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After 25 years of smoking, the last two of those years smoking 2-1/2 packs a day, on March 14th, 2011, I finally made a life-changing decision and started on my vaping journey. It is my hope that with this blog I will be able to reach out to smokers who so badly want to quit, have tried numerous times and numerous ways to do so, but have always failed. Could vaping ("smoking" an electronic cigarette) be the answer to your prayers as it was mine? Let's find out, shall we?
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Friday, August 10, 2012

When Vendor Complaints Go Too Far

Vapers.  We are a community of people striving for unity; vendors, consumers, reviewers, show hosts, forum members, leaders in e-cig advocacy.  But like in any large community there will always be subjects to disagree on, egos to get stepped on, and those among us who will find opportunities to become opportunistic.

Yes, as a whole we are a community, but that does not mean that we are all inherently good.  I would like to believe that the majority of us are kind, giving, decent human beings, but where there is one faction (good) there will always be another (bad).

We come from all walks of life, all races and religions, and many different cultures, not to mention a plethora of different personalities.  We have many that turn to their own communities and spread awareness of our beloved smoking alternative, donating e-cigs and accessories for no reason other than to help another smoker quit the habit.

Some of us love to spend time helping the newcomers to vaping, either through vaping related review videos on YouTube, social networking groups like those found on Facebook, live video shows such as those produced by Total Vaping Network, Elixir TV, VapeTV, and Vapers Place.

Unfortunately, there are always those bad eggs among us who seem to delight in causing unnecessary drama, who want nothing but free hand-outs without giving anything back, who seem to make it their sole mission in life to malign a vendor who has not lived up to their expectations.

Just as a smile can sometimes be contagious, so can negativity and rumors that are in no way based on concrete facts.

Currently, we're seeing this negativity and thriving rumor mill active in trying to take down a fairly new vendor.  He first came on the radar when doing Provari giveaways on a forum.  What?  Giving away $200 mods?  Just because?  Well, according to this man, he's doing it for one reason and one reason only... to help keep others off analog cigarettes.

That does sound like a beautiful thing, but then I wonder, if it's just to help people quit cigs, why give away a $200 mod instead of maybe one that costs a quarter of that, and give away 4 times as many?  By his own words, he likes to talk to the people he considers giving a mod to, getting to know them and then deciding if he feels they're deserving of a mod.

If each person does not have an equal chance of "winning", is this the kind of giveaway that should be posted on forums and online groups?  Or perhaps is this just a way to get his company's name well known, to draw people to his site?  If his motives for giving mods away were truly altruistic, why is he hand choosing who will receive one?   If his sole reason for giving Provaris away truly is to help others quit smoking cigarettes, why is he choosing people who already have many of their own mods and therefore do not need help staying off cigarettes?

I don't have answers to any of the questions I've posed, and in reality, it's none of my damn business how he does a giveaway, who receives one of his giveaways or why he does it.

And that is really the point I want to make here.  You may not agree with how this man handles himself personally, or how he handles his business.  You may like him or dislike him for what you personally experience with him.  You have every right to your opinions and every right to voice those opinions to your peers.  But please be careful when doing so to stick to concrete facts and not rumors that could potentially harm a person's livelihood.

When a situation arises where a vendor has not held up their end of a giveaway, or has taken 2 months to do so, I'm all for calling that particular vendor out.  But what I cannot abide is making potentially life altering accusations public before even finding out if they are in fact, fact.

For example, Googling a person's name and finding several postings on Ripoffreport.com stating that they're a scam artist and fraud does not make it so.  I could go to that same site and tear a new one on Joe Blow and make it sound utterly believable.  That doesn't mean it's in any way true.

If you're going to spout all kinds of online findings about an individual, do be sure what you're stating is actual fact and not hearsay.  If you truly think this person is a seasoned scam artist and fraud, find an arrest record for him.  They are readily available to the public.

For the record (No pun intended) I have no personal connection to this particular vendor, other than the one order I placed with him, which upon receiving, I was not satisfied with.  His first phone call to me, to discuss the options I chose for my e-liquid, was out of the ordinary but quite pleasant at the time.  Subsequent phone calls (which were picked up by my answering machine) to relay a tracking number, were odd and unnecessary, being that my tracking number had already been emailed to me from his site.  After receiving my order and writing a private message to him to discuss my concerns with the product, he again wanted to speak on the phone, which was totally unnecessary and now felt intrusive and creepy to me.

Keep in mind, these are my personal feelings and do not automatically make this vendor creepy... just creepy to me.  I may not like his product, or how that product was made, but again, that is just my experience and may be completely different than yours.

I'm sure that 95% of you who have read this know exactly which vendor I've been referring to, and you may wonder why I felt the need to write this post.  It was not to champion said vendor or to scold those who have jumped into the rumor mill against said vendor.

I wrote this in hopes that it would open some eyes to the fact that just because a vendor has left you feeling dissatisfied or angry, does not mean you should malign their character or ethics without solid proof of wrongdoing. 

If you're not careful, your complaints and personal angst can easily turn into slander.  If you're going to call foul, you'd best have solid proof to back up your claim.

Justine a.k.a Justwaaaa

Don't forget to check out my channel on YouTube!  

Thursday, April 12, 2012

What IS Vaping, and Can it REALLY Help Me Quit Smoking?




What exactly is vaping?

To keep it to the most simple of terms, vaping is inhaling a vapor formed by heating e-liquid (commonly called "juice") in an atomizer which is powered by a battery, better known as an e-cigarette.  The e-liquid, or juice, is comprised of only a few different ingredients, which, in limited studies, have been shown to be extremely safe to inhale.  Common ingredients are:

Propylene Glycol is an organic compound most frequently found in moisturizer, medicines, cosmetics, food, toothpaste, shampoo, mouth wash and hair products.  It is also used in smoke machines to create fog.

Vegetable Glycerin is a colorless, odorless, slightly sweet, viscous fluid.  It is often found in pharmaceutical and cosmetic products, cough syrups and expectorants.

These first two ingredients, either individually or together, essentially produce water vapor upon heating.  They also serve as the main component in e-liquid to deliver both flavor, from food grade flavor extracts and liquid nicotine.

Flavoring added to the propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin is FDA grade and often even organic and Kosher, depending on the juice vendor and what they prefer to offer.  These extracts are usually very concentrated, so very little is needed to produce the flavor in the juice.
  • Some vendors even have FDA approved food grade "kitchens" to produce their products, something that I believe will be more mainstream, if not required, in the near future.
Liquid Nicotine is derived from the extraction of nicotine from a tobacco plant, which is then diluted to safe ratios with the addition of either PG (propylene glycol) or VG (vegetable glycerine).

E-liquid, or juice, is comprised of just these four elements, and sometimes even less.  Many vendors offer a solution of just PG, or just VG, and there are some vapers who no longer require nicotine added to their juice at all.

What does an e-cigarette look like?

Most people who make the decision to try vaping to help them quit smoking insist on having a PV (personal vaporizer, or e-cigarette) that resembles a cigarette, at least in size and shape.

 You can find them in a multitude of colors as well.

That requirement, however, doesn't usually last very long.  If you want a warmer, stronger vaping experience, and you want a longer battery life, you'll probably want to try out a mod before long.  

What exactly is a mod?

A mod is basically any e-cigarette that's modified from this original stick style.  Why have mods?  Some want them for the unusual looks they can have, but for most a mod is a great option because it usually offers a much stronger battery, producing higher voltages for a warmer vape, and longer battery life.

Here is a picture of an Ego by Joye, one of the smaller mods.  This one runs at about 3.3 to 3.4 volts, but we won't get into volts just yet.

Essentially, all of these devices are nothing but batteries, or tubes or boxes that hold batteries and feed power into an atomizer or cartomizer.  I'll explain the difference in these at another time, but simply put, they both hold the e liquid and then heat it through a coil which turns the juice into vapor.

In my case, I jumped quickly from an Ego type device into a 3.7 volt box mod like this one.

From there, it's a never-ending list of choices for what kind of mod you can have.  They can be made out of so many different things, from beautiful cuts of wood, to just completely bizarre stuff.



What Does E-Liquid Taste Like and Where Can I Get It?

E-Liquid comes in literally thousands of flavors and can be found on hundreds of vaping websites.  From tobacco flavored juice to blue cheese and everything in between, it's all out there for you to try.  Here are a few of my favorite vendors to buy juice from:

Bombay Vaping
Hella Vapor
Vape Dudes
Pink Spot Vapors

Not only will you find delicious, high quality juices with these vendors, but outstanding customer service as well.

Some fantastic places to look at PVs (personal vaporizers) and accessories:

Cherry Vape
Mad Vapes
Vapor Heads
Clouds of Vapor
Totally Wicked

There are so many more that I love but too many to list!

So.  Can Vaping REALLY Help Me Quit Smoking?

Only one word needed here.  YES!

I can tell you that for 25 years I smoked, and the last few years I smoked more than two packs a day.  Part of me wanted to quit but most of me didn't, and even if I'd had a huge desire to quit, I never thought I would be able to do it.

Vaping was somewhat of a miracle for me really.  It did take me a couple of months to completely stop smoking cigarettes, much of that due to the emotional "attachment" I had to them, not the need for nicotine, since I was getting that from vaping.  If I had done some research on vaping before I bought my first, cheaply made e-cig, I probably would have begun my vaping journey much better equipped, both with knowledge, devices, and confidence that this method of quitting actually works!

This is primarily why I've decided to start this blog.  I hope that smokers wanting to quit will come across it and realize that there is a viable alternative to smoking cigarettes, and that there's a person sitting here with enough knowledge to help them get started. 

In the past year or so I've met hundreds of incredible people through vaping groups on Facebook, many of which I consider true friends.  Vapers from around the world have found ways to unite through social media, vape meets and You Tube channels, to socialize, educate and spread e-cig awareness.

If I can reach just one or two smokers out there and turn them to vaping, I'll be a happy woman.

To view my You Tube videos, go here.

For much more information from one of the pioneers in vaping review videos, check out Grimm Green, a great guy and veteran vaper with tons of knowledge.

Thanks for stopping by, and until next time, remember that it's as simple as two little words.  Just Vape!