Saturday, 27 February 2016

Worth reading this weekend (Feb. 27th 2016)

I promised I'd tried to post some good weekend reading whenever I had the time to do it. So here it goes :)

  • Earlier this week Karl Erik Lund made me aware of the new guidelines on Electronic Cigarettes released by NCSCT. There is a lot of goodies in there and both Clive Bates and Dick Puddlecote have published some good posts on the subject. Actually, if you start following the links in there you'll have a great deal to read this weekend.
  • I also enjoyed reading Dick Puddlecotes post on what a great success plain packaging had been in Australia. Politicians...gotta love them right?
  • "Public health" would like everyone to believe that e-cigarettes and vaping is a conspiracy put together by Big Tobacco to ... uhm ... put themselves out of business? Christopher Snowdon writes about a great example of this madness here: Mad versus Madder. Well worth reading.
Have a nice weekend!

Vapour UK

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Review: Smok Guardian III Kit (A blogger gets a PIPE, hell yeah!)

At work I have quite a lot of co-workers with strong opinions on almost anything ... or anyone for that matter. I usually do quite a lot of my testing at work the reactions when I brought my new e-pipe wasn't few. Some think it's only for old men, others think it's the shit. The guy sitting next to me (long time colleague and friend I'd say) have been asking me when I'd get a pipe since I started vaping so even if he's not a vaper himself he was quite exited about this.  Actually most reactions have been positive although some think I need to change my appearance to justify having a pipe, mainly by growing a proper full beard (preferably grey or even white but I guess that'll come soon anyway) and buy a new hat like the one on the old Fisherman's Friend boxes.

Norwegians... I don't
think I need to translate
this?

Anyway, I think e-pipes are cool, so screw anyone who says otherwise. I have been looking for the right one though, as I would prefer it was regulated and kind of looking like a proper pipe. Yeah, I know, SMOK already had the Guardian II which I think looks pretty cool, but it's only 15W, which is just not enough for the builds and tanks I usually use. So when I saw the picture of the Guardian III posted by Espen at dampshop.no on Facebook, I asked him a bit about it and he offered to send me the full kit, which is the pipe paired up with a TFV4 Micro tank, for review. As you probably have understood by now, my hopes for this one was quite high, especially since I had already tried the TFV4 Mini which was pretty great to be honest. Did it meet my expectations then? Let's see... oh, almost forgot before we start. You might be wondering about the title of this review... well the reason you can see on the left. I asked Espen for a banner to go with the review and this was what I got back :)

In the box

The full Guardian III kit consist of a Guardian III e-pipe and a TFV4 Micro tank as I said. It comes in the same kind of box I'm used to from SMOK, a clean black box with their logo in silver on it. It has the usual cardboard wrap around when you get it, you know the one that's a real pain to slide off the first time (unless you just want to rip it off that is). On this cardboard wrap there's some instructions, a list of what's in the box, but most importantly, a couple of bar-codes that leads to either App Store or Google Play where you can download the "Smart BEC"-app. More on that further down. So here's the content list:
  • Guardian Pipe III Mod (75W)
  • Micro TFV4 Plus Tank
  • 0.3 Ohm Micro Fused Clapton Dual Coil (installed in the tank)
  • 0.25 Ohm Micro Stainless Steel Dual Coil
  • Replacement XL Glass Tube (for making the tank slightly less micro)
  • Tank extension adapter
  • SMOK vape band
  • eGo-USB Charging cable
  • Micro USB-USB Upgrading cable
  • Use Manual
  • Spare parts (actually I can't really find them just now, but I'm pretty sure I saw some o-rings and stuff when I opened the box, probably lost in my mess)
Specifications
Guardian Pipe III:
  • Size: 101.8x59.1x46.3 mm (How the hell do they measure that?)
  • Weight: ~119g
  • Output Power: 1W - 75W
  • Output Voltage: 0.7V - 9V
  • Resistance Range: 0.06Ω - 2.0Ω (Temp mode), 0.1Ω - 3.0Ω (Watt mode)
  • Temp. Control range: 200°F - 600°F / 100°C - 315°C
  • Material: Polycarbonite / ABS Alloy (PC/ABS) (Yeah, I don't know what that is either)
Micro TFV4 Plus:
  • Material: Glass & Stainless Steel
  • Weight: 69g
  • Dimensions: 24.5mm x 51mm
  • Treads: 510
  • Capacity: 3.5ml / 5.5ml (if you use the spare XL tank stuff)
Look and feel


Looks kind of cool with the black aromamizer
as well :)
As I said earlier, the looks of this thing has been up for discussion at work. But again, I don't care what people say, I think it looks awesome. Of course this is a matter of personal opinion, so I'll leave that up for you to decide based on a couple of pictures. It does however feel quite well built. Being made from polycarbonate it's not that heavy actually, but when you get the battery in there it's heavy enough to give it that quality feeling. Cause it does feel quite well built. The button could be a bit tighter, but the part I was a bit sceptical about before I got it was the battery lid. I don't know why but I thought it would slide in place in some way and start looking cheap after a while, but it's actually held in place by two really strong magnets and is quite a perfect fit so it doesn't look cheap at all. Happy giraffe. All in all I think it looks awesome and I am actually growing a beard and considering buying one of those hats to go with it.


In use

The box it came in doubles
as a pipe stand ...
for now :)
Button hidden by thumb
This kit can be used in a lot of different ways, you don't even need to use it as a kit of course. So I haven't really tried out all of it's features. It supports temperature control with Stainless Steel, Nickel and Titanium as well as adjusting the TCR (Temperature Coefficient of Resitance) which means you can use any wire whose resistance increases linearly and significantly as it heats (something I've never tried). I've only tested the included Stainless Steal head when it comes to temp. control. There is also an RDA head for the tank, which I of course had to order, but I haven't had the time to try that one either. Basically, if I was to test all the possible features of this kit it would take... well quite a while.

Anyway, to start things off, some words about how to operate the mod. It has got only one button, which means it is a bit slow to do changes. Basically, 5 clicks will turn the mod on, then 3 clicks will get you to the menu, 5 clicks will lock the mod. Then one click will get you to the next menu-item, and to select an item you just wait until the screen changes. This is kind of slow as I said, and I was a bit annoyed in the beginning. But... this is not the kind of mod you'd do a lot of changes too. So in less than a week I don't even mind any more. Or rather I've realized that when I'm done testing this thing I'm not going to mind it. Cause what you'd probably end up doing with this mod is that you find your favourite setting, and enjoy. Actually that is the case for most of my mods. I do adjustments of course, but that is mainly when I change tanks or coils on them (of course) and when I think about it, it's not that often. So I can easily live with that one button menu system, which makes the mod look cleaner and the button is basically hidden behind my thumb at all times.

I'm not going to go through how all the features work here. The user manual is quite good, explaining what every symbol means and how to operate the mod. It is in fact quite easy, once you understand how the one button thing works. The mod can be used in temp. control or normal watt mode, you can choose between Normal, Simple or Stealth mode on the display, it keeps track of your puffs and you can even make a puff-plan limiting the number of puffs each day (why would you do that?), and you can do adjustments to time, initial resistance, screen brightness and rotation, screensaver time and so on. You can also choose between 5 different "special draw effects"; Hard, Norm, Soft, Min or Max. I'm not quite sure exactly how this works, but I guess it has something how fast the mod gives power to the coil, so it will affect ramp-up time. I put mine to Max and was quite happy with my choice. Very configurable mod in other words... and then there is bluetooth. To be honest, I tried the Bluetooth app, and yeah, it is kind of cool to see how long your puffs are, how much you vape and adjust your power with your phone, but I turned it off pretty soon. I guess bluetooth will draw extra battery that you want to use for vaping, and to be honest the bluetooth app is kind of cool but not really that useful on a day to day basis. However, according to Espen from dampshop, it is quite handy for upgrading your software, especially for those of us who don't use windows. I haven't really tried this but I bet upgrading it from Linux will be close to impossible. The other way to do this is through a USB port in the battery compartment. I had to laugh a bit though, reading the manual specifying that the USB port is "ONLY" for software upgrades, NOT charging. You have to remove the battery to get to the USB port :) Speaking of charging, the pipe can be charged with an eGo styled charger that is supplied in the pack, but I've been using an external charger. As I said the battery lid is held in place by two strong magnets which means it's hassle free to just take the battery out and charge it.

When it comes the Micro TFV4 tank, I'm not going to go into that in detail, but it works great. Gives you lots of vapor, great flavour, and is indeed quite a good match for this mod. Good air control both on the base and the drip-tip, and easy to change coils as on the normal TFV4 tanks. You don't have that many options when it comes to coil-heads as on the big TFV4's, but you do have an RDA option, which I'm going to try out later on. The top filling is quite good and handy on these tanks as well, just sliding the top to the side and no small parts to loose. I haven't really used one long enough to see how durable this patent is but then again, I haven't seen anyone really having problems with it either (just concerns). 

To sum up a bit. In use this thing is quite simple to use in all ways. The tank is pretty standard and intuitive for people who have used a sub-ohm tank before. I mean most of them pretty much work the same way. The one button menu system is a bit slow, but who cares when it looks this cool. You will probably end up finding your favourite settings pretty quickly and keep it that way most of the time anyway.

Performance
I've tested both the normal (pre-installed) coil-head in normal watt mode and the Stainless Steel one in temp. control mode. In addition to this I've tried it with some other tanks, just to compare the power of it to a DNA200 mod.

In normal power mode, the pipe delivers what it should. When comparing it to the same wattage on a DNA200 mod it seems about the same, as long as you keep it on the MAX or Hard "power-setting". If you use any of the other setting it will seem weaker, but I guess it just takes more time until you reach the same effect.

In temp. control mode I actually had to push the button with the tank disconnected (so it says "Check atomizer") and then connect the tank again to get the "New coil" prompt. Other than that, the Stainless Steel temp. control worked fine... I guess. With the SS coil provided I could not get it above like 300°F though, even with the power-setting set to "MAX". No burnt taste though, just a little nicotine overdose from trying. Seems to give me about the same vapor as I'd get with the mod set to 75W in normal watt mode. Setting the temp. limit lower than that will limit as intended.

I have to be honest, temp. control isn't like the big thing for me. I have some temp. control mods but I usually run them in just normal watt mode.

Pros and cons
+ Looks great, and it will make you look great with the right hat or cap (and you might want to consider growing a beard)
+ Good manual, easy to use
+ Price
+ Good tank, great flavour and vapor
+ RBA option available
+ Loads of temp. control options
+ Stable power
+- Bluetooth app. Great for showing off and upgrading firmware, a bit slow and not that useful on a day to day basis really.
- A bit slow to operate
- Button rattles a bit

Conclusion
I think this is a bit of a bargain actually. (Dampshop.no has it at 949,- NOK before you put in any discount code, shipping included). It seems to be a well built, delivers the power it's supposed to, got loads of options for you to customize your vaping, and is in fact quite a bit of vaping fun. If you want a regulated e-pipe, this is indeed a great option.

I don't care what people say, this thing looks really cool. If you care a lot what other people say, this might not be for you (although with the right accessories you'll get some compliments as well), but if you don't give a shit and feel you can walk around with this pipe and be proud of being a vaper, I'd say go for it :)

Thanks to Espen at Dampshop.no for sending me this kit for review.


Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Review: Mini Volt by The Council of Vapor

A while ago I realized I had ended up with quite a few tanks and atomizers not getting too much use, and I took it as a sign that I should get more mods :) I was actually looking for a small, handy 60-75W mod, since, well I usually don't need much more. I spotted a picture of the Mini Volt in one of the Norwegian facebook groups and I thought it look kind of cool ... and small, but 40W seemed, well not quite enough power. Anyway a bit later on, damping.no posted another picture, and I figured why not give it a try. I mean, it had already been a while since I used my Goblin Mini and it would be quite a small handy combo. The deck on the Goblin is best suited for simple builds running fine on less than 40 anyway, and I have some sub-ohm tanks that also works quite well on these wattages as well. One thing lead to another and soon I was waiting for a package, wondering whether it would be as light and small as the Hana One. It was... and then some.

In the box
  • The mod
  • A USB charging cable
  • User Manual
  • Lots of padding, cause the box is actually big enough to fit about 8 of these mods :)
Specifications
  • 40W
  • Internal 1300mAh Battery
  • Minimum Resistance of 0.2 Ohms, although C.O.V. recommends minimum 0.8 Ohms to avoid draining your battery to fast.
  • 510 Thread Connector
  • 3 Different Ramp up power level settings: Power, Standard and Soft
  • Height: 55mm
  • Width: 22mm
  • Length: 34mm
Look and feel

This box is tiny. I mean I thought it would be quite small, but when I opened the package and saw it in real life... it's TINY! The crazy part is that it somehow even looks smaller than it is. I was pretty sure that my 22mm diameter tanks would be to wide and look kind of stupid, but they don't. It looks great as well, carbon fiber mixed with kind of rubberised coating (like Vaporsharks), discrete logos and some nice details. Feels like it's quite solidly built as well. Great design that they could easily use for bigger boxes as well. I like it :)

In use

This is a pretty straight forward, simple 40W box. No fancy temperature control or super-advanced settings. The usual 5 click to turn on and off. There is basically two settings you can adjust; the watts of course, and the ramp up power setting which can be set to soft, standard or power. To unlock and adjust these setting you hold the fire button and either the + button (the one closest to the fire button) or the - button for 3 seconds to adjust watts or ramp up power respectively. The relevant setting will then start blinking and you can adjust using + and - buttons, and then press fire when you're happy with your work. Very simple, very effective and I kind of like the way they've done this. Keeps you from accidentally adjusting stuff while you have the mod in you pocket or something like that.

The display is quite small, of course, but it shows you what you need to know: watts, power setting, ohms and battery indicator. From what I've seen the ohm readings have been pretty stable. The display goes black after 10 second of inactivity, which is fine really. Saving battery is important in such a small but still very powerful box. I like the battery indicator as well, as it goes all the way down. I have got some mods that will go down to about half and then suddenly you get the low battery warning. This one seems to be more realistic and you don't need to worry about suddenly running out when the indicator is on half.

The usb port for charging is on the bottom of the mod so you'll have to lay it down on the side to charge. This might be one of the very few cons of this mod, since some tanks tend to leak when you leave them laying on the side. Charges from empty to full in around 3 hours I think, and it will actually show you in the display when it's fully charged, as well as when it's charging. I like the way it does that. On some mods you will barely see some kind of very tiny lightning symbol when charging, but on this one it's pretty clear what's happening. I've had my share of crappy usb cables so it's nice to see that it's actually charging...

UPDATE: I was made aware that I forgot to mention that the mod will turn off automatically when it has not been used for 10 minutes. Honestly, for my style of vaping, I'd list this under pros. I usually vape a mod/tank combo for some minutes, then put it away so it's a good thing it's turned off when I grab it to go out and put it in my pocket, so I avoid accidentally firing it in my pocket. However, I see some people list this as a con and I totally get that, people are different and vape in different ways. 

Performance

This little thing packs a punch. It does really deliver the power it says it should, or at least it feels that way to me. I haven't measured or anything, just compared it to other DNA40 and DNA200 mods running at 40W and it feels similar. It also delivers stable output until the battery is empty, not reducing power when the battery is nearly done for the day. The ramp up power settings work pretty much as you hope for as well.

When it comes to battery-life, running this on 40W will not last too long. Now I haven't really experimented to much with this, and I've kept my builds above the recommended 0.8 ohms, but I guess if you drop the ohms down closer to 0.2, this mod won't last long. I've been using it with a dual-coil build in the Goblin Mini around 0.85 Ohms and around 30W, which works very well for me at least. Great vapor and I don't feel I'm doing this to conserve battery, I'd run this build at around 30W on any mod I guess. Good combination as well since the low battery warning usually starts showing up when the tank is empty. Nice timing and right now it will actually last all day at work for me, but then again, I'm not allowed to vape at my desk any more so I don't chain-vape all day.

Pros and cons 

+ Size and design
+ Stable power
+ No accidental adjusting
+ Build quality
+ Did I say it's tiny?
- Battery life
- Charging port at the bottom

Conclusion

As I said in the introduction, I was actually looking for a bit more powerful mod than this, but I'm glad I decided to try this one. I mean I'm probably still going to need one that can do more like 70W, but I've found that this little mod covers a lot of my needs. It's great for taking out and about, looks fantastic with the Goblin Mini on top, and will actually last long enough for short trips outside, even a bit longer than I expected. I believe I will appreciate it even more when it gets warmer and I don't wear these big winter jackets with huge pockets any more. This thing, with the Goblin Mini or similar size tank is so small it will easily fit into that little pocket on your jeans (coin pocket, condom pocket ... whatever you call it) or the front pocket of your shirt. I feel I've had to compromise on the flavour and performance of my equipment when I've been out and about and unable to bring my larger mods. But not any more... this mod kind of solves that problem.

It's absolutely worth giving this a try, especially since it is in fact quite cheap, usually around £30. Worth every penny if you ask me. Of course you're not getting temp. control and loads of functionality, but I've found that I usually use my mods in simple watt mode anyway, so for me this works very well. I'm impressed!

Thanks a lot to Ramzy at damping.no for making this review possible.

damping.no


Disclosure:
  • 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, 22 February 2016

Juice review: Button Junkie (Whole range)

The Button Junkie range consists of 4 juices, all of them with some fruity elements in them. Button Junkie have teamed up with Ecigwizard to manufacture the juices to be able to meet demand I guess. You can read more about this on their web-page. All their juices are 30/70 PG/VG and it looks like it's available in 0, 1.5, 3 and 6 mg/ml nicotine content, at least from Ecigwizard. I kind of like that they've put some extra effort into the artwork and design as well, usually means they've put some extra care into the juices as well.

Gorilla Trigger
Tested on: Smok TFV4 micro (CLP Fused Clapton Dual Core 0.3 Ohm, 50-60 watts)

I'm weird when it comes to pineapple... I think. I like fresh pineapple, and pineapple juice, but I'm not very happy if I get it on pizza. I guess in general I like it cold but I don't see why you need to put pineapple in hot food. So I have to admit I was a bit of a sceptic, as this juice is supposed to be pineapple cake. However, the smell of this one makes me a bit less sceptical. Quite fresh smell. When tasting it I'm a bit surprised, I think I might like pineapple cake even if it's hot. It's quite well balanced and quite sweet without being sickening. It's a juice I'd have no problem recommending, especially to pineapple lovers. Button Junkie calls this juice "gentle", which I think is quite a good word for it actually. It's not overwhelming in any way, but rather quite easy and relaxed ... if that makes sense. Good one for vaping all day actually, despite the quite aggressive name.

Tiger fire
Tested on: UD Zephyrus (0.2 Ohm, 40-50 watts)

This one smells of citrus fruits. It's supposed to be a cheesecake base with cream, oranges, lemons and grapefruit. And you get quite a lot of the citrus fruits when vaping this. I'm not sure I get so much cheesecake and cream but there is something in there kind of smoothening the edges a bit, but still leaves some of the bite of the citrus fruits. Guess that might be the cheesecake and cream then. I really like this one to be honest. Even if I can't really taste the cheesecake that doesn't mean it's not good... cause it is. Definitely an interesting take on citrus fruits that I think you need to try out cause it's not that easy to describe.

Crack Panda
Tested on: UD Bellus (Dual Coil @ around 0.45 Ohm, 30-40 watts)

Smells ... fresh I guess is the right word. A blend of apricots, peaches and other tantalizing tropical fruits according to Button Junkie. And that's what it tastes like as well. It is indeed a quite sweet yet very refreshing blend of fruits. Really like this one, might be my favourite in the range I think. Definitely an all day vape for me.






Vulture Punch 
Tested on: Secret tank that I'm trying out for someone :)

A bubbling brew of thick, creamy custard & sweet, ripe strawberries with a hint of caramelised brown sugar & Madagascan vanilla. This is Button Junkies description of this juice. One of my favourite juices is a strawberry custard and I'm sorry but this one does not quite come up to that level. It's a good juice, but I personally have another strawberry custard that I like better. Then again ... taste is a matter of personal preference, and this one is good enough to make the list of strawberry custards you should try out to find your favourite.

Thanks to ecigwizard.com 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.

Friday, 12 February 2016

The art of ignoring evidence

Trying to get back on track a bit after being kind of away from blogging for a while now. I can't really promise anything, as I still have limited time to blog... but whenever time allows it I'll try to give you guys some updates :)

This week, or actually the last couple of weeks, I've had to count to 10 several times to avoid bursting out in a tirade of swearing and name-calling that would probably have ended with some of my colleagues making some phone calls and me in a mental institution. Luckily I was able to count all the numbers from 0 to 10 (I'm a computer geek, we always start at 0), not ignoring any one of them. So I was fine ... after a while. The reason for all this counting was an article in Norwegian newspaper VG's "Opinions"-section, written by medical doctor and epidemiologist Preben Aavitsland, titled "But, E-cigarettes don't work". He had of course been reading some of Stanton Glantz' work, more on that below. In addition to ignoring the fact that millions of people have quit using e-cigarettes, he talks about never smoking youth taking up smoking in large numbers calling e-cigs an epidemic, and of course "we don't know enough yet". This guy is actually against implementing the TPD here in Norway ... he wants a full ban. But... we have Karl Erik Lund over here and of course he answered the day after explaining that Glantz is full of shit, e-cigs work even for the heaviest smokers and there is evidence that not many never smokers take up vaping. So far so good.

But then, some days later, Aavitsland "strikes back", according to VG, and this time he wants to wait for more evidence. He links to a bunch of debunked "studies" and finishes of with this:
Incidentally, Lund, the new study I quoted, is funded by the US Medicines Agency, Health Research and Cancer Research Institute and the lead author is a professor at the University of California.
Oh my ... a professor! My God, I guess he knows what he's talking about then? Well ... there are some who would disagree, and they're also professors. Listen to this from the BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06zcg4v. It turns out, even one of the peer reviewers recommended that Professor Glantz work should never have been published. Seems to me we have a classic case of one professor versus... a bunch of them.

Aavitsland keeps saying that there is no evidence that e-cigarettes work and he even says it would be easy to prove it if they did work. Can you believe this guy?
It will be fairly easy to detect any effect on smoking cessation of the latest e-cigarettes. Distribute a number of smokers randomly for quit attempts using e-cigarettes with nicotine, electronic cigarettes without nicotine, nicotine gum or no aid. Count up after half a year the percentage of each group that has managed to quit smoking for good. If the study shows that e-cigarettes are significantly more effective than the other methods, I'll be happy to reconsider the matter.
Well guess what, there is a lot of evidence that e-cigs work, including studies similar to what Aavitsland suggests (of course in addition to the millions of users who have quit already). Have a look at this. Now, all who thinks Aavitsland will reconsider the matter, raise their hands.... what no-one?

I didn't raise my hand either. Some people have just perfected the art of ignoring the evidence they don't like, and Aavitsland has shown in his articles that he's somewhat of an expert. Top of his class, together with Sanner and Grimsrud. Actually we have quite a few of them speaking up here in Norway at the moment, guess it has something to do with the proposed regulations. In late January we had Camilla Stoltenberg and Knut-Inge Klepp from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) publishing this in Aftenposten (another big newspaper in Norway): E-Cigarettes: A admission of failure if we replace a harmful product with another. I mean, why are we still talking about the gateway theory? They're also concerned that e-cigarettes will be the "new Snus"... which have to be a real problem since snus is the main reason Sweden and Norway has a lot less cases of lung cancer than the rest of the world. There is quite a lot of evidence available on this, but hey... let's just ignore that shall we? They keep on talking like this evidence just don't exist, even if it's presented to them again and again. No comments on it, no efforts to debunk it ... nothing ... they just pretend it simply does not exist.

Trying to reason with these people is quite impossible to be honest. It would, as one of my colleagues would say, be like talking to sheep (or any other farm animal for that matter). I bet if they decided that the sky is green, you could have a billion people testifying it's blue and they would still go: "You know the sky.... it's green". Luckily most people are not that way, and hopefully most politicians are like most people. The sad part is that these people have titles, which the media thinks means something, so their scaremongering bullshit gets published. This means we have to fight even harder to educate politicians, decision makers and the general public if we're going to win this battle. Cause the only way we're going to win is to make sure that the people who are going to make the important decisions actually get the important evidence ... and then hope they don't ignore it. And we WILL fight, they're not going to get away with this!
 
Vapour UK

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Review: iJoy Asolo

As I've mentioned before, my time to write has been quite limited lately. Luckily, vaping giraffes have vaping friends too, and one of them, Chris Stian Orvik, agreed to do a guest review. So without further introduction, here's the first ever guest review on this blog, actually I think it's the first guest post as well. Big thanks to Chris for this :)

First impressions

It’s a small, slightly rounded but still quite square box, with clicky buttons with no audible rattling sound when you shake it. Battery compartment is at the bottom, with a slide-on door with magnets. No USB port to be seen, so no on-board charging, and no future upgrades to the chip or software. The finish is quite slippery, so it’s a good thing they included stickers with some texture to them for the side panels.

It’s really small compared to other dual battery 18650 mods; see picture comparison with an iStick 100W.


What’s in the box?
  • 1x iJoy Asolo 200w 
  • 1x Ego adaptor (a little unsure as to why, but hey) 
  • 1x Warranty Card 
  • 1x User Manual 
  • 2x Stickers (for the side panels) 
  • 1x Silicone sleeve (colors may vary)
In use

Using the device in wattage mode is quite straightforward; you just turn on the device with the usual 5 clicks, set your wattage, and vape away. The display is clear and bright, and gives you the regular readouts like wattage, ohm, voltage and a puff-counter. It also shows you the amperage you are drawing from your batteries, a nice bonus.

It brags about its 200w, but according to other reviewers, it fires a bit on the low side. You also have to be in a specific ohm range to reach its full potential.

Around 0,2 ohms is where you have to be to get it to this range. (See Pbusardos review on youtube for more numbers) The compatible resistance ranges are quite standard, see above.

If you want the device to operate in TC mode, install your TC compatible coil, press the bottom part of the t-shaped button three times. This brings up a sub menu, where you can select Ni or Ti, choose the right material, set your temperature, and vape. In Fahrenheit mode you can regulate the device from 300-600 degrees, in Celsius it ranges from 150 to 315 degrees. So nothing really special about that, except like many other mods, you don’t have to set the resistance. What IS special about this box is their attempt at Temperature Control on any type of coil. Well, that’s not exactly what it is, but it kind of works quite well. What they do is taste control. In this mode the display gives you some extra readouts; namely an E-liquid indicator, a thermometer and temperature percentage.

So, you put in your standard coil, whether it’s a tank or an RDA. Make sure it’s well saturated and give it a few puffs on your preferred wattage in regular wattage mode. Several puffs of at least 2 seconds are required for the device to “learn” your preferred vaping style. Now you can adjust your percentage to regulate the device from hotter to cooler if you like. It goes from 80-110% of your original wattage from when you were training the device. If you have issues with the device cutting off way too early, put it back in wattage mode and give it some more training. So, not really temperature control as we know it, where you set your temp and puff away, but it kind of works. It seems, the more you train the device, the better the taste control function works. Under testing, I managed to burn my cotton at least a couple of times, but mostly just to test, as I would re-drip or re-fill long before normally. Also, the more time you give the device time to learn, the better it performs. I’ve tested the taste control function on SS316L, and it seems to work even better with that material, it could be because it changes resistance a lot more than kanthal, but this is pure speculation from my side. One gripe I have with the device is its coil detection function; it’s just a bit on the sensitive side. This results in the device asking you if you installed a new coil every other minute if you use a material that changes its resistance. Not a big deal, but if you mindlessly try to vape without checking the display, you might be surprised by the lack of vapor.

Pros
  • Small size (especially for a dual 18650) 
  • Temperature control for Ni and Ti plus Taste Control 
  • Clear, easy to read display 
  • Nice spring loaded 510 connection 

Cons
  • The mod itself has sharpish edges. 
  • Ask if it’s a new coil a bit too frequently 
  • 5-press on/off can be a bit inaccurate 
  • No USB-charging or firmware upgrade capabilities 
All in all it’s a nice little dual 18650 box, with temperature control and taste control, but I would not recommend this to fresh eyed newbies, but to the medium to advanced vapers.

Big thanks to gearbest.com for sending this box for review.


Vapour UK

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

Thursday, 4 February 2016

E-cig regulation in Norway: A short status update

This Christmas I was sure I was going to be able to do more writing and keep you guys up to date on the situation in Norway. I turned out quite the opposite from what I expected, and for reasons I'm not going to talk about here, I haven't been able to do much writing at all. Neither do I think there will be much time in the months to come either, but I'll try to write some updates (and some reviews) when I can. Hopefully things will change in time and I hope I can get this blog up and running full speed again some time in the future.

Anyway, as many of you might be aware of already, the Norwegian government, or actually the Ministry of Health and care services, have proposed to legalize the sale of e-cigarettes in Norway... TPD style (follow the links in that post for more background info). I find this quite important so I've tried to squeeze in a little time to give you an update now.

The Norwegian parliament
The Ministry of Health and care services have requested comments on the proposal and the deadline for replying to this was January 18th. They received quite a few interesting comments, which can all be found here for those who read Norwegian or are skilled in the use of google translate. A lot of vapers took their time to comment and express their concern, and The Norwegian Institute for Alcohol and Drug Research (SIRUS) both wrote excellent answers, clearing up misunderstandings, explaining consequences and attempted to educate the politicians in the best way possible. They've done an excellent job and hopefully some politicians will take notice and understand some of what they're going to regulate. However, for some of them, like Cecilie Brein-Karlsen I have no hope. Sadly some of our politicians (quite a few actually) believe that we do not have a choice in this at all, and that we just have to do whatever the EU tells us to do. Actually, I do think most of them are in fact aware that we have an option to use our reservation right, not being a full member of the EU, but they just don't have the balls to go against the EU in this case... or any other case for that matter. I guess they simply lack balls.


There were also quite a few others who commented on the proposal.Some like the proposal as it is, saying that they think e-cigarettes are a great idea, which shows they have no idea what this proposal will do to vaping. Others want to keep e-cigarettes with nicotine illegal and even want stricter rules. All of these seem to be pretty convinced by the gateway theory. This again shows the devastating effects of copy-paste scaremongering journalism. The only time all the evidence against the gateway theory mentioned in Norwegian media is when Karl Erik Lund from SRUS is in some way involved. He has done a great job at this, and it is also included in SIRUS' comments to the proposal. However this does not get much attention and protecting the children, avoiding a vaping boom among never smokers and even worse... 2nd hand vaping making more people smoke cigarettes seem to be the main arguments used by those who support the proposal (and those who want even stricter regulations). Some even claim that a lot of never smoking youth have already picked up vaping on a regular basis (!). They should know better than to lie about these things to be honest. And all of this despite the fact that we've seen that smoking prevalence in Norway is dropping faster than ever after snus and vaping gained popularity. When it comes to certain politicians I also suspect other motives that has nothing to do with wanting a public health gain.

Sadly I haven't really had the time to read all the answers, I've barely scratched the surface of some of them, so the above is just based on my first impressions. However I found one answer that looked quite interesting as well, from British American Tobacco Norway. They argue against a lot of the suggestions in the proposal, like advertising bans, ban in public areas etc. and use SIRUS' answer for support as well. Have a look at this for example:
BAT endorses the views set out in SIRUS' consultation response that e-cigarettes should be regulated as ordinary consumer products, and the Ministry should, as a minimum, examine this alternative.
So that is about where we stand today. There are some very good arguments in some of the comments submitted, and there are some very bad ones, and there are quite a few lies in there as well. We can only hope that the politicians are doing their job and actually try to educate themselves, but I'm not overly optimistic when it comes to this. It's not easy to find any dates or what happens next. Still I guess this will follow regular procedure which would be the that the parliament committee will recommend an amendment to the Norwegian Tobacco Act and the parliament will the vote. Exactly when this will happen I don't know, but I guess some time before May.

Vapour UK