The Juice Judge: Clever Vape, Fluid, FanceeJuice, Avail, Vapor Shark
August 30, 2013
Juices are rated on a scale of 1-5 based on flavor, vapor production and throat-hit.
Clever Vape’s Brooklyn Pop
Clever Vape’s Brooklyn Pop, presented in a glass eye dropper bottle with an eye-catching label, won me over before I even tasted the juice. I am a sucker for unique labeling and packaging and Clever Juice has provided a strong case in this area. Brooklyn Pop, true to its description, is a refreshing cola juice with a subtle black cherry tone. It tastes fresh and light and may become a staple in my juice rotation.Vapor clouds were gorgeous and satisfying on this 50/50 mix while throat hit was above average. You can grab a 30ml bottle for $14.99 or flavor boost it for an additional $4 at clevervape.com.
VAPE VERDICT = 4.6
Flavor=5, Vapor=5, Throat Hit=4
Fluid’s Tangsicle is a tasty orange dreamsicle juice that is more reminiscent of Hi-C than Tang with a cream accent on the backend, most noticeably on the exhale.If you like orange this juice is pretty tasty. Some folks at the table found the orange a little overpowering while others found it spot on in terms of its name and description. Our tester bottle was a 50/50 mix of PG/VG and vapor clouds were large and chewy. Throat hit was average. A 30ml bottle costs $15.99 and vapers can select PG/VG mix or add menthol at no additional cost at fluidvaper.com.
VAPE VERDICT = 4.0
Flavor=4, Vapor=5, Throat Hit=3
It took a little bit of vaping and some at the table never got it, but this juice does taste exactly like a lime margarita. The flavor is there, but at first it was a little faint. Toward the end we could nearly taste the salt on the end of the drip tip. This was an overall very tasty juice and receives high marks in the flavor category. Vapor production was stellar with voluminous clouds pouring from a fresh cartomizer. The only area it was average in was throat hit. On their website vaper scan select cloudiness, (PG/VG mix) and they also offer a margarita box where you can get a big juice of Cloudarita and blueberry, lime, watermelon, strawberry and mango mixers to mix a perfect margarita in the atomizer.FanceeJuicetouts their juice as premium e-liquid, and it costs $20.99 for a 30ml bottle. fanceejuice.com.
VAPE VERDICT = 4.3
Flavor=5, Vapor=5, Throat Hit=3
Avail’s Piña Colada
If you like Piña Colada and getting caught in the rain … I can’t recommend getting it from Avail. This juice tastes like it’s large batch created, rebranded and resold. In a word, it’s gross. It only tasted marginally like coconut to one person at the table while others mentioned that it was unvapeable. Vapor production is average and we cannot say why as the bottle did not represent the mix of PG and VG. Throat hit was nonexistent. Their site currently is in launch status and has no pricing information.But, you can view their other juices, which are hopefully better, at availvapor.com
VAPE VERDICT = 1.6
Flavor=1, Vapor=3, Throat Hit=1
Vapor Shark’s Ice Tart
Vapor Shark’s Ice Tart is a mentholated Pixie Stix juice. The jury is out on this one as the menthol is not very fresh or crisp and fades very quickly while the Pixie Stix flavor is very muted. Vapor production is average and the bottle did not represent the mix of PG and VG. Throathit was average for a mentholated juice. While vapers can choose the level of nicotine on the site it does not appear you can select the mix of PG/VG. A 30ml bottle is approximately $14.99 and is sold at vaporshark.com.
The 2017 E-Liquid Flavor Guide will include a list and guide of thousands of e-liquid products from the largest brands in the industry to boutique craft flavors.
“The last few months have seen an explosion of new E-liquid lines and flavors as manufacturers scrambled to get their products in the market before the August 8 FDA deadline.”
“The Flavor Guide will be a valuable resource for business executives, you can be sure they will keep it at arm’s reach at their desk throughout the year,” said Matt Schramel, VAPE Magazine publisher. “Not to mention it will be an even bigger value to vapers for finding the perfect e-liquid.”
In addition to the industry’s most complete flavor listing, the magazine will also contain reviews, features, interviews and how-to’s.
The VAPE Magazine’s 2017 E-Liquid Flavor Guide will be published November 2016.
The guide will be distributed to all VAPE Magazine subscribers, over 14,000 shops in the US and UK and other retail outlets around the world.
HURRY. SPACE IS LIMITED! DEADLINE IS SEPT. 15, 2016.
I recently just got news about the death of my cousin’s father- in-law who died of complications related to COPD. My aunt has a niece on her maternal side of the family who recently got diagnosed with Stage-4 Lung Cancer. A neighbor that lives below her is just starting her lung cancer fight.
These are people, who if educated by the community, probably could have been saved and lived longer if they knew all the good things about e-cigarettes. Perhaps they probably heard, but got the wrong information. Maybe their doctors told them not to start vaping and that it was harmful. Maybe they didn’t get any information at all. Whatever the case, I almost feel like we’ve failed these people and countless others who are, have been, or will have a smoking-related disease, diagnosis, death.
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These are the stories that should mean more to us than any vape drama, polarization between factions, being vape famous, self-proclaiming yourself as the vape savior, etc. These are the stories that to me are at the heart of what it means to be an advocate for vaping and why we are in this business. This is why I personally don’t want vaping to die.
Even my boyfriend who has been vaping for almost 2 years and my cousin who just started a few months ago share my personal stories and connections. I feel like from what I’ve done, I’ve made a difference in the world and a difference in someone’s life. We don’t have enough of these stories being told publicly.
But why should you take my word for it? I don’t own a juice company. I’m not a mod maker. I’m just an ordinary vaper with a vape show writing about vaping things. Granted, I have tried creating vaping accessories with which others have been successful, and I’ve failed. I’ve even tried selling vaping things for charity, with all the advertisement in the world, and no one has bought a thing.
Even vaping gear I’ve made ESPECIALLY for charity events have only brought low bids. And yet, because I’m not this “big name” in the community, the whole of the community feels like they should not give a damn about what I do and what I say because I’m not part of the “vaping establishment”.
Let’s face it. As much as we bitch about the greater establish, we have one within our own community. We just don’t see it because we are so blinded by the big names and the
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Because I am that outsider. Your customer at your shop is an outsider. The average viewer of my vape show is an outsider. It’s why the greater public doesn’t know as much about vaping as they should, and we’ve failed at connecting with them.
shiny things. Most of us are too much above it or in the thick of it working for companies and having connections with the “right” people to go far in this industry. However, with the bans and rules coming into place, do those messages still mean anything to you anymore?
Now, let me be clear, I’m not whining saying I want to be famous or popular. I’ve been there done that. In fact, it’s a kind of strange dichotomy. Because even though people notice you, they notice you mostly for the wrong reasons and want to take advantage of your good graces and sometimes screw you over with a smile on their face. Sometimes it happens without you knowing it until it’s recorded on hidden camera, discussed on online vape shows and videos, and plastered all over the vaping section of the Internet.
What I am saying is that there are more voices out there than the “vape famous” who are saying what the big guys are saying and always have. People like me, the average vaper and the average observer tend to see things others don’t. It’s why my column has its name. Because I am that outsider. Your customer at your shop is an outsider. The average viewer of my vape show is an outsider. It’s why the greater public doesn’t know as much about vaping as they should, and we’ve failed at connecting with them.
Yet, if there’s someone like a VaperJoe’s, a GrimmGreen, Phil Busardo, and other big names and companies saying the SAME THING, they’re believed more than someone like me who’s been saying it for so long until I’ve been blue in the face. Sadly, we’ve become a celebrity culture in which unless you’re that next Internet sensation, no one is going to believe and listen to what you have to say.
Voices like mine are being drowned out by the vaping popularity contest, drama and bullshit that’s embedded itself within the industry due to lack of foresight and plain ‘ol human nature at its worst. This includes the cliques that I encounter, the big events that are more about show and money than people, the giveaway shows where you’re popular just because everything is free, and on it goes. It’s frankly why a lot of people within the industry, especially the veteran vapers and the advocates are bitter at this moment. The focus was lost and we got attracted to the celebrity shiny really quick.
Now, just imagine if I did have a juice line. Imagine if I made and sold millions of dollars worth of a product or idea that the vaping community could use and still continued to write. Imagine if I was connected to the biggest people in the industry and was on their shows all the time (which would not be a bad thing in and of itself). Would you still feel I had that hidden agenda? Would you still feel that I sold out to the community? Would you think I was getting too big for myself?
I hate to tell you, but just like anything else, fame is fleeting. Eventually, those numbers will go down and your popularity will become just another YouTuber story of the past. Your part in all of this will be ignored just as much as mine, but only because you’re no longer the flavor of the month. Voices like mine might just last a bit longer because I refused to fall into the trap and stuck to my own rules, not the rules that are dictated to me or rules that I “should” follow if I want to “make it.”
Having said that, don’t you think that now with everything that has happened in terms of the FDA regulations, a voice with no juice line or mod equipment label on back is NOW worth listening to just a bit more? I surely think so.
Who are you listening to now that so many things have and will change in the vaping industry? Are you willing to give the “little-guy-in-vaping” a chance?
Contact Susan at email@example.com. Find her on Facebook, Twitter and at her personal website http://www.angelwritercreations.com. If you like this rant and want to hear more, Susan hosts VapeTVLive on Thursday nights at 11pm – midnight EST.
In journalism, a source will sometimes provide clear and accurate information just ahead of a public announcement that could potentially save a reporter time, while preventing inaccurate and potentially damaging information from reaching the public, due to the hurried efforts made by journalists to outscoop their competition.
This is done under the condition that the information provided to the reporter and his or her media outlet may not be publicized until an agreed-upon time. The process is called an embargo, and is an accepted and perfectly reasonable agreement between parties.
Now, what if you were the journalist and your source was the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), whose embargo came with the knowledge that you not only have to be tightlipped with the public, but that you could not disclose any embargoed information with third parties?
You would in effect be silenced from speaking aloud any information given to you by the FDA until the embargo date and time expired.
It’s easy for this hypothetical to be viewed as simply that, a hypothetical, but according to Scientific American, the longest continuously published science and tech magazine in the country, their findings say it’s true.
Bloomberg View columnist, Megan McArdle writes that the FDA “is often releasing announcements about peoples’ research. And that information can dramatically move markets.”
Markets that include, but are not limited to the vapor product industry.
“This raises the specter that the purpose of such embargos has moved beyond controlling the flow of market-sensitive information, and onto ensuring that stories are produced by a select group of reporters given limited information, which will then shape the subsequent coverage of the issue,” McArdle wrote.
And by shaping the coverage of an issue, the potential to sway public opinion and change government policy in a way that would favor your organization’s self-interests is a tempting proposition indeed.
You can read more about the FDA embargos, and the Scientific American findings in McArdle’s article, which can be accessed here.
It’s 2016 and the vapor industry is synonymous with tobacco.
But not entirely.
Since the FDA officially deemed vapor to be tobacco, there has been a lot of talk about how vapor is not tobacco. While for the most part I agree, the fact of the matter is that in most instances nicotine is derived from tobacco.
I’m not here to split hairs about that today. This month we’re discussing the benefits to being part of the tobacco industry.
First and most importantly, we have not been deemed a pharmaceutical product — like nicotine replacement therapies. For anyone upset about not being able to discuss the potential benefits of switching to vapor, it’s a double-edged sword.
If you think being deemed tobacco will end this industry, being deemed a pharmaceutical product would decimate it entirely. Immediately.
Pharmaceutical products go through years of testing that costs millions — many millions — to complete.
For some added perspective, nearly every single pharmaceutical company brings in more annual revenue than the entire $4 billion vapor industry.
Tobacco = bad.
Pharmaceutical = worse.
Another benefit to the tobacco industry is that our insurance risk will change. While the cost to ensure a store or manufacturer is unlikely to decrease, there is a distinct possibility that more companies will begin writing policies.
Because vapor products never officially fit into a category, most insurance companies struggled to be able to assign risk. Having that category should create more competition in the market. Whether that results in better pricing will remain to be seen, but competition has been in need for some time.
For that same reason, I think we will see banks become more willing to loan money to small to medium sized stores and manufacturers. Currently, getting a loan in the vapor industry is quite difficult unless your annual revenue is well into seven-plus figures.
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Another angle has to do with label restrictions. The tobacco industry has dealt with packaging restrictions for years. It put an end to Joe Camel and the Marlboro Man.
And it will put an end to cartoon characters on e-liquid bottles — the people who at least to an extent created this mess. Our industry did a poor job of policing such brands ourselves, and now here we are.
Last but not least, did I mention that vapor has not been classified as a pharmaceutical product?
That’s huge. HUGE.
Moving forward, let’s all take a deep breath and take a realistic look at the future. There will be dramatic changes to the landscape, but as time passes we will get a more clear picture of what is to come.
Corey Noles is the managing editor of VAPE Magazine. He has worked as a journalist for more than a decade and is the founder, owner of Inked Up E-Liquid Co., Busted Knuckle Vapor Fluids and T [E-Liquid].
Since banning the sale of vapor products to minors nearly seven weeks ago, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has flexed its regulatory muscle, and is closely monitoring illegal online tobacco sales involving underage shoppers.
The FDA has sent letters to at least 24 websites and 28 online e-cigarette retailers it suspects are in violation, warning them that the sale and marketing of tobacco products will not be tolerated, according to the Wall Street Journal, and that penalties will be issued if changes aren’t made to sites within 15 days.
The Journal also reports that while none of the violators were brick and mortar vape shops, rather gas stations and drug stores were the culprits, all retailers whether online or otherwise are bound by the same rules, and as such could be subject to $275 fines for repeat offenses.
Read more about this by visiting The Wall Street Journal, and by clicking here.
He’s called the $5 Man and he is not an urban legend, but is very real. Those in the tobacco industry have heard of him and are fearful since he steals money. Their money. State politicians don’t like him either since he takes money from their coffers, too.
Excessive Taxation Creates Illegal Responses
In 2002 New York state and New York City pulled a double whammy on cigarette smokers. The state increased cigarette prices from $1.11 to $1.50 per pack. The city also increased their local excise tax from $.08 per pack to $1.50.
NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Community Health Survey reported that smoking rates in the city dropped by 11 percent, an unprecedented decline. Most of those that quit confessed that it was due to the financial burden of the added taxes, which pushed retail prices of cigarettes to over $8.00 per pack.
That victory was short lived.
Within months of the new taxes taking effect a huge flood of illegal cigarettes started hitting the streets. These cigarettes came from various sources, but 29 percent, the majority, were bought outside New York City, but within the state. That was followed by out of state sales at 22 percent and 18 percent through the internet.
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Legacy Foundation reported these findings and found the culprit. They were usually illegal bootleggers that were selling name brands for $5.00 per pack.
Thus began the black market and the beginning of an illegal cigarette industry.
It was estimated that as much as 90 percent of cigarette sales in 2003 were illegal sales and therefor, not taxed or collected by the state or city of New York.
Our Early Vaping Roots
The vision of selling “from the truck of your car” is not limited to cigarettes and many that got into the vaping game early did the same thing. They were not circumventing taxes or the law, but were trying to create a business that had no structure and no foundation.
In 2013 when I started VapeMentors there were an estimated 1,500 vape shops in the United States. Three years later that number exponentially increased six-fold to 9,000 shops. No one really knows for sure since the opening and closure rate is so high and because there are many definitions of “vape shops.”
Many of todays’ top companies started with an aggressive “Vapreneur” buying products from overseas- usually China- and pawning them off to friends and associates that were curious about this new vaping thing. Many of those products were so inferior that they were motivated to create or find better ones. This was the foundation of one of the largest vaping companies in the nation, Madvapes.
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Others went on to open shops, online stores or other vape related businesses. But they started somewhere.
Prohibition does not work
It is said that “those that do not study the past are doomed to repeat it.” Almost a century ago Congress passed the 18th amendment which banned the sale of alcoholic beverages with an alcohol content of greater than 2.75 percent.
We know how well that worked.
During the 13 years of Prohibition, which finally ended in 1933, the United States went through challenging times. Among the ripples that were created was the Great Depression, disrespect for the law that many thought was unfair, and organized crime.
At a recent vape show in Chicago a panel of advocates and experts were asked about the potential of black markets in the vaping industry. They all agreed it was a real possibility and a likely outcome.
Why is that?
Many vapers are radical and do not like regulation. But even so, the biggest driver to black markets would be the eventual elimination of 80-97 percent of all vaping products on the market. With a PMTA price tag that could run “more than one million dollars,” there will be few winners in the “millionaire lottery” as American Vaping Association president Gregory Conley calls it.
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This unintended consequence of heavy handed FDA regulations could be the formation and growth of this new illegal market. That could have worse outcomes than anything that the government instigates.
The E-Cigarette Forum (ECF) surveyed 10,000 of its users in 2014 and found 79 percent would turn to the black market due to product bans.
Mitch Zeller, director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, was asked about this potential issue and he responded with this comment:
“We have a very effective office of compliance and enforcement that will be monitoring and conducting surveillance to detect any kind of illegal activity in the marketplace. I have no idea what the likelihood is for a black market, but if that happens we’ll find it and those products, if they haven’t received marketing authorization from FDA, would be in violation of the law.”
What are your thoughts? Do you see a potential black market?
Norm Bour is the founder of VapeMentors and creator of the VAPE U online programs. They offer services & resources for anyone in the vape space, including vape shops, online stores and e-liquid brands. He’s also the host of Vape Radio, the largest vaping radio show in the world with more than 1.3 M downloads. Norm interviews the masters of vape and thought leaders in the vape space. Contact him at norm@VapeMentors.com.