The Juice Judge: Clever Vape, Fluid, FanceeJuice, Avail, Vapor Shark

The Juice Judge

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

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

FanceeJuice’s Cloudarita

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.

VAPE VERDICT = 3.0

Flavor=3, Vapor=3, Throat Hit=3

I’m a Vaper, Not a Smoker: The #Iamavapor project

August 25, 2016

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By SUSAN OSER

Marcy Coyne (VapingMarcy) is the founder and creator of #Iamavaperproject. It’s a coalition of vapers, organization, etc. to get together to stand up and fight for our vaping rights. With the recent announcement of the FDA regulations, the group’s popularity has grown quickly.

So, how exactly was this group inspired? According to Coyne, it was just an idea that sparked from getting a few people to do a video and end their segment by merely saying “I’m a vaper, not a smoker.” That’s it. Just a simple video project. Little did she know that once word got around on the idea, it would blow up. It seems as if this was something that the vaping community had been looking for and wanted, but didn’t exactly know when or where to start.

Coyne is not working alone on this. She has several other assistants helping her disseminate and making sure that the right information gets out there. Chris Meyers, the owner of Pope Juice jumped on the bandwagon immediately when he heard about #Iamavaperproject. He has been a big help to Coyne in creating event pages and recording videos from various events that he attends. Other helping hands have included Brandon from Blue Collar Vapes and BRM (see Facebook).

It seems, according to Brandon, that social media is the key right now in getting the word out. In fact, if you do a mere Facebook search on vaping groups, there are thousands of them from every state, if not every city. This is also why the group has posted any video collaboration on their YouTube page, Twitter account, Tumbler, and more. While the population of the online community may seem a small portion of the overall population, it’s actually pretty vast and by reaching out to the online vapers, they hope it can filter out into real life. Yet sadly, even a lot of people who visit their local vape shops are oblivious to what the online community is talking about (except for the occasional Phil Busardo or Grimm Green video).

While there has been this panic as of late because of the FDA, the group stresses calm as well as respectable and professional behavior. In fact, it is highly stressed as a rule on the group’s Facebook page as well as when people are doing videos.

With all the demand for exposure, the group has been working on creating a PayPal page for donations, creating products such as bumper stickers and t-shirts, and maybe in the future, hosting a fundraiser. So far, the administration board of #Iamavaperproject have appeared and recorded videos at VPX events, Vape Bash, and even smaller venues. Eventually, the group would like to give presentations at various meets and shows similar to what is done by the Vaping Militia, SFATA, and CASAA.

So what are the long terms goals of #Iamavaperproject? Basically, it is the hope that everyone comes together to fight for the industry. In total, between the online and offline community, there are at least 10 million vapers in the US alone. If every single person took action and spoke out, making sure that news media coverage on vaping is balanced, became active in government, and even simply voted, a lot would happen. Sadly, it hasn’t and the #Iamavaperproject wants to emphasize that fact.

When joining the Facebook group (the heart of #Iamavaperproject), you will not only interact with other vapers, but will see Facebook feeds of video Calls to Action for collaborative projects, various articles on vaping, and of course CASAA calls to action to contact legislators.

Let’s face it; if FDA-approved drugs like Chantix didn’t have all the suicidal side effects, vaping would not have been a thought. If the FDA-approved nicotine patches worked, no one would’ve thought to turn to vaping.

What is stressed is that #Iamavaperproject is not replacing other more established groups, but encouraging those groups (as well as members of them) to work together for the same goal: fighting for vaping rights.

Thus this is a community group, not a clique.

To find out more about I’m a Vaper Project, find them on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or online at http://iamavaper2016.wix.com/Iamavaperproject 

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Big Players in Vaping Advocacy Formalize Coalition

August 24, 2016

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By SHAWN McCARTHY

As most vapers (should) know, the FDA has expanded its tobacco regulatory authority to the vaping industry, with the changes taking effect on August 8, 2016. There are other stories covering the nuts and bolts of the proposed regulations (and if you have not educated yourself, please do so.) Suffice it to say that these rules, short of legal or legislative action, will start a two year clock that will expire in August 2018 with the end of vaping as we know it.

Several groups have been working toward the goal of changing these regulations through legal or legislative channels. In May 2016, these groups – who collectively represent the best chance to save vaping – formalized their coalition.

The groups involved should be known to every vaper. They are the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-Free Alternatives Association (CASAA), the American Vaping Association (AVA), the American E-Liquid Manufacturing Standards Association (AEMSA), the Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA) and Not Blowing Smoke (NBS).

CASAA is a consumer advocacy group focused on tobacco harm reduction. AEMSA and SFATA are trade organizations which drive self-regulation through member commitment to certain quality and safety standards.

NBS focuses on countering misinformation in unscientific or biased studies, dishonest press releases and statements from anti-vaping politicians.

The AVA is an advocacy group for small and medium-sized businesses in the vaping industry. Gregory Conley, the President of the AVA, calls the end of that two-year clock “Vaping Prohibition.”
A former legislative director for CASAA, Conley founded the AVA in 2014. He is one of the more prominent advocates who dedicate their lives to speaking on behalf of vapers; telling our stories, clearing up misconceptions, countering misinformation and seeking solutions to the pending prohibition.

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Regarding those solutions, there are a number of legal challenges at the federal and local level on behalf of vapers, but the best chance to save vaping appears to be legislative. There are two main legislative initiatives being pursued by vaping advocates at this time.

One of these initiatives is House Resolution 2058 which is a focused bill that simply changes the predicate date for the pending regulations to be the same as the deeming date: August 8, 2016 instead of the proposed predicate date of 2007, which allows vaping products currently on the market to remain on the market without the labor and expense of filing a pre-market tobacco application – a process which could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars per product.

This resolution has over 60 co-sponsors but until recently that support was exclusively republican.

“We are pleased to announce our first democratic co-sponsor to HR2058,” Conley said in an interview with VAPE Magazine, “hopefully this opens the door for additional democratic support.” Minnesota Representative Collin Peterson was the pioneer who crossed the line to officially make HR2058 a bipartisan resolution.

Julie Woessner, president of CASAA and long-time vaping advocate, does not believe that this should be a partisan issue.

“This represents a private-sector solution to a public health problem, which should make republicans happy,” Woessner told VAPE Magazine. “But it also represents harm reduction, which is what democrats say they want.”

The other initiative being focused on by the coalition is the Cole-Bishop Amendment to the Agricultural Appropriations bill, and it also has bipartisan support. The amendment, which was offered by Republican Tom Cole and Democrat Sanford Bishop, was added to the Appropriations bill in April.

Cole-Bishop changes the predicate date like HR2058 but it also contains some restrictions, calling for battery regulations, new package labeling requirements and restriction of print marketing to publications designed for adults.

This amendment probably represents vapers’ best chance at saving vaping from prohibition. Compared to HR2058, Conley said, “I am most confident in the Cole-Bishop amendment because it is in the agricultural appropriations bill and that has to be voted on later this year.”

While changing the predicate date is the most critical battle in front of the coalition – and all vapers – at the moment, winning that battle does not mean the war is over.

According to Woessner, the predicate date fight is a ‘critical step, but not a long term solution.”

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Even with the predicate date change, “vaping would still be regulated by the tobacco control act, which is not what the act was intended for,” Woessner explained. “The long-term goal should be a framework for regulating (vaping products) in a way that makes sense.”

Short term or not, the fight is well underway. To avoid ‘vaping prohibition’ every vaping consumer, producer and retailer needs to be engaged.

Conley suggest that vapers, “Join CASAA, promote August8th.org, call your elected officials, write letters, check with your local vape shops and encourage their activism…”

He stressed the importance of face-to-face advocacy if possible, saying vapers should, “motivate your fellow vapers, go to town hall meetings, and encourage (vape shops) to seek meetings with their elected officials.”

Get involved, get your fellow vapers involved and get your vape shops involved.

“Now more than ever it is important that everyone in and around this industry get serious about saving it.” – Greg Conley, President, American Vaping Association.

For more information, please see the following websites:

http://casaa.org – Join CASAA (for free), stay up to date on local calls-to action, find your elected officials, see their votes and statements on vaping matters and send them emails, get free printed advocacy material and buy CASAA apparel items.

http://sfata.org – Industry folks can join local chapters, find meetings to attend and stay up to date on current related events.

http://www.aemsa.org – Read the manufacturing standards, see a list of members and get links to research.

http://vaping.info – Find out more about the AVA, check recent news, read recent press releases and read vaper testimonials, as well as get links to related blogs and forums.

http://notblowingsmoke.org – Get the truth behind studies and press releases, educate yourself of the science and health benefits of vaping.

The Juice Judge

August 23, 2016

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Words and photos by Steffanie Atkins

Message from Juice Judge to my readers:

I feel I’d be doing a disservice to not say something about the pending FDA regulations. Most of the time, my writing is humorous or quirky, but today I need to be serious for a brief moment.

Please, if you are reading this, do something. Whether it be joining your local smoke free organizations or reaching out to your representatives, please do something. We cannot sit here any longer and expect that someone else is going to fix the problem. We are strong enough and loud enough that we can make a change.

I am not going to give up vaping. It saved my life, and chances are, it saved yours as well. We need to join forces, and we need to do this now. So, I urge you to do something. This is too important for us to just sit back and wait. The time is now.

And now back to your regularly scheduled programming:


Wicked Knights Vapor “King Arthur” 3mg

Taste- 2 Vape-2 Throat- 1

So off the bat, the first thing I noticed about King Arthur was that there was no childproof cap. With pending FDA regs, this is no bueno. I have kids, fortunately they’re old enough to not eat e-liquid, but that doesn’t mean that other kids know or have the same exposure to the mass amounts of e-liquid in my home at a normal time. This could be because it’s a sample pack, but I imagine if I were sending a sample to be judged, I’d send my best product. Now, on to the taste. So, this is definitely a vanilla flavor with a caramel finish. The vanilla, however, is overwhelmingly strong. Like too strong. The caramel is weird tasting, almost like a stale caramel candy. I’m not sure if candy goes stale, but if it did, I imagine that’s what it would taste like. The inhale is very confusing. It almost has a slight tobacco-ey flavor, and the exhale is better with more vanilla. It’s just confusing. I think maybe if there was less vanilla and maybe a better caramel they’d have something. It’s got a piecrust finish, which is pretty good, but the combination as-is, is weird. The vapor production was below average and there was really no throat hit.


One Eyed Leo’s “Layers of Cake” 3mg

Taste- 2 Vape- 3 Throat- 2

I love cake. I think a lot of people love cake. I don’t love Layers of Cake though. On the inhale, I taste cake. But not a strong cake. The exhale is off; I taste a hint of vanilla but it’s not very sweet. It’s almost like they forgot something. It needs that added umph that I like in a flavor because it’s kind of bland. I think a custard (I know some people love custard, others hate it), but with a cake flavor, I almost expect it and the thickness it adds. This just didn’t have that. The vapor production was about average and the throat hit was there, but still weak.


drip Liquid “Cinnamon Crunch” 3mg

Taste- 3.5 Vape- 2 Throat-2

Cinnamon flavors are really hard to do and I appreciate that. A lot of them come out really spicy and burn my throat. This flavor isn’t like that and I really like that it’s a creamier cinnamon. It isn’t harsh like a lot of them are. The one thing it’s missing is something sweet. Cinnamon by itself is not very sweet. This flavor could be pretty amazing if it had a hint of sweetness, not an overpowering sweetness, but just a little bit to give it added texture. I will say it smells divine and my living room smelled rather tasty after vaping it for a while. The flavor also grew on me after vaping it for a bit. It tastes good; it’s just missing a little something. The vape production was a little below average and the throat hit wasn’t so much there. But with a cinnamon flavor, that can go one of two ways and I’d rather have a smoother less noticeable throat hit, than something that’s going to burn going down.


Vape N Scrape “NY Mischief” 3mg

Taste- 3 Vape- 4 Throat- 3

NY Mischief is a berry blend, I believe its strawberry on the inhale and blueberry on the exhale. I love both of those fruits so that’s good. It has kind of a weird aftertaste, which I believe is supposed to be cheesecake, but that’s not really what I got. It’s not a bad tasting juice, but it needs something to set itself apart from all of the other berry medley flavors out there. There has to be something to make a berry flavor discernable from other berry flavors and this one just doesn’t quite have it. Again, I’m not saying it’s a bad tasting vape. I enjoyed it, but it doesn’t stand out. The vapor production was above average and the throat hit was about average.

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The Great Indiana Vape War

August 22, 2016

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By Norm Bour

Imagine an entire state enacting a law so limiting, so unreasonable, so unconstitutional, that it shuts down an entire industry within that state. As far-fetched as that sounds, Big Brother has pulled off a sly trick in the state of Indiana that may do just that.

It’s called HB (House Bill) 1386 and it has been discussed here in VAPE magazine by many, and rather than go into all the details, (link here to a past article) it’s time to take action.

WHY?

Because this ridiculous legal act sets a danger precedent that could potentially lead to similar laws in other states. Georgia already picked up that baton and patched some loopholes from the Indiana version.

The Story behind the Story

The FDA has been mandated for several years to create a set of rules and guidelines for the vaping industry. Is vape tobacco? Is it not? In this situation that question is moot, but what it more timely is the question of: “When does a state go too far?” In this case, “too far” is HB 1386, which is an update to the law passed last year, HB 1432. In lieu of federal guidelines many states have enacted their own rules- most of them very bad.

This law has many unrealistic requirements, but one of the most significant is: E-liquid manufacturers must obtain a permit from the alcohol and tobacco commission before bottling e-liquid or selling e-liquid to retailers or distributors. This applies to manufacturers both within and outside the state.

This law is due to go in effect in a handful of weeks; there is still no process to get a permit.

Liberation Vapes from Indianapolis is an e-liquid manufacturer that sells both within and outside Indiana, which should give them a distinct advantage concerning the “importation of nicotine products.” But the rabbit hole goes much, much deeper. Imagine enacting a law that prevents you from driving faster than 65 MPH, but yet not offering a speedometer in any cars.

“There are some severe, hard core fundamental flaws to this law,” Evan McMahon states, “And there is no way to conform to it.” McMahon is the CEO of Liberation Vapes and has been in this battle since 2015. He is also the Chairman of Hoosier Vapers, the states’ de factor advocacy organization to protect the vaping industry.

When this law was first proposed the fear was that it would eliminate any nicotine products entering the state. When the smoke cleared it was even worse.
Legal firm Troutman Sanders LLP from Virginia filed the initial lawsuit and was soon joined by Keller and Heckman LLP from Washington, DC, along with the Right to be Smoke Free organization, which includes Hoosier Vapers. Hoosier, which started as a Facebook Advocacy group, is now looking to form local chapters along with their statewide organization.

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How Secure is Secure?

The other major component of HB 1386 says: Manufacturing facilities must have a security firm certification that the manufacturer meets security requirements.

These requirements are not identified yet. The problem is that this law requires a security company to have very specialized certifications. According to McMahon, “Only one company in the entire nation may be compliant, but even that is unknown.”

McMahon actually has some experience in these areas. Prior to getting into the vape space he was a lobbyist for the Libertarian Party, which affords him a bit of insight to the workings of politics behind the scenes.

ADT is one of the largest security companies in the United States, and was recently acquired for $6.9 Billion. McMahon shared that even they are not qualified to comply with the new law. On top of that, any security company that wished to offer their services to vape shops had to submit their applications by March 18, 2016.

“Common sense is not that common”

Currently there is a motion to file a “preliminary injunction” which would “stay” (stop) the law from taking effect. That was due to be heard on April 18 and was scheduled to be a hearing without anyone testifying. A decision normally would be rendered within 30 days.

In addition to the elimination of nicotine vaping products in Indiana and the harsh guidelines for security companies to do business there, a byproduct could also result in flavor bans and online sales restrictions.

There is no way to overstate the significance of this Indiana law.

“In the state we have about 200 vaping related businesses. The average shop has about 10 employees, so over 2200 people are going to lose their jobs,” McMahon said. Vaping is estimated to be a $100 million business in the state, which would create a significant loss of revenue. They may relocate just over the borders into the neighboring states of Illinois, Kentucky and Michigan.

“The families of the business owners are going to have to find some other way to make ends meet. We’ve already had 11 businesses close in Indiana since January.” Most businesses that are open today may have to close since their overhead and expenses will continue.

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Appie Peute and his wife Cyndi own Vaporz Vault in Hobart, Indiana, with a population of 30,000 residents. They are scared. “I have no faith in the justice system,” he stated, and many would agree, “and common sense is not that common.”

“This court case could go to the Supreme Court,” Peute offered, and there are law firms that would be happy to take it there.

There are also the estimated losses from more people returning to smoking, more people creating unhealthier lifestyles, getting sick, and in turn driving up health costs. Three cities in Indiana have created a noteworthy number of smokers turned vapors, resulting in healthier residents in the cities of Lowell, Spencer and Medford.

Another byproduct could also result in a growing Black Market as vaping goes underground.

When asked about the concerns of the “average Indiana” resident and if they know or if they care about this egregious abuse of power, McMahon replied: “No. They have no idea and efforts to engage mainstream media falls flat. Media only cares when something bad happens and they can vilify the industry.”

Ironically, ineffective laws that get passed sometimes generate more outcry after they are enacted.

Peute recently purchased a home in Daytona Beach, Florida, and grumbled, “If this law passes I may shut the doors and open a shop in Florida. That would be a real shame because my wife lives for and loves that shop.”

This battle is not trivial and is not just a wasted effort to encourage advocacy. This is the battle that could change the direction of the vape war for better or for worse.

Norm Bour is the founder of VapeMentors, which offers online educational programs, 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 1.2 M downloads. Norm interviews the masters of vape and thought leaders in the vape space. Contact him at norm@VapeMentors.com.

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