Friday, 27 February 2015

Review: Salivape

Quite a while ago I did a review of Zamplebox, which as you probably know is a US based e-liquid subscription service. We're starting to see quite a few of these services now, and the idea is that you'll get a new pack of juices every month by signing up for a subscription. Some services will also send you some vaping gear to try out if you want that, but the main focus is usually e-juices.

Salivape is a UK based e-juice subscription service focusing on juices from the UK only. They also have a shop where you can go buy the juices without subscribing... in case you found a new favorite in your monthly pack.
An exciting new vape subscription service and online store whose sole purpose is to bring you the finest quality eLiquids from premium UK brands.
My first impression of Salivape was that these guys like to keep it simple, and that's not at all a bad start if you want to succeed with such a service I think. I mean, one of the main reasons you would subscribe to this service is that you don't want to spend your time online finding new juices to try out. As we all know there are a lot of juices to choose from and you can't just go ordering at random either, cause there's a lot of bad ones around as well. So what you would normally do is read some reviews, ask around and go search for vendors that sell those juices. This all takes a bit of time, so ... if you're considering a subscription service I guess what you are looking for is someone to do all the work for you and just get some good new juices straight to your doorstep every month. I think Salivape has understood this. Going into their website, which is also very simple and easy to navigate, it takes you 3 clicks (one of them selecting your preferred nicotine strength) and you're already redirected to Paypal. Salivape, as far as I understand, sends the same 5 juices to all their subscribers every month. There are no choices to be made with regards to whether you prefer this or that. I bet some people won't like this as they want to avoid certain flavor types, but personally I like it. I've been trying out a lot of juices lately and I've found that I often get surprised when it comes to what works as an e-juice and what doesn't. I've liked some flavors that I really didn't think I would like (and would never have ordered ... like rum), and I've been disappointed in others that I've had high hopes for (like most chocolate flavors). Now, I talked to Salivape about this and they will in fact let you take out Tobacco or Menthol flavours if you contact them and ask for it, but you might miss out on some goodies if you do. Ultimately, this idea of letting Salivape make all the choices, save nicotine strength, for you will appeal to some people, and not so much to some others. It's all a matter of personal preference.

Another thing Salivape has done well is their packaging. I got a nice little package wrapped in brown
paper, with some rope nicely tied around it and even a wax seal with the Salivape logo. It looks kind of like a gift... just for me. Great way to make it feel a bit personal, but the best thing about it is that it's small enough and thin enough to fit in your mailbox, which means you won't get a notice to go pick it up at the post office. You do actually get it delivered to your doorstep, at least here in Norway.

Price wise I guess Salivape is not bad either. The subscription, which will give you five 10ml bottles of juice, will cost you £24.99 (in the UK) or €36.50 (rest of Europe) every month (except the first that is £19.99 or €29.20) including shipping. Around £5 pr. 10ml bottle shipping included is not at all a bad price, so you might even save some money. They also plan to start sending to the US but that's currently "coming soon".

So what about the juices I got then? Are they any good? Well, I've only had time to try one of them yet, and I'm not going to write a complete review of every one of them here, cause that's not the point of this review. But I can say that if the rest of the juices are as good as the one I've tried, which was Lemon Meringue Pie from Avant Garde, they've really got some good quality juices in there. An absolutely lovely juice that one. Reviews I've read of juices from the vendors Salivape works with also point in that direction. On their webpage they have listed Digby's, T-Juice, Bumblebee, Chefs Vapour, Generals Juices and Manabush and since I got a juice from Avant Garde I guess this list is growing as I write. The other juices this month were Black 'n' Blue from T-Juice, Twisted from Chefs Vapour, General Custard from Generals Juices and Hooligan from Digbys.

I must admit I do like this idea of subscribing to juice samples. I guess personally I wouldn't buy all my e-juice this way, cause I do have some favorites that I need to come back to. This is something I would do to get to try out new juices mainly, in addition to buying other places. So 50 ml a month is actually quite a good amount for me as it would make a nice mix of new juices and old favorites every month. As I said, I also like their simple approach and I love the packaging, so I'd say Salivape is a great option if you're looking for an e-juice subscription service. You can also cancel your subscription at anytime so it won't cost you much to try it out and see if you like it this way.

AspireAtlantis

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

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

If e-cigs were so damn dangerous, wouldn't they be gone by now?

Reading this article yesterday made me start thinking a bit. Titled "There's no evidence e-cigarettes are as harmful as smoking" this article by Linda Bauld (Professor of Health Policy at the University of Stirling and Deputy Director of the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies) is an answer to another article by Nash Riggins claiming the opposite, which of course is just pure non-sense, as Bauld points out. I couldn't agree more with what Bauld chooses to end her answer with:
These products are a disruptive technology and debates on their merits will continue. However, while it does, those who feel moved to comment should do some reading first.
I've said before, and it doesn't hurt to repeat it I guess.... If you really don't know enough about e-cigarettes and vaping by now, please leave the debate to someone who do. OK? In fact Riggins is even worse than those who claims they don't know enough yet... he fills in his blanks with stuff he just makes up to support his agenda.

Anyway, as I said, Bauld's article made me think a bit. There is no evidence e-cigarettes are as harmful as smoking. Actually there is not much evidence that e-cigarettes are harmful at all, is there? Despite the massive efforts from Big Pharma, some tobacco companies, governments, WHO, EU and tobacco control to get rid of the e-cigarettes, they haven't really managed to come up with much. Together these players have almost unlimited funds, and they have used a lot of time and money on this, but still they got... well not much really. There is of course the risk of exploding batteries and children getting poisoned from e-liquid left unattended. Those you can prove, but you can't really say e-cigarettes are responsible for these hazards. They are the results of irresponsible behaviour. Cellphones and computers also have exploding batteries, and your house is probably full of stuff that can kill your kids if they can get their hands on it and drink or eat it. If there are accidents with these phones, computers or household articles, we some times get debates on how to make these products safer, or how to avoid kids getting hold of them, but whenever it happens with something e-cig related, there are shout outs for bans. Why? In fact I think Dr. Farsalinos is the one that has come closest to showing some potential harm from e-cigarettes used how they are supposed to with his diacetyl study. There is a lot of research available, providing evidence that a lot of the fears presented by e-cigarette opponents are in fact nothing to be concerned about. Maybe it's not that strange? I mean that the people who are able to see the full potential of e-cigarettes as a technology that can put an end to the tobacco epidemic, are also the ones that are able to come up with the real potential harms. Because if there are potential harms, we should find them and eliminate them, making e-cigarettes as safe as possible. Banning or over-regulating e-cigarettes because we find some harmful substance in some e-liquid is madness. It would be like banning cars because someone makes one with malfunctioning seat-belts... instead of just making them put in proper seat-belts.

So why is then, that despite their efforts to find something that will kill the e-cig,  they haven't managed to do so in... what is it now ... like 7 years? Could it be that they are using their money on lobbying and making up theories instead of doing some real research? And if so, why are they doing that? Could it be that they have some common sense after all and have seen what the rest of us have... that there is no real cancer-risk, there is no gateway effect and most importantly: These products are a disruptive technology that works so well they can potentially threaten their income.

Think about it... if e-cigarettes really were causing cancer at the same rate as smoking, or if they were less effective than Big Pharma's NRTs... do you think they would try so hard to get rid of it? If the EU didn't really see the e-cigarettes potential to take over the nicotine market, why would they want to put sin taxes on them? Why do you think the tobacco companies are trying to enter the market and wipe out their competitors by lobbying for regulations favouring their version? Why is it that anti-smoking organizations are opposing this? Could it be that they see that these products can wipe out their basis for existence? And why is it, that despite their combined efforts and almost unlimited funds, neither of these guys have managed to come up with some real cause for concern in so much time? Maybe there is none? If e-cigs were so damn dangerous, wouldn't they be gone by now?

VaporVial Fivepawns photo credit: E-Cigarette/Electronic Cigarette/E-Cigs/E-Liquid/Vaping via photopin (license)

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Juice Review: Bullseye by Clutch Vapour

Before I started doing the reviews of the juices I got from Getvape I thought a nice way to introduce each one was to say something about the companies that have made the juices, like where they're from and so on. So what about Clutch then... well of course they are also from California. California is just one big e-juice factory now? Well... you guys probably knew this long before me, but (I probably should have started here) ... ehm ... http://buckshotvapors.com/. Makes sense :)

Bullseye
Tested on: Aspire Nautilus (1.8 ohm's, 15 watts)





"Delicious caramel cheesecake and vanilla graham cracker… extra caramel EVERYWHERE!" - This is how Clutch describe their Bullseye. Here's what that description made me think: This is a another juice that should be enjoyed with a cup of coffee, and might be a bit too sweet to be an all day vape. Was I right? Well, pretty much I'd say. Except I'm finding myself vaping more and more sweet juices all day. I think maybe it's the weather conditions over here right now. Wind, rain and snow mostly. Makes you want to stay indoors with a cozy vape. Actually I think cozy kind of describes this juice, if it's even possible to use that word about a taste. I think it is. Their own description of it is pretty good actually. I get cheesecake, I get vanilla and I get caramel. There is actually less caramel than I expected, which is a good thing. I've tried some caramel juices and I think caramel on its own in an e-juice tend to be to sweet and often sickening. In this juice it's there at all times, but so is the cheesecake, so it doesn't get overpowering and sickening. Along with the #32 I reviewed earlier, this one has also become a favourite with my morning coffee, and I usually put it down around lunch, picking it up again when the kids have gone to bed and it's sofa time.


GetVape

Disclosure:
  • 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 does not contain affiliate links.

Friday, 20 February 2015

First Norwegian E-juice hits the international market

That's right! It's now possible to buy Norwegian e-juice for people outside Norway as well, as Steamer Elixire was recently made available through cool-chili-vapors.com. I asked Roger, the guy responsible for this juice, a little about how he got into mixing and how his juices ended up on the international market.

To make a long story short (Roger sent me quite a detailed story) he discovered vaping through friends a little over a year ago, starting out like we all do with poor equipment and looking for juices that actually taste good. But unlike a lot of us, who are still trying out new juices after like ... 3 years now, Roger figured that the best way to get the juice the way he wanted was to make it himself. So back in February 2014 he started his quest to create a tobacco juice that actually tasted something like what he used to smoke. I don't really know Roger, but from the way he tells his story I get a feeling this is a guy who finishes whatever he starts. And I also guess that the months of dedicated research he then put in, talking to other juice-makers and reading online resources is what made him something of an e-juice oracle according to some of the members of the NDS facebook group.

Anyway, the quest ended up in a finished product, Mountain Smoke which is one of the juices now available through cool-chili-vapors.com. There is also another one, Foxy Lemon and according to Roger he's got quite a few others in the making.

Hopefully I'll be able to do a review for you guys pretty soon as well. Actually I think I have tried the Foxy Lemon already. A colleague wanted me to try out a juice that tasted like some candy we have here in Norway (not sure if it's sold in other countries) called Fox. Trying to work I didn't pay that much attention to where he said it came from (sorry), so I'm not 100% sure. But from what I remember the juice was good.

Congratulations on being the first Norwegian juice-maker to go all international on us, Roger. And good luck with your juice-making adventure. I'm looking forward to your Giraffe special blend :)
CosmicCharlieJimmy

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Juice Review: Lush by Nick's Blissful Brews

It's been a good while now since I first came across Nicks Blissful Brews. I first heard of it through the Vapepit forum back when Nick was mainly selling through forums. Back then I remember I got hold some of his Smoked Custard and did a review if it as well. The Smoked Custard was a great juice in my opinion so I had pretty high expectations for Lush as well.

Lush
Tested on: Kanger SubTank (RDA @ 0.4 ohm's, 20-25 watts)

Back when I was reviewing the Smoked Custard I wrote about his original ideas, and that he didn't just do versions of the popular flavour mixes but added his own touches, creating original blends not found elsewhere. With Lush however, he is doing a quite ordinary mix of Strawberries and cream. Now there is a reason this is a popular mix... these two flavours are really soulmates like it says in the description of this juice. In a way it is probably more demanding making a good juice when you're having a go at a pretty common taste combination, as it really needs to be perfectly balanced and you need to find the best available ingredients to make your juice better than the others, something I do believe is Nicks goal. So does he deliver? Hell yeah! This is simply the best Strawberries and cream juice I've tries. Well, actually I think it might be the only one that claims to be a strawberries and cream juice. I mean I've tried several strawberry juices that I've felt tasted like strawberries and cream(ish)... and maybe that is what makes Nicks version so damn good. This juice does not only have a great strawberry taste (a lot of other have that), but the cream in this juice is also fantastic, and Nick has really nailed the balance between them. A great juice that reminded me of something I had almost forgotten to do: Try out some more of Nicks juices.


GetVape

Disclosure:
  • 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 does not contain affiliate links.

Juice Review: C4 by Buckshot Vapour

Buckshot Vapour is also based in California, apparently focusing on fruit and berry flavours. All their juices, as far as I know, have some touch of fruit or berry, but some, like the one reviewed here, I'd also classify as a dessert vape.

C4
Tested on: Aspire Nautilus (1.8 ohm's, 15 watts)

C4 is described as blueberry shortcake drizzled in cream. I think blueberry is kind of a hard flavour to nail when it comes to e-liquid. A lot of the one's I've tried have tasted kind of artificial, more like blueberry candy than actual blueberry. The smell of the C4 however, is more natural than what I've tried before (with exceptions of course... like Scope's blueberry that is absolutely delicious). However, I did get that artificial feeling when I first vaped it. A bit disappointed to be honest, but after a while it started tasting more natural, and closer to Scope's, a juice often described as blueberry muffin. I'm not sure what made it taste artificial in the beginning, though. Might have been my brain playing tricks on me again (it does that) as I kind of expected it to taste a bit artificial, or it might have been me not able to clean my tank properly so there was some taste left from the previous juice in there that came into the mix and screwed it up a bit. But anyway, when it had been in the tank a while and I could taste it like it's supposed to taste, it is pretty damn good. Nice balance of berries, cake and cream. So would I buy this juice again... probably not actually. But that is just me, and it's mainly because I like Scope's better. That doesn't mean this is not good, cause it is, and I see a lot of people really love it. It's just a matter of personal taste I guess. I suggest you go get yourself a bottle of this and a bottle of Scope's blueberry and make up your own opinion. Who knows ... maybe you'll end up on with the opposite conclusion. Oh... one thing, be sure to vape both of those with a cup of coffee after dinner... I think that brings out the best in both of them.

GetVape

Disclosure:
  • 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 does not contain affiliate links.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

NCSCT embrace e-cigarettes

National Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training (NCSCT) in the UK are now officially recommending e-cigarettes as an aid to quit smoking. I'm really not sure when their new guidelines were released, but I started coming across this link yesterday: http://goo.gl/wuxNtb. As someone, somewhere (I can't find it right now, might have been tweeted), said yesterday: I almost fell of my chair when I read this. And as others have stated today: This is a huge leap in the right direction. Finally some common sense, and I'm really happy to see that NCSCT is living up to what they say they are: "committed to support the delivery of effective evidence-based tobacco control programmes and smoking cessation interventions provided by local stop smoking services". You probably noticed that I emphasized evidence-based. Some of the statements from the guidelines shows that they are serious about this as well:
There are currently no robust data to support the concern that the existence of electronic cigarettes might ‘normalise’ smoking and increase use of conventional cigarettes
Short-term exposure to electronic cigarettes appears to be associated with few serious risks. Mouth and throat irritation are the most commonly reported symptoms and these appear to subside over time. There are no high quality safety data regarding long-term electronic cigarette use but there is no a-priori reason to expect that such use may pose risks anywhere near the risks associated with smoking.
That's the way to do it. Not only do they base their guidelines on evidence, but as you can see in the last one I pasted above, they are using common sense as well. Let's hope this can be an eyeopener for some politicians and policymakers. Good work NCSCT!

VaporVial Fivepawns

Monday, 16 February 2015

Juice Review: #32 by Beard Vape Co.

Like the Time Bomb Vapor that was just up for review with their Joker, Beard Vape Co also originates from California. For some reason they've chosen to just put a number on all the juices in their range. It looks like they are focusing on creamy, sweet dessert vapes, and it looks like they're quite good at it based on the reviews they get around the web. My choice was #32... cause I like cinnamon...

#32
Tested on: Hellfire Dripper (around 0.4 ohm's, 20-25 watts)



#32 is supposed to taste Cinnamon Funnel cake. Now I haven't really tasted Cinnamon Funnel cake myself, so I had to check with google a bit, so I at least could see if it looks any good. Turns out it usually looks like kind of like a human brain (with some white stuff on it): http://goo.gl/MmQosq Anyway... smelling the juice, it smells quite familiar, it smells to me like cinnamon rolls. Not very strong smell actually so I was a bit concerned that this wouldn't taste a lot either... but then I tried vaping it. This juice really tastes a lot. And it brings forth some memories from my younger days when I used to go snowboarding a lot. In the cafe at the skiing-resort closest to where I live (like 30 minutes by bus) they used to have these huge cinnamon rolls covered in so much icing they were impossible to eat without... well getting covered in icing yourself. I've been there lately as well, but now they've gotten greedy and the cinnamon rolls are like half the size and with just some drops of icing. Damn, I've missed those cinnamon rolls... but now I can at least have them in e-juice form. Cause that is what #32 tastes like to me (who has never really tried cinnamon funnel cake, remember): huge sweet hot cinnamon rolls covered in icing. And yes... it tastes huge as well. Lot's of flavor, which goes incredibly well with your morning coffee. It has become part of my morning ritual when I come in from the cold after walking to work in the morning. Hot cup of coffee, and then fire up the dripper with #32. Only problem is that I've found myself doubling my intake of coffee at work lately. Definitely one of the best new juices I've tried lately, and one I'll have to get some more of to keep me going through this winter. Top stuff from Beard Vape Co, looking forward to see if their other juices keeps up to this standard.


GetVape

Disclosure:
  • 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 does not contain affiliate links.

Juice Review: Joker by Time Bomb Vapors

GetVape.co.uk is a pretty new vendor based around the idea of offering a cheap way for us Europeans to try out premium US E-liquid. They say you'll a 55% discount on retail prices. I've checked a bit around and this doesn't mean it's 55% cheaper than anywhere else, but still they are offering very nice prices. They sell everything at the same price; £4.99 for a 15ml bottle, no matter what strength you order. Currently they stock 9 different brands, and I'm going to review 5 of the juice here, starting ... right now with Joker by Time Bomb Vapors.

Joker
Tested on: Kanger Subtank (RDA at 0.4 ohm's, 20-25 watts)




The reason I chose to start with this juice when I got the package from getvape was quite simply the look of it. I really looks tempting, coloured exactly like you'd expect a blueberry/raspberry mix to be coloured. Opening the bottle just adds to this, as it smells quite strongly of ... well raspberries and blueberries. Actually the raspberry smell is quite dominant when it comes to the smell, and I probably wouldn't have noticed the blueberries if I hadn't read the description already. So by the looks and smell of this juice, I expected it to taste really fruity... but I also hoped it wouldn't taste just fruity. Some of these berry juices that I've tried have just tasted like fruit candy, with no specific fruit coming forth. The Joker on the other hand, tastes very clearly of raspberries, with some blueberries in there as well. To me the raspberries are the dominant flavor, but that doesn't mean the blueberries are not important. They are playing the important role of making this juice more interesting and not just another raspberry juice.

On the subtank I got a lot of delicious flavor from this juice. It's not too sweet, and got that really fresh smoothie feeling about it. As I said it really tastes of raspberries and blueberries... and in my opinion just that. It's not like with some juices where you wonder what they might have put in there, so I don't really need to elaborate any more on the flavor other than that I think the combination of berries works really well, and I think they've found the right balance and sweetness. Again, there are no big surprises here. The color, smell and taste of this juice is pretty much everything you'd expect from a juice they describe as "expertly blended blueberries and raspberries". Definitely a juice you should consider trying out if your into berries.

GetVape

Disclosure:
  • 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 does not contain affiliate links.

Friday, 13 February 2015

Plain packaging in Norway: Goverment party says NO!

On Tuesday I wrote about the Norwegian Health ministers' proposal to introduce plain packaging here in Norway, and the other government party, FRP, said then that they had not taken a position to the proposal yet. Now they have... and it's a straight forward one as well (in Norwegian, hope google translate does a decent job): They refuse to accept it, as it goes against their decided party politics which states the following:
We recognize that excessive use of tobacco and alcohol can lead to serious health problems and are in favor of public information about adverse effects. We will still oppose bureaucratic measures that aim to prevent adults from enjoying legal products. Progress Party believes it should be allowed to promote any products that can be legally sold in Norway.
So apparently there will be no trade done like suggested on Tuesday, when one member of FRP stated that legalizing e-cigarettes would be a demand from FRP if they were to support plain packaging.

This does not mean that we won't see e-cigarettes legalized after all. In the article I linked above it says that Høyre, Health minister Bent Høie's party, also want to make e-cigarettes legal. Reading the rest of the article though, it does not seem like this is something the party as a whole have gone public with yet, like FRP has done. However Sveinung Stensland from Høyre (who is also a menber of the healthcare committee) says he gives his full support to FRP in this matter. Being a pharmacist as well, Stenslands position on this should weigh pretty heavy when Høyre decides on their official position. He even goes far in saying this should have been done long time ago.

It actually looks we are closer to a repeal of the e-cig sales ban here in Norway than ever before. But if this is going to happen the government parties needs support from some of the other parties as well as they are a minority government. None of their closest cooperation parties have taken a stand yet as far as I know. Then there is a question of what they actually mean by making it legal for sale. How will it be regulated and taxed?

I'm really not sure how this will end, but I feel slightly optimistic today :) At least vaping and e-cigarettes have gotten quite a lot of media coverage lately, and it's not junk science and scaremongering. For example Dagens Næringsliv, which I think is the biggest financial newspaper here in Norway, had a pretty long well balanced article yesterday, with positive statements from both SIRUS (The Norwegian Institute for Alcohol and Drug Research) and members of NDS (Norwegian union of vapers). SIRUS also recently published a new report (an anthology actually) on e-cigarettes entitled "What significance do electronic cigarettes have?", where they debunk the gateway theory, criticize junk science and kind of concludes that e-cigarettes will be hugely positive for public health. In addition to this I know that a lot of Norwegian vapers are now mobilizing and planning how to get the truth out to the public via the media.

So things are looking better here in Norway at the moment. Hopefully this positive trend will continue, so more smokers in this country will have the opportunity to experience what we vapers already have. They are the ones we're fighting for here.

CosmicCharlieVapingBirdy

Thursday, 12 February 2015

The latest lies from WHO

Yesterday the WHO released an article (or something like that) entitled “What everyone needs to know about e-cigarettes”. This represents a new all time low from the WHO, and from the looks of it, their friends in the pharmaceutical industry. It is quite amazing that they have managed to get so much misinterpreted evidence, ignorance, contradictions and straight out lies in such a short article. So what's wrong with it? Well... to be honest, practically every single last bit of it is wrong. I'll break it down for you and comment on each paragraph:

What are e-cigarettes (electronic cigarettes), and how do they work?

E-cigarettes are products designed to deliver nicotine or other substances to a user as an aerosol. Using e-cigarettes simulates smoking cigarettes without burning tobacco.
Typically, e-cigarettes are composed of a unit powered by a rechargeable battery, a replaceable cartridge containing liquid and an electronic atomizer that, when heated, converts the contents of the cartridge into an aerosol that the user can then inhale. The liquid contains four main ingredients: propylene glycol and/or glycerine as a base for producing the aerosol, flavours and optional nicotine.

E-cigarettes are often shaped to look like their conventional tobacco counterparts (e.g. cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos, pipes or hookahs). Some are made to look like everyday items such as pens or USB memory sticks, or produced as larger cylindrical or rectangular objects.
They almost know what an e-cigarette is... but amazingly they managed to start out the whole thing with a lie. E-cigarettes are not designed to deliver other substances than nicotine. What they are trying to get people to believe is that e-cigs are designed to deliver other drugs as well. They can be used to deliver other drugs... but they are not designed with that in mind. That is like saying cars are designed to be means of transportation ... and murder. Cause it can easily be used to run over and kill pedestrians. It's an idiotic thing to write and they only do it to demonize vaping by connecting it to drug abuse. By this logic a plastic coke bottle, an apple, tin foil, shoe-boxes, asthma inhalers and even bibles are things designed to consume drugs (http://www.oocities.org/groda_lotsapot/bongs/dispbongs.html).

So e-cigarettes contain nicotine?

Yes, most of them contain nicotine, an addictive drug. E-cigarettes contain and deliver varying levels of nicotine, some of which can be similar to levels in cigarettes.
Congratulations, you got something right. But of course not everything. Actually it's the e-juice that contain nicotine and one e-cigarette can be used with both nicotine and non-nicotine e-juice. When it comes to nicotine being an addictive drug... well I know most people accept this as the truth... but what about the medical expertise? Have a look at these two posts:

What exactly am I inhaling when I use e-cigarettes?

About 500 e-cigarette brands are available today, but only a few have been analysed. A lack of knowledge about the contents of the inhaled mixture is linked to the problem of quality standards. Nevertheless, sufficient evidence shows that e-cigarettes’ aerosol is not just a water vapour, as the industry usually claims. The literature shows a great variety in the levels of the toxicants and nicotine produced by e-cigarettes.
The aerosol usually contains cancer-causing compounds (such as formaldehyde), but at levels 1–2 orders of magnitude lower than those in tobacco smoke. E-cigarettes are therefore likely to be less toxic than conventional cigarettes. Nevertheless, the levels of carcinogenic agents in some of the analysed brands are as high as those in the smoke produced by some cigarettes.
In addition, user behaviour – length of puffs, depth of inhalation and frequency of use – may affect nicotine absorption. Some users modify e-cigarettes at home to alter the delivery of nicotine and/or other drugs. Products vary widely in the ease with which they can be modified or filled with substances other than nicotine solutions.
First of all, no one in the industry claims that e-cigs aerosol is just water vapor. Again, a lie placed there to demonize the industry. Then there is the levels of toxicants. Here they're not straight out lying... the literature shows a great variety, but what they fail to mention (of course) is that the vast majority of the levels measured varies from zero to microscopic compared to cigarette smoke. "The aerosol usually contains cancer-causing compounds (such as formaldehyde)" - and we're back to lying again. This is simply not true. Some flawed studies found formaldehyde when using an e-cig. Even the authors of this study admits this is not what the aerosol usually contains. And in the next sentence the WHO even explains why... the user can control their use and who in their right mind would use it in a way that would taste like shit and cause them harm? And of course they manage to end the paragraph with some more demonizing crap about modding e-cigs for drug abuse. Lets ban plastic bottles cause they can be used to do drugs shall we?

Are e-cigarettes safer to use than cigarettes and other tobacco products?

No, using e-cigarettes carries some health risks.
These devices have become popular over the last 4–5 years. Little is known about the impact of e-cigarettes on health. As they contain fewer toxicants at lower levels than conventional cigarettes, e-cigarettes are likely to be less toxic. Nobody knows, however, how much less toxic they are.
Nevertheless, nicotine can affect brain development in fetuses and in adolescents, may contribute to cardiovascular diseases and may promote tumours, playing a role in malignant diseases. In addition, reports from both the United Kingdom and the United States of America indicate that the incidence of nicotine poisoning has risen significantly as the use of e-cigarettes has increased.
Further, there is evidence of health risks from the toxicants in e-cigarettes’ aerosol. While long-term effects, such as links to cancer and other diseases, will not be known conclusively for some years, enough evidence indicates that these toxins are of concern for pregnant women who either use or are exposed to e-cigarettes.
So... in one paragraph they say that e-cigarette aerosol "contains cancer-causing compounds (such as formaldehyde), but at levels 1–2 orders of magnitude lower than those in tobacco smoke." Then they say it's as harmful as smoking tobacco? What is this? An attempt to keep people smoking? Even the most stubborn anti-e-cig advocates I've seen asked about this admit that e-cigs are safer than tobacco cigarettes. There are other things, like the gateway theory (we'll get to that further down), that concerns them. But saying that e-cigarettes are not safer (by denying that they are safer like the WHO does here) is again, lying. Try to find a medical professional that is willing to publicly claim that e-cigarette aerosol is as dangerous as tobacco smoke. You won't find any. The WHO knows this very well... so they haven't even bothered trying. As for the rest of the paragraph... they are focusing on harm to people that everyone, the users, the industry, commentators and e-cig advocates agree that should not use nicotine (like fetuses for example). To finish of they are trying to make us believe in a thing they call second-hand vaping, for which there are NO SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER! In 4-5 years with all the money big pharma and the WHO has used to try and find such evidence, the fact that they haven't been able to is a VERY STRONG indication this in fact does not exist.

What are the health risks of using e-cigarettes?

According to WHO’s 2014 report, “Electronic nicotine delivery systems”, the main health risks from e-cigarette use come from the inhaling of nicotine and other toxic emissions from these products, either directly or second-hand.

  1. Nicotine is the addictive component of tobacco. It can have adverse effects during pregnancy and may contribute to cardiovascular diseases. Although nicotine itself is not a carcinogen, it may function as a tumour promoter. Nicotine seems to be involved in fundamental aspects of the biology of malignant diseases, as well as of neurodegeneration. In addition, fetal and adolescent nicotine exposure can have long-term consequences for brain development. In addition to inhalation, the main health risk from nicotine exposure is overdose by ingestion or through skin contact. Users fill e-cigarettes’ containers themselves, so they, not the manufacturers, set the levels of nicotine. Nicotine poisoning can result from the liquid’s accidentally coming into contact with users’ skin or ingestion by children. The United States and the United Kingdom have already seen a tremendous increase in reported nicotine poisoning, often involving children.
  2. Although e-cigarettes are likely to be less toxic than conventional cigarettes, they produce more than just water vapour. They contain some cancer-causing agents, such as formaldehyde, which in some brands reach concentrations close to those of some conventional cigarettes. E-cigarettes’ impact on health has not yet been determined.
  3. Finally, the use of e-cigarettes increases the level of nicotine and particulate matter (PM) in the air. There is no safe level of exposure to PM for bystanders, and the health risk multiplies with increasing concentrations.
In summary, the existing evidence shows that e-cigarette use poses serious threats to adolescents and fetuses, and increases exposure of nonsmokers and bystanders to nicotine and a number of toxicants. Nevertheless, the reduced exposure to toxicants of well regulated e-cigarettes, used by established adult smokers as a complete substitution for cigarettes, is likely to be less toxic for the smokers than conventional cigarettes or other combusted tobacco products. The amount of risk reduction, however, is unknown.
This shows how outdated the WHO is. It has been proven that nicotine in itself (without other substances in tobacco) is not very addictive. I notice they also drag the children into this, that of course will drink e-juice and die. Here's a list of other common ways for children to die: http://www.poison.org/prevent/common.asp. This is just a matter of irresponsible parents, like with all the other dangerous products we keep in our houses.

To really make this scary enough for big pharmas taste, add some second-hand vaping (which does not exist) and particulate matter (which is also a fabricated issue).

Can I be addicted to e-cigarettes?

E-cigarettes may carry a risk of addiction to nicotine and tobacco products among young people and nonsmokers. They may promote delaying of quitting smoking, or deter quitting.
As I said above, nicotine in itself is not very addictive, and even if it was, that wouldn't mean it would make you addicted to tobacco while you're at it. There is just no plausible explanation to why this should happen. Why the hell would e-cigarettes, a product designed to help people quit smoking, promote or delay quitting? The only explanation I can find for this is that the WHO simply don't count switching to e-cigs as quitting. Let's see ... how should I put this ... VAPING AND SMOKING IS NOT THE SAME THING!

Does WHO say e-cigarettes are helpful or harmful?

Sufficient evidence shows that e-cigarettes are hazardous to young people, pregnant women and people who do not use nicotine. At the same time, e-cigarettes are likely to be less toxic than cigarettes for adult smokers if product content is well regulated and if the smokers use them as a complete substitution for cigarettes. The latter would mean that e-cigarettes would have to be relatively effective as a quitting aid, which there is not yet enough evidence to prove.
For all these reasons, WHO can neither dismiss nor accept the use of e-cigarettes globally without further evidence, and regulation is necessary in the meantime both to protect the public from any potential ill effects and to ensure that these products do not contribute to the tobacco epidemic.
So, e-cigarettes are less toxic than cigarettes then? And if people start using them as complete substitutes for cigarettes you say that would mean they are relatively effective quitting aids? But you lack evidence of this happening? Well.... I'm your evidence, my colleagues are evidence, some of my friends are evidence, my wife is evidence... in fact several million people have done this. How many million people have to do this before you acknowledge it as evidence?

Can e-cigarettes help me quit smoking?

For now the evidence is inconclusive. Given the uncertainty about e-cigarettes’ safety and effectiveness as an aid to quitting, rigorous study is needed by independent research organizations that are not affiliated with the e-cigarette or tobacco industry. In coming years, a solid body of evidence is expected to be built that will allow a definitive conclusion to be drawn.
At present, no governmental agency has yet evaluated and approved an e-cigarette product for smoking cessation, although the United Kingdom’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency is reviewing some products.
Before considering e-cigarettes as a potential cessation aid, smokers should be encouraged to use a combination of already approved treatments. Nevertheless, experts suggest that appropriately regulated e-cigarettes may have a role to play in supporting some smokers who have failed cessation treatment, been intolerant to it or have refused to use conventional medication.
Again... millions of people is not enough? Seriously... there must be some reason you refuse to see this right? Oh...

What products should I use to quit smoking?

For adults, WHO recommends licensed forms of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT): a therapeutic nicotine-delivery device produced under strict medical regulations for completely quitting smoking, with clear instructions on dosage, duration and methods of use. NRT (such as nicotine gum and the nicotine patch) delivers nicotine through skin or the lining of the mouth, and at lower levels and a much slower rate than smoking, which involves inhaling nicotine into the lung.
While the nicotine in e-cigarettes does not pose additional health risks for adult smokers, the evidence for the devices’ effectiveness as a method of quitting is limited and requires further research.
....you rather want people to quit by using the NRTs that your friends in Big Pharma makes and earns a lot of money by selling, even if they don't work? But don't these also contain the same nicotine that will get you addicted to tobacco? You can't explain? Well I don't blame you...

Does using e-cigarettes harm other people?

No studies currently link the exhaled aerosol from e-cigarettes to specific diseases, but it contains nicotine and particulate matter (PM): the tiny particles to which some toxicants are attached. In addition, when a user exhales this aerosol into indoor air, the background level of PM and nicotine rises.
The inhalation of nicotine by nonsmokers, adolescents and pregnant women not only leads to addiction but has also been linked to some cardiovascular problems in adults. In addition, fetal and adolescent nicotine exposure can have long-term consequences for brain development.
WHO has long maintained that there is no safe level of PM, so levels should be minimized as far as possible, regardless of their source.
Ugh... see above... 

Is e-cigarette use a gateway to smoking for young people?

As young people account for a growing proportion of e-cigarette users, antitobacco experts are concerned that e-cigarette use can serve as a gateway for them to nicotine addiction and ultimately smoking. The literature shows that experimentation with e-cigarettes among adolescents doubled in 2008–2012. One of the presumed reasons for this can be the great variety of flavours of e-cigarettes (up to 8000 are available), including flavours like those of fruit, candy and alcoholic drinks. These could entice young people to experiment with e-cigarettes and then become addicted to nicotine.

The gateway theory seems to be one hell of a floater. No matter how many times we flush it down the toilet it keeps on coming back. Further up we established that WHO needs millions of people to do something to call it evidence for it happening regularly. Well... they haven't found a single smoker that started out vaping. Not one... zero. Nada! Until they do, you can safely dismiss this last paragraph as pure and utter bullshit, by the logic of the WHO. The gateway theory, if valid would in fact be very easy to prove... you just have to show that people start vaping and move on to smoking tobacco. Easy as that. So why can't you? Cause it's just not happening!

VaporVial Fivepawns

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Review: Smok XPro M50

Denne anmeldelsen er også tilgjengelig på norsk.

A week ago I was going on a business trip to Oslo where the company I work for was throwing a huge "kick-off" party (which they do every year). This meant getting on a plane and I had to wear a suit to the party, both something that meant I had to put some thought into what kind of vaping equipment to bring. Lately I've been using mostly my SubTank and Nautilus when I've been out and about, simply because they are easy to fill, easy to change heads on and they're not leaking even if I put them upside down, so they would be the perfect tanks to bring along. But... I've been using them with my Sigelei 100W and now I figured this would be a bit to big and heavy to bring along, especially since I was forced to wear a suit to the party as well, meaning ... limited pocket space. I needed something a bit lighter and smaller and with at least 30W of power, since I mostly run the SubTank at 25W. It was only one day left until departure and I was wondering how the hell I was going to get a new device in such short time. But luckily we have our own local vapeshop where I live now, so I got in touch with Birger who runs dampoteket.no. I was actually looking to get an iStick 30W but Birger had just gotten an upgraded version of the Smok XPro M50 and suggested that I tried that. Since Dampoteket is located only like a 20 minute drive from where I live, I actually ended up trying out the XPro the night before departure... happy giraffe.

Some specifications:
  • Aluminum box
  • LED display that shows how much battery is left, resistance, watts and volts
  • Charging Protected
  • Short-circuit protected
  • 510 link
  • Pass Through
  • 65W
  • Fires atomizers with resistance between 0.2 and 4.0 ohms
  • Size: 85x38x22 mm
  • Runs on one 18650 battery (NB not supplied, and you should use a proper battery that can withstand at least 20A output, for example Sony VTC4 or VTC5).
 
As I said this is an upgraded version of the XPro M50. The
most noteworthy upgrades are of course is that it now can go up to 65W, but also the Pass Through functionality, which means you can use it while charging. Very handy when you are on the PC.

In the box:

  • The mod itself
  • Manual (in English)
  • Charging cable
  • 4 extra screws (one must unscrew the bottom to put in the battery)
  • A 510 to Ego adapter
  • A Allen key
Design and looks:
XPro M50/65 actually looks pretty good. From the looks of it it comes in a lot of different colors. I got the black version and to be completely honest, I think it looks best in black. Simple and elegant, with only a small logo on each side.


In use:
Part of the reason that I got in touch with dampoteket in the first place was that I wanted a smaller and lighter regulated mod. And that was exactly what I got. XPro50/65 is not really much bigger than it needs to be to accommodate the electronics and 18650 battery. When it comes to performance it simply delivers what it is asked to deliver ... up to 65W of course. However the mod will reduce power when the battery starts to drain. At 50-60% battery you're only able to run around 40W and then further down to around 25W at 20% battery. The way I've used it it's not a problem, but this might be an issue for some people who wants a mod that can run 65W all the way. So it might not be for everyone, but if you're planning to use it for the Nautilus, Atlantis, Sub-tank or any tank that thrives at around 25W this won't be a problem. I've not tried it with any atomizers with resistances outside the spec, but I've been down to 0.3 Ohms and it runs just fine.

Setting the watts is pretty straight forward. When you hold the + or - it starts counting up or down quite slowly, but increase the pace gradually. But it never goes so fast that it is difficult to stop where you had intended to stop. It also has an option to run in "Mech mode", just outputting whatever voltage your battery is at. When you're in this mode the mod will display how many watts you're vaping on. To put it in this mode you'll have to enter the menu by clicking the fire button 3 times. In the menu there is also an option to turn the mod completely off. You can also lock the mod so it doesn't fire in your pocket by clicking the fire button 5 times quickly. To unlock, or turn the mod on if it's off, 5 clicks on fire is also the way to go. Works really quite well once you get used to it.

As I said the I really like the pass through functionality. The USB port, however, is located on the bottom side of the box, which is a little inconvenient since you can't let the mod stand upright while charging. Then again, if you use a tank that can lay on the side without leaking this really isn't a big deal. The supplied charging cable could also have been a little longer, but not a big problem either. It's a standard micro-USB connection so it is possible to buy a longer cable if you wish.




Conclusion:
Smok XPro M65 is a quite small, yet very powerful box mod. Pricewise it's slightly above the iStick 30W, but in return you get twice as many watts. It's an ideal companion for tanks like Kanger SubTank or Aspire Atlantis. It's small and light considering how many watts it delivers and certainly worth the money. For my Norwegian readers, dampoteket offers this at around 598 NOKs, shipping included. I don't think dampoteket.no ships outside Norway, but the it's not very hard to find a shop that will sell you one. Thanks to Birger at dampoteket.no who saved my trip to Oslo.


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

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

The cost of plain packaging in Norway: Make e-cigs legal

Yesterday one of the big stories in Norwegian media was that our health minister, Bent Høie, wants to introduce plain packaging here in Norway. He is on a mission to get people to quit smoking and to stop young people from starting so his plan is to make the cigarette and snus packaging as ugly as possible. As many of you know, snus is legal in Norway and Sweden, but even though it has been given credit for Swedens record low cancer rates, Høie is also going after the snus-boxes and wants them to be ugly as well. Kind of weird when he states this on a press conference with the Norwegian Cancer Society (http://goo.gl/CHHx5e):
Many have replaced smoking with snus. That means that a lot of young people are starting to use tobacco, says Bent Høie, that also states that using snus is less harmful than smoking, adding that 20 percent of young girls is unable to quit when they get pregnant.
As I've emphasized above it's clear that Høie has not quite understood the concept of harm reduction.

However, it might seem that Høies crusade to introduce plain packaging has sparked up the e-cigarette debate again here in Norway. Harald Tom Nesvik from Frp, which is the other party in Norways government (in addition to Høie's party Høyre) said this to one of Norway's biggest newspapers yesterday:
Frp has not yet taken a position to the Health minister's proposal, we will do that later in a group meeting. Personally I think it is pretty intrusive in the trading of an after all legal product. But as a minimum for supporting this, it has to become legal to sell e-cigarettes in Norway.
So what does that mean? Well, it means that if Nesvik's statements becomes Frp's position on this matter, and if Høie wants Frp's support for plain packaging (which he needs to make it happen) he will have to make e-cigarettes, with nicotine, legal for sale here in Norway. Well that is kind of a surprising turn of events. It's still very unclear though, what Frp actually mean by repealing the sales ban. They are talking about making it legal as a smoking cessation product, whatever that might mean. And they still need the support of other parties, so as of now it is quite unclear what this will lead to. But at least the debate is in the media again. In an editorial in the same newspaper, VG, they make it very clear what their position on the matter is, which is very positive as this is one, if not the biggest newspaper here and winning the media is the key to winning this battle:
It had been far more appropriate to devote time and resources to help those who want to quit by easing rules for the trading of e-cigarettes.
Now I want to finish this post by making it clear that I by no means support the government parties, Høyre and Frp, and I would never vote for them even if they would make vaping legal in a wisely regulated form overnight. There are a lot of more important cases than vaping, and these parties are also the ones responsible for sending a lot of families with children out of the safety here in Norway and back to an uncertain future in countries ravaged by war. I'm not going to go into a long political rant here, but their efforts to wipe out everything that has made Norway one of the safest and best countries to live in is by no means something I'd support... ever. But still, the current situation is that they are the government parties right now, and if they repeal the ban on e-cigarette sales, it's better than if they didn't, even if I would much rather have seen it done by another political party.

CosmicCharlieVapingBirdy

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Losing income from sin taxes shouldn't be a problem

I think I'll start with the conclusion of this post right here at the beginning for a change: If it's a problem for a government that they loose income from a so-called sin tax, it's not actually a sin tax. When I say sin tax I mean taxes designed to make people stop doing something that is bad for themselves, the people around them, the environment and so on. In other words... it's supposed to discourage people from doing something we don't want them to. So if you start losing income from a sin tax, you should be happy with that, and not desperate to find something else to tax like some politicians apparently are right now. Because losing income from a sin tax should mean that you are gaining somewhere else. Take tobacco taxes for example: If people stop smoking, whatever you loose in taxes should be more than made up for by the benefits of having a smoke free and thereby a lot healthier population: Health care expenses would be lower, people will be able to work more and generate more income taxes ... and so on. If this is not the case in your country, your government is a bunch of incompetent fools. Simple as that. If it is the case in your country, and the government still wants to cover the losses from a sin tax by taxing, well the e-cigarettes that are in part responsible for their so called losses, then they are equally stupid... or just greedy.

Some countries have made themselves dependent on sin taxes, other have not. I wrote a post on this almost a year ago. Back then I found that the US and Norway (hopefully among others) are not dependent on tobacco taxes, and should in fact, from a pure economic perspective, welcome anything that will stop people from smoking. So California Senator Mark Leno (from the Forbes article I linked to further up) is either stupid enough to not see this, or greedy. In any case he's lying when he proclaims this, cause this is definitely not the real reason he wants to tax e-cigarettes:
“We’re going to see hundreds of thousands of family members and friends die from e-cigarettes use just like we did from traditional tobacco use”
The UK on the other hand... are in deep shit in this matter. They messed up and need to find a way to make up for their losses, but taxing e-cigarettes (or anything else that can get people to stop smoking) will only get them deeper into the shit. It might "solve" their problem in the short term, but it will be like peeing in their pants when freezing...

NicksFrisco
photo credit: E-Cigarette/Electronic Cigarette/E-Cigs/E-Liquid/Vaping via photopin (license)