E-Juice Steeping Guide

Superior Vapour


E-juice flavour doesn’t stay constant over time. In fact, letting it age a little—in a way not dissimilar with that of wine—can improve the flavour further compared to when you vape it fresh out of production. The practice of aging e-juice for the sake of better flavour is called steeping.

Steeping usually implies submerging a solid in water so flavour can sink in more, such as leaving a coffee bag in a mug of hot water for a longer time for a more potent brew. In the case of e-liquid, you’re not mixing it with another substance. A common steeping method is to simply leave the cap on your e-juice open for several days in a cool, dark place, with occasional shaking.

Some vapers even speed up the process by finding creative ways to apply heat or to continually stir up the e-liquid, both of which age it faster. The result—at least for some e-liquids—is deeper, more refined flavour since its ingredients have had more time to interact with each other.

When to Steep an E-Juice

There isn’t a hard and fast rule to steeping. Some e-liquids will work well with steeping, while others don’t need it at all. In general, if you find that your e-liquid has an overly strong or sweet flavour, you can try steeping to mellow it out. E-liquid flavours that are complex tend to do better with steeping. Tobacco and dessert-based flavours are likely to benefit from a few weeks of steeping, while it’s not as needed with fruity flavours.

E-liquids that are freshly made actually have a sharp, chemical taste, so hands-on vapers who make their own e-liquids are likely to see improvement by letting it age for a bit. On the other hand, commercial e-liquids have probably been on the store shelves for a while so they’ve undergone steeping, and the flavours will be softer and more well-blended.

Ultimately, it depends on your tastes. Vaping in itself is highly subjective, with every vaper having their own preferred setup. The only way to tell is to taste the e-liquid initially—if you feel like the flavour can be tweaked or improved upon, you can experiment with steeping.

How Steeping Works

When you steep, you’re giving the e-liquid’s ingredients more time to congeal and bind together, gradually producing a flavour and aroma that’s smoother and more distinct. Because of chemical reactions happening in the e-liquid, including oxidation because of increased exposure to oxygen, the flavour will shift.

You’ll also notice that the colour darkens, an effect that’s more pronounced with high-nicotine e-liquids. What’s happening here has been described as the Maillard reaction, which happens in wine and seared steaks as amino acids and sugars react to create more complex flavour substances. Another reason for the change in flavour is that steeping lets volatile molecules and extra gases evaporate. These are the main culprit for the “too sharp” taste in fresh e-liquids.

However, there’s a difference between an e-juice that’s well-steeped and one that’s already too old and approaching its expiration date! Make sure to check your e-juice’s expiration, which is typically two years after production. An e-juice that’s close to expiring will taste stale, off, or bland, and steeping it won’t help at all.

The Basics of Steeping

The safest way to steep is to let your e-liquid age naturally. This might take some patience, but the flavours are likely to develop better. The more complex the flavour, the longer it’ll take to steep.

For the least amount of effort (but greatest waiting time), just store your e-liquid in a cool, dark place, like a closet or cupboard or even under the bed. Keep it away from the three banes of e-liquid: heat, light, and oxygen.

You can look to your e-liquid flavour as a loose guide for how long to steep:

Ways to Enhance Steeping

These two techniques complement steeping:

Breathing

Breathing simply means uncovering your e-liquid bottle so the e-liquid is exposed to air and letting it stay like that for around 12 hours in an appropriate storage area. This is especially helpful for e-liquids that are chemical-tasting since it’ll evaporate the alcohols and other volatile compounds, resulting in a more balanced flavour. Don’t leave it out for too long, though, because the flavour might weaken too much.

Streathing

Streathing combines steeping and breathing. Essentially, you leave the e-liquid in storage for several days or a few weeks, depending on the flavour, while occasionally removing the cap and shaking the bottle twice a day. Although some e-liquids can undergo streathing for a few weeks, there will already be changes in the flavour as soon as five days in.

How to Age E-Juice Faster

Steeping an e-juice naturally can take a bit too long, and you may want to vape your e-juice already. There are a lot of easy creative hacks that will speed up the process for your e-liquid. These methods mainly involve heat, which makes chemical reactions happen faster, or agitation for greater dispersion of the e-juice flavour.

In exchange for speed, though, the shelf life of your e-liquid might shorten. This isn’t really a concern if you’re planning to finish your e-liquid within a few months or less. You also have to be careful not to overdo the heat and degrade your e-liquid. When applying heat to your e-liquid, it’s safer to stick with glass rather than plastic bottles.

For all of the techniques below, let your e-liquid breathe for a minute or two afterwards by uncapping it, then shake well and taste. If the flavour’s still too strong or sharp, repeat the entire process until you’re satisfied:

Hot Water

Fill a bowl with warm water or heat water in a saucepan. The temperature of the water should be comfortable enough for you to be able to dip your hand into it. Put your e-liquid bottle in a zip bag and leave it in the water for 10-15 mins.

Microwave

Microwave your e-liquid bottle on high for around 10 seconds. Alternatively, you can microwave uncooked rice in a bowl until it’s moderately hot, then sink your e-liquid bottle completely into the rice so it absorbs the heat. Once the rice cools down to normal, remove the bottle.

Crockpot

This method also submerges the e-liquid bottle in hot water. Fill a crockpot with water, place your e-liquid bottle in a zip bag inside, and then turn it on to low. Check the e-liquid after 30 mins. If you’d prefer further heating, leave it in for two or four more hours.

Seed Steeping

This involves transferring an e-liquid that’s already steeped to your original e-liquid, then letting the mixture steep for a few days. 10% to 20% of the old e-liquid is enough to speed up the steeping time.

Ultrasonic Cleaner

This technique works because of agitation. Fill up the ultrasonic cleaner with water and put your e-liquid inside, then leave the cleaner on for 30 minutes.

Magnetic Mixer

Put your e-liquid in a large glass container such as a beaker and place it on a magnetic mixer. You can top off the container with a paper towel or use a flask with a cork to avoid too much air exposure.

Steeping Can Make a Huge Difference in E-Juice Flavour

Whether or not to steep e-liquids is a personal choice. Aside from e-liquids naturally going through steeping if they’ve been around for a while or if you’re vaping them more slowly, many vapers choose to steep certain e-liquids to enhance the taste.

The best method is to store your e-juice for several days up to a few weeks with occasional uncapping and shaking. You can speed this up through heat or agitation, although there’ll be a compromise with flavour as compared to natural steeping. Either way, experimentation is key to finding what’s appealing for you, and steeping can make a huge difference in your e-juice flavour and overall vaping experience.

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How to Store E-Liquids

Superior Vapour


Like regular food, e-liquid has its expiration date too, which you can check on the product label. Although e-liquid usually lasts around one to two years, how you handle and store it will affect how long it remains good to vape.

Once an ingredient in e-liquid breaks down or changes significantly, the e-liquid as a whole won’t be usable anymore. E-liquids are generally made of a PG (propylene glycol) and VG (vegetable glycerin) base with nicotine and flavourings mixed in. PG is man-made and resistant to decay, but the flavourings are likely to expire first, followed by nicotine or VG.

You can tell right away when your e-liquid has gone bad. It might take on a different colour over time, but this doesn’t necessarily mean you should throw it away—not-so-pleasant changes in flavour and smell are better indicators.

If you’re planning to have your e-liquid around for several weeks or months, then following proper storage practices will keep it in good condition so you can vape every drop of it:


What to Avoid: Heat, Air, and Light

Heat, air, and light might seem unavoidable, but these are the main triggers that cause your e-liquid to expire. All three of these alter your e-liquid on a chemical level, and the degradation process is irreversible.

Air and light start a process of oxidation when they come into contact a lot with e-liquid. Oxidation also wears down food, essential oils, metals, and even human cells. On the other hand, it’s unavoidable because your e-liquid will inevitably come into contact with air and light—even if your e-liquid container is sealed tight, there will always be some air trapped inside, contributing to oxidation. What you can do, however, is to minimise exposure. Air has the additional side effect of turning nicotine brown and eventually breaking it down.

Heat is also just as important to avoid. When heat is applied to e-liquid, the molecules become more reactive with each other, and just as with air and light, your e-liquid won’t be the same anymore. When e-liquids are manufactured, they’re commonly kept at room temperature because this brings out the best flavour profile. There is some flexibility when it comes to temperature, but even though e-liquid only evaporates at 150 C, it can start reacting at around 40 C. Because of this, e-liquid should be kept away from stoves, heaters, and other warm appliances. When you’re bringing your e-liquid around outside, don’t leave it in your car, as this can get pretty hot on a summer’s day.


Storage Areas for E-Liquids

The main rule of thumb with e-liquids is to store them somewhere cool, dark, and dry.

A popular choice for vapers would be cupboards, cabinets, or closets, where the e-liquid is pushed to the back or a remote corner so it’s hidden away from light. One thing that you do have to be mindful of when you’re storing your e-liquid in your kitchen is to separate it from food or cooking ingredients. Other people in your home might accidentally mix it up with food.

For vapers who have kids or pets around, it’s best to put the e-liquid somewhere that isn’t very reachable—a high shelf, for example. You can also have your e-liquid inside a box stowed away underneath the bed, but take extra precautions by adding a lock to it.

You might be wondering if you can store your e-liquid in the fridge or freezer. This usually isn’t necessary, but it does do a better job of preserving your e-liquid over the long-term. A fridge can reduce your e-liquid’s exposure to light, heat, and air, and just as it makes food last longer, it can make your e-liquid less reactive because the molecules are slowed down.

However, there are some tradeoffs. You might experience a loss of flavour with certain e-liquids. At the same time, extremes aren’t good, either—a fridge temperature that’s turned down too low can affect your e-liquid ingredients. On the bright side, your e-liquid is unlikely to freeze because PG and VG have low freezing points. The consistency will become thicker, though, and you’ll have to let your e-liquid warm back up to room temperature before vaping with it.


The Best E-Liquid Containers

It’s not just the general storage area that you have to consider—the exact bottle or container where you put your e-liquid also matters.


Plastic vs. Glass

Plastic is cheaper and more available, and you can stick with plastic bottles for your e-liquid if you’re going to finish it within two months. But once you go beyond that timeframe, plastic won’t be helpful in prolonging your e-liquid’s life. Over time, the plastic will interact with e-liquid, and this is accelerated by heat. Even high-quality plastic isn’t immune from this, not to mention that plastic can be permeable—air passes through it more easily, and pets can chew through it.

For e-liquids that last much longer, invest in glass bottles. Glass doesn’t react as much with your e-liquid, and it blocks out air better than plastic.


Tinted
Bottles 

You’ll notice that most e-liquids are packaged in tinted rather than clear bottles. Tinted bottles help keep the light out. Although you might already be keeping your e-liquid away from sunlight, a tinted bottle serves as an extra security measure.


Reducing Air Exposure

The container also plays a role in how much exposure to air your e-liquid is getting. Whatever your container, make sure it’s airtight and sealed well, and close it quickly when you’re transferring e-liquid to your vape device.

Size matters as well. Small bottles are more advisable because they don’t leave as much excess air above your e-liquid as it gets consumed over several months. If you’re sticking with a large bottle for your e-liquid, try to transfer some of the e-liquid to a smaller bottle before vaping. Instead of opening the large bottle every time you refill your device, you can simply draw from the smaller bottle, preventing your main stash of e-liquid from being repeatedly exposed to air.

Storage for Retailers and Manufacturers

Retailers, shop owners, and manufacturers should follow proper storage as much as possible, considering that they keep e-liquids around for longer periods and a slight variation in flavour or quality can make or break customer experience.

On top of this, they have to comply with product regulations. E-liquid containers have to be at less than 10 mL—the exception to this would be if the e-liquid doesn’t have nicotine, as with short-fills. The containers should be child-resistant and tamper-evident, and there should be specific labels and warnings on the device, including a detailed list of ingredients and tips on product storage.


Summary

To sum it up, here’s how you can store your e-liquid properly:

  • Avoid heat, light, and air
  • Keep your e-liquid in a dark and cool place like a cupboard or closet
  • You can opt for long-term storage in a fridge, but flavour might be affected
  • Go for tinted glass bottles that are small and airtight
  • To keep it away from children or pets, put it on a high shelf or inside a locked box


Chances are, you’ll end up finishing your e-liquid within a few weeks or less, but if you want to maximise your e-liquid’s lifespan so it lasts for more than a year, then proper storage is key. The more you do this with your e-liquids, the more it’ll become second nature, and you’ll be glad when your e-liquid makes it through the long haul.

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What are Nic Salts? A Quick Guide

Superior Vapour

If you’ve been on the hunt for new e-liquids anytime in the last five years, you may have come across nicotine salts, usually offered in small 10 mL bottles or pod cartridges.Nic salts have maintained their popularity over this time and have now become a mainstay of the vaping world, and more people than ever are vaping mainly with nic salts.

So just what are nic salts and what’s all the fuss about?

 

What’s so Special about Nic Salts?

In a nutshell, nic salts are a special type of e-liquid that lets you vape higher levels of nicotine than regular e-liquids. The nicotine levels of regular e-liquids can only go as high as around 25 mg/mL before most people start to cough on it or feel uncomfortable. However, nicotine salts are manufactured so that the throat hit is much smoother and it’s possible to vape up to 50 mg/mL of nicotine with ease. In fact, people who use regular e-liquids with 5% nicotine can handle nic salts with 25% or higher nicotine, which is already similar to what cigarettes have.

Aside from making higher nicotine levels possible, nic salts also became mainstream because they’re often paired with pod systems. Pax Labs, the same company that created Juul pods, also came up with the first nic salt as we know it today. Back in 2015, they wanted a special type of e-liquid that would make it easier for smokers to quit. This e-liquid would hold 50 mg/mL of nicotine, but people should be able to vape it easily and the nicotine should be absorbed quickly into the body to simulate smoking. They eventually created nic salts, which rose in popularity alongside Juul.

 

The Science behind Nic Salts

Nic salts are quite different chemically from regular e-liquids. Ultimately, though, they actually have the same kind of nicotine, which is naturally found in the tobacco leaf. This nicotine isn’t usable on its own, so it has to go through some kind of modification for vaping. Technically, one or more acids can be added to nicotine to create nicotine salts.

As Pax Labs found out after countless tests, the most effective so far is benzoic acid. With benzoic acid mixed in, nic salts are easily absorbable, and they turn into vapour at lower temperatures. Crucially, the pH level also goes down. Because of their lower pH levels, nic salts are less harsh on the throat, even as nicotine strength increases. In contrast, the pH level of nicotine in regular e-liquid is at around 7 to 8, which is rather high. This gives regular e-liquids a stronger throat hit so they can’t hold as much nicotine.

 

What are the Main Advantages of Nic Salts?

Higher nicotine content: You can push the limits of nicotine content with nic salts, which can give you a better vaping experience or simply help you quit if you’re a smoker.

Smoother throat hit: Even at 20 mg/mL, which is the maximum nicotine content allowed in the UK for e-liquids, nic salts still leave a mild, smooth throat hit, compared to regular e-liquids.

Good for stealth vaping: The low-powered devices paired with nic salts don’t really create a lot of vapour. You’ll be able to vape more discreetly, especially since these devices are also small enough to fit on your palm.

Easy to use: Aside from not being too showy with vapour, compatible devices are usually minimalistic and hassle-free, so even first-timers can figure them out.

Less costly: In terms of nicotine, nic salts are much more potent than regular e-liquids, so you can consume less and still be satisfied. This means you’ll get through your bottle more slowly, and you won’t have to spend as much on e-liquid.

Longer lasting: Nic salts are more stable than regular e-liquids, so they last longer. You can maximise their shelf life by following proper storage and keeping them in a cool, dry place away from sunlight.

 

Who should use Nic Salts?

Nic salts appeal to a wide range of vapers. These are great for people who want a strong throat hit even while using low-powered devices. Beginners who are trying out pod vape kits or vape pens also do well with nic salts.

Vapers looking for a higher nicotine content are among the top users of nic salts. In particular, cigarette smokers who are using vaping to quit may find nic salts beneficial. This is because, for heavy smokers, regular e-liquids may not satisfy their addiction and the feeling of smoking. Nic salts are better at mimicking the experience of smoking, from the throat hit to the amount of nicotine taken in. On top of this, the devices compatible with nic salts are lighter and more portable. One of the most challenging aspects of transitioning is fighting the nicotine cravings, and nic salts might do a better job of helping with this rather than regular e-liquids.

 

How should I use Nicotine Salts?

Nicotine salts work best with low-powered, mouth-to-lung devices such as vape pens and pod systems. You can expect these to have a resistance greater than 1 ohm, and they’re conveniently smaller too, even fitting into your pocket. In addition, these devices are very beginner-friendly, with some even being activated by your breath. You can choose between open systems, which you can manually refill yourself, or closed systems that involve pre-filled cartridges or pods that you just have to replace.

With that said, it’s generally not recommended to use nicotine salts with sub-ohm devices. These devices produce tons of vapour, so if you plug in a nic salt with high nicotine levels, you might end up vaping too much nicotine all at once. This can lead to unpleasant and even dangerous side effects, such as migraines, vomiting, or diarrhea. On the other hand, there are nic salts with nicotine levels as low as 3 mg or even zero. You can pair these with sub-ohm devices just for that smoother throat hit, but they won’t come close to creating clouds.

 

Conclusion

Since they were introduced a few years back, nic salts haven’t lost their popularity. If anything the product is gaining more fans, and vaping manufacturers are increasingly jumping on the bandwagon and coming up with their own nic salt collections.

While we can’t guarantee that you’ll like nic salts better than regular e-liquids, the only way to know for sure is to try them out for yourself. They might end up becoming your go-to for vaping. Here at Superior Vapour we supply a range of Nic Salts from trusted manufacturers like Niiu, Wick Liquor and our very own SV brand.

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Best Vape Kits of 2019

Superior Vapour

Vape kits have certainly had a great year in 2019, with their popularity going from strength to strength. With Winter just around the corner, and year slowly drawing to a close, we thought it high time to look at 14 of the best vape kits to hit the market this year.

 

JWell Traxx Box Mod Kit

The Traxx Box Mod Kit from JWell is a mod that’s perfect if you’re looking for a sleeker box vape. It’s a 180-watt device powered by two 18650 batteries that load from the side, covered my rubberised magnetic grips that snap onto place. You’ll find the screen on top, which makes the settings and adjusting just a little easier. Unlike most mods on this list the Traxx comes with an RDA atomizer instead of a glass tank, which, coupled with a fire limit of .2ohm, enables powerful cloud production and intense flavours. Using an RDA usually means you’ll need to constantly drip juice to your wick, but that’s not the case with the Traxx as it comes built with a bottom feeding pin for squonking.

 

JWell Traxx Box Mod Kit

 

The Traxx comes in 3 colours: Black, Orange, and Blue. Kits come with the mod, the Traxx RDA, and a user manual. Prices start at £39.99.

 

Purge Mods Ally Pod Kit

The Ally Pod Kit is a lot of class built into a 45.5x20.5x86mm body. The resin panel doors, like the Swell, are interchangeable. The mod is pure metal alloy, adding to its luxe, premium feel. But what truly sets the design of this mod apart is the flip top cap that—aside from giving the mod a nice vintage lighter feel—protects the drip tip from dust. It can fire at max levels of 30w, which you can toggle up to by 1w increments. You can control the airflow by twisting the ring cap.

 

Purge Mods Ally Pod Kit

 

The Ally comes in 3 original colours: SSK Black, Stainless, and Heat Treated. Each kit comes with the mod and a USB cable. Unfortunately the kit doesn’t come with the refillable pods, but at Superior Vapour we toss one in for free. Price starts at £59.99.

 

OBS Cube Kit Mini

If you’re looking for a mod that’s not your typical box shape, then look no further than the OBS Cube Mini. This mod sits nicely between full vape mods and simple pod mods. There is no screen or variable settings. The ergonomic, rectangular shape fits nicely in the palm of your hand, the resin panels and drip tip are styled to match. It’s built with a considerable 1500mAh rechargeable and intelligent battery that adjusts power depending on the coil you use. It fires nearly instantaneously—no ramping up, just hits up to 25w.

 

OBS Cube Kit Mini

 

 

The Cube Mini comes in matte black accented in Aurora, Poppy, Starry, Elf, or Sunset colours. Each kit gives you the mod, a 2ml OBS Sub Mini tank, a 1.4ohm and .6ohm coil, an extra glass tube, and a bag of spare o rings. Price starts at £39.99.

 

Geekvape Aegis Solo

The Solo is rated IPX67, so it’s waterproof, shockproof, and dustproof. It’s perfect if you’re drawn to the indestructibility of the Legend, but want it in smaller package. The texture on this mod is all Aegis, with the rubberised, silicone body and stitched leather. It houses a single 18650 battery, as opposed to the bulkier 21700 you see in a lot of newer mods. The Solo delivers considerable variable wattage, going up to 100w in .1 increments.

 

Geekvape Aegis Solo

Source: geekvape.com

 

The Solo comes in a variety of colours that contrast beautifully against its black body: Black, Red, Gunmetal, Green, and Orange. The price starts at £35. Inside the kit you’ll get Geekvape’s popular Cerberus tank, two .3ohm mesh coils, a spare glass tube and O-rings, as well as an extra charging port door.

 

VooPoo Drag 2 Kit

The Drag 2 is one of 2019’s best box-type mods, and the new addition to the Drag family performs as well as its older sibling, while being ¼ lighter. Like the Solo it runs on 18650 batteries, but unlike the Aegis mod it runs on two. The Drag 2 is user-friendly, and perfect for experienced vapers and newbies alike. There are 3 new modes that come with the Drag 2. If you don’t want to fiddle with the settings--or don’t quite know how to yet--you can set it to operate at Battery Saving, Best Flavour, or Best Cloud Production.

 

VooPoo Drag 2 Kit

 

Source: voopoo.com

The Drag 2 comes in 8 colourful and hazy panel designs its predecessor has become known for: Flame, Island, Scarlet, Aurora, Dawn, Ink, and Puzzle. Price starts at £51.99. The kit comes with a UForce T2 Sub-Ohm Tank, a .4ohm U2 Dual coil and .2ohm N3 Triple Mesh coil, a replacement glass tube, and O-rings.

 

Smok Morph 219

The latest entry from one of the vaping industry’s most prolific manufacturers, the Morph 219 stands apart from its siblings with a huge 48mm, full HD colour touchscreen. The fire button is basically a full touch bar on one side of the device--it can’t get more accessible than this. At 44*30.2*84.5mm it’s quite chunky, and can support up to 28ml tanks without any overhang. It houses a powerful IQ-S chip, which cuts down fire time to less than a millisecond. But the Morph 219’s most unique feature is lock screen protection, a nifty little trick protects you against theft and nosy housemates.

 Smok Morph 219

Source: smoktech.com

The Morph 219 comes in Red, Gold, Blue, Rainbow, and Chrome, and retails for around £50. Each kit comes with a 2ml TFV-Mini V2 Tank, a Smok V2 and V1 .15ohm coils, and a glass tube replacement.

 

Apollo Ohm Go

The Ohm Go packs a whopping 1900mAh battery, which is built with an intelligent system that automatically adjusts wattage based on coil resistance. It has an impressive firing range of 5w to 50w. Apollo is well-known for making devices that deliver strong DTL hits, and the Ohm Go isn’t any different. The mod is sleek and just the perfect size for a vape pen--not overly long or chunky. The body is coated with a rubberised finish, a nice departure from other vape pens that are usually made of stainless steel or some type of metal alloy.

 

Apollo Ohm Go

Source: apolloecigs.co.uk

The Ohm Go comes in only in black, with two red stripes running down the middle of the mod. Each kit comes with a 1ohm and .5ohm coil, a 3ml tank with a Pyrex drip tip. It retails for £44.95.

 

Innokin Proton Plex 235 W Kit

As the name suggests, the Proton Plex ramps up to a huge 235w, making it an instant hit with many experienced vapers this year. The mod’s massive power is fuelled by two 18650 batteries, the colour display screen is large and customisable and there’s a neat little physical toggle button to control the settings. To fire, you just need to squeeze the mod’s firing bar.

 

Innokin Proton Plex 235 W Kit

 

Source: innokin.com

The Proton Plex comes in 3 colours: Gun Metal, Black, and Rainbow. It retails for around £71, which makes it the priciest mod on this list. As a premium-priced kit, it comes with a lot of hardware: a .36ohm Plexiglass Scion tank, a .15ohm coil, a spare glass tube, an extra drip tip, spare O-rings, and a vape band.

 

Vandy Vape Swell Kit

From vaping YouTuber Tony B comes another project: the much anticipated Vandy Vape. It comes from the same manufacturer who produced the Jackaroo, which boasted a hardiness that can rival Aegis mods. While the Vandy Vape may not be as tough, it’s no less impressive, and is still waterproof. The resin doors are magnetised and interchangeable, so you can mix and match designs. Powered by dual 18650 batteries, it can fire up to 110w. But its most stand out feature may be the incredible smart feature that lets you control it via Bluetooth.

 

Vandy Vape Swell Kit

Source: vandyvape.com

Each kit comes with a Swell tank, a single and a triple .15ohm mesh coil, and a 3ml glass tube. Pricing for the Swell kit starts at £52.99. As you can see above, the mod comes in a wide array of colours and door patterns--they even have a UK flag design.

 

UWell Caliburn

The Caliburn is as simple as vaping can possibly get, which is the main reason for its massive popularity. Even experienced, mech mod-wielding vapers can appreciate the solid flavours from this slim, pod mod. The Caliburn allows for both auto draw and button firing, which is impressive given its lean build. The pods are easily refilled and the mouthpiece is sleek--you don’t have to nearly unhinge your jaw like with some bulky tanks. Plus, there’s a chimney window on the side which allows you to check for juice levels. The 520mAh battery can run out fast for heavy vapers, but it also charges fairly quickly.

 

UWell Caliburn

Source: myuwell.com

The Caliburn comes in metallic sheens of Grey, Red, Iris Purple, Black, Pink, and Blue, and sells for around £18 to £25. The kit comes with 2 2ml replaceable pods with built-in 1.4ohm coils.

 

Aspire AVP

As is with the Caliburn, the Aspire AVP is a sleek little pod mod that punches above its weight in flavour and vapour production. In terms of design it’s probably in a category of its own, looking like the keys to a car. Although the shape may look odd, the mod sits squat in the palm of your hand. It houses a built-in 700mAh battery, and can charge to full from zero as fast as 35 minutes. Unlike other pod mods, the AVP is built with some variable wattage: 8w, 10w, and 12w.

 

Aspire AVP

 

The AVP comes in Orange, Rainbow, Grey, Black, Chrome, Lime, Purple, and Red. Each kit comes with a lanyard and 2 2ml Nichrome 1.2ohm coil pods--but you can also purchase a 1.3ohm variant separately. Price starts at £29.99.

 

Smok Nord Vape Kit

The Nord is amongst the most impressive pod systems coming out of 2019. With a 1100mAh battery, it easily outclasses both the Aspire and Caliburn in terms of battery life. You can vape for up to 9 hours without needing to charge. It features an incredible 38 gorgeous patterned designs, so there’s a ton of variety if you’re looking for bright and boldly designed mods. The pod loads from the side through a slot that’s secured by a plug, which nicely reduces the risk of leaks--an unfortunate con for many pod mods.

 

Smok Nord Vape Kit

 

Source: smoktech.com

 

In the image above you can see all the colour variations of the Nord. Each kit comes with 1 2ml pod which you can fit with a .6ohm or 1.4ohm coil, but you can also purchase a .8ohm and .6 dual coil separately.

 

VZone Preco Kit Plus

Where the Preco One comes with a built-in 1400mAh battery, as is standard for a wide swathe of vape pens, the VZone Preco Plus brings the 80w power of mech and box mods to the table with a massive 18650 battery. This gives the Preco Plus the ability to regulate output based on the coil you attach onto the mod. Plus, it comes with protections against overheating, surge, short-circuiting, and low voltage--features you’d typically see on a regulated mod.

 

VZone Preco Kit PlusSource: vzonecigs.com

The VZone Preco Plus comes in Blue, Gun Metal, and Stainless Steel. It also comes with a colourful acrylic drip tip, which makes the reusable tank look like your typical sub ohm tank. Price starts at £18.99.

 

SMOK Stik V9 Max Kit

The Stik V9 Max packs on of the most powerful, intelligent batteries you’ll see on a vape pen. At 4000mAh, a single charge can easily last heavy users half a day. You can also continue vaping while charging the unit, which is perfect because as an unregulated mod, its performance and voltage output relies directly on battery life. The system comes with surge and low voltage protection. One more thing that sets it apart is its considerably wider bubble-type tank, which lets you pack more e-liquid than other vape pens.

 

SMOK Stik V9 Max Kit

Source: smoktech.com

The Stik V9 Max comes in Blue, Red, 7-Colour, Gold, Black, and Stainless Steel. Price starts at £21.99. The kit gives you a Mini V2 S1 and S1 coil, both of which come with .15ohm coils, and a bubble tank with a massive 8.5ml capacity.

 

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Purge Ally Pod Kit by Purge Mods Review

Superior Vapour

 

The pod vape kits category may already be a crowded niche, but only a few manufacturers turn heads with brand new releases. One of them’s Purge, a company who’s already well-known for top quality, if a bit pricey, mech mods.

Now, they enter the vape mods fray with the Purge Ally, a much-awaited product that’s often compared to the likes of Lost Vape’s Orion and the Orchid Vape. The release has been pushed back for months, but now that it’s finally here, let’s take the stylish entrant from Purge apart piece by piece to help you decide if it’s well-worth the hype.

 

Packaging

 

The Ally comes in a sleek, black box with red accents printed with the Purge logo. Former smokers may notice similarities with the packaging for Marlboro’s Premium Black cigarettes.

Nothing truly noteworthy or new here. You get a small paragraph at the back that talks about the unit, a list of items inside the box, and some manufacturing specs at the bottom. Again, nothing particularly interesting, aside from the fact that it lets you know that the pod was designed in the USA and manufactured in China. This is unusual for Purge, which prides itself on All-American mechanical mods.

 

Inside the Box: What you’re getting

 

1x Ally Mod

1x Micro USB Cable

1x User Manual

2x Removable Doors

 

Breaking it down: The Build

The Body

 

The Ally comes in 3 colours and designs: Black Suicide King, Stainless Steel Silver, and Rainbow Heat Treated. It’s made of zinc alloy with interchangeable, magnetised panels--or “doors”--made of resin. Purge doesn’t sell doors themselves, rather has left manufacturing to custom parts companies and modders, which means you’ll be getting a lot of variety coming your way, maybe even get to design custom pieces of your own if you’re so inclined.

The body itself is made of solid metal, unlike other pods built with a fair amount of plastic. What will probably catch your eye first is the vibrant detailing on the interchangeable doors. If you’re getting the black variant, you’ll have Purge’s trademark Suicide King skull gracing the top cover. On the bottom right you’ll find an engraving of the Purge Ally logo. It features a nifty flip top cap for covering the pods--a nice little nod to classic Zippo lighters, so if you’re a fan this is a mod you’ll appreciate. The top covers with a satisfying snap and locks in place using a metal latch.

The whole thing measures in at 45.5x20.5x86mm, which makes it a tad wider and shorter than other vape pods in its category. But don’t let size fool you. There’s a satisfying heft to it, yet it fits nicely in the palm of your hand. Paired with the flip top cap, it can feel nostalgic for ex-smokers who love lighters.

Fresh out of the box opening and closing the top can feel stiff, but it gets smoother the longer you use it. We recommend breaking in the latch by opening and closing it 10 to 20 times before you insert an actual pod.

 

The Pods

 

Ally’s pods are the standard, clear acrylic vertical mesh coil units you see used by other mods in the same category. Each refillable unit carries up to 2ml of juice, and unlike many others load from the side, not the top or bottom. The 4mm plug is made of silicone, which is great for preventing annoying leaks and virtually eliminates overflow. The pods are built with a dual air flow system, which means you can toggle between mouth to lung or direct to lung hits pretty seamlessly.

Unlike the Orchid, which comes with a transparent pod that’s completely visible and exposed, Ally’s pods are hidden away under the flip top. There’s no window or small hole to check your juice levels, which may be inconvenient for some. The only way to see if you’re due for a refill would be to pop the top and pull out the pod.

 

Replacement Pods

 

One thing you may have already noticed from above’s Inside the Box section is that we didn’t list extra pods. Unfortunately, that wasn’t a mistake--the Ally does not come with free pods, not even one that’s ready to use. This means that when you buy the kit, you’re not going to be able to start vaping unless you buy the pods separately.

Replacement pods come in pairs of 2, £9 a box, and 3 coil resistance levels: .6, .8, and 1.4ohm. The variety gives you absolute freedom to pick your poison, whether freebase e-liquid or salt nics. If you regularly vape each pod will last about a week with little to no flavour loss.

 

Mouthpiece

 

The mouthpiece is a smooth, black AFC drip tip. You adjust airflow by simply twisting the tip, no fiddling with the settings on the screen. Although it looks the same as the ones on Orion’s Lost Vape and the Orchid Vape, the fit varies by a small yet noticeable amount--those won’t quite lock onto the Ally.

The bottom of the drip tip has a notch that keeps it from popping off once locked onto the mod. The whole piece is concealed by the flip top cap, which makes the whole pod look amazing as well as protects the drip tip from dust and dirt.

Like the Ally’s doors, drip tips also come customisable. In fact, many manufacturers sell these parts in pairs, to help you tie together the aesthetic of your mod.

 

Control Panel

 

On the front panel you’ll find 3 buttons: the fire and positive and negative buttons. The fire button is intuitive and easy to access. All you need to control the Purge Ally are within a forefinger’s reach.

The control settings are displayed on a 17.5mm OLED screen. On the upper left side you’ll see the resistance of your coil, and beneath that there’s your puff counter. On the opposite side you’ll find your battery life, and under that a number that tells you how long you’ve been vaping in seconds. The wattage takes up the biggest space at the center of the screen.

You get a menu with three modes to tweak: Variable Wattage, Variable Voltage, and Temperature Control. You can toggle through and lock settings according to your preference with a few clicks. Clicking the fire button thrice brings the settings up. You’ll use the positive and negative button to scroll and change values, and holding both locks the menu so you don’t accidentally toggle through them while the Ally’s in your pocket. Five clicks turns the mod off. Turning if off resets the puff counter back to zero.

The Ally uses a top of the line chipset which gives you flexible wattage settings. You can set it anywhere from 5w and 30w, 200F to 500F, and up to 4.8 volts. Plus, it lets you choose by 1 watt increments, and the count restarts at 5w once you go past 30 so you don’t have to click all the way back just to set the wattage lower.

 

The Battery

 

Purge’s Ally comes with a 950mAh lithium ion battery. If you’re a regular vaper one charge will probably be enough to last you until the end of the day, but more frequent users may find themselves needing to power up more often. However, it charges fairly quickly; you can go from zero to fully charged in less than an hour.

 

USB Cable

The USB cord is beautifully braided for maximum durability. The cable feels great to the touch, and looks like it can fully withstand numerous twists and bends without tearing.

 

Pricing

 

Each mod kit retails anywhere from £50 to £70, depending on where you pick one up. The price tag is steeper compared to typical vape mods, and a whole tier above simpler, slim varieties like UWell’s Caliburn. Yet for a Purge product--which are marketed as branded, high end mods--it costs exactly as you’d expect.

 

Summary: Pros and Cons

Pros:

 

  • Stylish and one-of-a-kind design
  • Interchangeable doors and drip tips means you can fully customise your mod, unlike many similar sub-ohm devices
  • Leakproof pods
  • Compatible with any e-liquid, freebase or salt nics
  • Proprietary air flow control system lets you control the size of your clouds without affecting taste

 

Cons:

 

  • The battery life is poorer than you’d expect for a weighty unit that houses a 950mAh battery
  • The kit doesn’t come with a pod, which feels a little unacceptable for a premium-priced product
  • The latch feels very stiff when it’s new
  • With no pod window and the puff counter resetting to zero every time you power down, checking for juice levels can be cumbersome

 

Conclusion

 

The Ally may be late to the scene, but it is proving to be a solid contender. While the hefty price tag is possibly off-putting to some, the mod justifies the cost through customisation options rarely seen for pod mods, stunning designs, and wildly flexible variable settings.

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Vaping Laws Around The World

Superior Vapour

Whether you’re looking to travel or merely interested in the state of global vaping, it’s good to stay updated on the vaping laws around the world. This article will briefly go over important regulations regarding the use, sale, and advertising of vaping in several major countries.

UK

The UK is arguably the most liberal country in the world when it comes to vaping laws. E-cigarettes are legal to be used, sold, and advertised, with notable restrictions:

  • It is illegal to sell e-cigarettes or e-liquids to minors
  • The maximum amount of nicotine in a liquid that can be sold is 20mg/ml, with bottles restricted to having only 10ml
  • Atomizers are restricted to a 2ml capacity
  • All e-cigarettes and e-liquids must be registered with MHRA before they can be sold
  • E-cigarettes cannot be promoted as being healthy but can be marketed as being safer than smoking tobacco

Vaping also enjoys support from the government as a smoking cessation option. The number of vapers in the UK has grown from 700,000 in 2012 to 3 million as of 2018. Of that 3 million, 1.5 million have completely quit smoking. 

There are 7.2 million adults who smoke as of 2018, equating to 14.7% of adults in the UK. This marks a more than 5% decrease since 2011. 

UK flag

USA

On a federal level, the sale and use of e-cigarettes are legal in the US. E-cigarettes and e-liquids are regulated by the FDA, classifying them as tobacco products. Regulations vary from state to state, and there are even city-specific policies. 

The following are the major federal restrictions:

  • Minors are banned from accessing e-cigarettes
  • A photo ID is required to buy e-cigarettes
  • E-liquid products cannot have branding that resembles food, candy, or beverage items
  • Flavoured tobacco products can only be sold in adult-only stores and online vendors, except for mint or menthol e-cigarettes

There are an estimated 34.3 million adults who smoke in the US as of 2017. The percentage of adults who smoke has dropped from 20.9% in 2005 to 14% in 2017. As of 2018, there are 10.8 million adults who vape, with 30.4% had quit smoking cigarettes.

Canada

It is legal to use, sell, and advertise e-cigarettes and e-liquids in Canada. Most vaping regulations follow the Tobacco and Vaping Products Act (TVPA) enacted on May 23, 2018. It was only as recent as then that vaping products with nicotine became legal in the country. 

Other significant federal regulations include:

  • Minors cannot be sold or given vaping products
  • Vaping products cannot be advertised as appealing to youths nor can they be promoted as healthy
  • Vaping products that claim to help quit smoking, including those with nicotine, must be authorised by Health Canada before they can be advertised, sold, and commercially imported

Health Canada supports vaping as a less harmful alternative to smoking. There are 4.6 million Canadians who smoke as of 2017. The percentage of smokers in the population actually rose from 13% in 2015 to 15.1%. This increase could very well be why the Canadian government has moved in favour of vaping.

Flag of Canada

Australia

Vaping in Australia is legal, as long as there is no nicotine in the e-liquid that’s being vaped. Nicotine is considered a poison in the country, with the only exceptions being nicotine used in therapies and in cigarettes. E-liquids containing nicotine are therefore banned for sale and use. 

More important regulations include:

  • The sale of e-cigarettes requires registration with the Therapeutic Goods Administration before being sold
  • Most Australian states ban the promotion, as well as the public and in-store advertising, of e-cigarettes
  • Vaping is not allowed in smoke-free areas

Smoking prevalence in Australia has largely decreased from 18.9% of the adult population in 2007-08 to 13.8% in 2017-18. However, this national reduction has slowed significantly with the previous survey year showing a 14.5% smoking prevalence in adults. Harsh vaping bans can only slow this down even more, as smokers have one less effective alternative to tobacco use reduction.

Flag of australia

France

The sale and use of e-cigarettes are legal in France. The nation is looking to become a prime market for vaping too, as an economic study predicts the local industry could be worth 500 million euros by 2020

Only a handful of regulations are worth noting:

  • E-cigarettes and e-liquids cannot be sold to minors
  • E-cigarettes cannot be advertised
  • E-cigarettes cannot be used on public transport, enclosed workplaces, and areas with minors

From 2016 to 2017, one million daily smokers quit their habit, reducing the country’s smoking rate from 29.4% to 26.9%. This is a marked improvement from the 29.9% to 34.1% increase in the smoking rate from 2005 to 2014. A good portion of the French people attribute this decline to e-cigarette use.

Flag of France

Germany

Regulations for vaping in Germany are lax. E-cigarettes and e-liquids can be legally sold and used. Devices and juices have no excise tax. Cross-border sales and transport aren’t prohibited, while retailers of nicotine-containing e-cigs only need to be registered. 

There are a few important restrictions:

  • E-cigarettes cannot be sold to minors
  • E-cigarettes cannot be advertised on the radio, TV, and internet, but they can be advertised on billboards
  • E-cigarettes and e-liquids must come with a leaflet detailing health risks and instructions

The smoking rate in Germany is at 25% as of 2017, according to a survey of selected EU countries. This is an improvement over the 2013 rate of 29.7%. For comparison, the number of vapers in the country is estimated to be around 2 million, with most e-cigarette users being ex-smokers. The local market is also expected to be worth over 756 million euros by 2023.

China

As the birthplace of the modern e-cigarette and home to 95% of the world’s vape product manufacturers, China allows the sale, use, and advertising of e-cigarettes and e-liquids. There are currently only notices for banning that aren’t legally binding, one being the sale of e-cigs to minors. However, there are recent calls from tobacco regulators for the government to regulate e-cigarettes and ban their use in public. 

Smoking is highly prevalent in China, with over 300 million smokers, amounting to almost a third of the world’s total. In contrast, the vaping market is tiny. However, it is growing rapidly, having increased its market size from less than 1 billion yuan in 2013 to 4 billion yuan in 2017

With very little vaping regulation, the potential for growth is astronomical in this country of 1.37 billion people.

Flag of China

Japan

Non-nicotine e-cigarettes can be used and sold legally in Japan, even to minors, as there are no regulations for such items. However, e-cigarette products that contain nicotine are considered medicinal products, and there are no vape devices with nicotine that have been approved for sale. 

The smoking rate in Japan has been on a consistent decline since 1966, dropping even faster in recent times. As of 2018, 18.2% of the total population smoke

Because of the strict regulations for vaping with nicotine, the total number of vapers in the country is relatively small with no concrete figures. The vaping industry did generate over £3.6 million in 2016, which is five times the amount it made in 2015.

India

There are no nationwide regulations for the use and sale of e-cigarettes. However, vape products in India are classified as drugs, and there are no e-cigarettes that have been officially approved for sale. 

Government bodies are also pushing to prohibit the sale, manufacture, import, and distribution of such products. There is opposition from the trade ministry to banning the import of e-cigarettes, saying there is no legal basis for such an act.

There are about 130 million Indian smokers aged 15 and older. This amounts to 12% of the world’s total. 14% of the adult population are considered current tobacco smokers. The number of vapers is minuscule in comparison, adding up to about 260,000. 

Flag of India

A Long Way To Go

Global vaping acceptance still has a way to go, as some of the biggest countries regulate or are looking to regulate vaping like smoking tobacco. The need for more long-term research on vaping’s effects on health is becoming more necessary to make vaping more appealing to lawmakers, especially with the industry maturing 10 years in. 

No Vaping Sign (18562436519)

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Vaping With or Without Nicotine: What’s the Difference?

Superior Vapour

There is no denying the fix that tobacco smokers get from taking a drag from a cigarette. Imbibing nicotine once you are addicted to it evokes a relaxing feeling that many vapers also look for when vaping, especially those who are weaning themselves off smoking. 

Some call it the nicotine hit, some call it the nicotine buzz; whatever you want to call that sensation, nicotine is at the centre of it. Of course, it is possible to vape without nicotine, but what’s the difference and is the nicotine element in e-liquid really that bad for you in the long run?

What is Nicotine?

Nicotine is a stimulant that is derived from tobacco. As a stimulant, it increases activity in a person’s nervous system, leading to feelings of alertness and excitement. Users generally feel energised upon consuming nicotine.

Since nicotine is derived from tobacco, it is generally consumed through smoking. However, it can also be taken in the form of nicotine patches and gums. Vapers also have the choice to consume it through different e-liquids that have varying levels of nicotine content. 

Additionally, nicotine has a controversial reputation. Much of this image is tied to its relation to tobacco. Because of all the harmful effects of tobacco smoking and how nicotine is inherent to the practice, the stimulant is believed to be harmful in and of itself by many. 

The dangers of smoking were first spotlighted in the 60s and 70s by medical institutions and public health advocates. Nicotine was guilty by association. As recently as 2015, the Royal Society of Public Health found that 90% of the UK public believes that nicotine is harmful.

Is Nicotine Really Harmful?

It is an indisputable scientific fact that nicotine is highly addictive. Like other addictive chemicals, nicotine’s pleasurable effects are reduced when the body starts to build a tolerance for it. Users then need to consume more of it to achieve the same levels of pleasure as the previous highs. It is a major reason as to why tobacco smokers find it incredibly hard to quit. Paired with all the toxic elements in cigarettes, nicotine is unsurprisingly thought of to be just as harmful. 

Recognising nicotine’s addictive properties, it is only fair to evaluate it separately from the poisonous results of tobacco smoking, as nicotine is also consumed in other forms. 

Nicotine by itself is not cancerous nor does it increase the risk of getting cardiovascular disease in users. An academic study conducted by the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco outlines this, stating that no evidence links nicotine with cancer. The World Health Organisation via the European Code Against Cancer also echoes this statement by saying that nicotine by itself does not cause cancer.

While nicotine does increase heart rate and results in elevated blood pressure, these are side effects that are similar to that of caffeine consumption. Nicotine poisoning can happen, but it would take consuming an inordinate amount that is not present in cigarettes, patches, gums, and e-liquids.

In short, nicotine is not harmful the way tobacco smoking is. It is addictive, has mild side effects, and it does not cause fatal diseases. 

nicotine alternate

The Benefits of Vaping With Nicotine

One of the great things about vaping is the choices available to customise your experience. One such choice is being able to vape with or without nicotine. 

If you choose to vape with nicotine, you can expect the following:

1. It makes quitting smoking easier 

Vaping is one of the best ways for smokers to quit the habit. The act of lighting up a vape device, putting it to your mouth, and puffing away are fairly similar to smoking. Of course, it’s the nicotine content in the vape juice that ultimately makes the transition from smoking to vaping easy. 

Being able to get the familiar nicotine buzz from inhaling and exhaling with a vape sidesteps the intense physical and mental withdrawal symptoms that come with quitting cold turkey. 

If it’s nicotine addiction from smoking that needs to be controlled, there are e-liquids that have different amounts of nicotine. A nicotine addict can slowly work their way down from vape juices with high nicotine content to e-liquids with low nicotine content. 

2. It’s easier to feel the throat hit 

One of the distinct joys of smoking that vaping captures is the strong feeling at the back of the throat from taking a drag. This is commonly known as the “throat hit.” 

The strength of this visceral effect is largely determined by the amount of nicotine you will consume. Cigarettes have a lot of nicotine, so the throat hit is significantly strong and comes quick. E-liquids with high levels of nicotine can match the effect, but even e-liquids with less nicotine can produce a noticeable throat hit compared to nicotine-free juices.

3. It’s easier to regulate your vaping habits 

Many vape enthusiasts vape for the physiological pleasure that they feel from doing it. This sensation can be attributed to the aforementioned nicotine high. 

When vaping with nicotine, reaching that high comes much faster than vaping without nicotine. As a result, those who vape with nicotine don’t have to vape as much and as long as those who are vaping nicotine-free. 

Vaping less, of course, leads to the very practical benefit of saving more. E-liquids won’t run out as fast, reducing your regular spending on replenishing empty bottles. Also, vaping devices won’t be under as much stress from frequent use, leading to longer lifespans.

There is still a looming concern over the long-term effects of e-liquids. Not having to consume as much today can turn out to be extremely beneficial in the future when there is more data on how vaping affects people’s health.

The Benefits of Vaping Without Nicotine

Vaping without nicotine, on the other hand, has the following advantages:

1. You can’t get chemically addicted

Not everyone who gets into vaping is a smoker. There are people who are interested in vaping that have never had any nicotine in their lives. 

Nicotine-free e-liquids give those beginners the option to avoid the potential problems of becoming addicted to nicotine. Vaping is more welcoming in that regard, as those who don’t find it enjoyable can quit safely without picking up a chemical dependence. 

For smokers-turned-vapers, especially those who are attempting to completely overcome their nicotine addiction, nicotine-free e-liquids present a final goal that they can work toward without sacrificing the hobby. 

2. You will have a smoother vaping experience 

Nicotine does not have a particular taste. However, it does have the negative side effect of diluting the flavour of the e-liquid it is mixed with. 

Vaping without nicotine results in a more pronounced flavour in the vape juice. You can then focus on the richness and texture of the e-liquid you are vaping. Also, newbies won’t have to experience the gag reflex that vaping with nicotine can induce. 

By vaping without nicotine, the experience is freed from the need to get that harsh throat hit. The act of vaping itself as a pleasurable hobby becomes the main selling point.

3. You can focus on enjoying the creative and social aspects of vaping

Vaping has grown to become a lifestyle with a number of subcultures that are not just about getting the nicotine buzz. 

In the world of cloud chasing and the competitive vaping scene, participants actively avoid using e-liquids with nicotine to perform better. Practising for such events requires a lot of vaping, and nicotine-free e-liquids are a must to avoid feelings of nausea. 

As mentioned earlier, some vaping beginners who have no experience smoking and have zero exposure to nicotine. Being able to vape without nicotine allows them to join vaping communities and enjoy socialising over the hobby while not having to worry about the harsh effects of vaping with nicotine.

The Freedom of Vaping

The negative image of nicotine mostly comes from its association with tobacco smoking. With vaping, however, the downsides to nicotine are mild. The only exception is the potential for addiction, and even then, it is to a relatively harmless chemical unless taken in very large doses. 

On the other hand, nicotine itself isn’t essential to vaping, and vaping without it also has its host of advantages. That being said, if you’re switching to vaping to quit smoking then cutting out the nicotine from day one is likely to see you return to the fags, so we’d recommend weaning yourself onto lower nicotine levels over time, in order to make the transition to zero nicotine vaping successful.

Fortunately for vapers, you’ll have the freedom to decide whether you want to vape with or without nicotine and enjoy the benefits of either option. 

If you’re a beginner and you need help with choosing your first e-liquid, whether you want it with or without nicotine, feel free to send us an email at info@superiorvapour.com or call us at 01179 669309.

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How to Compete in Vaping Competitions

Superior Vapour

Among the many aspects of the vaping lifestyle, one of the most exciting subcultures is the vaping competition scene. 

Enthusiasts of all levels have been gathering in your local vape shop down the street to the biggest vape events on international stages for years to compete in events where they blow the biggest, longest, and coolest-looking clouds. 

If you want to take the next step in cloud chasing and participate in vaping competitions, this guide will help you get started with info on how competitions generally work, what you can do to perform well as a beginner, and what major vape events you can attend to become familiar with vaping competitions. 

But before we start diving into the details, there are things you should consider that come with the world of competitive cloud chasing.

 

Competitive Cloud Chasing Considerations

 

Vaping competitions demand a certain level of expertise. It goes without saying that if you want to compete against other vapers, you’re expected to have some experience with cloud chasing. This includes practical knowledge about builds and e-liquids suited for competition, as well as inhalation and exhalation techniques. 

As a refresher, here are the fundamental factors to cloud chasing:

 

  • Batteries — Mods used for vaping competitions require a heavy-duty power source. Although official contests typically provide batteries tested for competition, you should still keep safety in mind when practising at home and use batteries within recommended power levels. 
  • Airflow — Getting the right amount of air flowing into your mod is key to keeping vapour production consistent without thinning out the clouds.
  • Coil Builds — The general rule to building coils for competitions is to make the resistance as low as possible. This results in thick clouds that can impress judges and audience members whether you’re doing vape tricks or just blowing the biggest vapours.
  • Wicking — How air and vape juice flow through your device is dictated by how well you wick your coils. Because of how hot it gets producing big clouds, wicking is even more important in competitive cloud-chasing.
  • E-liquids — While the PG and VG ratio for casual vaping tends to be more balanced, e-liquids need to be way more VG-concentrated to turn into voluminous clouds that win competitions.
  • Inhalation/Exhalation — The usual method of inhaling vapour mouth-to-lung won’t cut it for competitive cloud chasing. To minimise vapour dissipation, you need to adapt the direct-to-lung inhalation technique. Proper posture and measured exhalation are also practised by the pros. 

 

Much like entering any kind of competitive field, you will also need to get some practice in before you sign up for vaping contests. Follow basic vaping etiquette and don’t try to chase clouds out in public. There are already people who don’t appreciate the relatively tiny puffs of vapour and the aroma from casual vapers, imagine how they’d react to you blowing billowy cloud trails in their faces. 

Practice in private in a room that doesn’t have too much air flow. It’s good to get a constant supply of air into your mod, but by the time you’ve exhaled the vapour, you don’t want it to dissipate quickly because of a rush of air in the room. It’ll also just be harder to control vapour when you’re doing tricks and air is blowing from outside.

 

Elements of Vaping Competitions

There are two types of vaping competitions: cloud competitions and vape trick competitions. 

 

1. Cloud Competitions

 

Cloud competitions are basically contests to determine who can blow the biggest clouds. The clouds are generally judged by length, density, and cleanliness. 

In a typical cloud competition, two competitors are stood back-to-back with a scale behind them so judges can easily compare the sizes of the two clouds blown. The competitors need to blow a cloud in a straight line with no excess vapour being exhaled to the side. The one who blows the bigger cloud moves on, while the other gets eliminated.

Because vapour production is mostly affected by the device build and the e-liquid used, contest organisers enforce restrictions on what contestants can use to ensure fairness. These vary from event to event, but you can expect limits on maximum wattage and minimum resistance. Every competitor uses the same e-liquid provided by the event runners to remove variables from that part of the competition.

One major equalizer in regulated cloud competitions is having contestants build their coils 10 to 20 minutes right before the competition starts while using the same set of limited parts. This way, nobody gets an advantage from having all the time to make a super-optimised build. 

 

2. Vape Trick Competitions

 

In vape trick competitions, competitors are primarily judged for their creativity. 

These events are more free-form in nature relative to cloud competitions, as there are no objective points to measure performance. Competitors are just given a set amount of time, which could be a minute or two, to perform as many vape tricks as possible. Showcasing a variety of cool tricks is preferred over doing only a handful numerous times even when done well. Of course, entrants are still expected to have technical proficiency in the form of cloud consistency and cleanliness. 

Showmanship is central to vape trick competitions, as entertaining the judges makes a huge impact on a competitor’s score. Part of this is being able to chain multiple tricks together in a seamless, stylish way. Adding variety to vape trick combos also ensures a contestant stands out from the usual routine. 

Because creativity is the most important criteria in judging vape trick competitions, competitors aren’t restricted in what kind of equipment they can use. As long as you can pull off shark bends and triple O’s skilfully and effortlessly, you’re free to use whatever tanks, juices, and mods. 

 


Tips for Vaping Competitions

 

  • Choose 0.3 ohm and below builds — This tip follows the principle of the lower the resistance, the better the cloud production. With builds of 0.3 ohms and below, you are in unregulated mech mod territory where coils have very low air resistance and plenty of surface area. Parallel coils are simple to build within the typical 10-minute time limit in competitions.
  • Aim for the highest wattage — You want to be using as much power as you safely can to ensure the consistent production of big, thick clouds. With regulated competitions, you shouldn’t be afraid to get as close as possible to the maximum wattage with the device you’ve built to stay competitive.
  • Make use of temperature control when possible — Mods with a temperature control feature are perfect for preventing overheating, especially when you’re using up a lot of power. When you keep your wick from drying up too fast, your clouds will maintain the consistency that’s crucial to scoring well.
  • Pack quality wicking material tightly — Whether it’s Japanese organic cotton or cellucotton, make sure it’s pressing up on the insides of your coil when you insert it. Use a piece that’s a bit thicker than your coil and fluff it before inserting. 

 

Vaping Events to Attend

 

  1. The Vaper Expo UK As the biggest vaping event in Europe, the Vaper Expo UK draws the most enthusiasts across the continent to watch and participate in cloud and vape trick competitions. If competing at such a big event sounds daunting for you, there are demos and tutorials that you can join to learn more before you sign up for a competition.
  1. VapeJam UK — VapeJam UK is another established vaping event that holds competitions for cloud chasers and vape tricksters. In fact, it was the first trade show in the UK for the vaping industry back in 2014. 
  1. The World Series of Vaping Arguably the most prestigious international cloud chasing competition, TWSOV is sponsored by major industry players with huge prizes. 2019’s event will be held in VAPEXPO Moscow 2019 in Moscow, Russia. 

 

While these are the major destinations for competitive vaping glory, there’s no shame in starting local when you’re just a beginner. Contact your neighbourhood vape shop and ask about vape meets that run competitions. Don’t be shy about joining a community that is as enthusiastic as you are about the intense world of vaping competitions.

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How to make Bigger Clouds

Superior Vapour

For a lot of people, getting into vaping means having a healthier alternative to cigarettes above anything else. Vaping is a means to an end and that end is to quit the habit, without suddenly removing that nicotine hit.

If you’re included in this demographic, chasing clouds may have been the furthest thing from your mind when you started. But now that you’ve embraced the vaping lifestyle, it’s more than just a simple stress reliever. 

You’ve found yourself as part of a community, comprised of experienced vapers who can blow big, billowy vapours and pull off the coolest tricks. It looks fun (and it is), so you want to get in on the action and make bigger clouds. 

Without getting too deep into the more advanced methods, like rebuilding your own mods, this guide will help you get started with cloud chasing. 

 

1. Vape Tank

There are a couple of variables to the type of tank you can use for blowing big clouds. One such factor is size. The bigger the tank, the more e-liquid it can hold; the more e-liquid you can vaporise, the bigger the clouds you can blow. You will also be able to cloud-chase for longer without refilling.

The material also matters. Glass or Pyrex is a must to withstand the level of heat your device will be producing when blowing big clouds.

Sub ohm tanks have these qualities built in, and they’re pretty much what cloud chasers use. These are tanks with a coil resistance below 1.0 ohms. 

 

2. Coil Build

Your device’s coil resistance has a significant effect on how much vapour you can produce and how fast you can do so. The rule of thumb is the lower the resistance, the more vapour you can exhale at a speedier rate. Low resistance vape coils are thus the preferred choice for cloud chasers. Coils with a resistance rating above 1.0 ohms can still be used to blow big clouds, as long as there is enough power and the wick is durable enough to withstand high heat.

Size also matters. Coils with bigger wires take longer to heat up than those with thinner wires. Experienced cloud chasers opt to go with a dual coil setup with very thin wires. The ultra-low resistance and increased surface area make for even bigger vapour production. There are even coil builds that have triple and quadruple coils for those who want to get the most clouds out of their devices. It might take longer to ready the coil, but when cloud chasing is the goal, patience is a virtue.

How you position your wick can play a role in cloud production as well. With low-resistance coils, you can tuck the wick below or behind the coil to optimise the vaporisation of your e-liquid. It helps to cut both ends of your wick and fluff them out before tucking.

 

3. Device Settings

The two important settings you need to tune properly are airflow and power:

 

Airflow

Making big clouds requires a lot of power, which produces extreme heat. Airflow is what keeps your device’s coil cool, preventing your wick from burning from the intense heat production. The cooling process also condenses the vapour being produced, making it look thicker when exhaled. 

The introduction of more airflow over your coil also helps create more vapour. When vaporising e-liquid, the air above the coil is filled with vapour. Allowing “fresh air” that isn’t yet saturated with vapour to come in means even more space for vapour to fill. 

Another effect of more air is puffing out the exhaled vapour. With the right balance of condensation and air, your clouds will be the perfect mix of size and thickness.

 

Power

    As mentioned earlier, cloud chasing requires a lot of power. Vaping at 50 W results in bigger clouds compared to vaping at 20 W, provided the tank and e-liquid are the same between both devices. 

    And as also said before, the higher the power output means the hotter the coil gets. This is why you don’t just crank up your power usage to the highest level.

    Sub-ohm tanks are made for power use, so you can choose to increase the power when chasing clouds. However, be careful not to go beyond a coil’s suggested power settings. Just because the tank itself is rated for high power doesn’t necessarily mean the coil can match it. 

    Just one of the cool tricks you can pull off with bigger clouds.

     

    4. Battery Type

    To fuel your cloud-chasing sessions, your vape needs the right set of batteries. Generally speaking, you want high-power batteries. The stronger the batteries, the bigger the clouds you can exhale for much longer. 

    Fixed voltage batteries should be good enough for starters with simple vape devices. There are regulated box mods that allow the user to adjust how much voltage and wattage they want to use with their batteries for a customised vaping experience. Going down this route can lead to producing larger clouds, alongside a smoother hit.

    With regulated box mods, you can fine-tune how much power you get out of your batteries either through the wattage or voltage. Variable wattage is the preferred choice for maximising cloud production. It is more consistent performance-wise even if you’re using different coils. 

    If you do have a regulated box mod, start with a low wattage. Check the recommended wattage range for your coil, and set your wattage somewhere at the bottom end of that range. If the drags you’re taking aren’t too hot or dry, increase the wattage. Repeat until you hit your comfort limit. At the higher end of your coil’s suggested wattage range, you should be blowing huge clouds. 

    Sub ohm tanks should be paired with batteries that have a high discharge rating to match the low resistance coils. A high continuous discharge limit is a must for a mod with a separate battery. With a defined limit you can reference, you’ll be able to chase clouds safely.

     

    5. E-liquid

    E-liquids are typically made with a mixture of propylene glycol (PG) and vegetable glycerin (VG). The amount of PG and VG in an e-liquid determines how smooth a drag will be and how much vapour you will exhale. 

    Remember: PG affects the throat hit, while VG affects the quantity and quality of vapour. 

    A 50/50 split between PG and VG can be enough to produce big clouds while still having enough of a kick when you inhale. 

    However, if you are going for even larger clouds, choose an e-liquid with more VG. The higher VG content leads to more concentrated vapour. A 70:30 ratio of VG to PG is perfect for cloud chasing. Just keep in mind that tanks not built for sub ohm vaping can have trouble dealing with thick vape juices. 

    Another important thing to consider is that the more vapour you make, the more nicotine you will end up consuming. If you want to puff big clouds, factor in the nicotine strength of the e-liquid you’re buying. 

    Too much nicotine in one vape session can be rough on your throat and make you nauseous. 0.6% to 0.3% nicotine e-liquids are better for sub ohm vaping to avoid taking amounts of nicotine that you’re no longer comfortable with.

     

    6. Inhaling/Exhaling Technique

    All the right equipment and fine-tuning in the world won’t do you any good in your quest to chase clouds if you aren’t inhaling and exhaling the vapour properly. 

    The first thing you need to do is to stop using the “mouth-to-lung” inhalation method that most regular vapers and smokers do. This way of inhaling makes it so that the vapour starts dissipating in your mouth before it even gets to your lung. It’s a slow and soft way of sucking in vapour that results in less-than-impressive clouds. With a sub ohm device, you’ll just be coughing instead of cloud chasing.

    The direct-to-lung inhalation method is the way to go. This requires you to inhale fast and hard. By doing so, you minimise vapour dissipation and allow air to cool the coil, preventing a hot, harsh throat hit. Exhale slowly to keep the cloud from thinning out. It might take some time getting used to, and there’s a chance you will cough your first couple of tries. But with enough practice, you will be blowing big, beautiful clouds.


    If you need help picking out the right device and build to produce bigger clouds, give us a call at 01179 669309 or email us at info@superiorvapour.com.

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    A Guide to Vaping Safety

    Superior Vapour

    To enjoy all the pleasures of vaping with peace of mind, it’s important to remember that you are using an electronic device that produces extreme heat to vaporise chemicals that are toxic when directly ingested. Irresponsible handling of your device and e-liquids can lead to malfunctions and poisoning.

    In this guide, we will go over general vaping safety tips and best practices regarding specific elements of vaping to ensure an enjoyable and safe vaping experience.

     

    Basic Vaping Safety

    1. Read the instruction manual

    This is especially important if you are a beginner. However, even experienced vapers should still take the time to check their vaping device’s instruction manual.

    Just because there are foundational similarities to how atomisers, chargers, coils, and other parts work, it doesn’t mean they all have the exact same functions and settings for proper use. Follow the instructions and heed the warnings.

     

    2. Keep your e-cigs and e-liquids away from pets and children

    Your device is made up of mechanical and electrical parts that, when damaged or when they overheat, can become health hazards. Batteries have even been known to explode if not used properly. E-liquids are poisonous when ingested. In other words, make sure all of your vaping kid is properly stored in child-proof containers and kept out of the reach of children to avoid accidents.

     

    3. Carry your vaping equipment in a separate carrying case

    This bears repeating: your e-cig is basically a small machine with parts that should not be used when any part is damaged.

    Don’t risk your device getting scratched, squeezed, or scuffed in a bag with your other belongings. Metal objects like keys and coins can carry a charge and activate your device’s batteries, leading to overheating.

     

    4. Clean your device regularly

    A dusty, dirty, and/or gunked-up device doesn’t just pose a sanitary problem; it can degrade your device’s condition to the point of mechanical failure, which can also become a health hazard. Do a basic weekly cleaning and a deep cleaning once a month.

     

    5. Inspect your device thoroughly if you suspect there’s a problem

    The moment you notice your device isn’t operating the way it should or that you’re not getting the experience you want, stop using your device and give it a thorough inspection. Check for cracks in the tank, look for grime build-up in the connection terminals, and turn it off if it feels like it’s overheating.

     

    6. Repair or replace damaged parts immediately

    When you have determined that a part of your vaping device is broken, you should look into getting it repaired or replaced as soon as possible. It is not worth trying to vape with a leaky tank or a battery that can no longer hold a charge for a quick hit, as you will be putting yourself at unnecessary risk.

     

    Usage Safety

     

    1. Ensure your tank is not low or close to empty before vaping

    Trying to vape on a low or empty tank will result in a “dry hit”, an unpleasant burning sensation on the back of your throat. Refill your tank before you start vaping to avoid damaging your throat and the nasty taste in your mouth.

     

    2. Choose e-liquids with nicotine-strength levels that fits your needs

    It is virtually impossible to “vape yourself to death” and die because of nicotine poisoning, but it is still isn’t a good idea to consume large amounts of nicotine beyond that which your body can take before feeling ill. The stronger the nicotine, the harsher the hit.

    Those vapers who vape frequently throughout the day, will do well with low nicotine, while those who vape less may prefer higher nicotine levels. Ex-smokers who have just started vaping will probably need the strong nicotine hit to replicate the hit of smoking cigarettes, at least until they can wean themselves onto lower concentrations.

     

    3. Consider inhaling techniques with nicotine-strength levels

    Jumping off the previous point, the nicotine content of your preferred e-liquid is a good determiner of how you should inhale safely while vaping.

    Vape juices with high amounts of nicotine are best inhaled mouth-to-lung, while vape juices with low amounts of nicotine are best inhaled direct-to-lung. For medium nicotine levels, either technique works, although 6mg nicotine is the safe upper limit for direct-to-lung inhalation.

     

    4. Consult with your doctor if you have a chronic medical condition

    While vaping is considered to be safer than smoking, there is much scientific work to be done on the long-term effects of vaping on health.

    E-liquids also have ingredients that some people might be allergic to, with propylene glycol (PG) being the most common allergen. Public Health England states that vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking, but your doctor should know the state of your health better than anyone, so listen carefully to their advice.

     

    5. Don’t vape when you are pregnant

    Nicotine consumption of any kind during pregnancy is generally advised against by the medical field. Better to stop vaping altogether when you are with child to avoid potential complications with you and your baby’s health.

     

    6. Keep yourself hydrated in between vaping sessions

    Vaping is a fun activity that can leave you dehydrated, especially after extended sessions. Don’t forget to drink water after vaping to stay hydrated and prevent common side effects of heavy vaping such as a dry, itchy throat and dizziness.

     

    E-Liquid Safety

     

    1. Store your e-liquids in a cool, dark, and dry place

    Exposure to heat and direct sunlight will drastically reduce your e-liquid’s lifespan and potency. Vaping expired e-liquids will literally leave a bad taste in your mouth.

    Although using vape juice that has gone bad won’t necessarily kill you, you will want to get rid of them when you they taste or smell funny and have darkened faster than their given expiration date.

     

    2. Immediately wash your skin with soap and water when it comes into contact with an e-liquid

    Inhaling the vapour is relatively safe, but vape juice in its concentrated liquid form is toxic. If you spill e-liquid on yourself, clean the spot ASAP with soap and water. If it spills on your clothes, change so it doesn’t soak your skin.

     

    3. Spit out e-liquid if it gets into your lips or mouth and wash afterwards

    As mentioned in the previous point, e-liquid is toxic and shouldn’t be ingested. If you accidentally get some in your mouth, don’t let it sit in your mouth or on your lips for long and wash your mouth out with water immediately.

     

    4. Buy from trusted sources

    The adage “you get what you pay for” certainly applies to e-liquids and vaping products in general. While an e-liquid from a trusted source will likely be more expensive than from some no-name vape shop, the trade-off for your safety is worth any price. The government has provided a list of registered vape retailers, which includes Superior Vapour.

     

    Battery Safety

     

    1. Use your vape device’s dedicated charger

    Just because most electronic gadgets nowadays have similar chargers doesn’t mean you can use any charger with your vape’s batteries. Using the device manufacturer’s charger ensures compatibility and optimal performance.

     

    2. Don’t leave your batteries charging unattended

    Whether you are stepping out of the house or going to bed, it’s a bad idea to keep your device’s batteries charging. At best, you end up overcharging the batteries and reduce their lifespan. At worst, you are setting up a fire hazard that you can’t immediately put out.

     

    3. Don’t completely drain your batteries

    While not as dangerous as overcharging your batteries and risking a small explosion, draining your batteries empty also cuts their life expectancy significantly. Lithium-ion batteries are more prone to having fewer cycles when fully drained.

     

    4. Match your batteries with your device

    Not all batteries for vaping works for every kind of device. If you’re using a high wattage vape mod, you need batteries that can supply that kind of power. If you’re a casual vaper, low watt batteries are fine.

     

    5. Re-wrap or discard batteries with peeling wraps

    Battery wraps keep batteries from shorting out when they come into contact with charged points. If you see that your batteries’ wraps are nicked or peeled, stop using them. You can buy battery wraps for cheap, have your batteries re-wrapped in your go-to vape shop, or just get new batteries.

     

    6. Store your batteries separately in cases away from extreme temperature

    Batteries can short circuit when they come into contact with other metal objects. Extreme heat or cold will also damage your batteries. A plastic container is ideal for battery storage.

     

    Vaping should be a good, fun time, but that doesn’t mean you should be totally carefree when going into this lifestyle. Be a responsible vaper, practice these safety tips, and vape with your mind at ease. Feel free to get in touch with our team if you need assistance with your device by calling us at 01179 669309 or via our email at info@superiorvapour.com.

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