VAPE Opinions

Eurozoned: The National Wealth Service

November 10, 2015


By Dave Cross

Nye Bevan, the son of a coal miner, championed the rights of working people and social justice his entire life. He was instrumental in setting up the National Health Service (NHS) after mapping out the free at point of delivery provision in 1945. The NHS was tasked with the universal care of the population but it’s now a service that is now creaking at the seams due to underfunding. The system has its faults and allegations of corruption point to reasons why e-cigs face tough opposition, but there are positive stories coming from it too.

It is no secret that the level to which vaping is going to be accepted in England and Wales depends upon the support the NHS is seen to give it. Although businesses and campaigning groups will have their say in dictating how legislation will progress, the voice of doctors holds a lot of sway. Doctors, through their professional body The British Medical Association (BMA), have been unsupportive of the electronic alternative to smoking on the whole.

“NHS bosses paid by drug firms,” sang the headline of The Daily Telegraph. “Senior NHS staff are being paid thousands of pounds and taken on expensive trips by drug companies lobbying to get their products used by the health service.”

The BMA has been vociferous of its opposition to vaping. Ignoring the growing body of evidence to the contrary, some of it being produced in conjunction with NHS services, they have stuck resolutely to the mantra that quitters should use nicotine patches or the other increasingly failing pharmaceutical products. Now the pieces of the puzzle are falling into place and explain why such an important organization would take the stance it does.

What the BMA had to say in the past is that it favours a strong regulatory hand for electronic cigarettes. While sales of some NRT products are falling by 30 to 50 percent, research from Professor Robert West highlights that e-cigs promote a 60 percent increased chance of quitting successfully. People have been scratching their heads in disbelief at the BMA’s standpoint and then plunged into the depths of incredulity when George Rae, the BMA’s northeast representative, was quoted as saying that eliquids are “even more cancer forming than what you’re getting within cigarettes themselves.”

The NHS spends tens of billions on medication each year, NRT playing a part of this. It seemed logical to assume that this link had to feature in the machinations of the BMA but it wasn’t until the story broke that we finally had evidence of a sort.

“Many of the meetings take place in five-star hotels around the world, with some attendees telling this newspaper that they were taken to ‘flashy’ restaurants and paid large sums while considering whether to ‘switch’ drugs.”

The BMA members being wined and dined are co-opted onto pointless committees and receive financial rewards under the pretense of advising pharmaceutical companies. Kickbacks include payments of around $800 per day for trips and up to $24,000 for attending a meeting.

An NHS spokesperson announced: “If these allegations are true, this is completely outrageous and amounts to an abuse of the trust that patients place in NHS staff.

The NHS fraud protection body has launched an urgent investigation and we expect each Trust and Clinical Commissioning Group involved to launch a full inquiry.”

Will this have any effect on the vaping-related pronouncements coming from the BMA? It seems highly unlikely, but at least it discredits their opinions. What could prove to hold a much longer-lasting impact is the work being carried out in the quit services themselves—or rather, the actions of one individual: Louise Ross, service manager for the NHS Stop Smoking unit in Leicester.

We’ve met Ross once before in a VAPE Magazine article. She saw the numbers coming for support declining as vaping took off and investigated. Her research drew the conclusion that her unit should become e-cig-friendly. Such was the success of the move that Ross’s name began spreading throughout the country, appearing on talk shows and in interviews.

Ross’s dedication and belief in electronic cigarettes has driven her forward to be a leading advocate within the NHS. When proposals were implemented to ban smoking and vaping from all NHS grounds Ross lobbied hard to see if she could affect a change in policy for the Bradgate NHS mental health unit.

Previous research by Ricardo Polosa found that: “Even with intensive smoking cessation management programs specifically designed for patients with schizophrenia, quit rates are low. Although not formally regulated as a pharmaceutical product, the e-cigarette can help smokers with schizophrenia to reduce their cigarette consumption or remain abstinent and reduce the burden of smoking-related morbidity and mortality, particularly in schizophrenic patients who smoke.”

Polosa’s study formed part of Ross’s argument to convince the local NHS board to allow a pilot vaping study within Bradgate as an alternative to the plans for yet more traditional cessation work. Hopes are that a successful conclusion will enable similar e-cig-based programs to be rolled out across the country.

It will not be the first time Ross has inspired change within the NHS. From being the only quit service to accept vaping, the numbers are beginning to increase as they witness her success. It has contributed to her unit being selected for a national study looking at the efficacy of electronic cigarettes as part of a quit attempt. The research is being carried out by Queen Mary University of London (a leading research-intensive higher education institution) and will focus on three centres in East Sussex, London and Leicester.

Ross said: “We are delighted, and proud, to be one of the test sites. This study will add to our body of knowledge around e-cigarettes.”

So while the BMA may be scheming with Big Pharma for financial motives they may yet be undone by the pure intent and dedicated work of Ross, a person Nye Bevan would be proud of working in his National Health Service.

Dave Cross is a writer, biker, vaper, ever-more rotund punk and perpetual disappointment to his parents. According to his wife he is frequently wrong about most things. Follow Dave Cross on Twitter @MawsleyX.


Safety First

October 28, 2015



Words and photos by Nick Bessette

There literally are millions of vapers nowadays, and many of them are trying out the art of building their own coils and/or using a sub-Ohm tank. However, there are a few things that everyone should know before they delve into the realm of rebuilding and sub-Ohming; battery safety and Ohm’s Law are on the top of that list. The following is a step-by-step guide on the do’s and don’ts of the subculture of vaping.

Battery Safety
It may seem like common sense to use the right tool for the job, but for a beginner, there’s so much information available that it might seem a bit overwhelming. Hopefully, these tips will get you on the right track for being a responsible, advanced personal vaporizer (APV) or mod owner.

Never Fully Discharge or Overcharge Your Batteries. When charging, keep an eye on your batteries and make sure you take them off the charger when

  • they say they are fully charged (most of the time at 4.2v.) Most modern chargers are equipped with overcharge protection, but that doesn’t mean you should just leave them on until you’re ready to use them. Batteries slowly drain even when they’re not being used in a mod, so if you leave them on, they will continuously cycle even though they still read 4.2v. Also, make sure you take out your batteries before they hit their lowest charge rate (most of the time at 3.5v.); you should notice a significant loss of power when using a mechanical (mech) mod when the batteries are starting to drain. When this happens, take it out and swap it for a fully charged cell.
  • Never Leave Your Batteries on the Charger Overnight. This can cause the battery to have a reduced life cycle, and any chance to extend the life of your batteries is one you should take into consideration. Not to mention the fact that Li-ion batteries are very fragile, so you should always be cautious when using them and keep an eye on the charging process. Furthermore, make sure your charger is in a safe place out of the reach of children and never on the carpet.
  • Buy the Right Battery for the Job. Buying batteries can be a pain with so many different brands to choose from. First of all, when something has the word “fire” in the name, it’s best not to trust it. If you’re using a regulated device that only goes up to 15w and is not capable of sub-Ohming, you should most likely use an AW IMR protected cell battery. There are several sizes to choose from, including 18350, 18450/500 and 18650, among others. Make sure you purchase the correct battery size for your device and never stack batteries. If you’re using a mech mod, you will need an unprotected, high-drain cell, such as the Samsung 25R “Smurfs” or the Sony VTC4’s. These batteries are capable of putting out a much higher amperage than protected cells, and if you are using it with a sub-Ohm coil, you will also be using a higher-than-average amp draw from your battery.
  • Don’t Short Out Your Batteries. A short circuit is like a shortcut that electricity can take on its way from the positive to negative terminals. This can be caused when your positive and negative terminals touch the battery at the same time, such as using a hybrid connection with a device with a shallow positive pin. But a short can be caused by a number of other factors as well. One thing to stay away from is storing batteries with other metal objects. Don’t just throw your batteries in your pocket with your keys and loose change, as it can short your battery and even explode! The telltale sign of a short is that your battery and mod will get very hot. Don’t risk using a battery that you shorted out; a $15 battery is definitely not worth risking your hand over.

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· Always Check Your Battery Wrappers For Rips. This is a common problem that is too often overlooked. I’ve seen countless customers come into my vape shop that have tears in their battery wrappers and think it’s not a big deal, but they are definitely wrong. Even if it’s a minor tear, you should always rewrap it, because if it’s left untreated, it could get larger or possibly short your battery and cause you to get shocked. Battery rewraps are cheap and easy to do; simply peel the old wrapper off your battery, slide the new one over it (trim if necessary) and heat it using a hair dryer. Presto! You’re ready to start vaping safely once again.

· Know the Amp Limit of Your Batteries. Before building your coils, make sure you check the amp limits of the batteries you are using in your mod. It is imperative that the batteries you use can handle the amp draw from the resistance of your coils. If the batteries you’re using cannot handle the amp draw, you can short out your device or possibly vent your batteries, which could be catastrophic. Furthermore, always use a married set of batteries of the same make and model if you’re using a dual battery mod. If you do not do this, it could lead to failure of your batteries or damage to your mod.

Ohm’s Law
Ohm’s law is the relationship between three mathematical equations relating to the flow of electricity. It may be difficult for those of you who don’t have a pre-existing knowledge of electricity, so I’ll try to make it easy for you and relate it to a highway.

What is voltage? Voltage would be like a huge super-highway with lots of cars speeding down it. The speed at which the cars travel is determined by their own top speed and how many lanes are in the highway. The difference between the speed at which the cars are travelling and the cars’ maximum speed could be thought of as potential voltage.

What is current? The best analogy for current would be the fastest speed the cars can travel as determined by their own top speed (voltage). The quantity, volume or intensity of electrical flow would best describe current, as opposed to voltage, which refers to the force or “top speed,” causing the current flow.

What is resistance? Resistance is like a bottleneck where four lanes get reduced to two and the traffic is forced to slow down. The more lanes (lower resistance), the faster traffic can go, and the fewer number of lanes (higher resistance), the slower it can move. The coils you build are the resistance, in the case of vaping. All three of these factors play a crucial part in Ohm’s law.

Ohm’s law can be stated as mathematical equations, all derived from the same principle. In the following equations, V is voltage, measured in volts (the size of the highway); I is current, measured in amperes (related to the top speed [voltage] of cars speeding down the highway); and R is resistance, measured in Ohms as related to the size of the highway:

V = I x R (Voltage = Current multiplied by Resistance)
R = V / I (Resistance = Voltage divided by Current)
I = V / R (Current = Voltage Divided by Resistance)

Knowing any two of the values of a circuit, one can determine (calculate) the third, using Ohm’s Law. For example, when building coils, you will have your known maximum voltage output (4.2v for most batteries) and your resistance (Ohms), so when you plug those two factors into the equation, you can determine how many amps you will be drawing from your battery. This information is crucial, because you don’t want to be going over the amp limits of your batteries. There are helpful tools out there to help you with this, including websites, and even apps that allow you to plug in the known factors to determine the amps you’re drawing from your batteries. Always use an Ohm reader or multi-meter when rebuilding so that you know the resistance of your coils and have the numbers you can plug into these formulas.

At this point, you should have a solid knowledge base of the safety aspect to vaping and hopefully have gained some knowledge on how batteries work as well. The information that I really want you all to take away from this is how important safety is when it comes to rebuilding your own
coils. Too often, I see people using unsafe batteries or making coils that would make an electrician cringe. The more accidents we have as vapers, the more the media will show bad press and push for more regulations. Vape safe, everyone, and as always, vape on!

For the video portion of the story, visit

Nick Bessette works at Voltage Vape shop in Springfield, Mass., and he does video reviews for his own YouTube channel, Daily Vape TV, among others. He has been building for two years and conducting battery safety courses at VCC events over the past year. Teaching the safety aspect of vaping is a passion of his, and he believes that it’s an extremely important topic for every vaper to know about.


Crowd Chasers

October 19, 2015




Using innovative and aggressive marketing,
Ruthless E -Juice hopes to double international sales in 2016.

By Maria Verven
Photo courtesy of Ruthless E-Juice

By developing a line of unique gourmet flavors favored by discriminating vapers, Ruthless E-Juice has become one of the most successful e -liquid brands in the United States.

Now, living up to their name, the men and women behind Ruthless are developing an aggressive, almost “ruthless” approach to the international market. While Ruthless is already selling about 40 percent of its products overseas, CEO Allen Querido said they are aiming to double international sales in 2016.

“We have a big international presence, but there’s still a ways to go,” Querido said, adding that Ruthless is distributed in Australia, China, France, Germany, Malaysia, the Philippines, Russia, South Africa, South Korea and the U.K.

This spring and summer, Querido and his Ruthless colleagues exhibited in their first international vape shows, including Vape Jam UK in early May and Vape China Expo in July. They’ll attend at least six more international shows before the end of the year, including Vapexpo in Paris in September, meeting with distributors, store owners and vapers.

“We’re bringing our team to them so they can get to know what we’re all about. We want Ruthless to be available to all cultures of the world,” Querido said. “We want everywhere there’s vaping to know about and taste our products.”

From Chef to E-Liquid Connoisseur

Several years ago, when Allen Querido was in culinary school, he had no idea he would end up using his cooking talents to create new e-liquid recipes.

Querido and his buddy Ramon Barredo, Ruthless’ COO, were introduced to vaping during a trip to visit family in the Philippines in late 2011.

“I was just smoking socially, but Ramon was smoking more like a pack a day,” Querido said. “Ramon had struggled trying to quit smoking, so a cousin gave him his first vaporizer as a gift,” he said. When they got back to California, they set out to learn more about vaping and the e -liquids on the market.

“There was a lot of e- juice out there, but not a lot of creativity going on in the industry, and none that we really liked,” Querido said, explaining why he and Barredo decided to try making their own e -liquids in early 2012.

“They weren’t well made, were too simplistic and didn’t give you that fullness, that full punch of flavor, that ‘wow’ factor,” he said.

Suddenly Stuff Came Out Well

So the pair bought some flavorings and started mixing and creating recipes in Ramon’s kitchen. “Suddenly stuff came out pretty well,” Querido said.

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…continued from above

Their first break came when a friend and owner of the new vape shop Vapor Junkies offered to sell their e- juices. He selected five flavors: EZ Duz It, Grape Drank, C.r.e.a.m.sickle, Slurricane and Peach Fuzz, flavors that Ruthless continues to make to this day.
By the middle of 2012, they were selling so much that they had to move operations out of Ramon’s kitchen into a 500 square- foot warehouse in La Puentes, Calif.

“We saw huge potential,” Querido said. “We visited stores every single day, pushing our products as hard as we could. We got a lot of great reviews, social media followers and developed a lot of relationships in the industry,” he said, explaining the reasons behind their success.

By the middle of 2013, they had to relocate once again. Ruthless’ storage and shipping are now handled in a 10,000 square – foot space in San Dimas, Calif., while a second facility in Walnut, Calif. houses the mixing, manufacturing, bottling and labeling.
Proud of their ISO -certified Walnut facility, Querido often invites customers to visit. “We’re trying to get the same FDA certification that pharmaceutical companies have,” he said.

More than 1,000 stores carry Ruthless E- Juice and its staff now numbers to more than 40, mostly in production, shipping, packaging, marketing and sales. Querido said they’re planning to expand to a 25,000 square -foot facility by the end of the year so they can bring everything together under one roof.

A Smoother, Sweeter Vape

Querido is fussy when it comes to all of the ingredients that go into Ruthless E -Juice—especially the nicotine.

“We wanted to get the best available nicotine with certification, and choose a company that could move forward with us,” Querido said. “NicSelect offered all of that. The other nicotine we tried was harsher, with a sharper throat hit. The color was sometimes too brownish or the liquid was fishy smelling,” he said. “It just wasn’t appealing when mixed with our flavors.

“We tested NicSelect with all of our juices, and it came out with the best flavor,” he said. “We knew we wanted to use it for all our e -juices going forward.” Ruthless uses NicSelect’s VG blend, which offers what Querido describes as a “smoother, sweeter vape.”

He also appreciates the customer service he gets from Nicotine River, one of NicSelect’s exclusive distributors. “Just having someone always available was really big to us,” he said.

Querido said they use NicSelect for all of its flavors, including their most popular: EZ Duz It, EZ Duz It on Ice, Swamp Thang, Jungle Fever and Slurricane.

The Debut of La Dolce Vita and The Breakfast Club

In May, Ruthless released a new flavor it called La Dolce Vita – a unique combination of “vanilla pistachio Italian gelato.” Introduced at Vape Jam UK and featuring unique packaging, Ruthless only released 50,000 units of La Dolce Vita. As of press time, they’re close to selling out. “When people know a flavor is harder to get, they appreciate it even more,” Querido said.

But the Ruthless team didn’t stop there. They’re now launching four new breakfast flavors in a new line called The Breakfast Club.

“We tried a lot of breakfast flavors, but weren’t satisfied to the max,” Querido said. “So we took the four most popular breakfast cereals, and made sure every one of those flavors was exactly what it should taste like and put them together in one line.”

The Breakfast Club flavors Vape Flakes, Apple Snaxx, Crunchberry, and Froops were released in June, and are already taking off in popularity, Querido said.

“We sold close to 50,000 bottles in one month,” Querido said. He believes they’re popular because it offers everyone’s favorite cereal in one juice line. The international response has also been very positive. “I just got back from China a week ago, and it was a hit even there, even though they probably don’t recognize the names,” he said.

Several new flavors are still in the hopper at Ruthless. “We don’t like to release new flavors all the time; we like to give each flavor a ‘run’ and then market it correctly,” he said.

Every e- liquid flavor released by Ruthless passes through Querido’s finely tuned palate. “I still work in the lab and have to be the one creating recipes for new flavors.

“Vapers change constantly, so we do a lot of market research to see what flavors are popular at the moment,” he said. “But we don’t ever want to release anything that’s redundant. We develop something within the same context but that’s totally different.”

For more information, visit
The original Vaping Vamp, Maria Verven is partner and chief marketing mentor of



October 18, 2015



By Nick Green Photo by Metal Jeff

Should I stick to an Atlantis or buy a Kanger Mini?

- Vinny

Hey Vinny! If you like the Atlantis tanks, then chances are you will also like the Kanger tanks. They are very similar in design and airflow. The great thing about the Kanger Mini is that it does come with an RBA (rebuildable) head. So, you can build your own coils as opposed to buying new coils every time they burn out. The RBA head does take up more space inside the tank, so you will lose a bit of juice capacity, but it’s still very cool. When I’m using the Kanger Mini, I’m always using the RBA base. Saves some money on those coil purchases.

Hope that helps out!

- Grimm

I was curious about the Maganus DVC tank. Do you know the life expectancy of coils on average?

- Dizzy Murray

The Maganus is a great tank. The same goes for that tank that goes for a lot of other tanks. The coils should last a decent amount of time. In my experience I’ve got anywhere from two to three weeks on one coil. That isn’t always set in stone, however. Some coils seem to last longer than others. So, don’t give up if you get a coil that only lasts a few days. Just try another one and hope for the best. I also generally only change my coils when I notice a significant drop in flavor or performance.

- Grimm



October 13, 2015



People ask me all the time if VAPE is a business-to-business or business-to consumer. The answer is that it’s both. We try to focus on every genre of the industry that’s out there, but the exciting thing is that there are so many subcultures in our industry that editorial space in each issue is at a premium. I recently had a conversation at San Antonio’s Vape Blast with an industry professional, and we almost said in unison: “This industry has everything from your 80-year-old grandma who just quit smoking to the 20-year-old who just wants to cloud chase.” And, it’s true. We have vapers who are trying or who have been successful in quitting smoking, cloud chasers, hobbyists, advocacy vapers, vaping events planners, vaping “celebs,” those who vape simply because of the business they are in, and yes, we have those high school kids who are curious about what vaping is, just like the generation before who were curious about cigarettes. Gosh, what an interesting time it is to be a writer.

For October’s issue, we threw it back to the thousands of people who thankfully read VAPE, with our first-ever Readers’ Best Survey. In August, we sent out a questionnaire on social media and via email, plugging this write-in survey. You, the people, chose your favorites in a multitude of categories, such as Best VAPE Column, Best E-Liquid, Favorite Personality and Best Regional Shop. We’re proud and excited to announce the winners and send a hearty congratulations and thanks to everyone involved.

As we head into the fall season, I urge to you stay involved. Whether it is pitching me an awesome story that you’ve heard through the industry grapevine, attending an event or joining our many organizations that are fighting for your rights, being an avid vaper is a very important part of how we stand today.

Happy reading.

- Alyssa Stahr


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