Dear Media: Please Stop Referring to Vapes as e-Cigarettes


Far too often I hear and the classification terms of “vape and e-Cig” being thrown around like they’re synonymous. Publications ranging from scientific journals to the New York Times have all failed to properly differentiate between the two archetypal devices, whose functionally, design and ownership render them all but incomparable.

Now I’m not being some snobby-elitist-country club-lounging-douche trying to correct your pronunciation of that “all the rage” Milan designer. These two types of nicotine transfer devices are vastly different in functionality and are also owned by two different sectors of the market.

(For purposes of clarity the following contrasts are the “general” differences between the two genres of nicotine transfer devices. Naturally there are further categorizations that could be made i.e. vape pens, personal vaporizers, APVs, mods and mechanical mods, but I’m going to simplify the categories into their two parent genres; vapes and e-Cigs.)

E-Cigs are largely owned by “Big Tobacco,” whether it’s RJ Reynolds and VUSE, or Imperial Tobacco Group and Blu. Contrarily, vapes are largely manufactured and owned  by the small business sector. There are generally no parent corporations producing multiple brands of mods under the same umbrella. Is McDonalds really comparable with your local burger joint? Yes, they each sell burgers just like vapes and e-Cigs transfer nicotine, but both entities are able to achieve their desired effect in differing ways.

E-Cigs contain “built-in” atomizers, which do not allow for the individual to re-build or manipulate them in order to affect the specific “hit” that they are seeking. Additionally, e-Cigs come with flavor cartridges that cannot be filled with outside or independent e-Juice. There are virtually no customization options for e-Cigs, which in part is a legislation piece that tobacco companies have tried to capitalize on. The closest analogy that comes to mind is a stock automobile versus a custom one. Naturally there are independently sold items that can illegally be placed inside a vehicle to make it more powerful. E-Cig companies argue that by making built-in atomizers and pre-filled flavor cartridges, they are able to regulate the quality and purity of their products and then they can market them on television for children to see.

Vapes contain “rebuildable” atomizers, which allow for the individual to select their specific build by utilizing coils, wick and the number of posts contained within their atomizer. Some builds are geared towards producing greater clouds, or greater flavor, depending on the individuals specific usage and preference. Vapes in general are extremely customizable, meaning that different parts from different companies can be comprised within the same device. For instance; I could have a Rig Mod base with a Roughneck atomizer, or any other combination I could fathom. The customization doesn’t stop at switching out different mechanisms, it also stretches to the actual e-Juice that the individual wants to toy with. There are thousands of independent e-Juice brands, all of which can be used to flavor your wick; two at a time, three at a time, mix nicotine levels, whatever you want you can have. Vapes can be looked at as the Wild West, where in which virtually anything goes so long as you know the theory behind it.

Additionally to the differences described above, effectiveness is a key contrast. E-Cigs are generally not powerful, or hell, not cool enough to keep the smoker away from traditional analog cigarettes. My first experience with e-Cigs came from a mall kiosk back in 2009. The device barely hit hard at all and I blew through a $20 cartridge in less than a day. Needless to say my $100 investment failed miserably as I marched down to J.J.’s Liquor Store to get some goddamn Reds.

In 2012 I was introduced to vaping, though be it the most basic of the bunch; a lowly eGo-C Twist. The hit was stronger, battery lasted longer, bigger clouds and the flavor selections were endless. I haven’t had a cigarette since.

My point is that even the weakest vape is 50 times superior to the best e-Cig. I, like many others, failed to quit with e-Cigs but succeeded when using a vape. My eGo-C Twist planted a seed that finally blossomed a month later when I saw that there were even better options available; goodbye tank, hello drip. I’ve been madly in love ever sense.

It’s insulting and downright confusing when I see the terms “vape and e-Cig” used interchangeably. When I read a study about the effects or findings of “e-Cigarette use” are they referring to vapes or e-Cigs because none of them specify anything. This in turn leads to misinformation, more bullshit and the commoner thinking that they’re all equal in the grand scheme of things.

As a former-journalist it really gets to me how the majority of the media has failed to research proper terminology and the differing attributes between the two nicotine-transfer devices. Have I seen a primetime commercial on television for a Blu e-cigarette? Yes. Have I ever seen one for a vape-related product? No, so don’t lump us all into the same marketing category that could be construed as gearing their message towards children. California State Senator Barbara Boxer issued an open letter to the five largest e-cigarette companies in the U.S. about advertising their products on television. I ask again, have you ever seen a commercial for a vape product on television?

The distinction must be made by vape and e-Juice companies alike that we are not affiliated with e-Cigs in any way shape or form. Once the playing field is segmented the public can see that only one entity advertises on television and only one entity is vastly effective as a smoking cessation device.

*Special Thanks To @Jordan_UrbanVapors For The Dope Picture

A Vapers Guide to the Critic Counter-Punch

Four Pins

Q: So what’s e-Juice and what are vapes?  

A: e-Juice is a substance that is composed of four major ingredients: vegetable glycerin (VG), propylene glycol (PG), pharmaceutical grade nicotine and food grade flavoring. e-Juice is poured into the atomizer of a mod/vape and then it is vaporized and inhaled by the individual. The e-Juice can be looked at as a nicotine transfer substance and the mod/vape is a nicotine transfer device. When the two are paired together and “vaping” takes place, nicotine enters the lungs of the individual. In a sense, it’s the same principle of a cigarette, except without combustion or smoke. The CDC states, “Tobacco smoke contains a deadly mix of more than 7,000 chemicals; hundreds are harmful, and about 70 can cause cancer.” As stated above e-Juice only contain 4 ingredients and does not rely on combustion, but rather vaporization.

Q: Can I get addicted to vaping?

A: This question is completely based on the individuals intended use for the e-Juice they consume. e-Juice generally comes in different nicotine levels ranging from 0mg all the way up to 24mg. If a vaper chooses an e-Juice that has nicotine in it, then yes the short answer is that there is the possibility for addiction. If the individual is not already addicted to nicotine, then it is recommended that they use a nicotine-free e-Juice. After all, there is no need to add anymore addictive substances into our lives. Some studies have found that even 0mg e-Juice contained stray levels of nicotine. Please make sure that your e-Juice is purchased from a reliable distributor.

Q: Can I vape wherever I want?

A: While indoor smoking laws were written before the existence of vapes and e-Juice, more than 200 U.S. cities and counties have already banned vaping indoors. Private businesses have the choice whether or not to allow vaping on or within their premises, unless a county rules to supersede and enforce that authority. Check your local laws for more information regarding your city and counties laws about vaping.  Generally the rule of thumb is to ask before vaping inside a public establishment. Currently legislation is the process of moving towards smoking and vaping being labeled as one in the same. This would essentially make them identical in the eyes of the law, so anywhere smoking is not allowed, vaping will also not be allowed.

Q: Why is the CDPH so against vaping and e-Juice? 

A: Big Tobacco, Big Pharma and the Government have a great deal to lose if the vape industry continues to grow. Already tobacco sales are down and many individuals have claimed that e-Juice and vapes have helped them quit smoking. While according to consumers, vapes and e-Juice were their answer to quitting smoking, Big Pharma products such as Nicoderm, Nicorette and Chantix have been less than successful. According to “Studies in medical journals have reported that about 25% of smokers who use medicines can stay smoke-free for over 6 months.” According to RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company, since 1998, local, state and the federal government have collected more than $528 billion in cigarette taxes.” Now why do you think they’re trying to kill the vape industry?

Q: Is it safe? Where is the research on these products? 

A: While there has not been a substantial amount of studies or enough allotted time on these relatively new products, that doesn’t mean that they dangerous by default. Dr. Igor Burstyn of the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, School of Public Health at Drexel University conducted a study where in which 9,000 unique observations were made. In conclusion Burstyn writes, “Current state of knowledge about chemistry of liquids and aerosols associated with electronic cigarettes indicates that there is no evidence that vaping produces inhale-able exposures to contaminants of the aerosol that would warrant health concerns by the standards that are used to ensure safety of workplaces.”

Q: Can this help me quit smoking? 

A: While there has not been enough certified research studies done to prove or disprove that vapes are “smoking cessation” devices, what must be noted are the countless testimonials offered up by vapers who claim that vapes and e-Juice were able to help them quit smoking. Avail Vapor LLC conducted a survey study in which more than 8,500 vapers were polled on their motivations for vaping. Of those polled, 85 percent stated that they were able to quit smoking after turning to vapes and e-Juice as a means of getting nicotine. Once again, this is not scientific research conducted in a laboratory, but instead it can be looked at the polling the actual demographic who use vapes and e-Juice the most.

Q: How popular are vapes and e-Juice and how easy are they to sell? 

A: What we can say about vapes and e-Juice is that the industry is rapidly growing and currently is estimated to be netting more than $2 billion annually. The ceiling for the vape industry is extremely high seeing as how in 2014 the tobacco industry was able to make $145 billion. The goal isn’t to create new revenue pools, but instead to shift profits from the tobacco industry to our pockets. Vapes and e-Juice are on the upswing with bigger and better products being invented every day, while there has been a decline in “Big Tobacco.”

Vaping Ethics 101

Vape Porn

As the vape industry continues to expand in perpetual evolutionary fashion, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration along with various state and private health organizations will undoubtedly begin to build the fire that will seek to burn it down. The only option it seems for the young industry is to make sure that they aren’t offering any excuse for outside entities to open fire in the first place.

Every non-regulated industry has the opportunity to police itself before governmental agencies inevitably get involved. There can be an unspoken code of ethics that will show an “act of good faith,” as suggested by California Senator Barbara Boxer in her open letter to the e-Cigarette companies of California. Trust me, it’s better to have allies than enemies when it comes to the governing legislature.

If an individual blindly believes something to be true,  even when logic and fact proves it false, they will only shift the argument to fit their system of habitual belief. This can be seen as more and more studies confirm that the vaporization of e-Juice is relatively harmless in comparison to combustable cigarettes. The oppositional argument from critics and health organizations quickly shifts away from the matter of public health and focuses on the advertising, flavor choices and suggestive cartoon imagery that make our products appear more “marketable” to children. After the illusion of vaping being a gateway to smoking cigarettes has been sufficiently smashed they will only find another angle to launch their counter-attack.

Although the various smear campaigns carried out by the Still Blowing Smoke campaign have all but caused vapers blood to boil, ‘militant-esc action’ is not always the answer. A “good faith” call to action might be just the reaction that the FDA and health organizations were least expecting. Public relations is 90 percent comprised of appearance and if the mantra is “let us vape in peace,” then fuck it, we’ll make sure our packaging and flavorings conform to your irrational standards.

Sticking it to the man is all fine and well until the man uses his various resources to crush you pound for pound. Smile, nod, shake your head, follow the rules, and if all follow suit we can all vape on. You see it’s all about the path of least resistance; water flows downhill. Instead of stealing logos and accent colors, just spend the money on a graphic designer and come up with something creative. This is small business, download Illustrator and do it yourself.

Space Jam

Your brand-name-knockoff-shit isn’t impressing anyone. It’s cheap, just like your company. You see, we admire the Space Jam’s of the e-Juice world, who have already seen the writing on the wall and done away with their original cartoon alien logo. They understand that this game is about the long run and the market in turn has looked favorably on them.

Coca-cola doesn’t get their kicks from knocking off Pepsi. Instead the companies have differentiated marketing strategies, keeping their brands separate and competitive. The vape and e-Juice industries are supposed to represent small business, the wild west free from corporate dogma, but— if all we’re doing is stealing copyrighted material and adverting tricks from the corporate overlords then what does that say about us?

Personally I loved the Space Jam alien or the Cosmic Fog cloud. I saw it as being no different than the Flame Boy and Wet Willy characters from World Industries. Cartoons are fun and easily branded. However, the current climate frowns upon such strategies and so in a sense we must lose the battle to win the war. Don’t sell your shit to children. Check ID’s at the door. Don’t mimic logos and accent colors that resemble the backs of cereal boxes that millions of children stare at every morning.

We know it’s bullshit. We know that adults love candy and cartoons just as much as children. After all, who’s the one actually purchasing the Halloween goodies come October?

The goal is to be as safe as possible. At this crucial time one bad batch of e-Juice can ruin the lot. Meet the industry standards for clean production. Don’t knowingly sell clones to naive vapers, and yes we all know that YOU can tell the difference. The self-policing window is closing quickly, and if YOU fuck vaping up for me then I’m not going to be pleased.

Vape and e-Juice Retailer Surveys Consumer Base on “Smoking Cessation” Debate

FDA and Big Pharma

Amidst the growing swells of anti-vaping legislation and preemptive outcry from the heath community, one Virginia based vape and e-Juice retailer took matters into their own hands by conducting a two-week survey of more than 8,500 vape users.   

According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Avail Vapors LLC was interested in obtaining information on why their consumers, as well as other vapers, choose to begin vaping and why they continue vaping. Currently there is not enough scientific data for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to substantially prove that vapes are actually “smoking cessation devices,” but survey research is way to shed light on the experiences and motivations that are fueling the vape and e-Juice industries.

The issue of not being able to officially label vape products as being “smoking cessation devices” is one of the only major hurdles holding vapes back from dealing a major blow to “Big Tobacco” and “Big Pharma.” Currently “Big Pharma” has a strangle hold on the “smoking cessation” game with products such as Chantix, NicoDerm and Nicorette.

Although smoking cessation devices have been around since the late 80s’, numerous consumers and scientific studies have questioned their success rates. While according to consumers, vapes and e-Juice were their answer to quitting smoking; Big Pharma products such as Chantix, Nicoderm and Nicorette have been less than successful.


According to “Studies in medical journals have reported that about 25% of smokers who use medicines can stay smoke-free for over 6 months.” Whether using smoking cessation devices or vapes, either way nicotine is being transferred to the individual, except one has seemingly proved to be far more effective.

Of the vapers surveyed in the Avail Poll, 94 percent responded that they had previously used tobacco products before also they started using vape-related products. Of those that previous used tobacco products, the years of usage stretched from one to more than 30 years of smoking or chewing tobacco.

When asking about the supposed effectiveness of vapes being a potential smoking cessation device, 85 percent reported that they did quit using tobacco products, 69 percent in less than one month’s time.

While Avail’s survey is by no means scientific in nature, what it does show is that the percentages and research populations are large enough to paint a decent picture of the vaping demographic. There is obviously a reason why Big Pharma smoking cessation devices have a 25 percent success rate and the vapers polled claim to have quit using tobacco products at 85 percent.

Naturally it is more profitable for Big Pharma to hold off on creating the “perfect” smoking cessation device. Numerous smokers will run the gamut of Big Pharma products before finally admitting that it isn’t working. Testimonials show smokers trying patches, then gum, then pills and even hypnosis, all the while pouring money into the funnel.

Simple “supply and demand” states that there has to be a constant need for a product at a certain amount of frequency. When it is more profitable for an industry to keep its consumers plagued rather than cured, the margin for corruption is far too thin. Vapes and e-Juice are able to gain popularity and demand by utilizing quality and effectiveness, without the cheap tricks and guises.

The Sinister Truth About Anti-Vaping Propaganda

Still Blowing Smoke

You follow drugs, you get drug addicts and drug dealers, but you start to follow the money, and you don’t know where it’s going to take you… 

In recent months the push for legislation aimed at impeding the growing vape and e-Juice industries has hit a full boil, overflowing with brash anti-vaping propaganda handed down by the California Department of Public Health.

In March of 2015 the CDPH launched their Still Blowing Smoke ad campaign, which features multiple television commercials as well a website comprised of claims with little to no substance or scientific evidence regarding the “truths about vaping.”

The CDPH has been successful in their fear mongering agenda, so much so that the mainstream non-vaping public has even begun to perceive vapes and e-Juice as being more treacherous than analog cigarettes themselves.

While targeting the vape and e-Juice industry appears to be an auspiciously noble fight in the CDPH’s eyes, one cannot help but notice the attention being taken away from combustible cigarettes and their effect on the public’s health.

The Center for Disease Control estimates that in 2015, 443,000 American’s will die prematurely from smoking related illnesses, but when turning on the television we see ads against vaping and e-Juice?

The Wire

As quoted above from HBO’s The Wire, following the money is always the surest way to cut through the masquerading agenda of the CDPH and the Food and Drug Administration. Why would the CDPH and the FDA spend so much time and energy on trying to crush the vape and e-Juice industries while “Big Tobacco” is allowed to freely roam (for a fare of course) from sea to shining sea poisoning the bodies of its constituents?

Could it possibly be because since 1998 “Big Tobacco” has paid more than $528.5 billion in taxes to local, state and federal governments? Could it possibly be because, “The government per-pack profit from cigarettes in 2013 was $3.80 (66 percent of the cost of a pack of cigarettes); more than six times the profit of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company.”

Wondering where those statistics were pulled from—The R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company website.

Still not convinced? The CDC states, “In fiscal year 2015, states will collect $25.6 billion from tobacco taxes and legal settlements but will only spend $490.4 million—less than 2%—on prevention and cessation programs.”

Interesting. So essentially states have no problem collecting cigarette taxes, but they do have a problem when it comes to putting those funds to their intended usage. Could it be because tobacco-smoking citizens are more profitable than non-smoking citizens?

The CDC goes onto ‘suggestively’ point the finger by saying, “Spending less than 15% (i.e., $3.3 billion) of the $25.6 billion would fund every state tobacco control program at CDC-recommended levels.”

Currently only two states (Alaska and North Dakota), actually spends the CDC recommended amount of funds on anti-smoking and cessation programs, but hey, 2 out of 50 isn’t that bad right?

The Golden Goose

We know that “Big Tobacco” is a nightmarish ghoul to society, but at least they’re honest about it. Local, state and federal governments lap up cigarette taxes behind closed doors but then condemn smoking by the light of the day.

In their efforts to safeguard the “Golden Goose,” the CDPH will literally say or show anything (no matter how 1940’s Germany-esc) to drown the vape and e-Juice industries from existence.

So who’s really the bad guy here? Who profits the most from making sure that vapes and e-Juice’s are regulated beyond reprieve? Who profits from cigarettes more than “Big Tobacco” itself?