Vermillion River Fresh Mint & Classic Blend – Review

A while back, the folks at EcigWizard asked if I’d be willing to try some of their products and share with my readers what I thought about their stuff.  This is a first for me but as I love vaping and trying new things I figure why not?  So I said yes but made sure they know I’d be giving my honest impressions because I wouldn’t want to steer anyone astray.

They sent me two ejuice samples to try from Vermilion River. Now this is funny. Vermillion River is made in Minnesota USA. I was born in Michigan and moved to Australia several years ago. EcigWizard is based in the United Kingdom. So I’m sampling something made in the USA, sent to the UK and then sent on to me in Australia. Talk about some well travelled ejuice!

The samples came in two 10ml bottles and were both 20mg. I normally vape 18mg so this was a little stronger than what I’m used to, but not so strong I couldn’t enjoy it. I’ve been using the samples for well over a month so I feel I’ve given them a fair trial. There was one I liked a lot more than the other, but because my husband also vapes, I let him try the one I wasn’t keen on and he quite liked it. We definitely have different tastes and preferences.

 

Vermillion River Fresh Mint
30% VG / 70% PG blend

Vermillion River Fresh Mint EjuiceBack in the days when I used to smoke cigarettes, I smoked menthol. I was also very fussy. I stayed with the same brand and lord help me if it wasn’t available and I had to smoke something different.  Those days are long gone – it’s well over a year since I quit cigarettes. One of the most pleasant surprises for me with vaping is at any given moment I can change flavours to match my whim. When I first took up vaping I naturally migrated towards any ejuice that had menthol or mint in the name. I’m pretty sure if I looked through my bottles I’d find at least 20 variations of mint, menthol or a combination of tobacco and mint flavours.  I tried I really did, but I never found anything that I could relate to, and after awhile I was enjoying the variety of many different flavours and realised I didn’t need to replicate the old taste of ‘my’ brand of cigarette. Who needs that horrible taste?  So I moved on and left all the menthol experimentations behind me.

Then EcigWizard sent me a sample of Vermillion River Fresh Mint. I can’t tell you what it is about this juice that’s different from others I’ve tried, aside that it works for me. It’s not overpowering or overly sweet, it’s just well, perfect. I normally avoid eating mints because I never know whether it’s going to clear my sinuses (and taste buds) or burn my mouth.  I do like creamy type mints with chocolate such as Peppermint Patties, and that describes the taste of the Fresh Mint rather well.  It’s not far off from crème de menthe. Yum. This is the only mint ejuice that’s ever made it into my handbag when I’ve gone out. One of the things I really like about it is that it stops any nicotine cravings stone cold. Some of the menthol flavours I’ve tried are fine at the start but I find if I vape them exclusively too long I start feeling ill. Something about too much mint just upsets my system. I don’t have that problem with this juice. I’ve spent many a happy evening vaping this – it’s lovely with coffee after a meal. I give this juice a big thumbs up.

http://www.ecigwizard.com/e-liquid/vermillion-river/fresh-mint.html

 

Vermillion River Classic Blend
30% VG / 70% PG blend

 http://www.ecigwizard.com/e-liquid/vermillion-river/classic-blend.htmlThis ejuice has a very smoky flavour which took me completely by surprise. I wish I had had this juice when I first started vaping and was looking for a taste closer to a cigarette, because this does the job. The description of it reads “Imagine a blend of all the best of traditional tobacco flavours in one e-liquid and you have the Vermillion River Classic Blend. The pinnacle of tobacco vapes, look no further if you want something as close to the real thing as possible.”

The reviews are mostly positive, but I’m not surprised to see that it’s a flavour most people either love or hate. I’m not “most people” though and I’m rather neutral towards it, but you’ll need to excuse me as I’m way past the point of wanting my vapes to taste anything near what a cigarette tastes like and when I did smoke I only smoked menthol.  I’ve given this juice to my other half who seems to quite enjoy it and that makes sense. He smoked regular cigarettes and has only been off the smokes for a few months now. He disagrees about it tasting smoky and feels it’s more a caramel, oak or woody taste. He likes it and gave it a thumbs up so I’ve added it to his vape stash.

http://www.ecigwizard.com/e-liquid/vermillion-river/classic-blend.html

 

Did I miss anything I should have mentioned in my reviews?  It’s important to realise that taste is a very subjective thing. What I love and rave about might taste like donkey juice to you and vice versa. If there’s anything you’d like me to write about regarding vaping, feel free to let me know in the comments.

Don’t Tell me I’m a Smoker

13 December 2012

Last week I got into a little argument with someone about my using Ecigs vs smoking. He told me I’m still a smoker because I’m still getting nicotine. However, I’m not lighting up tobacco and burning anything. I’m not inhaling smoke or the 40,000 different chemicals that have been identified in cigarettes. I’m inhaling a regulated amount of nicotine that I can adjust myself, and the other 3 ingredients are flavour and what’s used to make the mist/vapor. Which are also used in the fog machines at concerts. Think of all the rockers who live on tour and spend hours in the stuff. The same ingredients are also used in asthma inhalers.

He fixated on nicotine being harmful, but I think some wires are crossed. Smoking tobacco products is harmful. The nicotine itself has it’s uses. As an example, here’s a link to an article from the American Academy of Neurology on the Growing List of Positive Effects of Nicotine Seen in Neurodegenerative Disorders.

The other day marked a year since I finally let go of the cigarettes and moved on to only using the Ecig. It took three months to reach that stage. It certainly wasn’t overnight. I let the day go by without fanfare because I was still upset to be told I’m dumb for considering myself a nonsmoker because I’m still inhaling nicotine in an Ecig. So today I’m feeling a bit grumpy with myself about it.

I know better than to let someone rain on my parade. I know I shouldn’t listen to that inner voice of doubt that got planted there from our little discussion. A younger, more impulsive me probably would have said and lit up the next available cigarette just out defiance and self hatred. Fortunately I’ve matured in my old age and just really no longer like cigarettes. They smell awful and the one or two puffs I’ve had in the last year caused me to rinse my mouth out, brush my teeth and take a shower. Blech!

It’s been a year. And that’s something to celebrate.

Gift Certificate Give Away

(This blog post is written for vapers – people who use electronic cigarettes – I promise to post a more personal update in the near future!)

A couple months ago, I won $100 in an online contest and decided to treat myself to some ‘pre-mixed’ ejuice from the USA. Ever since I started vaping last October, I’ve always used 0mg Nicotine ejuice doublers from Australian vendors and mixed it with nicotine. As there are many overseas vendors that sell ejuice with nic already added, I wanted to give a few new flavours a try. What a little luxury it would be to get some juice in the mail all ready to vape with no mixing or waiting a week or two for it to steep. Well that was my thought process. Things didn’t quite go to plan though.

Empty Box

When my box arrived from the vendor, it was empty aside from the invoice. I paid $20 for shipping and it showed up empty. I took photos immediately and sent an Email to the vendor and described the box condition to them. Their reply is that it must have either been Customs or the package was tampered with as there was an additional bit of clear packing tape that they never use. I’ve had parcels opened by Customs before and have even had something confiscated (my Sis sent me hot cocoa mix which was removed because it contains powdered milk). When customs opens a parcel, a sticker is added to the box and if anything is removed it’s itemised with the reason why it was removed. There wasn’t a sticker on the box and as mentioned, the only thing in the box was the invoice. I’ve contacted Australia Post and put in an official complaint about this saga.

Meanwhile the vendor, Juicy Vapor, was nice enough to offer a gift certificate for the amount I purchased, which was really nice, but I can’t justify the cost of postage to re-order.

So I have a gift certificate that I can’t use, but I know there are many USA vapers that would probably really enjoy trying some new juice so here’s what I’ve decided to do about it. I’m going to take nominations – use the form below to nominate someone you think would love to receive a $60 gift certificate from Juicy Vapor and what makes them a good candidate. You can nominate yourself if you wish, that’s OK. But what I’d like to do is give back to someone who helps out in the vaping community or possibly needs a bit of a bit of a boost. The main criteria is that they live in the USA — because otherwise the recipient would be up for paying very dear postage costs and the idea is to avoid that if possible. I’ll take nominations until Midnight on 15 May (South Australia time), choose 5 top contenders and then use random.org to pick the winner, which I’ll announce here on 16 May.

Make sure and use the form below to make a nomination, and also use the Twitter and Facebook links to share this blog post to give as many people as possible the chance to win the $60 gift certificate from Juicy Vapor. Let’s help make a fellow vaper smile!

Contest has Ended

A winner has been chosen and will be announced as soon as I hear back from them. Thanks to everyone who made nominations. You’re all wonderful caring people!

World Vaping Day 2012 – Loving Having a Choice

Today (22 March 2012) is World Vaping Day. I’ve been thinking about all the choices we have available when we use e-cigarettes as opposed to smoking ‘analogues’ or tobacco cigarettes. I’ve made the choice to continue to have nicotine in my life, but choose to inhale safer vapor instead of the dangerous chemicals present in cigarette smoke. It’s a choice I’m proud of and one that’s improved my health.

When I smoked, I bought the same brand of cigarettes and only rarely deviated from it as doing so brought more hassle for me than it was worth. I might not like the taste, it might have less or more nicotine, etc etc. Yet with vaping (using electronic cigarettes and inhaling vapor instead of smoke) there’s no restrictions I place on myself. If I want to have a banana nut bread vape when I first wake up, I can do that. If I want something closer to tobacco and menthol, it’s at my fingertips. If I’m upset, I have some eliquid that’s slightly higher in nicotine available. If I’m at the computer writing and find myself chain-vaping, I have some nice flavours with a lower nicotine level so I don’t make myself ill.

There’s more to it than flavours and nicotine strength though. There are a myriad of devices (e-cig types) that we can own and use, and many different ways of putting the flavoured eliquid together with the e-cig such as the plastic refillable tanks that work with the 510 or Ego ‘T’ models, the newer Stardust tank/cartomizers, several brands and styles of cartomizers, or even cartridges which were the norm a few years ago.  It’s no wonder that people just looking into switching from cigarettes to electronic cigarettes get a bit overwhelmed. Yet it’s also this ability to go with circumstances or the whim of the moment that makes vaping so much more satisfying and yes I’ll say it – fun.

We have the choice to stick with only one flavour, one type of device or one type of cartomizer. We also have the choice to explore everything that’s available within our budget. Even with buying new devices or flavours it still comes out cheaper than smoking, and our nicotine addiction is abated while we choose to use a safer means of getting it into our systems.

Nicotine itself isn’t evil. There are many things it does for people that has benefits, such as helping prevent Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimers. It’s the method of how we get that nicotine that’s the key though. Smoking – the act of burning dried tobacco leaves and inhaling more than 4000 additional chemicals that are added to cigarettes is unhealthy. I made the choice to continue to have nicotine in my life but on my own terms.

The vapor inhaled with e-cigarettes contains liquid nicotine, Propylene Glycol (PG), Vegetable Glycerin (VG)   and the same flavouring as that used in food flavouring. Aside from the flavour it’s the same compounds that are used in fog machines at concerts, which have been in use for many many years. I strongly believe that less additives must be better for my health and lungs. I used to smoke about 40 cigarettes a day or more and had a deep, persistent cough. I’ve been off the cigarettes and have been vaping exclusively for three months now. I no longer have a cough. I can take deeper breaths. My voice is less gravely, and I feel so much better.

So today I’m celebrating all the choices available to me as someone who uses electronic cigarettes and vapes instead of smoking. I know I made the right choice for myself and I love being able to choose what suits me at any given time. This post was written while vaping 3 different e-cigs, each with different flavours, at 18mg.  No lighters were flicked, nor ashtrays sullied during the course of writing this blog post!

Links to more information:

AussieVapers.com (AVF) Forum 
Electronic Cigarette Forum (ECF) 
ATACA – Australian Tobacco Alternatives Consumer Association
ATACA Educational Flyer (Trifold – double sided optional) 

Celebrating 3 Months Vaping

I haven’t had a cigarette in 3 months, and it hasn’t been anything near as difficult as other times I’ve quit smoking. So I’m celebrating by making us a nice dinner tonight and reminiscing about how far I’ve come since I started vaping 5 months ago.

In the three months since I switched to vaping full time, I had two times that were a little hard. The first time was when I came home and we had friends visiting who were outside smoking.  What finally killed the craving for me was sitting down with a dripping atomiser and dripping some of my favourite ‘most like a cigarette to me’ e-juice. Dripping will often give me that satisfied feeling faster than anything else and normally I don’t need that, but this time I did.  After that, I made up a small batch of extra strong juice – 24mg Nic when normally I vape 18mg.  I did this so it would be available if I needed something extra. That day came on 3rd February when a very dear friend of mine passed away. She’d come back and kill me if I had the cigarette I was craving so I pulled out the stronger juice and that got me through the next few days.

Looking around my desk, it’s easy to tell I’m a vaper. There are four PVs with assorted tanks and cartomizers attached to them, a couple bottles of e-juice I’m testing. a bag of tiny coloured rubber bands I use to mark my cartomizers so I know what flavour it is, a bag of silicone end caps to use for filling up cartos and a folded up paper towel to wipe up any drips.

One of the biggest changes I’ve noticed is when I first started vaping, I could fill a Boge carto and have it last me most of a day before it needed filled. Now I only use them for testing and can empty one in an hour or two. If it takes me any longer than that, I know it’s not a flavour that I really like.  Most of my favourite juices are now in SmokTech 3ml tanks as I’ve found these to be so much easier to deal with – I only need to fill them every other day or so and find refilling them easier than filling cartos.  At one time I thought having 10ml of juice was quite a lot. Now I tend to make up my favourite juices in 30ml batches and think I’m getting a bit low when it’s down to about 10ml.

When I started out, I mainly vaped just menthol, then switched to tobacco flavours with menthol added, and now have an assortment of all types of different flavours. I’ve been surprised to find that one of my favourites is ‘Cold Pressed Lime’ which is a concentrate that I make up at 10%. It has a nice taste and a great throat hit. I also like Cherry, Citrus, Lemon, and for awhile was on a Vanilla kick but that’s waned in the last few weeks with the tart fruits and mellow tobaccos more in use. I’ve also found that my tastes do change from day to day. Sometimes I want something sweet, other times I prefer tart or even back to menthol again. That’s something you can never really have with smoking – variety.

It’s time for me to make our tea – I’m making coconut curry prawns – which I haven’t had since before I quit smoking so they’re sure to be tasty now I have my sense of smell and taste back.  Thanks for stopping by!

 

Using Cartomizers

Hello vaping world!  I thought I might write about cartomizers as I seem to have acquired several different types and they all seem to be a little bit different from each other.  Cartomizers are a disposable combination of atomizer and cartridge all in one unit. It screws into your ‘battery’ or device where you would normally use an atomizer. Before talking about cartos that I’ve tried, I’ll try to cover some of the basics of what you’ll need to know about them. There’s a few basics to cover such as filling, drip tips, resistance and coils. Then I’ll talk about cartomizers that I’ve used and my thoughts on them.

Filling a Cartomizer

There are three ways to fill a cartomizer.

    1. Dripping.
      Dripping a few drops of liquid at a time into the filling material that’s inside, taking care to tip it slightly so that the liquid doesn’t go into the centre, where the coil and electronic bits are located.  Many suggest using two or three drops, give it a quarter turn and then repeat until the filling is saturated.
    2. Condom Method.Filling a carto using the condom method
      Each cartomizer comes with a silicone or plastic top and end cap. Fill the top cap about half to three quarters full of juice and then sink the end of the carto (the end with the connector) into the cap of juice while holding the cap. You then use a tissue to wipe the outside and connector before using it. With larger cartos you may have to repeat this process until it’s filled all the way. Some videos show the connector end being put into the cap, and others show the top portion slid into the cap.  Which end that gets put into the juice is a matter of choice. I’ve always used the end that’s open and has the filler at the top to put into the liquid. I think it’s a matter of preference unless I learn otherwise.

      EDIT (11 Mar 2012): Since I wrote the above, I’ve found that if I use the connector end it works much better. I have to hold a tissue on the connector for a few seconds after filling, but I have to wipe the carto off anyway so it’s been no big deal. Just keep dabbing it until no more juice comes out on the tissue.

    3. Syringe
      Fill a syringe with eliquid and slowly add it along the sides of the cartomiser until the filling material is saturated. This method can be particularly useful with the much larger (2.5 mil and larger) cartomisers.

 

If you get more juice in the carto than will fit, you can put a wadded up tissue on the connector end and then carefully blow through the top part – the excess liquid will come out onto the tissue. Should there be a lot of excess juice, instead of a tissue, I hold the silicone top or bottom up to the connector end and then blow the excess into that.  After I’ve finished, I can then pour the remaining juice back into the juice bottle so there’s very little waste.

Drip Tips

Drip Tips

Cartomizers come with a small plastic cap that is inserted into the top part. This can be removed for filling and replaced when done. You can then vape as if it were the end of a cigarette, but I much prefer using a drip tip. These fit into the top and let you vape without your lips touching the metal part of the cartomiser which can get quite warm. The name comes from their use when dripping liquid into atomizers but they’re also useful as a tip on a cartomiser. They also give a bit of colour to your daily vape.



Resistance

One of the first things I learned (unfortunately the hard way!) is that many cartos come in two different main formats – SR (Standard Resistance) and LR (Low Resistance).  You don’t need to be an electronics tech to use these – you just need to know what the differences are so you can make a good choice for what your needs are, and remember too that what you ‘need’ today might not be what you ‘want’ in a few weeks.  One of the first mistakes I made was assuming I would use one or the other exclusively. What you prefer to use really depends on what device you’re using vape on, and your personal preferences.

  1. SR, Standard Resistance or just ‘regular’ cartomisers offer a cooler vape with less vapor but the liquid and batteries last longer. These can be used on pretty much any device from the 510 to the variable voltage devices. Sometimes these will be listed on a vendor site as anything from 2.2 ohm or higher.
  2. LR, Low Resistance helps to mimic the vape one gets from a higher voltage device (i.e. more flavour, vapor and throat hit). It uses more power output and gives a warmer vape, a bit more throat hit and vapor, but the liquid is used a little quicker and will also use more battery power.  These cartos should really only be used on devices that are lower voltage to begin with such the Ego, or variable voltage devices set no higher than 3.7 volts.  As they use more battery power Low resistance cartos aren’t recommended for use with the standard 510 batteries.LR cartos vary in their resistance levels, usually between 1.5 and 2.1 ohms. I haven’t purchased based on ohms but just go by whether it’s LR or SR when I can.  I talked one vendor into adding the letters “LR” or “SR” to his item descriptions to help newbies like me – and it’d be nice if other vendors did too.  Tossing ohm numbers around just confuses new vapers in my opinion. Otherwise if the description refers to the ohms as 1.5 up to 2.1 then it’s a low resistance carto, if it’s 2.2 or higher then it’s standard resistance.

Coils

The coil is the part of the cartomizer that heats up the liquid so that it becomes vapor. Some of the cartomizers I’ve tried have dual coils, one type uses a horizontal coil, and the first ones I tried don’t even mention what they use – these would be a single vertical coil.

Slotted / Punched / Dotted / Flanged / DCT
If you aren’t using a cartomiser with a tank, don’t buy any that are slotted, punched (or factory punched), dotted or flanged. All of these words refers to whether the cartos have been modified to work with tanks. Tank cartomizers have holes in them to allow you to fill up a cylinder with eliquid and then the cartomizer draws the liquid from the hole. This can be a line (as in a slot), a hole punched into it or if it’s done at the factory it’s a very small hole (or dot) that’s added at the bottom of the cartomiser.  Some of these also come with a flange at the bottom of the carto which stops the tank from sliding. The letters DCT refer to ‘Dual Coil Tank’.

Size

If a particular cartomizer brand comes in different sizes I’ve noted this in the title in the same format that many vendors list them on their sites.  All have a regular size but these are listed on vendor sites without an XL variation in the title.

Cartomizers that I’ve Tried

I’ve listed the cartos in the order that I’ve tried them in, for no other reason than it shows my journey and discoveries.

Boge 510 (SR / LR) (Soft cap) (XL) (Slotted / Punched)

 

Blue Boge 510 SRThese seem to be the most common cartomizers. The first I tried of these were the LR because I didn’t understand the difference between standard and low resistance.  This was also before I had learned to properly inhale when vaping so I found them a bit ‘strong’, not realising that in the future this would be exactly what I’d be looking for – warmer, more vapor and more of a throat hit. So for quite awhile I preferred the standard resistance version and stocked up on them.  I have more of these SR Boges than I do any other carto and tend to use them for testing flavours, simply because of their smaller size (in comparison to some of the larger ones I’ve since tried) and the fact I have so many.  One of the most noticeable things about the Boges is they all seem to have a distinct hissing or slurping sound when I vape them, from the moment I press the button.  For flavour and better vape, I would prefer the LR over the SR when using an Ego battery but that said, the standards last a fair while with my Ego, but with the higher current (on 5v or variable voltage devices) they tend to empty fairly quick. The flip side of course is that at a higher current the flavour and vapor is better. It’s a bit of a trade off.  They’re even more slurpy sounding at higher voltages.

As far as usage goes, I really didn’t notice any difference between the standard sized Boges and the XL size. The major difference is that the former holds about 0.9ml of liquid while the XL holds around 1.2ml.



Kanger Horizontal Coil  (SR / LR)

Kanger 510 SRI’ve only tried the SR version of these and have added the LR version to my shopping list.  In comparison to the Boge or even the Dual Coil cartos, the Kangers are very quiet.  If I haven’t vaped on one for a while and have forgotten how quiet they are, I’ve first thought they weren’t working!  These give a very warm vape and are nice on my Ego battery as well as at slightly higher voltages. I’m not sure if it’s the liquid I use with them (I have these reserved for my favourite tobacco flavour) but at 5volts the taste of my juice is a bit burned when used with my WOW 5v device.  With the LavaTube I get the best taste at around 4.7v.  Again, this could simply be the liquid used as I’ve only tried my tobacco flavour with it.  I do like these.  It’s a warm vape and the fact that they’re silent means I can be a more discreet when I’m out and about. These hold about 0.9ml of liquid.



SmokTech Dual Coil 510 (SR / LR) (XL, XXL, XXXL) (Slotted, Punched, Flanged)

 

    1. XL
      510 XL Dual Coil If I’ve tried the standard *size* of the SmokTech dual coil cartos, it would have been in a tank situation so I’ll skip right to the XL size.  This is without a doubt my favourite. Although it comes in different resistances, the 1.5 LR  one is also suitable on both my Ego and at higher voltages.  This is because of some magic with the fact that it has dual coils and each work together. It gives me the strongest vape and because I can use it at a higher voltage it also provides really good throat hit and flavour.  Yet it gives quite a bit of flavour and vapor even on the Ego battery.  It holds about 1.8 ml of liquid so I really only need to fill once or twice a day and I’m good to go.  These do make a little bit of noise but what makes them distinct in terms of sound is that they make a little ‘popping’ sound as the coil is activated.  I find I get a better overall vape if I wait for this sound.  On my 5v device, the pop(s) come very quickly after I press the button. There’s a bit of a delay when I use the LavaTube even at higher voltages and a further delay when I use it with Ego battery.
    2. XXL and XXXL
      XXL and XXXL (Ego) Dual Coil CartomisersI ordered five of the XXL size by accident. These are wider in diameter and come with a rubber whistle tip top. They hold about 2.5ml of liquid and as I can’t use my regular 510 style drip tips with them, they were promptly handed over to my other half. He also ‘inherited’ the gigantic XXXL “Ego” 5ml  cartomiser. This came with the WOW (along with several tank cartomisers) so it’s not one I ordered specifically.  This particular carto has Ego style threads (i.e. not 510) and also comes with its own rubber whistle tip top.  He’s been using these larger cartos for a week or more but doesn’t yet seem to have a preference for either one.  He didn’t like the smaller Boge cartos as he had to fill them too often. I’ve certainly not heard any similar complaints from him about the XXL or XXXL SmokTech’s.  Both of these are dual coil and he’s vaping them on the LavaTube at around 5 or 6volt.

 

Summing Up

Of all the cartomizers I’ve tried, at this point I think I prefer the Smoktech XL 1.2 Dual Coil cartomisers. They work well regardless of what device I use them on and hold about a mil more than the standard size Boges. I do like the pleasant vape from the Horizontal Kangers and I look forward to trying out the LR version of these sometime in the near future.

One last little tip – I found a package of small coloured bands – intended for little girl’s pony tails that I use to mark what flavour juice is in each carto.  In one of the photos above the carto has two green bands on it. This tells me it’s lime flavour. I use one or two bands and make note on a pad of paper for which colour(s) go with which flavour.

If this article has helped you, please be sure to share it with other vapers using the links below.

Trying Things

I’ve been off the smokes for a month and 3 days now.  In that time we’ve had Christmas, New Years, a heatwave with no A/C and both Rod and I have had nasty colds.  I reckon if I can make it through all that without a hitch, I’m nearly home free.  I do have the odd twinge of a craving, but I keep my E-cig next to me, right where I used to keep my lighter and just reach for that instead and before I realise it the craving is gone.

Although I’m sure in the long run I’ll be saving money, in the meantime I’ve been trying different hardware as well as various juice flavours.  It’s been fascinating and very rewarding.  I’ve found that I really enjoy mixing juices and trying flavours – there’s a satisfaction to whole process that’s hard to describe.

Ego VV

Just about a week after I quit a new device I ordered arrived. It was an Ego-like VV (Variable Voltage) battery that has 3 different voltages, the highest being about 4.5.  The regular batteries I’d been using give 3.3 voltage or is it 3.7? I forget. The higher the voltage the more flavour, vapour and ‘throat hit’.  Throat hit is that feeling you get when smoking on inhaling.  Some E-liquid and voltages give more than others.  Until I experienced this with the new battery, I had no idea what it was.  And once I did, I wanted more.  It truly makes a big difference.

Lavatube (Power VV)

About the same time I was reading in the Aussie Vapers forum about a new device from China that offered variable voltage (VV) from 3 volts all the way to 6 volts and was actually quite inexpensive compared to other devices that had similar options.  After giving it serious thought I joined several others in pre-ordering the device. It arrived on the 23rd of December, a little over 2 weeks since I’d quit smoking. Wow!  It completely changed things for me.  I could set the voltage as high or low as I wanted, it brought out the taste of most of my E-liquid and gave that throat hit satisfaction that makes all the difference in the world.  The only problem with it is that it’s really quite large and not terribly pretty to look at. It’s not the kind of thing I can just toss in my purse – it’s more an at home thing. While I had my cold I found I could set it lower so that it didn’t hurt my throat or give me a coughing fit. Once I was feeling better, I set it higher – to around the 5v mark and quite enjoyed the difference.

Smoktech WOW

So about a week ago after seeing good reviews on another new device that is regulated to 5v, I decided to try it. It was a good price and came with quite a bit of extras. It’s also closer in size to the Ego’s and will fit in my purse or pocket easily.  It only does 5v. But that is just about perfect for me. After a couple of days of using it and the other VV device I put away my old Ego batteries. They just give me a really fuzzy flavour with so much less throat hit or vapour.  I’m keeping them as if something happens to my newer devices these will be available as spares – as in the ‘something is better than nothing’ category.

I quite like the new 5v device and use it most of the time.  I do like having two devices going at once though – one with my tobacco flavour in it – what I reach for when I get a craving, and one with whatever flavour of the day/moment I’m vaping on.  I like having the choice and being able to have a variety. (You can’t do that with cigarettes unless you buy two different brands!).

The other night the unthinkable happened.  Rod wanted to taste what I was vaping and I handed him my Ecig to give it a go.  His immediate reaction was ‘Wow! That flavour has a lot of throat hit!’ .  I explained that it wasn’t so much the flavour as the device and proved it to him by taking off the cartomiser with juice in it and letting him try it on his Ego. The thing with actually experiencing good flavour and throat hit is you want it. So being the soft-hearted person I am, I ended up letting him have my VV device while I kept the 5v one.  After being lost for the evening without having two different devices to use – and having to change cartomisers on the one thing to change flavours I went shopping for another one for myself. Unfortunately the 5v only device was out of stock so after looking at various other choices on the Internet, I went with another of the larger VV ones like I gave Rod.  For the price and what it does I’m quite willing to have another one. It will arrive Monday and I’ll be very happy to see it!

Up till now I haven’t mentioned what the device names are because I didn’t want this to be a review of them. But if you’re interested the variable voltage (VV) device is the Lavatube or ‘VV Power’ while the 5v is the Smoktech WOW.  Both are available from the same vendor here in Australia, GGecigs.  I received good service from them with both (and now 3) purchases. I should note that the WOW has a button issue but less so if I remove the Ego thread cover cap.  The Ego (like) VV I bought from Health Cabin.  For the price, it’s OK but only to try out a slightly higher voltage or to have an additional Ego battery.  It is NOT made by Joyetech however, but is a knock off.

So this has been part of my journey thus far but there’s still a lot more to share which I hope to do in the near future.

All Day Vaping

According to my little ‘quit smoking’ app on my phone, I’ve now been vaping exclusively for 11 days.  In that time I’ve had no withdrawal symptoms, no being cranky and irritable, no problems at all.  About the only thing of note would be that my lungs have been cleaning themselves and I’ve coughed up a lot of icky stuff which is now becoming less and less.

I tend to mostly use cartomisers throughout the day when vaping, but when I have my vape breaks out on the patio, I prefer to use the drip method.  I get a much warmer, smoother & quieter vape, and because it has a beginning (when I put liquid in the atty) and an end (when I get the “you’ve used your liquid up” taste) it’s a bit more like what I had when smoking.  When you use a cartomiser it lasts a fair long while – several hours.

One of the first things I noticed after a few days of full time vaping is that I certainly use much more in the way of e-juice.  I’ve made up my favourite flavours in larger 30 ml batches so they can steep and will be nice when I’m ready for them.

I’ve learned to make up a few cartomisers with the juice that I use the most. That way when one gets empty I can toss it into the bag to be refilled later and grab another one that’s already filled. It makes for a very quick and easy change over.

Last week I tried a little ‘tank’ type cartomiser named ‘Bud Sapphire‘.  I thought it would give me a bit longer vape and skip the added filler that’s in cartomisers (some of which can be very noisy). The Bud Sapphires came in a box of two and the first one I filled with a freshly made up juice that I thought I’d love to vape on all day. I don’t know if it was the device or the juice (haven’t been game to try it since) but the first taste was wonderful. The second was stomach-churning awful.  So I let it sit for a bit and tried it again. Same thing. I let it sit for a few days trying it every now and then with the same results each time. Very odd. I removed the liquid with a syringe and tried something else but there’s still the hint of the other juice. The second sapphire I tried with juice I use all the time and it’s all right – it gives a lot of vapour but lacks in throat hit and just doesn’t seem to have much ‘oomph’.  I keep this on my bedside and use it for my first few vapes of the day. It’s the one time of the day when I need something ‘light’ rather than giving me so much it blows my lungs out.  The other thing I don’t like about these is the flat tip.  I’ve really become spoiled by using drip tips with a round mouth piece. It just feels far more natural to me.

This week I ordered a couple of Baby Notta tanks from Vape King.  These are inexpensive ‘tanks’ that use a regular cartomiser with a little hole punched in it. The cartomiser sits in a plastic cylinder with gaskets on either end. You first fill the cartomiser with juice, put it in the cylinder and make sure the gaskets are in properly on both ends.  There’s a little plastic screw on the cylinder near the top that you unscrew to access a small hole to insert a syringe and fill the cylinder up with liquid.  Once done, the screw goes back in, providing a sealed tank.  The liquid gets added to the cartomiser from the small hole and as the Baby Notta holds about 3 ml of liquid, you’re all set for about the same amount of time as 3 or 4 cartomisers full, at least. I’m really glad I gave this a try – and that I bought two.  I took the first one apart to ensure I could put it back together again — when the cartomiser reaches the end of its life I’d need to replace it  so knowing I could re-assemble was important to me. Having the spare one to see what a correctly assembled tank is supposed to look like was very helpful.  Only problem I have at the moment is what juice to put in the second tank!

Edited on 20 Jan 2012 to remove banner based on a time in another timezone.

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