Can vaping change your life?

* by Mark

I am a vaping person, I have been for a couple of years now and have found it to be an invaluable tool for helping wean myself off of those evil killer fags. Yet, as time goes by, I am constantly bombarded with news that it is dangerous to my health and some have even gone as far as to claim it is as dangerous as smoking cigarettes. So I have decided to make a quick blog of my thoughts on the subject.

Can vaping change your lifeAs a smoker of some 30 years who can wade through a pack of 20 in a day without any thought I would not maybe accused of heavy smoking but I am a serious participant. Now as a vaping person I can draw my own conclusions with a degree of authority as to how it has impacted me.

The main differences I have personally found involve my 5 senses.

Taste: The most noticeable and quickest change you will encounter. After years of smoking I have grown used to having a tongue that tastes rancid, let’s face it proper smoking will leave your mouth feeling like the bottom of an unattended parrot cage. Vaping leaves your mouth tasting cleaner and because of the lack of bad taste you will notice food tastes different, richer, deeper and more intense like someone has turned up the volume on your taste buds. Though I do confess to a downside to this that is truly bizarre. You will actually miss the “parrot cage” taste, your old “norm” which will lead you to try the odd cigarette which in turn will taste dreadful with your new taste buds all tuned up. A catch 22 that won’t go away.

Smell: Like your taste this also becomes clearer, you will notice flowers as you pass them by in someone’s garden that before you would have barely registered. After 30 years of impaired smell I am loving the sometimes overwhelming sea of smells out there in the world. Though again this has a drawback, the bad smells are also now much more potent. I can recall situations in my past where I have survived in environments where everyone has been complaining about “that awful smell” like the blocked sewer pipe running under our old offices. Some people had to leave as they couldn’t cope and yet I have been able to soldiered on with only a vague awareness of the problem. Now, well I probably would have to leave the office as well.

Touch: Well this sense is not altered perceptibly but there are some benefits such as no more yellow fingers from holding the cigarette at the wrong angle. Some of my 30 years of smoking have involved hand rolled cigarettes due to budget constraints and so I have noticed that vaping comes with zero paper cuts on my tongue from licking the gum and fingers from careless handling.

Sight: No real change to be honest unless you think about what you’re doing from a visual angle. The mod industry has made some truly gorgeous vaping tools with engraved tanks encased in elegantly crafted metal covers and battery packs milled from solid blocks of a variety of metals and even wood. There is a mod pack out there that will make you go “wow that’s cool”, just don’t be guided by the high street shops and do some hunting on the web. So I would conclude what looks better, someone with a “wow” mod exhaling strawberry flavoured smoke or someone with a regular cigarette.

Sound: Ok you got me, I can’t think of anything apart from the fact that you will hear far less complaining about where your smoking and snide comments about how your killing everyone with your evil habit.

The net result of all the above has impacted me in other ways such as the ability now to run 100 meters and not need medical attention at the end. A feeling of being lighter in my body and clearer in my thoughts. Healthier as I catch far fewer colds now a days as I am saved from having to stand in the rain or worse, the snow to have a smoke.

Vapemateinfographic - LIFE'S BETTER AFTER TOBACCOThis post is a personal observation and not a scientific claim and just catches the nature of my response when asked the question is vaping safe. These are the direct benefits I have felt or experienced from vaping. I mention that because once you let the scientists in to the discussion then the waters become very muddy. It would seem that the scientific community cant or won’t come to a general consensus. Many agree that it is safer in general to vape over smoking traditional cigarettes yet counter that with the fact that there are chemicals in vaping smoke that are also harmful to the human body. My take away from my research has been for a while and still stands at the front of my thoughts is that a traditional cigarette contains over 4000 chemicals some of which are radioactive and vaping juice contains around a dozen depending on the manufacturer. So even if the dozen present in vaping juice are all harmful (they are not by the way) you are still saving your body from 1000’s of other chemicals that are proven to be very harmful, conclusion it has to be safer.

To close, I would suggest some following points if you are deliberating about entering the world of vaping.

  1. Stay informed and read up on the subject through the numerous papers released on the subject and read blogs such as “The safety of Vaping” to get your information and draw your own conclusions. Remember though when reading that smoking as a whole is a very divisive subject and more importantly a multibillion pound industry and as such has a much invested interest in getting the conclusion the producers want. Remember back to the huge controversy over the 7 heads of the tobacco giants all proclaiming that cigarettes are not addictive or harmful on record to a senate hearing in the USA. Vested interest that affected their personal pockets so take with a pinch of salt.
  2. If you do smoke, try it.
  3. If you don’t smoke but want to look cool with your friends then zero nicotine options are widely available and let you be that social smoker that society used to tolerate. Though don’t let it become a regular thing as at the end of the day there are enough poisons and chemicals in the air we breathe anyway without adding any more. The safest way forwards has to be the one that introduces no extra harmful chemicals into your body.

Have you ever smoked and tried vaping to help quit and if so did it help?

Have you tried vaping and gone back to smoking cigarettes and if so why?

Are you part of the 24% of the population convinced that vaping is bad for you?

* This is a collaborative post.

Mixology & Vaping – How to Make Your Own e-Juice

Mixology is a term used to describe the art of mixing cocktail drink recipes but what about e-juice? Vaping is extremely popular and more and more people take upon themselves to try and create their own flavours of e-liquids. Will the term mixology get a revamp one day soon?

Mixology & Vaping – How to Make Your Own e-Juice Mixology is a term used to describe the art of mixing cocktail drink recipes but what about e-juice? Vaping is extremely popular and more and more people take upon themselves to try and create their own flavours of e-liquids. Will the term mixology get a revamp one day soon?If you are a vaper then the thought of mixing your own juices has most likely already crossed your mind… they are cheaper, you can create exactly what you want and you can have some fun whilst doing it.

There are two ways of getting a bespoke juice:

You can make it from scratch by mixing nicotine concentrate, Propylene Glycol (PG), Vegetable Glycerine (VG) and some combination of flavour concentrates … it can be fun and it will sure give you a lot of satisfaction, it is a fairly easy but definitely not a quick process as the juice has to steep for a while before it can be used. Steeping is akin to the fine art of wine or cheese making in so far as allowing it to mature and the flavours to develop. Creating your own e-liquids requires a lot of patience and precision… a small mistake with measurements can really cost you dearly if for example you miscalculate the nicotine volumes, so only attempt it after a solid research and good preparation on your part.

You can mix existing juices to achieve a desired flavour combination. This is much easier way of getting your dream juice when compared to making it from scratch. Mixing existing juices is much safer, it doesn’t require so much preparations and it is ready to vape within minutes, not weeks!

So how do you mix existing e-juices?

Well, the process is pretty straight forward.

  1. Select the flavours you wish to mix together.
  2. Decide how much of each flavour will go to your new juice and decide how to measure it; doing it by ml seems to work well for us.
  3. Take a fresh, clean tank aka clearomizer and start adding the required amount of each flavour in.
  4. Screw the base back up.
  5. Shake well.
  6. Let it stand for a minute or two and you are ready to vape!

Easy isn’t it?

Mixing existing juices is a perfect way of getting rid of that flavour which isn’t all that good on its own. For example we have a few bottles of black coffee, well it sounded great when we were buying it but in reality none of us really enjoys it, but when mixed with cream and chocolate, it makes for a lovely vape.

There is no limit to flavour combinations you can create as the only limitation is your imagination but to get you started and to give you some ideas what might go well with what you might want to have a look at this easy guide how to make the most popular vaping cocktails created by VIP Electronic Cigarette.

Mixology & Vaping – How to Make Your Own e-Juice Mixology is a term used to describe the art of mixing cocktail drink recipes but what about e-juice? Vaping is extremely popular and more and more people take upon themselves to try and create their own flavours of e-liquids. Will the term mixology get a revamp one day soon?I am not a drinker myself but looking at this flavours I quite fancy an e-juice strawberry mojito to be honest 🙂

Have you ever considered mixing your own e-juices?

* This is a collaborative post.

Review: Vaping Combo – Innokin Cool Fire IV & Anyvape Fury Tank

Review Vaping Combo – Innokin Cool Fire IV & Anyvape Fury Tank* by Mark

As many of Bark Time readers know I took up the modern art of vaping to assist me the quest to give up on smoking cigarettes and to also assist in making the house smell a whole heap better. So when the nice people at E-Cigarette Direct asked me to review a new mod, a new tank and juice set I was interested from the start, when they added it was the latest offering from Innokin, one of the industries go to names, it was a deal.

A few days later and a parcel landed on my doorstep containing a lovely red Cool Fire IV mod and a Fury Tank from Anyvape and a bottle of Jack 3 E-Liquid from 13 Sins, sorted! Well almost, the clue was there in the title, the new tank from Anyvape. Now as I have been vaping for over a year and have built up quite a collection of mods and tanks and associated paraphernalia I thought (wrongly) that I knew what I was doing. I pick up the tank and unscrew the base, as you do, primed the coil and started to fill with juice, check levels and when happy screw back together. Pop onto the Innokin Cool Fire IV and wait a couple of minutes and finally time to test this bad boy. All was fine, placed it on the side of my desk to continue with my workload for the day. An hour or so later when I am feeling the cravings kick in I reach for my new toy to find the contents of the tank have leaked out the bottom holes of the tank, all over the Cool Fire IV and then inevitably all over the desk in a large puddle. A 5ml may not seem very big when you’re filling it up twice a day but trust me spilt onto a desk and it seems to take an inordinate amount of tissue and wiping to get rid of it all. Needless to say that tank was lobbed across the room and an old faithful brought back into action to save the day.

Later whilst chatting to fellow vapers it was suggested to try it again and maybe the problem was I had over-screwed the tank when reassembling it, I denied this of course as I am experienced, but still worth a check. Oh and this time I read the manual!… just don’t tell anyone 🙂 A wonderful and seriously understated feature of the new Anyvape Fury Tank (btw if you’re going to Google the tank you need to add the Anyvape unless you want to wade through 2000 posts about Brad Pitt before finding anything useful or simply check all its features here) is that it is a TOP filling tank, a first I believe and what a lovely feature. When filling it up in the traditional manner through the base I was most unimpressed with the microscopic gap between the tank wall and the coil in which you are meant to get the juice through, however unscrew the drip tip and you are faced with two sizable holes in which to pour your juice with ease, wonderful feature! It achieves this feat of awesomeness by a mechanic that lowers the internal sleeving down over the coil inlet holes sealing them. As you screw the drip tip back into place after filling the action causes the sleeve to lift and expose the coil again, I am impressed and even more impressed that now it seems to be behaving and not throwing all my juice away.

The two juices from 13 Sins are nice, they have a nice mellow flavour but my taste buds where not alive enough to distinguish all the claimed flavours in the mix. As an example I am currently sampling their Jack 3 offering which has banana, caramel, popcorn, coconut, raspberry and cream in the mix, not a combination you come up with at the drop of a hat. I can get hints of coconut and the cream and the raspberry is quite pronounced but the rest I think just add to the background. In conclusion I would say that although it wouldn’t feature in my all time favourite juices list it is one that I would buy again when buying juices for occasions or just to keep the stock cupboard filled up.

Vaping Combo – Innokin Cool Fire IV & Anyvape Fury TankAnd finally to the star of the show, the Cool Fire IV. First impressions when I unwrapped it was, “Nice looking mod”. The second strong impression was when I took it out the box, I thought I was going to have to go to store to get a battery for it, it was so lightweight I was sure it was missing, but it was there and ready to go. Seriously the thing ways little more than a current smart phone even with the tank on and juiced up. My usual mod being a Smok80 or the CF Maxx now feel like lead weights after using the Cool Fire IV for a week. Battery life is pretty much as expected, a couple of hours on a charge (fret not, you can still vape to your hearts contentment as you charge due to the location of the socket, always handy when you have been caught short) and the Cool Fire IV will happily deliver you usable power for the day, although if you’re are a chain vaper then that may not be the case. The brushed aluminium case is well constructed and sculpted to fit comfortably in your hand however for me the issue became that the brush effect is vertical and as such it is very easy to drop the mod if you are not paying attention and your grip relaxes a little too much.

The Cool Fire IV has only 3 buttons that when tapped in a variety of sequences give a wealth of information and allow for easy altering of wattage and voltage as well as offering visual clues as to the current state of your battery. The Cool Fire IV also comes with a host of safety features to stop it all going horribly wrong such as accidently pressing the fire button as it rests against something when you slip it into a pocket or bag to go somewhere, after 15 seconds it will automatically switch itself off. Coupled with the mentioned top fill capabilities and air regulation openings at both the base level and on the drip tip allows you to precisely set it to your needs.

Review Vaping Combo – Innokin Cool Fire IV and Anyvape Fury TankAs a package it was a pleasurable experience, you’re not going to win any “cloudchaser” competitions but you will get a descent amount of smoke similar in effect to a regular cigarette.

My only concern regarding the set up is that it may not be for the novice user as it requires a fair amount of experience to get working properly. If you are upgrading from an entry level e-cigarette style of kit then prepare yourself for a reasonable steep learning curve. Read the manual and then visit Youtube for tips on how to get the most out of your endeavours. As an example I was unable to raise the wattage above 20 watts without it hissing and spitting like a cat on a hot tin roof, then I added a couple of increments to the voltage side of the equation and suddenly a smooth smoke and significantly increased vapour production.

If you have any questions about any of the package I have reviewed then please post a comment and I will get back to you.

Have you considered starting vaping or upgrading if you already do?

If you are a vaper then what do you think to the Cool Fire IV?

*Products featured in this review were provided free of charge for review purposes.

Vaping stages and your chance to #win with multiCIG

Vaping stages and your chance to #win with multiCIGby Mark

The world of vaping is an extremely interesting one and until a few months back I had no idea there was so much to discover!

There are six stages that I can count that an individual passes through on their journey through the world of vaping.

Starter kit

This is without doubt the gateway device into more serious juice use. Easily available and disposable, when the battery is no more you are looking at buying a new one, no repairs or modifications here, bought as seen. They are easy to break, and even easier to over tighten so they inevitably leak. On top of that they have very restricted airflow so wide eyes and cheeks that meet in the middle is the likely reality when used. However all that said there are a couple of standout features for this class of device. Firstly they tend to be cheap purchasable for as little as £5 but even a good one will only likely set you back around £25 (or three packs of smokes in old money). Secondly the small tank for holding the juice seems at first glance to be a problem but is in fact an asset. As these devices are used to introduce you to vaping you are by definition new and thus also new to the world of flavoured smoke and believe me when I say there are thousands of flavours out there to discover. A little tank means less time till you can try that new flavour you just bought on a whim.

Tasteful mods

As you gain knowledge and experience you will start to expect more from your vaping experience. This will result in you getting irritated by the constant need to top up the juice tank, especially when you have stopped flavour chasing for a while and have settled down with a new favourite flavour for a while. You will also start to get annoyed by the fact that after a day of vaping you will probably need to recharge before the evenings fun can begin. The result is that our traveller on the vaping road will upgrade to a tasteful mod, something like an EGO-ONE. Coming with a large battery for longer life and a big tank for less juice refills, this meets our needs for now.

Vaping stages plus your chance to #win with multiCIGUn-tasteful mods

As our journey continues and the knowledge acquired starts to make sense you start to realise that the power of your battery has a massive effect on the nature of the smoke you actually end up inhaling, so it makes sense to have a good one at least. You will also by now have collected a few tanks filled with different flavours and become adept at switching tanks on batteries as you fancy a quick taste of a new flavour. You will probably have come across the new craze of “sub-ohm” vaping. I confess to being a huge convert to “sub-ohm” vaping as I find the flavour much richer and the smoke cooler not to mention the huge clouds you can make if you’re so inclined. However you need a much bigger battery to run a “sub-ohm” device and you need to be able to change the wattage the battery delivers as different coils require different wattage. Only option; upgrade to an un-tasteful mod. There is no getting away from it these things look like bricks, newer models are trying to scale things back a bit but they are still quite clunky if they are able to deliver any serious level of power. I find for home use they are totally acceptable but I have not found one I feel comfortable using in public yet. Currently I am using a Smok X-Pro 80M that so far has met my current needs.
You are now officially a fully-fledged vaper with the ability to talk with the best on the subject, welcome to the club 🙂

RDA’s

This is the next logical step on the journey when you discover the effect of keeping a stock of replacement coils. Especially as your collection of tanks, batteries and all-in-ones grows so does the range of coils you need to keep as backups. So why not make your own, quality control comes as standard as you’re only going to use the best materials you can find such as Organic Japanese Cotton and not some mass produced chemically treated cotton that is probably used in the factories. The rewards for the effort; simply put the purest smoke full of flavour. An RDA like the Indulgence Mutation X V4 is basically a sieve with space for a coil in the middle, but build your coil and wick it and then drip your juice onto the wick till its fully soaked add a battery and enjoy.

Vaping stages &  your chance to #win with multiCIGAlchemist

Well as we are now building coils and re-wicking like its second nature surely the next step will be to start creating our own perfect juice. Using a juice calculator and making sure you are using pharmaceutical grade ingredients a wonderful world of discovery lays before you. There are thousands of flavours out there and a 10ml bottle of concentrate can be found for around £3 it won’t be long before you have draws of them, all steeping away. At this level only your imagination is holding you back.

Mechanicals

I can’t write much about this level as I have not actually achieved it yet, but older and wiser people have told me it’s where you take control of the battery and housing. This is the level where you laughingly dismiss the use of electronics to regulate the battery and base your guaranteed survival on your current knowledge of physics. I dizzying height to achieve but maybe one day……

As you can see since our last vaping related post my knowledge is so much greater in depth and detail but if you are just starting your journey you should start from the beginning and experience all the different vaping “stages” yourself.

In just under two weeks we are going to attend the Vaper Expo in Birmingham NEC (11th & 12th July 2015). The exhibitors list is huge and I am hoping to learn some new tricks (and not get carried away and blow the bank balance on new toys).

In the meantime we have a surprise for you 🙂

#win with multiCIGmultiCIG have very kindly offered a selection of electronic cigarettes and their multiVAPE e-liquid starter kit to one of Bark Time readers. So, if you are thinking about quitting or know someone who might benefit from this ever growing in popularity way of quitting or even if they just want to swop a ciggie for a “go” one day then why not enter my giveaway below?

#win a selection of electronic cigarettes from multiCIG

Good Luck!

T&C:
1. Open to UK readers only, age 18+.
2. This giveaway is sponsored by multiVAPE.
3. There will be 1 winner chosen at random from all valid entries. Winner will be chosen by Gleam.
4. The winner will receive 1 x Golden Tabacco Disposable Electric Cigarette, 1 x Menthol Disposable Electric Cigarette and 1 x e-liquid starter kit. The prize will only be fulfilled by Bark Time
5. The winner will have 7 working days to claim the prize, after this time, a new winner will be selected.
6. Closing date for the giveaway is Friday 24/07/2015 at 23:59pm, any entry made after this time will not be counted.

ThePrizeFinder – UK Competitions
Loquax – Home of The Lucky Duck
SuperLucky Blog Giveaways Linky
Competition Hunter – UK Competitions Community

National No Smoking Day

#nosmokingdayToday we celebrate National No Smoking Day.

I wish I could say than I am a quitter but unfortunately I am not. I smoke less and I vap more but I am still a smoker all the same 🙁

It’s not that I wouldn’t want to quit all together… maybe I am just weak or maybe my motivation isn’t in the right place… who knows…

Despite being a smoker, I know and understand the effects this habit has on me and people around me. I know that smoking effects all my body yet I am still a smoker.

Am I proud? No, I am not.

Would I want to quit? Sure, I would!

But sometimes things are really easier said than done.

I would love to quit and live a smoke free life but… I am still a smoker…

…a smoker, who at least has taken a step forward in my journey to being smoke free having partially swapped to vaping.

I am not suggesting taking up vaping but if you are a smoker this is a great middle ground and with time who knows maybe both you and I can become smoke free.

There are a lot of e-cig kits around; some of them are better than others; some of them are cheaper than others, some will appeal to men and some more to women… but there is one which should satisfy all tastes and likings… vapour cigarette gift box from KiK. Its mid price well finished and it comes with a good selection of flavours to start with (flavours which actually taste as they should and do not leave any weird chemical tastes in the back of your throat). The gift box looks stunning and it will be perfect for either male or female recipients. So… even if you aren’t a smoker think about all your smoking friends and make a note of their upcoming birthday or other celebrationary dates. Nothing says “I care” more than the gift of life. After all, who knows, it might just be the thing which pushes them into a smoke free lifestyle.

I hope by next year I will be able to report to you all that I am a proud quitter.

Keep your fingers crossed for me.

*I received a KiK Vape 01 vapour cigarette gift box for review purpose.