VAPE Opinions

Vaping from the Outside: Is Trade Show/Conventiion Admission Worth the Money

August 18, 2016




To the average Joe or Jane-vaper-on-the-street, a mere vape meet or vape show (depending on how it is marketed and labelled) sounds like the same thing to their ears and eyes. The venues range in size from the small, local vape shop to a huge arena. So, what are the differences between the two and are they worth the money you pay for at the door?

On a small scale, the local vape shop meet is just that. There’s no entrance fee, you might get some free food out of the deal, and there are usually some contests or prizes for some free stuff. It mostly caters to the regulars and other local clientele who happen to hear about it on Facebook or through their friends.

The attendance is usually 20-50 people. For the most part, it’s pretty easy to know people, but if there are cliques, they can usually be visible. Otherwise, it’s a great way to get your feet wet and meet other vapers while getting the feel for an actual meet.

If you are interested in going to something bigger like a VapeBash, VapeCon, or VapeXpo, you will have to stay at a hotel. In the past, the entrance fee was free at these events. However, with the new FDA deeming regulations, even the free entrance fee will be a thing of the past.

Along with the local or regional companies, there are companies from all over the United States (depending on when and where the event is held). Since it’s at the hotel, when it comes to the after parties, you can just go to your room and not have to worry about drinking and driving if you party too hard. At these events, mostly on the last day, you can get great bargains.

However, the main draw here is about meeting people and just hanging out. You don’t need to rush; you can just chill, vape, chat, and participate in whatever activities are available. Some have a costume contests, raffles, auctions, and workshops. They usually run at least 1-2 days. When possible, it’s best to stay at the hotel where the event is at because once the show is over, the actual socializing with the vendors and big players begins. To me, this is the best part of the event.

ECC events, VPX, and the like are what some would refer to as trade shows. Why? You pay a pretty decent amount to enter. For smaller scale events (those that try to merely “mimic” a trade show with their own agendas) it ranges from $5 – $10. While smaller shows can be successful, there have been some in the past that were viewed as just money grab opportunities by organizers who haven’t put the time, effort and money into putting on a top notch show.

At the bigger shows, you can get a VIP package that, if done right; you get some free juice, swag, and even a mod. If done wrong or the goods don’t get there on time, then you have a lot to answer for. The atmosphere of these events is not on the same level as a vape meet. It’s conducive and designed mostly for going in, buying your stuff, and that’s it. You don’t really feel like you can hang out. There’s not even enough or many areas to hang out. In a way, it kind of feels like an International Auto Show but with vaping.

Depending on the location, vape models who may or may not know anything about vaping are helping sell product. Some places set themselves up like a sterile vape shop for atmosphere. There are even some who try to make a show out of the deal. You also have vendors who really should not be a company at all with their labelling of product that will either look too childish, too sexual, or bordering on the line of they-are-going to-get-sued-if-they-are-not-careful.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that one is better than the other. I just have a preference of which one I like. However, from experience and what I’ve heard from other people, the free admission events tend to be better than the paid events in organization, quality, affordability, etc. The paid events for some reason just seem like a good-old-fashioned money grab, and the quality seems to be low. While some people have enjoyed those events because they’ve scored great deals, it doesn’t have the personal connection to me like an actual vape meet does.
It also seems like there’ve been too many of these events every month. One weekend can have at least 3-4 events going on at the same time. Thus the dilemma, which one

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to go to? Which event would be worth my while? For the vendor or the activist, it makes travelling and choosing an event even more stressful, because they can only be at an event for one day and then have to fly to another event on the same weekend either that night or the next day. Thus, they don’t get a real chance to talk to the people they serve I believe that with the FDA regulations coming into place, the multiple shows on one weekend will more than likely be reduced to at least the biggest events that have gotten the most traction since day one when they started: ECC, VapeXpo, VapeBash, VaperCON, VapeSlam and VCC events. The other ones will, merge, collaborate, or just disappear because now they have more paperwork to file, rules to follow, and probably more money to pay if they want to put on an event within the next year and will no longer be able to afford it.

Is that a good thing? Perhaps it is. If anything, it will allow the consumer to save their money and get more bang for their buck as well as deeper connections with fellow vapers they may only chat with online most of the time.

So, which kind of event do you prefer? Do you like the trade shows or the vape meets? Do you like the small intimate venues, like a local vape shop, or the bigger-scaled events like an ECC? Contact me at I’d like to hear what you have to say. Also, log on to my Facebook, Twitter and personal website If you like this rant and want to hear more, I currently host on VapeTVLive on Thursday nights at 11pm – midnight EST.

Builder’s Corner – Extra Terrestrial

August 16, 2016




In the last article I made mention of the elusive Alien coil…BOM BOM BOM! I say this because it can be somewhat of a task to complete a stick long enough to make two coils of this type. If you’ve been building them for longer than six months then they are most likely an easy thing to build but if you’re new to the rabbit hole of building then more than likely there are a few failed attempts sitting in the trash can.

With this coil type, it can be a bit tough, because the tutorials that are offered where a vast majority try and learn to make alien coils only show the tri-core alien. But there is also the dual core alien which is literally a fused Clapton with the alien concept of wire fusing the two or three cores.

Originally, or so I’m told, the concept started as a single core of 20 gauge wire with 22 gauge Claptoned over it. Thus the alien was born. This concept was brought to the build community by a gentleman who goes by the name @blueeyedgoon83 on Instagram but made famous by OhmboyOC and m.terk and their tutorials on YouTube (Local Vape and Pristine Builds.) Ohmboy OC’s tutorials are where I first learned of this concept. However, it was m.terk who opened my eyes to the use of swivels, and that, my friends, really made completing a set of aliens seem obtainable.

If you’re having issues completing or even understanding the concept I strongly suggest watching those tutorials.

Moving forward, the alien coil for some is a thing of beauty to behold and most likely because not many can simply sit down and pull it off. The S shape that is created over 1, 2, or 3 cores (sometimes over other cores like ribbon or a mixture of ribbon and round wire) allows for what I feel is superior wicking in a coil. The alien concept, aside from wicking, allows for amazingly improved flavor, good heat, and yes, it’s one sext coil.

However, I do suggest mastering the fused Clapton before attempting this type of coil as there were many that went flying across my garage before I got them down. Once you’ve got them down, it’s easy peasy. So, don’t give up and make sure to check out those tutorials they are a great help. When you’ve built some, snap a few pics and show your Vape buds.


Last issue, we covered the fused Clapton and to keep on moving in world of fused coil types we are gonna go out of this world with the alien coil. (Applause) If you’ve been building for awhile then the alien has maybe become something you can do in your sleep but if you’re new to building, as we all are at some point, then this build may seem elusive or even impossible.

I can tell you that for months I chased making aliens and many failed sticks made it across my garage and left on the floor. But don’t worry hopefully this article will help you understand where the innovation comes from, why its sought after, and how to make it a bit more economical to build.


A gentleman who goes by the name @blueeyedgoon83 on Instagram brought this innovation to the rabbit hole of building. It started as a single core and consisted of 22 gauge over 20 gauge. My fingers ache even thinking of working with that low gauge wire. However, the idea was not for looks, but for function. The idea was to bring a better self wicking property or function to a macro coil.

Later, a second core was added, making it a fused coil but with the look and wicking properties of the alien. Then, inevitably a third core was added making it what some call the tri-core, triple parallel, or triple fused alien. The tri-core alien and the single core alien are the most difficult and rewarding in my opinion. Tough to nail but when they are done you just want to stand up and tell the world how you just made a dual set of aliens.


For me, the beginning of learning to build these or even the realization that the concept even existed was found on YouTube via Local Vape’s channel where a builder by the name OhmboyOC has a tutorial on the

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process. However, his tutorial is what some may refer to as the “real” way or “old school” way of building these types of coils. By “old school” or “real” I mean to say without the use of swivels. The use of swivels was made popular by @m.terk on Instagram and his YouTube channel Pristine Builds. The use of swivels has really reduced frustration levels and allowed for smarter not harder building. When I was watching those first tutorial videos from Ohmboy OC I hadn’t yet found the use of swivels, so one end was secured to the chuck of the drill while the other is free floating. This makes it much more difficult to keep those three cores aligned and your de-core and stretch have to be almost perfect. So, there is a ton of respect for the builders out there still going swivel-less in their build sessions.

If you are failing a bunch at this type of build I strongly suggest checking out those tutorials and building while watching them. Those guys do a great service to the community by offering them and they are worthwhile but we all eventually find our own way of making it work.

Making it work

When I sit down to build a set of aliens I make sure a few things are in order before I even start spinning the drill.

A clean work space: having a nice, clean work space will cut down on the probability of throwing the attempts that may not work out across the room.

Wire a plenty: I like to work with good clean wire and plenty of it. So I usually start with a spool of Twistedmesses 36 gauge nichrome 80 and 3 lengths of 26 gauge Anarchist nichrome 80. (If you are allergic to this type of metal composite you’ll need to use something safe for you to inhale.)

Tools and junk: I like a good pair of snips, a good pair of pliers, a drill, a vice, ball bearing swivels, and one 3-4 inch piece of ribbon.

Good tunes: some really good Slayer tracks are nice or even the Faceless, but some smooth jazz may help keep those frustration levels down. It’s your call…

Let’s get right down to it:

Disclaimer: this is just how I do it. It’s not the best or the worst. There may be better or worse out there but this is my way and the best I can convey the way I do it to you.

Start with 3, 9 inch lengths of core wire and one 12-14 inch length of the gauge core wire (this is for your initial Clapton.)

Grab you high gauge wire and some snips and get ready.
Take that single core and secure it at both the chuck and swivel. Attach your high gauge wire to the lower gauge wire at the chuck end.

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Spin that sucker for all its worth and if you keep just slightly less than a 90 degree angle while wrapping it will stay nice and tight for you. Also, make sure you remember which direction you did the initial Clapton. This is important later.

Once you’ve reached the end reverse the direction of the drill and spin it for a few seconds while holding on to the leg of the higher gauge wire. This will loosen it just slightly making it easier to remove. Once it’s slightly loosened, clip the chuck end and slide that core out and save it for another day.

Now take your 3 core wires and secure them to your swivels and at the chuck. You can just bend each one slightly to allow a good bite from the jaws in the chuck.

The one weird piece of ribbon: I use this for binding. At the chuck end, I will wrap that ribbon around the cores a few times making a binder and somewhat of a slider.

Now take that de-cored Clapton and stretch it to where you are creating a V shape but you don’t want to go past that shape or be less than that shape. It’s kind of a feel process, but hopefully that will help give you a visual guideline.

Once stretched attach that to your 3 cores and make sure your drill is running in the opposite direction from the initial Clapton. Start spinning and you’re looking for nice tight S curves over the 3 cores. Continue wrapping all the way to the end and you’ll have a nice completed stick ready to wrap into Vape ready dual coil aliens.

For me, I like a 3-3.5mm inner diameter. That’s just my comfort zone. I don’t suggest going too much smaller as the smaller you go the lower the ohm reading will be and the more stress on your batteries.

However, once you’ve learned about ohms law and understand amperages and how even small changes can affect these things, then maybe be a bit more experimental. Again, don’t be silly and do something you’re unsure of. Ask people. Ask google. Watch tutorials and use what they’ve suggested as it is probably the safest materials offered. Be smart.

The install

YUS!! You’re now ready to install your two beautifully and expertly made alien coils. Though, they aren’t just for looks, as mentioned, these coils are a wicking machine. They allow for much better wicking, depending on the juice the coils keep cleaner a bit longer, and the flavor produced is phenomenal. Truly a great innovation and worth the time and effort. So make sure to get those hot spots out, squeeze ‘em tight, wick those bad boys up, and get’em juicy!

Sam McClelland is an owner and builder for Clean Builds LLC. Follow him and his crazy builds on IG @builds_and_junk and at

A letter from Stefan Didak to the readers of VAPE Magazine

August 13, 2016


The past several years, many of you have said you’d help fight. And many of you have, for which are are grateful and thankful. But it’s not been enough. Sitting on the sideline hoping others will take care of things for your business is not going to cut it. Not with the multi-front battles this industry and community is facing now. Now is the time to do your part.

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Lawsuits are great and much needed. But they are also costly and complicated. The coalition of CASAA, SFATA, AVA, NBS, and AEMSA have decided to back the Right To Be Smoke Free Coalition’s ( litigation efforts that will be deployed by Keller and Heckman (

But litigation only is not going to be enough and will not be a silver bullet solution. A strong legislative strategy is as much needed as well and is still ongoing through organizations such as SFATA. Where litigation may fail, legislative efforts may succeed and vice versa. But that does not begin to cover the other important thing we can’t lose sight of; PR, outreach and media. NBS and AVA remain committed to those important aspects of the long game.

Both legislative and litigation efforts are often influenced by public opinion and as you may have noticed, public opinion has not been on our side thanks to millions of dollars of taxpayer money spent on misleading propaganda campaigns conducted by various public health organizations. Can you imagine the headlines once litigation is in full swing? “Tobacco companies sue FDA to keep your children hooked” comes to mind. Those are awful headlines and extremely damaging to ongoing efforts and they will have to be met head on, out there, in the mainstream.

The combination of litigation, legislation, and PR are not just a matter of funding. It’s also a matter of human resources. Businesses doing their part. Vapers putting an effort in. If you’re a retailer, talk to your customers about what’s going on and get them involved. Manufacturers and Distributors, talk to your retailers and tell them to get their customers involved.

Pay attention to new in-store materials made freely available on and and put them to good use. Include them in your shipments. Hand them to your customers. Don’t let anyone believe that the destruction of the industry at the hands of the FDA and its deeming regulations will not happen. That is a misconception that seems to exist with many of the vapers out there who are not as aware and mainly only have their favorite retail stores as their main connection to information and what’s going on.

I don’t want to sound too cliche but, when the going gets tough, the tough get going, right? Are you tough enough? Start doing your part and get others to do start doing theirs. Together we can make a difference.

Stefan Didak
Founder and President of Not Blowing Smoke

VAPE Magazine now an official sponsor of skater Alex Perelson

August 12, 2016


Photos by Ezra Zuniga/135fotografiks

We at VAPE Magazine are proud to announce that we are now a sponsor of professional skateboarder Alex Perelson.

You may remember Perelson as the cover person for our February 2016 issue. An avid vaper and professional athlete, he was simply the right fit for our publication. VAPE Magazine is joining a list of impressive sponsors including Rockstar Energy Drinks, Vans shoes and a variety of skateboard companies.

Expect regular updates on his performance and whereabouts in the future. Over the next few months, Perelson, 25, has quite the busy schedule that will send him around the world and into televisions across the globe.

Perelson competed in the 2016 Vans Pool Party this may in Orange, California, where he faced off against 40 of the top active professional skaters in the nation. The event included Legends and Masters categories.

In June, Perelson competed at the X Games in Austin, Texas. It marked his 10th appearance at the event. He finished 11th in the vert category, but hit his career high mark of 4th place in 2015 at Austin.

Following the X-Games, Perelson travelled to Floripa, Brazil to compete in the second of five Vans Park Series events. The Park Series is a new circuit of bowl event’s comprised of the world’s top skaters and all are webcast live.

Throughout the year we will have regular updates on Perelson and his progress.


The Lawyers Have Arrived; Breaking down FDA legal challenges

August 10, 2016




Two companies, Nicopure Labs, LLC and Lost Art Liquids, LLC, have filed lawsuits in federal court challenging the validity of the FDA’s new “Deeming Rule.” Both lawsuits seek a determination that the Deeming Rule is an “arbitrary and capricious” regulatory action that violates the Administrative Procedures Act.

Nicopure Action:

The Nicopure complaint was filed on May 10, 2016 in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. The complaint begins with a bit of background, noting that the 2009 Tobacco Control Act (the “Act”) is a statute designed to address the public health problems created by widespread tobacco use, that the Act creates a number of barriers for participants in the tobacco market (including a rigorous premarket approval procedure similar to that used for drugs), and that the Act applies – as we have all now seen – to “cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, roll-your-own tobacco, and smokeless tobacco and to any other tobacco products that the Secretary [of HHS] by regulation deems to be subject” to that law.

The complaint goes on to note the inherent absurdity in the fact that the Deeming Rule concludes that vaping devices (and their parts) are “tobacco products” subject to the act, notwithstanding the fact that they are pieces of electronic equipment clearly not intended for human consumption.

Any would-be litigant seeking to adjudicate a dispute in federal court must show that he has “standing.” This usually means, among other things, showing that the plaintiff has suffered a real injury of the sort for which the federal courts can provide redress. Often where a litigant comes to court trying to prevent a future injury from happening, the courts will refuse to hear the case on the grounds that the controversy is not yet “ripe.” The Nicopure complaint attempts to preemptively address such concerns by describing in detail the harmful effect that the Deeming Rule will have on Nicopure’s business when it goes into effect on August 8, 2016.

It notes that literally hundreds of Nicopure’s products will be subject to the premarket approval, reporting, recordkeeping, inspection, labeling, manufacturing, and testing requirements previously reserved only for tobacco products. These requirements will force Nicopure to discontinue certain product lines and refrain from introducing new ones. The complaint also asserts that Nicopure has suffered “immediate and irreparable consequences of being subject to unlawful regulation, including the unlawful deprivation of [its] constitutional rights.”[1]

The complaint states four claims for relief, all for different violations of the Administrative Procedures Act (“APA”).[2] The statute under which Nicopure is proceeding allows litigants to seek judicial review of the decisions of administrative agencies (such as the FDA) and, under some circumstances, set aside actions taken by those agencies. Specifically, the operative statute allows courts to set aside agency actions, findings, and conclusions upon a finding that those actions, findings, or conclusions were, among other things, (i.) arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or unlawful, (ii.) offensive to a constitutional right, or (iii.) without observance of some legally required procedure.

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First, Nicopure alleges that the Deeming Rule violates the APA because it relies upon an insanely broad definition of the term “tobacco product” that would be foreclosed by an accurate and reasonable interpretation of the Act. Second, Nicopure alleges that the FDA’s propagation of the Deeming Rule is an “arbitrary and capricious agency action” subject to judicial undoing under the APA. Specifically, Nicopure asserts that the Deeming Rule is unlawful because the FDA failed to articulate a rational connection between the facts found and the choice made, failed to consider an important aspect of the problem, or offer an explanation for its decision that runs counter to the evidence. In support of this claim, Nicopure alleges that the FDA failed to adequately consider the massive burden that the premarket approval process will place on its business.

Nicopure further contends that the Deeming Rule is arbitrary and capricious because its in effect – a de facto moratorioum on the introduction of new vapor products into the consumer market – would actually undercut the stated goal of the Act, which was to reduce smoking and curb its intended health consequences, by forcing consumers away from vapor and back to analog.

Nicopure’s third APA claim asserts that the FDA engaged in an unlawfully flawed cost-benefit analysis prior to propagating the Deeming Rule. The FDA, Nicopure charges, “understate[d] the Rule’s tremendous costs, and erroneously conclude[d] that the benefits outweigh its costs.”[3] As evidence of the FDA’s flawed analysis, Nicopure points out that the Deeming Rule estimates that a total of 750 premarket tobacco applications (“PMTAs”) will need to be filed in the first year industry-wide, but this can’t possibly be accurate because Nicopure alone will need to file several hundred.

Nicopure’s fourth claim relies on a provision in the APA which allows a reviewing court to set aside agency actions that offend a constitutional right. The Deeming Rule, Nicopure argues, infringes upon its First Amendment right to make “truthful and nonmisleading statements regarding vaping devices, e-liquids, and related products.”[4]

Lost Art Action:

The Lost Art Liquids, LLC action was filed on May 19, 2016 in the United States District Court for the Central District of California.

The first claim made by Lost Art is that the Deeming Rule constitutes a violation of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (“RFA”).[5] The RFA is federal law designed to ease the burden of regulations on small businesses. In brief, the law requires regulatory agencies to consider whether a proposed regulation would have a significant deleterious impact on a substantial number of small business entities and, if so, to seek out a less restrictive alternative after soliciting the input of affected businesses.

The Lost Art complaint alleges that the FDA failed to perform this analysis prior to issuing the Deeming Rule. It notes that the FDA received over 70,000 public comments about the Deeming Rule before its enactment, many of them proposing less restrictive alternatives, all of which were apparently disregarded.

The second claim is an allegation that the FDA engaged in an unlawful cost-benefit analysis prior to promulgating the Deeming Rule. In language that tracks the Nicopure complaint, the Lost Art Liquids complaint notes that the FDA’s 750-PMTA estimate is badly flawed because Lost Art Liquids alone will need to file over 200 if it intends to keep its products on the market. Lost Art Liquids also notes that the cost-benefit analysis should, if done properly, consider the effect that removing vapor products from the marketplace will have (i.e., consider the fact that many who are addicted to nicotine will be forced back into smoking).

The third claim alleges that the FDA violated Lost Art’s First and Fifth Amendment rights. As to the First Amendment, Lost Art claims, among other things, that its right to engage in free speech is impeded by the Tobacco Control Act’s prohibition against representations that a particular product contains a lower or reduced level of harmful substances. The complaint posits the theory that the Act might even bar Lost Art’s executives from engaging in public discussion about the relative benefits of vaping as compared to smoking. As to the Fifth Amendment, Lost Art claims that the requirement that an “excessive” percentage of Lost Art’s product labels be devoted to a mandatory warning about nicotine’s addictiveness constitutes a governmental “taking” without due process and requisite compensation.

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The fourth claim in the Lost Art complaint is that the Deeming Rule amounts to an abuse of the FDA’s discretion by requiring Lost Art and others to participate in the PMTA pathway prior to the release of products, a pathway the complaint describes as a “nebulous, bankrupting dead-end.”[6]


At this early stage, it is difficult, if not impossible, to accurately forecast the likelihood that these two plaintiffs will succeed on the merits of their respective claims. The Supreme Court previously held that regulatory agencies must be given ample latitude to “adapt their rules and policies to the demands of changing circumstances.”[7] The FDA will no doubt claim, in essence, that the rise of vaping constitutes such a “changing circumstance” requiring it to act. (Though the riposte here would be that if governmental action was indeed required, that action should be a regulation specifically devised for vaping pursuant to the basic truth that vaping and smoking are fundamentally different activities involving fundamentally different products.) The Supreme Court has also held that a regulatory action is “arbitrary and capricious” (and, thus, in violation of the APA) where it is irrational, not based on reasonable consideration of relevant facts, outside the scope of the agency’s authority.[8] If these cases proceed to litigation, the result may well be a battle of the expert witnesses, with both sides putting experts on the stand to testify about the purported health consequences (or lack thereof) of vaping. The reasonableness of the FDA’s rule appears to depend in very large part upon there being a real similarity between vapor products and tobacco products; if it can be established with credible evidence that no such similarity exists, the Plaintiffs’ cases will be greatly assisted.

Jackson Waste is an attorney with the California-based law firm of Baker Manock & Jensen, PC.

[1] Nicopure Complaint filed 5/10/16, at ¶ 30.

[2] 5 U.S.C. § 706.

[3] Complaint, at ¶ 48.

[4] Complaint, at ¶ 54.

[5] 5 U.S.C. § 601 et seq.

[6] Complaint, at ¶ 105.

[7] Permian Basin Area Rate Cases, 390 U.S. 747, 784 (1968).

[8] Motor Vehicle Mfrs. Ass’n of U.S., Inc. v. State Farm, 463 U.S. 29, 42-43 (1983).

It’s July 4rth Happy Tyranny Day!

August 8, 2016


By Corey Noles

Well, it’s July Fourth again. Independence Day. The day that we, as Americans, celebrate our independence from England.

But today, I don’t feel like celebrating — and I certainly don’t feel independent.

As I sit here at my desk, listening to fireworks (or an ongoing flurry of gunshots, but I’m banking on the former), all I can think about is the millions of people who have no idea about the fight we are currently facing.

While everyone else is eating hot dogs and drinking beer (which I may still do), all I can think about is how our government is trying to kill our independence. I’m writing this more as a business owner that as magazine editor right now — but it applies to both.

As we speak, regulations are in place that, without change, will squash the businesses that myself, my friends and countless strangers have put everything in their life on the line to create. They weren’t built out of greed, but out of a strong desire to better ourselves while helping lifelong smokers add years back to their lives.

Many of us risked everything we had to take a chance on this industry, but I can only tell my story. I left the best paying job I’d had in my life. It was good work, but I simply wasn’t happy. I cashed in my 401k and took literally my entire life savings to build a business.

It wasn’t a struggle, it was a battle. But we kept our focus. When bills were late, we made tough choices. When Christmas came, we made even tougher choices.

My wife and I literally laid everything on the line to build a business from nothing. We wanted to help others. We wanted to offer our children a chance at a better life. Most of all, we wanted to be independent.

Our business, just like hundreds of others, is not simply a way to make a living. It’s an accomplishment. It’s proof that if you work hard enough and put your everything into something, you can do anything. We don’t come from wealthy families or have money nests to fall back on. This is our life.

After all, it’s the American Dream.

Now, our own government, wants to crush that dream. They want to take away the pride I feel every day when I walk into work or when someone tells me how our products helped them quit smoking.

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It hasn’t even been a party battle to this point. It’s a bureaucratic agency with far less oversight than it imposes the industries it governs. An agency whose authority is even difficult to challenge.

It imposes fees and fines that prohibit the growth of small business and promote only its own existence.

This doesn’t seem like America in 2016. It sounds like the colonies of the 1700s as they fought against burdensome taxes.

Over the coming weeks, months and even years, we will be fighting that same fight. We will battle against tyrannical government regulation that has its sight set on the small businessman in an effort to ensure tobacco tax funds keep rolling in.

It’s tyranny.

What we’re celebrating this year is not independence, but revolution. Not revolution in the sense of the Boston Tea Party, but we celebrate our own revolution as we wage a legal, legislative and public perception war against over-reaching governmental authority.

Support all of your friends who are small business owners and the companies you’ve grown to love. The struggle is real and the fight will be long.

But it’s a fight we have to win.

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.

Vaping from the Outside: Some Labels Suck

July 6, 2016




Labels: We all grew up with them when we were in school. We still live with them now. While most people scoff at labels and put up their middle finger to those who impose them, for others labels are sources of identity.

This is especially true with various juice makers that are out there who are trying to make a buck and stand out in the crowd.

The ones who look professional are the ones who will keep being successful and know what they are doing. They have fancy labels, look high class, and look (as well as taste like) they know what their product is and what they are doing. They don’t have to try hard, because they let the product speak for itself.

There are several companies I respect, order from, and offer my support to for this very reason. Not only are they proud of their product, but they use that money to put back into the growth of their company and make it better. They are also proud to label themselves and encourage others to become an activist in the community. Some even are deeply involved in advocacy themselves.

Then you have those companies who look like they’ve hired a freelancer to do their graphic design. The label looks like it’s a take-off of a name-brand company (such as Airheads or Popsicles), and insert their own name on the cheap so they can save money in order to make more for themselves. These are the companies that have no reason being in the industry because all that label is saying is “look at me, I’m fun and fruity and kids can like it, too!”

What does that mean exactly? Advertising or having labels on products that look cartoony or look similar to products that children and adults alike already consume can lead to something called a cease and desist letter if enough people complain to the company that they are “copying.”

An example of this is a juice company in Michigan that got a nice letter from Nintendo about the name of their product looking and sounding similar to Super Mario Brothers. Because of it, that owner has had to totally rename, revamp, and remodel their product. Not only is it costly to essentially go back to square one, but he’s lost a pretty decent reputation because of the ordeal.

So, if you are a company that has a name or label that looks and sounds similar to Willy Wonka, Pop Tarts or Fruit Loops, don’t be surprised if you end up with the same fate. You have no reason to complain to us, the consumer or the activist about it when you were told up front how bad this looks on the community.

If you want to be a respectable company, do it right the first time — be creative and original with your names and your labels. Frankly, the way you are coming off to the consumer and those who are finicky about their juices, it looks like your company and your product lack originality. It’s no different from the annoying Hollywood reboot and sequel trends.

We know you don’t care about the community. We know you think it is a money grab. The question is, do you have the common sense and basic business sense

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to change your name and reputation before Kellogg’s or Nestlé tells you to do so? You probably don’t.

Believe me, I have already written to a big company about a juice company that has a possible trademark infringement on one of their candy products. I sent them the website as well as photographic proof I took. As a result, I got a simple thank you know for letting them know. Trust me, any CEO or HR person wants public/customer feedback. It’s how their brand reinvents themselves and flourishes. It’s why social media becomes such a powerful tool for change.

So, since this topic is a hot issue on Facebook and Twitter, hopefully this raises your awareness that perhaps you didn’t think it through when it came to creating the concept, label, and name for your company that looks like it could be candy or a popular soft drink.

Yes, my dear company with the label that looks like you are child enabler selling to kids and not an actual adult, your brand name is being slandered online. While it could be good marketing for your product, it’s leaves a black eye for the whole industry.

In the Facebook groups where I’m involved and active, it has become a hot topic lately. Many online podcasts and vape tubers have been using this issue as content fodder, are currently talking about it or are just now becoming aware of how much of a problem this really is.

We’ve seen you at those big trade shows and events. The organizers really need to be held accountable for letting them in doors in the first place. And at the show, that vendor was NOT the talk of positive review but negative ones based on the labelling alone. Remember folks, it only takes a few seconds to make a first impression (good or otherwise).

If any of these companies are reading this and they are truly aware of the labels they have for their juices — bite the bullet, go back to the drawing board and start over. If you can’t think of anything, have a naming or logo contest. You’d be surprised at the mass of creative minds that are out there who are salivating at the opportunity to get their name out there. They get it. They understand why you are selling your product and want to make the dollar. So, why not utilize those resources and make your product better. You already read of one example that’s doing that (as well as many more that are in the process).

So, what’s stopping you?

What do you think makes a good juice label? What can you suggest to those companies who dropped the ball on their marketing and advertising of their product? Do you have an idea that could slow this trend? Contact me at I’d like to hear what you have to say. Find me on Facebook, Twitter and my personal website If you like this rant and want to hear more, I currently host on VapeTVLive on Thursday nights from 11pm – midnight EST.

Builders Corner Something Crazy

June 18, 2016




If you are an advanced builder or have more than a few months of vaping with the use of an RDA, you’ve more than likely heard, “man, I want something crazy to vape!” “I want a crazy build!”

If you have built at or have been around a builder at a convention you’ve heard this for sure. However, a build that performs well as far as production and self-wicking is plenty crazy on its own. No, they won’t look like a 6 loop slentre. No, they won’t be that build everyone see’s and loses their mind over, but if you have only ever used a set of six wrap macro coils then fused claptons are plenty crazy.

Going from a single bare wire with zero self-wicking capabilities to a coil that allows for self-wicking, lower ramp

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time, etc. is CRAZY. When that fused coil begins to go to work heating up and producing vapor, the juice that has been trapped down in between those higher gauge wires is keeping that vapor just a bit cooler allowing for “better,” or a more pronounced, flavor. This is above and beyond anything that a subtank or t3s style tank could ever hope to provide. They come close but there is just no comparison to the vape of well-made coils in an RDA.

What is a fused clapton? Well, it is a coil comprised of two low gauge core wires then a higher gauge wire is wrapped on those low gauge wires fusing them together. This lowers the ohms while raising both wattage and voltage. It also increases the amount of amperage load on the batteries. CRAZY!

We just went from 1 ohm to subohming in one paragraph! Personally, I did not just stumble on to this innovative concept that ultimately opened up the creative and innovative process for further coil concepts. It was because of folks like Squidoode (on Instagram) and YouTube channels like the Art of Vaping (on YouTube.) These people sat down and explained the process of building and installing these types of coils for free! CRAZY!

A clapton coil, fused clapton, or even a tri-core alien is indeed crazy when you compare the vape experience to that of a t3s tank, a sub tank mini, a super tank, or a standard macro coil. So, if you are one of those who feel your build needs to be a lava monkey double back 5 loop slentre braided alien stovetop in order to fit the criteria of “something crazy” fear not, because you more than likely have not yet experienced the vape of a set of fused claptons or the elusive aliens. Which means you more than likely don’t have the time, patience, or means to build for yourself. However, there are plenty of good people/builders out there who are willing to build you something that will perform well while improving your vape experience.

The entire point of vaping as an alternative to smoking is just that, an alternative to something extremely poisonous and highly addictive. Building coils is great way to keep those idle hands busy and keep one’s mind off the rituals and habits that are formed after smoking for years and years.

This also allows for a possible growth in further understating what is happening when vaping as far as the mechanics are concerned. But feeling the need for something that is built out of experimentation and or has turned into a hobby is missing the point all together. Seek out a way to improve your experience with vaping as a safer alternative to vaping not as a way to impress your friends.

Sam McClelland is an owner and builder for Clean Builds LLC. Follow him and his crazy builds on IG @builds_and_junk and at

Legal Roundup: California Law Means Big Changes Industry Wide

June 12, 2016



By J. Jackson Waste

The heat is on in California.

Two related bills, SB-5 and SB-7, were signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown on May 4, the eve of the FDA’s deeming regulation. These bills will dramatically change the way that the vapor industry is regulated in the Golden State.

The headline is that these bills (i.) treat vapor products like tobacco products for regulatory purposes, and (ii.) raise the purchasing age for tobacco products (now including vapor products) to 21. This article digs into the actual text of these bills and explains what it means to treat vapor products, legally speaking, like tobacco products.

Overview of SB-5:

SB-5 was introduced by California State Senator Mark Leno (D – San Francisco) on July 16, 2015. Its primary function is amending the statute that defines “smoking” and “tobacco product.” The official state definition of “smoking” would be as follows:

“‘Smoking’ means inhaling, exhaling, burning, or carrying any lighted or heated cigar, cigarette, or pipe, or any other lighted or heated tobacco or plant product intended for inhalation, whether natural or synthetic, in any manner or form. ‘Smoking’ includes the use of an electronic smoking device that creates an aerosol or vapor, in any manner or in any form, or the use of any oral smoking device for the purpose of circumventing the prohibition of smoking.”

The definition of “tobacco product” will be amended to include “an electronic device that delivers nicotine or other vaporized liquids to the person inhaling from the device, including, but not limited to, an electronic cigarette, cigar, pipe, or hookah.”

This bill brings vape shops within the California Business & Professions Code’s definition of a “tobacco store,” which is any store that primarily sells or generates more than 60 percent of its annual revenue from the sale of “tobacco products.” This means that, when SB-5 becomes effective, vape shop owners will need to comply with the requirement that tobacco store proprietors apply for and obtain a license. As proposed in the bill, the fee for this would be $265 annually.[1]

Compliance with the licensure requirements, is now an absolute must for shop owners. Section 22980.2 of the Business & Professions Code provides that (a) any person who engages in the sale of tobacco products without a license is guilty of a misdemeanor (including the officers of any corporation that engages in unlicensed sales), and (b) each day of sales after notification that a person must be licensed constitutes a separate violation.

SB-5 also amends section 1947.5 of the Civil Code to allow landlords to prohibit vaping when they lease apartments. (How any landlord would ever know that his tenants are vaping in the privacy of their own apartments is anyone’s guess.) Additionally, section 7597 of the Government Code will be amended to prohibit vaping within 20 feet from the entrance of a government building. So, if you were planning to organize a cloud competition outside the entrance to a DMV office, it’s probably best to put that on hold for now.
There are a few other minor changes in the bill. For instance, it amends section 1596.795 of the Health and Safety Code to prohibit anyone from vaping in a “family day care home” where children are present. Section 104495(b) will be amended to

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prohibit vaping within 25 feet of a playground or “tot lot sandbox area.” Section 114371(f) of the Health and Safety Code will be amended to prohibit vaping at farmer’s markets, which is something that anyone who sells their e-liquid at swap meets may wish to keep in mind.

Overview of SB-7:

This bill amends the Business & Professions Code to raise the purchasing age for tobacco products (which, thanks to SB-5, now means vapor products) from 18 to 21 for everyone except active duty military members. The bill explicitly directs the California Department of Public Health to conduct “random onsite sting operations” at retail stores, and owners of vape shops can bet that they’ll be hit.

This bill will also require “retailers of tobacco products” (meaning, per SB-5, vape shops) to “post conspicuously, at each point of purchase, a notice stating that selling tobacco products to anyone under 21 years of age is illegal and subject to penalties.” These mandatory warning signs must also, per Business & Professions Code § 22952(b), reference a toll-free number where customers can call the Department of Public Health to report shop owners if they suspect sales of tobacco products to underage persons. (Because nothing says “we live in a free society” quite like mandating that vape shop owners post a 1-800 number where concerned citizens can report the oh-so-grievous crime of selling vape juice to a 20-year-old.)

Under SB-7, shops that sell to under-21 customers can be hit with civil penalties ranging from $400 to $6,000, as well as potential sales license revocation and additional fines from the State Board of Equalization. Additionally, SB-7 prohibits by-mail sales of “tobacco products” to customers under 21, meaning that companies that sell e-liquid to California customers are suddenly taking a bigger risk.

Analysis of Both Bills:

California’s Legislature decided to regulate vaping like smoking because (to the extent there was any rationale whatsoever) it looks a bit like smoking. But regulating vapor products like tobacco products because vaping looks like smoking makes about as much sense as requiring a driver’s license to play with Hot Wheels. But the Legislature’s motives become a bit more clear when one considers the fact that the phrase “tobacco product” appears 127 times in the California Revenue and Taxation Code. These bills are hollow moralist grandstanding combined with a good old fashioned money grab.

California voters, whether or not they vape, should be outraged. In a free society, the burden of proof should always be on the proponent of a law that seeks to restrict the behavior of adults. If the Legislature wants to regulate vaping like smoking, then it should be the Legislature’s burden to prove that vaping is, medically speaking, anything like smoking. Not only has the Legislature failed to meet its burden here, it hasn’t even tried. The rights of Californians are being chipped away, and the government isn’t even pretending to offer a reason why. But however ill-conceived these bills may be, vapor industry companies that do business in California would do well to learn the new rules of the road.

[1] B&P Code § 22973.3(d) as set forth in SB-5

Why I Vape

June 10, 2016



By Marty Jones

I couldn’t breathe.

It was the day after Father’s Day and I woke with each partial breath causing me to cough uncontrollably. The desire to cough outweighed the need for air. Pain burned my lungs. My chest felt like it were in an invisible vice.

That will be two years ago June 16. During my smoking years I caustically referred to myself as a professional smoker. I smoked for sixteen years, and an average week for me consisted of four cartons — more if it were a stressful week. My addiction was worse than any other smoker I knew. Working from home offered more chances to chain smoke than what most people had.

I knew smoking was killing me.

Mowing the lawn winded me, definitely not typical of a 33 year-old in good health besides being a smoker. I’d tried to stop smoking cigarettes many times before. I tried going cold turkey five times. I tried nicotine patches, gum, and the convenience store e cigarettes like Blu, Premium, and Krave; nothing worked.

By coincidence, fate, or an intervention by the vaping gods, I learned of vaping through brother-in-law. We had a Father’s Day cookout and he’d stopped smoking a month prior. He invited me to take a trip to a local vape shop, Precious Vapes, in my hometown of Madison, Tennessee.

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I wasn’t impressed because I figured this was the same as what I was buying at the convenience store. When he offered me to take a vape off of his spinner mod, I shrugged and decided why not?

I admitted it tasted better and felt more natural than what I’d experienced with the pseudo-cigarette vapes. I also expected that to be the end of it. Yet, that morning I realized how tobacco was slowly killing me in a way that I could no longer ignore.

That morning, after the ache inducing cough subsided, I went back to Precious Vapes. Since I was the only customer in the store I was forward with Steve. I expected sales hype, but instead found someone who understood what I’d experienced.

Steve set me up with a 900maH spinner, the KangerTech Micro Pro-tank III, and a bottle of 24mg e juice. My last cigarette ever was lit three hours after that. Unexpectedly, I found that vaping caused me to actually taste the cigarette for the first time in years. When I would try to smoke, it was like licking a stale ashtray.

My initial concern when I could no longer tolerate the taste of a cigarette anymore was “am I switching one addiction for another?” I pushed that idea concern aside and I continued down the road that finally took me away from cigarettes.

Suddenly, I noticed that 24mg was too strong. I began to go lower, until 6mg became my standard before the end of my first year.

Then the concern I’d pushed aside returned to haunt me. After being prisoner of tobacco for so long I had to know the truth. At the first of the year I put down my mods expecting withdrawals similar — if not identical — to cigarettes. To my surprise I only missed the taste. Now three days shy of four whole months without vaping nicotine, I purchased a bottle of 3mg. It wasn’t because of craving nicotine, but because I missed one of my favorite flavors that didn’t taste right without the nicotine.

Now as I sit here and close this with my mod in hand, I finally understand what the phrase, “Vape for life” means to me.

It means mowing the lawn without being winded.

It means being able to hike two miles to the mechanic to pick up your car.

It means nature trails, renaissance festivals, extended shopping trips, and different conventions.

It means vaping fits your life, instead of making you a prisoner to death.

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