biebert's documentary, A Billion Lives. Promoting and spreading the news of this film is also a great way for us vapers to help out. The fight against the draconian e-cig regulations that the EU and FDA wants to use as their weapon to kill vaping just turned into a full scale war. As vapers and vaping advocates we're all soldiers, and our weapon... is truth. I for one, have really been looking forward to this, and I can barely wait to watch it:


            The All New Cool Fire IV TC100.

            Friday, 6 May 2016

            Don't stop fighting the FDA deeming regulations and EU TPD!

            Just a week or so after the Royal College of Physicians released their report backing e-cigarettes and vaping, urging governments and regulators to "Promote e-cigarettes widely as substitute for smoking", the EU Court of Justice ruled that the TPD is valid, will be enforced and thereby making sure that the EU will not follow RCP's advice. Yesterday, just a couple of days later, the FDA released their new deeming regulations that basically will ban vaping as we know it in the US and hand the remains of the market over to Big Tobacco. Since I read about it yesterday, an image has been developing in my head of the ANTZ holding the arms of a guy called "Smoker" or "public health" on his back while Big Pharma commands the EU and FDA to take turns punching him in the face. Big tobacco stands on the side with a big grin on his face, cheering and rubbing his hands. Any cartoonists reading this... feel free to draw it up and publish it widely. The last days, the EU and the FDA has shown us very clearly that this is not about health at all, it's all about the money. Either that, or their incompetence have reached levels I did not think was possible for human beings. I'm not sure which one is most frightening.

            A lot of people have commented on the two cases, which are indeed public health disasters bordering to political genocide, so I'm not going to go into the details on how these draconian regulations will shorten the lives of millions. However, I've found some good posts and articles for you below. I've written about the consequences of over regulating earlier and Clive Bates have summed up the unintended consequences of these regulations: Harmful and negligent to ignore unintended consequences of e-cigarette policies

            On the TPD:
            On the FDA deeming regulations:

            It doesn't look very good for vaping right now I have to admit. Well, actually, for the lucky ones that have already made the switch it's not the end of the world. We've known about this, and expected these regulations for a while now and most of us will be able to continue vaping. It might mean that we have to turn to the thriving black market that undoubtedly will rise and shine brightly now, but we'll manage. For current smokers and future generations however, this last week has been a complete disaster. The regulations will cost a lot of people a lot of years of living, but who cares? I mean they never new that their governments deprived them of a better life so they won't be complaining about that right? Well, that's were we as vapers should prove the EU and the FDA wrong. We need to make sure that everyone knows what has been going on. We need to make sure that future generations will grow up knowing that we put an end to the tobacco epidemic. And we need to make sure the heads start rolling in certain organisations. Because they will, eventually, if we manage to expose to the world what their real motives are. A great way to start helping out is to support and promote Aaron Biebert's upcoming documentary "A billion lives". Sign up for their newsletter, pay attention to their facebook page, and start mentioning their movie everywhere where vaping or e-cigarettes are the topic of discussion. The EU and the FDA have now thrown a couple of hard punches our way, but there is no reason to give up now. This gives us even more reason to fight on, or start fighting if you're not there yet! "The tried to bury us. They didn't know we were seeds"... and we'll grow through concrete and break their castles apart I might add.

            The All New Cool Fire IV TC100.

            Tuesday, 3 May 2016

            Review: Defiant tank by Council of Vapor

            After reviewing the Mini Volt from Council of Vapour some 2-3 weeks ago I started looking into their other stuff. They do have a tank that goes with the Mini Volt, often referred to as the Mighty Mini Volt Atomizer, that's sold in a kit with the mod. However, they also have a pretty new tank, that looks almost the same, the Defiant, that comes with a new ceramic coil head. Now, there has been a bit of fuzz about ceramic or coil-less atomizers lately. The Altus tank is one example that is marketed as coil-less tank, and has gotten some mixed reviews, with ramp-up time being an issue for a lot of people. The coil-head made for the Defiant, however, is a completely different system, with ceramic acting as a buffer between the cotton and a what looks to be a pretty normal coil. Actually, I think C.O.V. explains how this coil works best themselves in their video. When I talked to Ramzy from about his experience with the Defiant he was quite enthusiastic about the flavour, so I had to get one and try this for myself.

            In the box
            • The Defiant tank
            • 2 x 0.5 ohm ceramic atomizer heads (1 in the atomizer)
            • User Manual
            • Spare pyrex tube and o-rings
            • Diameter: 22 mm
            • Height: 48 mm with driptip (37 mm without)
            • Stainless Steel
            • Top filling
            • 3.1ml juice capacity
            • Pyrex glass
            • Airflow control
            Look and feel

            I think the Defiant looks pretty damn cool to be honest. Matches my red Efusion pretty well with those double red o-rings on top, and it's a great match for the little Mini Volt mod. It is indeed a small tank as well, making the capacity of 3.1 ml of juice pretty impressive. It's made from stainless steel, making it solid, giving it some weight and making it feel really solid and well built.

            In use

            The first thing that happened when I filled the tank was a major leaking issue. And by major I do actually mean major. I left it to soak for a bit, not really paying attention to it for like 10 minutes and half the tank was empty and I had juice all over my mod. So I took it apart (which I had not done before I filled it), cleaned up the mess and refilled it. Since then it has behaved very well. I mean I have had some minor leaking issues, but that's just a drop or two coming out of the airflow holes after filling and then putting it in my pocket or whatever without vaping it first. So, apart from the initial leaking I've had no problems with it. Talking to Ramzy about it he had exactly the same problem. My guess is that either it wasn't properly screwed together and tightened when I got it, or it might just be that these ceramic coil do overwick a lot if it hasn't been used before. I do suggest you take the tank apart, clean a bit and put it properly back together before you fill it for the first time though. As I said, the tank has behaved very well since then and as long as you're aware (which you should be by now) it's not a problem at all. If anyone have some insight on this issue, please don't be afraid to leave a comment and enlighten us.

            I do like the top filling on this tank. To fill it you unscrew the driptip section and you'll be able to pour juice into the tank from whatever type of bottle you have. I'm sure with a bit of patience you'll be able to pour from a cup. I like that since I don't really have to bother cleaning a needle-tip bottle for my e-liquid to be able to fill the tank. However, you can't use a standard driptip on this tank, there is no adapter for it that I'm aware of. For me, it's not a problem, as I really like the one on there. It's pretty wide, and it does have those honeycomb holes that works like spitback protection that you see in other C.O.V. tanks (Vengance, Phoenix and the Mighty Mini Volt tank as far as I know) as well. It also allows you to add some extra air from the driptip through those tiny holes all around the driptip. To do this you remove the rubber piece that goes around the inside of the driptip. It looks like these solutions are used by C.O.V. on the Mighty Mini Volt, the Vengance and now the Phoenix tank as well, and I guess the reason for this is that it works really well. Personally I keep the rubber ring in place as I like the heat of the vapor as it is. Actually I always close airflow on the driptips on tanks where it is available. With the C.O.V. solution to this you only get to either open or close the airflow on the driptip, which for some people might not be sufficient, but again... it's all a matter of personal preference. I do like the tiny holes around the tip though, but that's just because it makes the tank look cooler, nothing else.

            The airflow control on the bottom is pretty good. You can't twist it all the way around, which there is no need for actually. Twist it clockwise all the way to have it fully open, and all the way counter-clockwise to close it all off. It's loose enough to be twisted easily, and tight enough so it doesn't go adjusting itself by accident.

            This tank comes with a 0.45 to 0.5 ohm ceramic coil-head (well two of them actaully). As far as I know this is the only option designed specifically for this tank. It is, however, interchangeable with the coil-heads from the Mighty Mini Volt tank and the Vengance, so you do have the option of using normal 0.2 or 0.8 ohm heads. Which is a good thing if you plan to use this tank with the Mini Volt. Then you will need the 0.8 ohm heads as 40 W is, in my opinion, not enough power for the 0.5 ohm head that comes with this tank, and it would probably drain that battery in no time. So not too many coil options on this tank. I think C.O.V. should consider giving us some more options, mainly with higher resistances for lower wattages. I'd wish for a 0.8 and maybe even a higher ohm ceramic head (1.2 maybe). More on that below.


            Now, for the most interesting part I guess. As I said, Ramzy was pretty enthusiastic about the flavour from this tank. I'm just going to jump straight to the point here: The flavour is amazing. It really is. I mean, for me it's competing with some of my rebuildable tanks, maybe not all the way up there with the Steamcrave Aromamizer (my current favourite I guess) and the Goblin mini, but certainly not far behind. I get a feeling that the ceramic coil system gives you cleaner flavour, and a lot of it. Before I tried this one, my favourite tank among the sub-ohms with pre-built heads was the Zephyrus, or maybe the Aromamizer with the pre-built heads. The Defiant, with the 0.5 ohm ceramic head, beats them both.

            C.O.V. says the ceramic coils will vape best at 40 to 75W of power. I'd say it needs at least 50W, with 60W being the sweet spot with the juice I'm currently using which is a 60/40 VG/PG juice. At 70W it starts to taste a bit funny, although its not the usual burnt cotton dry hit you've probably tasted before. I guess you can run it on higher wattages with other, thinner juices. 40W however, does not give me the vapor production I'm after at all. This is why I'm calling for more coil options as well. I think the ceramic system plays a big role in creating the fantastic flavour, and I want to be able to use that with my Mini Volt, but currently I can't.

            According to C.O.V. the ceramic coils will also enable you to change flavours quite easily, and the coils will last a lot longer than normal coils without the ceramic layer. Just fill the tank with your new flavour and you might have some overlap but it won't take long before you only taste your new flavour. Now actually you can do this on normal coils as well, but what I think they're trying to say here is that the overlap time will be shorter and there should be less gunk building up on your coil. I've tried to change flavour in the tank and it does actually work pretty well. Now I didn't have a really strong menthol in the tank from before though. I usually change the coil head whenever I change flavours in these sub-ohm tanks, but with these coils I don't really see the need to do this... most of the time. Well, to be honest, and I haven't really tried this, but I do think this depends a lot on the flavours you're vaping. Some flavours will stick with you for a long time (like strong menthols) if you don't change the coil.

            Taking this tank apart and cleaning it is no problem at all. No sharp edges you could cut yourself on, and none of those inaccessible spots where water tends to get stuck. In other words, easy to keep clean.

            It would also be kind of interesting to try out these ceramic heads in the Vengance or the Mighty Mini Volt as well. I haven't had the pleasure to try out any of them yet though, and then C.O.V. have also released another tank, the Phoenix, that looks really interesting, so I'm not sure if I ever get the time to try them. C.O.V. is really putting some nice stuff on the market these days I'd say.

            Pros and cons 

            + Flavour
            + Size and capacity
            + Top filling
            + Solid
            + Long lasting coils
            + Price
            - Not many coil options


            This is the second item I've tried from Council of Vapor, and now I want to try everything they've got. Seriously, the flavour from this tank is fantastic and you should try it. What makes it even more of a no-brainer is the price. Hell, you should just go buy two of them at once.

            Thanks a lot to Ramzy at for making this review possible.


            • All my reviews are my honest opinion even if I am affiliated with the company manufacturing or selling the product. 
            • This review does not contain affiliate links.

            Monday, 2 May 2016

            Juice Review: Zest and Moz by Yogg Lyfe

            A couple of weeks ago I reviewed two of the juices from Yogg Life's yogurt based range of e-liquids, the Zabadi and Poz. I was quite happy with them, and have been looking forward to trying out the last two. It was with somewhat fearful joy I opened these bottles and filled my tanks, since they both contain banana, a flavour that in my opinion can easily be done wrong and become quite sickening. If done right, however, it can be fabulous. Let's see.

            Tested on: Steamcrave RDTA (0.3 Ohm Dual horizontal Clapton, 50-60 watts)
            As Yogg themselves say, the Moz is a bit different than the other three juices in the range, because it's not only yogurt and fruit. It is supposed to be a banana cake in yogurt. Sounds kind of weird to me, but apparently weird works. I can't really say I smell the cake, smells like ripe, sweet banana. Vaping it, however, reveals the cake, and as I said... the cake really works. I'm thinking mostly banana cake, with loads of sweet, ripe bananas and some cinnamon notes when I vape this juice... not so much yogurt. But I guess the yogurt is still there giving it a creamy feeling as well that I can't really explain otherwise. I really liked this one, might be my favourite of the four, and unless you really really hate bananas I'd say it's a must try juice.

            Tested on: Steamcrave V-RDA + Squonker (0.4 Ohm Dual Clapton, 50-60 watts)

            In the Zest the banana is accompanied by passion fruit and pineapple aiming for an exotic, tropical flavour. It sure smells exotic and tropical... and tastes like it as well. Pretty spot on and true to the description I'd say. The pineapple is delicious in combination with the bananas and yogurt that kind of makes it a bit more mellow without removing all the sting from it. A really well balanced, creamy and exotic juice that hits its target spot on. My fear of overpowering and sickening bananas in the Yogg range has been proven unfounded after trying these two juices.

            Thanks again to UKEcigstore for sending me these juices for review.

            • All my reviews are my honest opinion even if I am affiliated with the company manufacturing or selling the product. 
            • The juice was sent to me free of charge for the purpose of this review.
            • This review contains affiliate links.