Friday, July 22, 2016

First Look: Review of Vaperz Cloud VCST Cloud-Chasing Tank (RBTA)


I finally got my hands on the Vaperz Cloud VCST tank.  You would think that being their first distributor and having a significant roll in putting them on the map, that I would get a prototype or at least 1st run of their products, but I guess I don't have that kind of hook up anymore, so here I am reviewing their newest tank after their second run.

I really wanted to have a great experience with this one.  Their last VCMT was horrible at wicking.  It was obscenely large (30mm), but when I first saw Matt Cooper's prototype of the VCST, I told him I wanted one.

Anyway, enough of the history/drama, let's get to the review:

You'll get leaking from the AFC when top filling (not for sloppy drippers). When in a rush or needing to do a fill in the run, you better have a syringe or unicorn bottle. Or a convenient vape rag. 

Gets hot depending on build.  I was running a .35 ohm build and the metal part around the mouthpiece can get hot to the lips.

Wicking is tight. There isn't much cotton room around the air flow channels, so you need needle-nose tweezers to really get it jammed down to the deck.

AJC (adjustable juice control) is tough to turn if not wicked properly.  Once you get your technique down, this gets better.

Wide open bore. THIS IS A BEAST!  It's an RDA for clouds with big airflow with the added feature of having juice in a glass tank around it.

Be ready to spend $$ in juice (or make your own). This bastard MURDERS juice

For a wide boar RDTA, it has great flavor.  Perhaps one of the best flavor tanks on the market that can chuck brah.

The AFC ring is janky. It needs to be improved, maybe take a page from Sense or Uwell.

Save the vape band (although I appreciate the support hr2058) and add a smaller 510 adapter for tighter draws. This will help save on juice too.

The fill hole, as I mentioned before, can get sloppy to fill if you don't have a unicorn or syringe. It really needs a better top fill option. Another opportunity to borrow features from Uwell or Joyetech Cuboid Pro design where a small section of the topcap screws off and allows for true top fill.
The posts are big and can accommodate any build, but the diameter of the build area is small and requires the coils to be really close to the posts if you build on a 3mm or larger diameter.  

Huge applause for making the grub screws buttery smooth.

At the end of the day, Vaperz Clouds has done what they always do:  Take someone else's design and improve on it.  It's the same exact deck as the tsunami, which is the same design as Kennedy RDA.

Final thoughts?  I consider the VCST a great tank. With August 8th around the corner, I don't expect a version2, and that's a damn shame because it has innovative potential and very good execution.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

The VapeMaester by Zootie - Vape Traveling Simplified

VapeMaester by Zootie

Estimated MSRP: $79.99

Inspired by and created for Vape Enthusiasts, The VapeMaester is a fully functional, urban vape gear storage and transportation solution. The VapeMaester is specifically designed for vapers on the go with dedicated pockets to hold everything with convenient and easy to access placement.


  • Convenient Sling-Style Messenger Bag
  • Custom pockets and a weave of elastic to organize and transport any type of vaping hardware, tools and accessories.
  • Dedicated compartments for business cards, e-liquid bottles, mods, tubes, pens and batteries
  • Elastic straps for carbeaners and a utility pocket large enough to fit oversize smartphone
  • Durable and easy to clean water-resistant material
  • 2 x 4 inch velcro panel for patches and customization

Now you can carry all of your devices, e-liquids and vaping accessories in an ergonomic and fashionable way.

For Pre-Order Inquiries, please complete the no-obligations form below and we will contact you when the bag is ready to go into production.  Only 1000 will be made in the first batch.  Deposits will be accepted on a first come first serve basis.

Sign up here:

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Democrats applaud FDA e-cig regulations while raking in substantial funds from competing pharmaceutical companies

Companies such as Pfizer and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries make smoking cessation products like nicotine gum and patches, which directly compete with e-cigarettes to get smokers off tobacco.
Seven Democrats who signed the following congratulatory letter to the FDA have raked in substantial sums from these organizations’ PACs, lobbyists and employees:
“We commend the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for finalizing the deeming rule that extends FDA regulatory authority to include all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, cigars, and pipe tobacco, to protect the public’s health—and especially the health of the youngest Americans—from the harmful effects of tobacco,” the senators wrote.
If you think these regulations are not fueled by money and government corruption, have a look at these figures...
Pfizer: $12,300, 2009-2012
$24,300, 2009-2014
$28,500, 2011-2016
Total: $65,100
Pfizer: $12,000, 2005-2010
$33,250, 2007-2012
$38,250, 2009-2014
$35,750, 2011-2016
Total: $119,250
Pfizer: $45,298, 2009-2010
$76,048, 2009-2012
$72,800, 2009-2014
$44,500, 2011-2016
Total: $238,646
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries: $12,500, 2005-2010
$14,500, 2007-2012
$18,450, 2009-2014
$15,750, 2011-2016
Pfizer: $15,000
Total: $76,200
CVS Health: $55,250, 2007-2012
$43,250, 2009-2014
$39,200, 2011-2016
Total: $137,700
Pfizer: $16,000, 2009-2014
Total: $16,000
CVS Health: $20,500, 2005 -2010
$27,050, 2007-2012
$33,050, 2009-2014
$28,050, 2011-2016
Pfizer: $10,000, 2011-2016
Total: $118,650
If you object to this behavior, let your government officials know. Let your voice be heard at the polls and online. #SupportHR2058 #SupportColeBishop #SaveVaping #VapingSavesLives #QuitSmoking

Open Letter to Dr Sahar Halabi - Chicago IL

This is my open letter to Dr Sahar Halabi of Chicago Illinois in response to the following statement she made recently with the American Lung Association (ALA).

Hello Dr Halabi. 
I am writing you today because of a news article I read quoting you on the harm of electronic cigarettes.  I thought you might be interested to know that I am a former smoker of 3-packs a day, and I used e-cigs to help quit almost 3 years ago.  As a pulmonary physician, I'm sure you can realize the benefit of me no longer smoking that many traditional tobacco cigarettes.  I no longer have respiratory issues, I havent been sick in 2 years, my blood pressure and heart rate have all been lowered and I no longer have severe sleep apnea.  

I sincerely believe your statement misrepresents the benefit-risk profile of electronic cigarette use. In your statement, you are telling all smokers that the risks of trying e-cigarettes outweighs the potential benefits. But this is not at all consistent with the actual science. The science unequivocally demonstrates that there are tremendous medical benefits to patients who are able to quit or cut down substantially on smoking tobacco cigarettes using e-cigarettes. And there is essentially no harm in allowing these patients to try to quit using e-cigarettes because smokers who use e-cigarettes are precisely those who believe they are unable to quit using any other methods. 

I was one of them and as a business owner, I see hundreds of people each month who have been successful quitting smoking using e-cigarettes after failing in every other attempt.  Many of my customers, once getting off traditional tobacco cigarettes actually lower their nicotine as well.  I personally started with 24mg and now I vape 0-3mg.  This rings true to just about everyone I have met throughout this industry.  

I know you are trying to be responsible and you have your own beliefs, but as a physician, I strongly feel that your statements in this article are a complete distortion of the risk-benefit ratio for the individual patient, and it therefore constitutes negligent medical advice.  I encourage you to do more of your own research and discover the actual truth that e-cigarettes could actually save lives.  

We are not saying vaping and e-cigarettes are 100% safe, but they are better than smoking in every single way.  We can both agree, we know without a shadow of a doubt that smoking cigarettes kills.  I also agree that there needs to be more research on e-cigarettes, but right now, let’s get people to quit smoking.  Let's save a life, like they have saved mine.  

I would be happy to further this conversation over the phone or skype if you're interested.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

FDA’s New Deeming Regulations: How Does It Affect Us?

The FDA Deeming Regulations will have little to no impact on the consumer for the next 30-90 days (until August 5, 2016).  New products will be allowed to be introduced into the market and shops can continue to sell its inventory.

However after this grace period and for up to 2 years from the publication date (May 10, 2018), manufacturers and anyone else who makes e-cigs, e-liquid, accessories and other advanced vaping products/components will need to submit a Premarket Tobacco Product Application (PMTA) for each and every SKU, variation, and nic level of products they produce.  This process is estimated to cost anywhere from $200,000 to over 1 million dollars per application.  A small juice company making 5 flavors in a line, would have to submit a minimum of 20 different applications potentially at the price tag of 20 MILLION DOLLARS!

During this time, consumers will start to see an industry freeze.  There will be a significant decline of available products, particularly e-liquids.  Shops will no longer be able to build an RDA or offer samples of liquid with nicotine.  Most small businesses will go out of business.  The rest may be subject to higher taxes, licenses, and fees.  Online sales may also be prohibited.

After 2 years and up to 3 years (May 10, 2019), manufacturers must have started the costly PMTA process and/or been approved for a product to be on the market.  Any products that have not gone through the process, or are rejected, will be prohibited to sell and manufacture as of this date.  Based on the 2007 product technology date the FDA is using (predicate date), if this ban would go into effect today, 99% of the products on the market currently will be considered illegal.  Any product not approved by this date will be off the market.

To shop owners and other small businesses, this is a HUGE win for Big Tobacco and a death blow for our industry.  In less than 2 years, the vape world as you know it will be decimated.  No longer will you be able to sample a huge variety of e-liquids, no longer will you be able to get a vaping device that works for you and helps millions of people quit smoking cigarettes every day.  Shops will close, products will disappear and the industry will be forced into an illicit black market.

As consumers and owners, we have 2 options at the moment.  We can respond through legislation or litigation.  And we need to utilize our lobbyist and advocates for both.  But there are also things we can do to help.

Our first step is to help get HR 2058 passed.  This will change the predicate date to something closer to today and will continue to allow the 99% of all products on the market after February 2007 to be sold and manufactured.  Any new products brought to market would be subject to PMTA. This is our first defense and one that would immediately right the course.  If you click THIS LINK, you can send a pre-drafted letter to your senators and congressmen in your area, or you can draft the email yourself.  It literally takes 2 minutes of time.

We could also litigate and get these regulations tied up in court for years.  We could sue saying the FDA doesn’t have the authority to regulate e-cigarettes, etc.  This is definitely an expensive option as well, but still less expensive than the PMTA fees.

There are still many questions that need to be answered and information is being sorted and understood further on a daily basis.  I encourage everyone to please do your own research as well and continue telling your story to your congressmen and senators.  As a community we have a lot of fight in us and if we stay strong, united, and respectful, we may be able to get these rules turned back into our favor.

Here are some valuable links if you would like to get involved in the fight:


CASAA.ORG FDA Deeming Regulations: Release and Next Steps


Final Deeming Rule


Proposed Rule: Premarket Tobacco Product Applications for Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS)

Additional Resources

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The Cons and Cons of Over-Taxing Vaping (UberThoughts USA Guest Post)

As if the once-great State of Vermont had not already done enough damage by foisting Bernie Sanders on our nation, rather than an actual Senator with actual understanding of basic economics, they’re about to add to their odd record.
Yes, the legislature up there in the Green Mountain State is debating, as we speak, a proposal to place a 92% tax on wholesale “e-liquids” and other products associated with “electronic smoking”, a practice known as “vaping.”  You may have seen it done, if you saw what you thought was a group of people together somewhere smoking, but there weren’t any cigarettes and the clouds were a bit thick to be coming from actual smoking.
Those of us who have never smoked and never “vaped” may have a little challenge understanding what vaping is, and I don’t confess to knowing it really well myself.  Suffice it to say that it is a practice wherein a liquid, which may contain nicotine in various known levels (or zero), is burned in a small, handheld device so as to produce vapor that is inhaled and exhaled by the user.  Go with that.
Now, a couple things.  OK, actually a lot.  First, there is no tobacco involved here at all.  The liquid is what is vaporized, and that is not a tobacco product.  Second, the vapor exhaled is essentially water vapor (condensed steam) and has nothing in it that would be readily noticed by anyone in the area, save for the cloud.  Is it “safe”?  Compared with tobacco smoking, sure — tobacco has 43 known carcinogens and 400 other components known to be toxic.  I wouldn’t go so far as to use the word “safe” too generously, especially with nicotine being an addictive drug, but I’m fine as a relative term.
Vaping liquids come in an enormous variety of flavors.  Vapers tend to be younger, and a lot are millennials, so the names are as varied as the flavors.  A typical vape shop is going to be filled with those varieties.
One other thing.  The liquid used in the devices, remember, is purchased with a set level of nicotine, ranging from none at all to something like a cigarette, or higher.  When you buy the liquid (called “juice”), along with selecting the flavor, you specify the level of nicotine.  So if — and this is important — you are vaping as a means to quit smoking, you can step down to being nicotine-free, on your own terms.  And there is certainly anecdotal information of people doing just that and being non-smokers now.  I am personally well-acquainted with such cases.
Because the clouds from these devices are water vapor and thus visually thicker than tobacco smoke (though relatively odorless), it is a hobby of vapers to compete to make better exhaled clouds, sort of like smoke ring competitions on steroids.  You may see that sort of thing done.
But back to Vermont.
The person who proposed the 92% wholesale tax had to be trying to do this to diminish the sales of vaping products.  No one would argue that’s the intent.  In fact, I wrote a column here a year ago advocating for a position like that relative to tobacco smoking as a means to kill the industry that kills 400,000 Americans each year.
The question, though, is “Is it way too early to try to kill off the vaping industry?”  And to that I have to say a loud “yes, it is way too early”, and it may never be a good thing.  It is too early because, although the FDA hasn’t really come down on the vaping practice yet, there is plenty of evidence that it is providing a means for cigarette smokers to get off cigarettes, immediately, and as long as that is going on, we need to be careful to choke off that means of quitting.
Now, some of those in Vermont pushing the idea are trying to make it too expensive for people under 18 (or 21 in some states) to start vaping.  But people under the legal age are, well, already illegal, and cannot be sold to in the first place.  This is not a situation analogous to the cigarette disaster.
You remember, or at least know, that one.  For decades, the tobacco industry at the same time downplayed the health risks of smoking that it always knew, and took pains to make smoking glamorous so that teens would take it up even though selling cigarettes to them was illegal.  That was such a hideously evil thing to do that, despite the industry paying off congressmen and senators for decades, eventually they lost in court and paid gargantuan settlements.  I would be delighted to see tobacco companies kicked out of the USA.
The legacy they have created, though, lives on.  And I see vaping as an acceptable outgrowth of what has been done to society.  Because we let our legislatures get paid off by Big Tobacco for decades to perpetuate their product image, we now need to continue weaning ourselves off tobacco as a nation.  Vaping, my friends, is an incredibly less harmful means to that end — we should be facilitating it, not taxing it into submission.
“Vape shops”, where these products are purchased and tried out, are almost totally small businesses, and small businesses owned by younger people, many of whom are learning to be entrepreneurial.  Put a 92% wholesale tax on them, and they go out of business and their owners and employees head to the unemployment lines.  If we were talking tobacco here, I wouldn’t care — but we’re not.
In the interest of full disclosure, I have to note that my older son, who is 42, owns two of those shops.  He spends a lot of time developing marketing campaigns to promote them, and has become a creative leader and recognized name in his industry.  Obviously I want him to succeed, but I would never promote a position in this column that I did not believe to be accurate.  If he were selling cigarettes, you wouldn’t be reading this.  And, by the way, vaping has made him an ex-smoker.
Vermont needs to back down from its proposal and vote it away.  It is a business-killer and job-killer, and a job-killer for a small industry that is at least somewhat helping to get people off tobacco.  I get the thought — “let’s keep kids off this stuff” — but the industry itself is already doing that.  There are laws against underage sales already, and shops are really careful about whom they sell to for that very reason.  The price sensitivity is felt by the legal-age buyers.
Liberals — and Vermont must be full of them to keep sending Bernie Sanders to Washington — are really famous for feel-good legislation that ignores the outcomes.  Think “minimum wage laws” as a good example.  Those liberals in the Vermont legislature need to step back, take a good deep breath and realize that the outcomes of that proposal are not what they would like them to be.  They need to do better.
Perhaps they should stare up at the clouds and contemplate.
Copyright 2016 by Robert Sutton
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Thursday, February 25, 2016

Continuing Coverage of the Budget Hearing - Food and Drug Administration - Thursday February 25, 2016

Budget Hearing - Food and Drug Administration Thursday, February 25, 2016 10:30 AM in 2362-A Rayburn Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies

Meeting Adjourned - Final Thoughts It is apparent that any discussions regarding the deeming regulations has been skillfully dodged and avoided.  We saw both sides of the story represented and in both cases, the best answer we could get was that they are continuing to work on finalizing it - and there is not estimated date in the near future where we will have their ruling.  I continue to encourage everyone to reach out to our congressmen, representatives and senators and even the members of the FDA who spoke in today's hearing and continue to let your voices be heard.
Around the 1 hour 59 minute mark, Representative Harris shared an anecdotal story regarding a friend of his who successfully quit smoking a pack of cigarettes a day by using vaping.  And he mentioned that it seemed to be a safer alternative.
Around the 1 hour 52 minute mark, Mr Farr also asked when the deeming regulations will be finalized.  Mr. Ostroff again couldnt answer when, even when asked if it was going to be this year, but they are working as hard as possible to get it done.
Around the 1 hour 12 minute mark, Representative Nita Lowey, was VERY concerned that the FDA needs to have the ability to control tobacco products including e-cigs. She is extremely disappointed that "these kinds of shops" are opening up all over the place and there is no regulation. She states according to the CDC that nicotine is extremely harmful and youth use exceeds tobacco cigarette use. She even went to far as to make a condescending comment how she walked by one these shops in her neighborhood and saw tutti-frutti and other names that would be appealing to kids. She strongly supports STRICT FDA regulation and demanded to know when the deeming regulation would be finalized. Stephen Ostroff again responded with the politically correct answer that they are just as passionate as her to get these products under FDA regulation and they couldnt offer a date when it would be finalized but they are taking all comments and input into their decision.
Around the 1 hour 5 minute mark, Mr Yoder seems to be a strong supporter of pushing the predicate date forward, but also wants to establish standards without eliminating products currently on the market, or killing off many small businesses over something that (to date) has been shown to be less harmful that smoking. Stephen Ostroff's response to this question was to was with no surprise their biggest concern being that of youth use. He sited statistics that now shows more underage use vape than smoke. He also addressed the backlog of product applications, stating that 73% of the products have already been resolved, the remaining items already exist in the market.
Around the 49 minute mark, Mr Rooney asked if they have underestimated the number of pre-market tobacco SKUs based on the number of electronic cigarette items on the market and the number of new cigars added to the market recently. Mitch Seller was admitted to testify saying that they have taken in (over 135,000) comments but cannot disclose what their final ruling will be towards E-cigs.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Real Vaping Issues: Marketing to Children

In this series, I plan to address REAL vaping issues that face us as consumers, owners and an industry as a whole.  Please keep in mind that everyone is entitled to their opinion and this is just mine.  It may not reflect my customers, vendors, or employees, and I may say some things that you either agree or disagree with.
In the first installment, I want to discuss a very hot topic lately: Marketing To Children.  I have witnessed several Facebook groups discussing this topic and have read statements posted regarding the FDA’s stance on future regulation of e-liquids.  It seems that the consensus is that packaging and labels that have bright colors, have cartoon characters or use names that resemble childhood treats, that those companies are “marketing” to children.  And in an industry that is on the verge of strict regulations, misconceptions and false information, this is not the kind of ammunition we want to give to the lawmakers, politicians and general opposition.
We know that vaping is on the rise.  Smoking has declined and vaping has increased.  This is across the board, but one demographic that continues to be dragged into it is minors.  They are more likely to vape now than smoke.  And do you know why this is?  I can tell you it’s NOT because of the packaging of the products.  Its because smoking is not cool anymore.  People know now, without a shadow of a doubt that tar and other carcinogens with smoking causes cancer and cancer causes death.  And the younger generation now has an alternative to the cancer-causing sticks of the older generations.  They also have better tasting, less stinky options like fruity flavors, dessert flavors, drink flavors, etc.  It’s a lot easier to hide the vape smell from your parents than cigarettes.
Older generations didnt have this option and the media glorified smoking.  Movie stars, Hollywood bad boys, the cool kids at school and work, hell, even doctors and nurses smoked, so if you wanted to be cool and fit in, you rolled a pack of lucky strikes up in your white t-shirt sleeve and slicked your hair back.  That was COOL!
Fred Friggin Flintstone was in a damn Winston commercial in the 1950s!  But I genuinely don’t believe this was intentionally done to get KIDS to smoke.  Back then, the entire family would gather around the TV and watch the show.  It wasnt like it is now where every pre-teen has multiple “tvs” in front of their faces 24×7, watching television was a treat for those who could afford it and it was something people did as a family.  And in that family, there were adults.  The cigarette companies knew this, so there were commercials to say “Hey Mom & Dad, here’s something for you too”.  They used cartoons as a vehicle to reach a larger population and not to start kids on smoking (although this may have indirectly been the result).  Perhaps later as they realized the growth and profit opportunities, the thought crossed the minds of big tobacco to get younger people hooked on cigarettes earlier in life, but I dont think that was their initial intention.
The same thing is going on in the beer and alcohol industry.  How many commercials of hot guys and pool party bikini chicks, or showing, “hey you drink our shit and you will party your balls off”.  Do you think that’s appealing to 14 years olds – hell yeah it is.  Hey, I’m 14 and I want to be surrounded by hot chicks.. maybe I’ll start drinking bacardi or miller lite or whatever.  Walk into any liquor store and there are bottles of vodka with flavors like fruit loops, cotton candy, cake and marshmallows.  How can liquor, something that is a bazillion times more dangerous than vaping beable  to do this?  Oh that’s right, because it’s government regulated AND TAXED!
Let me be clear about this, bright colors, cartoons and candy names DO NOT ONLY APPEAL TO KIDS!  This whole statement that by using these characteristics for e-liquids somehow makes kids more likely to vape is absolutely absurd.  The stories about kids drinking nicotine and dying, that is a parenting issue, not a vaping issue.  If more people would take part in their kids lives instead of being brought up by the internet, this wouldnt be an issue.  People are always quick to blame someone else for their problems.
Ask any e-liquid maker if they designed their flavors and bottle design to be attractive to  minors.  It’s NOT what any of us are about.  We have signs on our shop door that say “Must Be 18+ or Older to Enter”.  We check IDs and we do our best to make sure that we are being responsible business owners.  We don’t want vape products to be abused or get into the hands of children.  For me personally, I have used e-cigs/vaping to quit smoking and I know many of my customers are too and that is why we continue to support this industry.  It’s making a change in those people’s lives that make the real difference.