Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Electronic cigarettes: 'important new niche category'

By: RICHARD CRAVER | Winston-Salem Journal  Published: May 27, 2012


The electronic-cigarette craze has shifted from "fad" to "here to stay," according to a prominent tobacco industry analyst.
As a result, Wells Fargo Securities analyst Bonnie Herzog expects it's just a matter of time before R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. begins selling the products.
"We expect Reynolds to be the next mover into this growing category, most likely organically but we wouldn't rule out a potential acquisition," Herzog said. She said potential targets are NJoy and 21st Century.
"However, with Altria, the race is on: who's next in e-cigs."
Reynolds spokesman David Howard said the company's policy "is to not comment on any rumors or speculation regarding any possible acquisitions."
E-cigarettes, or e-cigs for short, are battery-powered devices that heat a liquid nicotine solution in a disposable cartridge and create a vapor that is inhaled. Refill cartridges can be purchased in different amounts and flavors; five-packs typically cost between $9 and $18.
By comparison, a carton of cigarettes can cost between $25 and $50 for most name brands.
"We think e-cigs are to tobacco what energy drinks are to beverages," Herzog said.
"E-cigs are profitable, growing quickly, gaining shelf space and consumer acceptance; therefore e-cigs are an important new niche category for retailers."
Anyone who has visited the check-out counter at a convenience store or tobacco outlet recently has seen what Herzog is describing – multiple styles of unfamiliar brands on display.
Sales of e-cigs are about $300 million annually by an estimated 2.5 million users, according to Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association.
There are projections of $1 billion in annual sales within a few years, Herzog said, in part because there is no federal or state excise taxes on the products.
"It's hard to say what it will take to pull Reynolds in, but e-cigs are getting bigger by the month," said Pat Shehan, owner of Tarheel Tobacco in Winston-Salem.
Even though e-cigs represent a higher upfront cost, "people are willing to pay the price, even in areas that are more economically depressed, so they can smoke in places where they can't now," Shehan said.
The financial and regulatory debate about e-cigs has been swirling for four years.
Some anti-smoking groups lump them with cigarettes and argue they should be regulated and taxed at the same level. Other health advocates say they could be a reduced-risk alternative to cigarettes.
Several states, not North Carolina, are considering placing an excise tax on e-cigs this year so they are treated like cigarettes and smokeless tobacco in raising funds and discouraging use, particularly among teens.
The main sales challenges for e-cigs have been reputational, as in there has been no major tobacco manufacturers selling the products. Therefore many consumers have shied away out of safety concerns since most e-cigs are made in China.
That drawback was removed partially April 25 when Lorillard Inc. bought blu Cigs, based in Charlotte, for $135 million.
Herzog said a recent survey of tobacco retailers and wholesalers found "several respondents noted Lorillard's purchase of blu Cigs lending credibility and legitimacy to the entire category."
Murray Kessler, chairman, chief executive and president of Lorillard, said in a statement that "e-cigarettes offer many of the benefits of other smokeless products but do so in a way that is familiar and enjoyed by current adult cigarette consumers."
"We believe that blu will benefit from Lorillard's regulatory experience and sales infrastructure which are needed for it, and the category, to reach its potential in a responsible manner."
Shehan said he expects Reynolds to buy an e-cigarette company and ship production into the United States "so it could do a better job with oversight."
Scott Ballin, past chairman of the Coalition on Smoking or Health, said it "makes sense for Reynolds to expand its portfolio into the e-cig market."
"I would guess that it would be more logical for them to acquire an existing company than to do it themselves, as they did with Niconovum."
Bill Godshall, executive director of SmokeFree Pennsylvania, said he expects Altria Group Inc., Reynolds and other tobacco companies will go big with e-cigs. Godshall is a vocal advocate for using e-cigs and smokeless tobacco as products to wean smokers from cigarettes.
"The big tobacco companies already have contracts with 500,000 retailers, ensuring highly desirable shelf displays and many other competitive advantages," Godshall said.
E-cigs have drawn opposition from federal and state health officials, including North Carolina, because of where most are made and there is limited regulatory oversight of their contents.
In September 2010, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration sent warning letters to five manufacturers of e-cigarettes or components.
In the letter, the FDA said that the companies are violating the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, including unsubstantiated claims and poor manufacturing practices. The FDA has found that some e-cigarettes contain some known cancer-causing chemicals.
The FDA said it intends to regulate e-cigs and related products "in a manner consistent with its mission of protecting the public health."
Some of the debate focuses on how much nicotine is actually consumed through an e-cigarette.
North Carolina's health director, Dr. Jeff Engel, said in November 2010 that consumers should be cautious when considering buying and using e-cigs.
"E-cigarettes are not currently regulated; therefore, there is no way to know if they are safe or effective," Engel said. "They are available in shopping malls and online, and are sold with no age restriction, so they can easily be purchased and used by children and teens."
Engel said he is concerned e-cigs could be addictive, particularly to teens attracted by flavors, such as banana, chocolate and strawberry, that can't be legally used in cigarettes.
"Don't be fooled into thinking an e-cigarette is a safe alternative to smoking, or a sure-fire way to quit," Engel said. "There is no scientific evidence that either of those assumptions is true."
Godshall said that efforts such as Engel's urging for "smokers to continue smoking cigarettes instead of switching to far less hazardous smokefree e-cigs." He said that most e-cigarette companies market the products to adult consumers and not as a safe alternative.
A second major challenge is waiting on the Food and Drug Administration to determine whether it will regulate e-cigs as a tobacco product.
Herzog said most e-cigs' regulation is at the state level in the form of banning the sale of e-cigarettes. A few communities have enacted e-cig public smoking bans.
Another challenge to large tobacco manufacturers buying e-cigarette companies is the uncertainty surrounding patient and intellectual property rights.
Herzog said that Chinese manufacturer Ruyan, also known as Dragonite International Ltd., holds e-cigarette patents in the United States and more than 50 countries.
Before blu Cigs was able to be purchased by Lorillard, it had to reach a settlement deal with Ruyan to use its technology.
"We think it's possible that Altria and Reynolds have been held up on the e-cigarette front due to intellectual-property issues," Herzog said.
"Of course, companies could develop their own intellectual property that would leave them less exposed to patent infringement issues."
Godshall said he is not aware of any major tobacco company introducing a new product or new brand without first taking care of intellectual property rights and copyright concerns.
"As far as I know, no patent court has resolved the e-cigarette patent issues," Godshall said. The example of blu Cigs with Ruyan "would be the reality facing Reynolds and Philip Morris as well unless they choose to develop their own e-cigarette patents."

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

DIY - Juice Mixing 101


I was really scared to venture into the world of DIY Juice mixing, but after several months - I feel more at ease mixing my own juices.  This way I can try a MULTITUDE of juices, for a fraction of the cost.

A lot of places sell mass quantities of DIY equipment and kits, costing $100.00.  But, really and truly - it doesn't take that.  What you need is quality ingredients, and you're good to go.







What you need are just a few items.

1.  A good juice calculator - I use E-Juice me up

2.  Nicotine liquid; $11.94 for 120ml -  I normally purchase this from a variety of different places, but I buy at 36mg 100% VG unflavored.  However, you can buy everything you are going to need, CHEAPLY from one vendor.

3.  100% VG juice; $5.75 for 120ml

4.  100% PG Juice; $4.99 for 120ml

5.  Syringes (you'll use the markings on the side for measuring); $.73 with needle $.87

6.  Empty bottles for mixing, I use 30ml bottles (.99) to have a ready batch of 50/50 5mg nic unflavored juice around for easiness of mixing.  And, 10ml bottles (.89) for ease of carrying around.

7.  Flavoring - this is the fun part - you can buy a lot or a little, but considering that you're only going to use approximately 1.5 ml to 2ml of the flavoring per 10ml bottle of nic juice, a little generally goes a long way.  One of my favorite vendors, Vixen Vapors - has TPA flavorings in 6ml bottles (1.99) - so each 6ml bottle of flavoring that you receive will flavor 30ml of liquid for you to vape.

8.  Latex Gloves (.49) - or you can go to CVS and pick up a big box of them 5 pairs for $2.99

What I normally do is premix my nic, VG / PG into 30ml bottles and then when I'm ready for a new flavor, or to mix a big bottle of juice - I just mix in my 20% of flavoring in an empty bottle then fill the rest with the premixed unflavored nic juice that I have handy.  So - when I mix my juice I mix it at at 70/30 ratio VG / PG, so that when I add in 20% flavoring it'll work out to 50/50 blend - make sense??

Base:

  • So - for 18mg 50/50 nic juice I would 1st use the juice calculator (but w/out that)
  • 15ml of 36mg 100% VG unflavored nic
  • 9ml of 100% PG
  • 6ml of 100% VG
That produces 1 30ml bottle of 18mg 30/70 PG/VG juice (the reason for this, is the majority of the flavorings unless you find someone that particularly says it's 100% VG, is all PG)

Adding Flavorings:
  • Grab a empty 10ml bottle
  • Put 2ml of whatever flavoring I want
  • Grab my base and fill up the rest of the bottle
  • VAPE
So - let's see how much money have we spent:
  • $11.94 - 120 ml of 36mg nic juice, which if I want to make 18mg of nic juice will make 240ml of nic juice
  • $5.75 - 120 ml of VG
  • $4.99 - PG ml of PG
  • $1.47 - 3 pairs of latex gloves
  • $4.80 - 3 syringes
  • $15.92 - 8 6ml bottles of flavoring
  • $7.92 - 8 30ml empty bottles
  • $8.90 - 8 10ml empty bottles
$61.69 for supplies to make 240ml of your very own mixed nic juice, that's .25 cents per ml of liquid, so a 30ml of flavored liquid just cost you $7.71 to make compared to $15.00 per bottle normally.  And, there are other places to get cheaper nic juice, which is the majority of your cost.  However, just starting off - you'll feel more comfortable just getting it all from one place.  Or at least I did, until I found out how easy it was - then I ventured off and bought nic from other places (you need to be able to trust their quality though), and flavorings in larger portions depending on what I found out I liked the most.  Just remember with your flavorings - PG based Food quality is good, OIL BASED IS BAAAAAAAAD.  Oh - and I'm vaping at 5mg of nic now, so you can imagine how much further my nic juice goes.

There are GREAT recipe sites located at Onestop DIY

Have fun and happy vaping!!!!!


Saturday, May 5, 2012

Please help if you can!!!!

This in from Shan,

Shan Vapecore Burkholder
Vapers, please, I am asking for your help, to help my mom. This isn't vape related, but is a serious medical issue that I need to help with ASAP. You can read details on the WHO, WHAT, WHY, and a donation link [secure] found right on my website. I am running this until 5/13, but help is needed NOW...

www.VAPECORE.com


She's done a lot for our community - let's show her what the community can do for her :)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

E-Cig Testamonial


Well - it's been 1 year since I started vaping, and I thought I would do another testimonial since it's been so long since my last one.

I'd like to say, that this has been a year of new beginnings for me all around.  I started a new job, I quit smoking, and I became a vegetarian.....  WOW, lots of changes from 3/16/2011 - to now!!!!









I'd like to go over a few things I've learned in the year of vaping.

1.  You don't need to buy every single product that comes out of the market, thinking that maybe they know something you don't.  It's not true, they don't know something you don't know....  The point is - are you smoking?  Are you enjoying your vape??  Then you truly don't need anything else :)  Enjoy what you have.

2.  I can make e-liquids that I enjoy to vape as much as any vendor, only when I make it for myself that it costs QUITE a bit less than when I buy it from vendors.  So - in other words, you don't have to try every juice that comes out - just because someone else says you'll like it.

3.  That's pretty much it :)

I honestly enjoy vaping far more than I enjoyed smoking - it eliminated the "fear factor" of smoking...

I had given up trying to quit smoking, after years of trying and failing, I had come to the conclusion that I was going to be one of those sad sad people who is on oxygen and still trying to sneak smokes in - Vaping freed me from that.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

What is the Kick

First of all, what is a Kick

There's a great video describing what this is, and what it does.



For those of you who are familiar with the Darwin, what this device will do is take a 18650 sized Tube mod and turn it into a Variable Wattage device.

You may ask, what is the difference between Variable Voltage and Variable Wattage.


The only Variable Wattage mod right now is the Darwin, by Evolv - well Evolv has made this technology available for Tube mods now in the Kick!!!

How to use the Kick

  1. ***USE IMR BATTERIES ONLY*** The Kick was designed to be used with IMR batteries only.

    USE ONLY IMR BATTERIES.

  2. DO NOT REMOVE THE CLEAR SHRINK-WRAP: It acts as a protective second layer of insulation against shorts.
  3. INSTALLING KICK MODULE: The Kick MUST be installed correctly. The bottom of the Kick must sit directly on the positive terminal of the battery (button end for button-top batteries). The top of the Kick (the end with the blue adjustment box) must be oriented towards the head of the device (never towards a device spring). The Kick is designed to be used in 18650 metal tube mods with an IMR 18490 or 18500 battery. Several device manufacturers are considering building extensions or longer tubes to permit the Kick to be used with the larger 18650 IMR batteries. The Kick may also be used with 18500 metal tube mods with an IMR 18350 battery.
    Kick Bottom
    Kick Top
  4. GROUND SPRING: You will notice a small spring attached to the top (side edge) of the Kick. This has been carefully designed and is an ESSENTIAL component of the Kick for proper functioning. The spring MUST make contact with the grounded inner wall of the battery tube. If this spring does not make contact, the Kick will not function. SOME (few) DEVICES HAVE ANODIZED or POWDER COAT ON THE INSIDE OF THE BATTERY Compartment. This can interfere with the ground connection. These coatings must be removed at the point of contact with the ground spring. 

    NOTE: DEVICE TUBES VARY - The internal diameter is wider on some and narrower on others. Please do not use the Kick in tube mods with an internal diameter greater than 19.5mm.
  5. Setting your Power Level (watts setting): The adjustment potentiometer (blue box) is located on the top side of the Kick. In the center of the box is a white adjustment screw to be used for adjusting the Kick's power setting. The watts settings are marked ON THE CIRCUIT BOARD and can be seen around the pot/blue-box. NOTE: there are lines underneath each setting number, follow the lines to the corresponding watts setting. Turning the adjustment screw clockwise increases power and counter-clockwise decreases power. The settings range is from 5 watts to 10 watts. The Kick performs best with attys/cartos rated between 1.3 to 3.0 Ohms. You can use higher rated resistance but the Kick will not regulate well at the highest power levels if resistance is above 3 ohms. Unlike Variable voltage devices, the Kick does not need frequent adjustments.Once you find your preferred Power level, there is no need to constantly adjust it because the Kick will maintain that Power level even if you change attys/cartos and/or resistance. 

    You can use an under-load digital meter to see the volts as you change resistances and/or settings. AN ATOMIZER OR CARTOMIZER MUST BE ATTACHED TO THE METER OR YOU WILL NOT GET ANY READING.
  6. Low Battery Indicator: The Kick will detect, and stop functioning, when a battery charge level drops below 3.2 volts UNDER LOAD (with an atty/carto attached). This is a safety feature. The Kick will tell you this feature is activating when you experience STUTTER VAPE (vapor-no vapor alternating - may feel like tss-tss-tss). If you continue to vape beyond this indicator, the Kick will stop functioning until a fresh battery charge is detected. If you remove the battery and meter test it (unloaded) it may read between 3.4 and 3.6 volts. There are many variables that can contribute to the various unloaded readings.
  7. Battery life per charge: Many variables contribute to battery life per charge cycle. The Kick incorporates a boost circuit which requires more of your battery. Aggregate button/activation time, power setting, and atty/carto selection all factor into this equation. Battery age and conductive efficiency of the different devices are also variables. Using the Kick will reduce battery life per charge cycle. There is no way to provide use time per charge cycle as there are too many variables. On average, testers experienced reductions ranging from 10 to 20% depending on many different use variables.
  8. Short Circuit Protection: The Kick will detect shorts in the connection between the Kick and the atty/carto coil. This sensor is sensitive and if it detects short, the Kick will not fire. If you experience this, unthread your atty/carto and clean out any accumulated juice in all connections and then gently re-thread atty/carto until only finger-tip snug. If device still will not fire, try a different atty/carto and/or adapter. This is designed both as a safety feature and to protect the components of the Kick module.
  9. Battery safety: Please read the information on ECF and your battery supplier about recommended battery maintenance and overall battery safety in charging and using your batteries. Older batteries may not function as well as newer batteries. If a battery ever shows any sign of damage (torn or cracked outer surface, dents, or other), please discontinue all use of that battery and dispose of it in an approved battery recycling facility. Batteries should never be thrown into the trash - they should always be given to a recycling center that accepts batteries. 

    IF, FOR ANY REASON, YOU EXPEREINCE A BATTERY THAT OVER-HEATS, PLEASE IMMEDIATELY DISCONTINUE USE OF THAT BATTERY. IF THIS HAPPENS WHILE USING YOUR KICK MODULE - PLEASE NOTIFY EVOLVAPOR USING THE "CONTACT US" LINK ON THEEVOLVAPOR.COM WEBSITE.

Warning!

*****REMEMBER - USE IMR BATTERIES ONLY*****

The Kick is designed to be used only as specified in these instructions. Using the Kick module in any configuration other than as outlined above will VOID THE WARRANTY and will be at your own risk. EVOLV cannot warranty, or be responsible for, any user modifications to the device and/or any application other than as specifically described in these user instructions.

Note: The base of the Kick module is a heat synch. You may notice some warmth on the body of your devices with heavy use. This warmth is normal.

Tested Devices

(Note: this is by no means a complete list of compatible devices but rather a list of devices verified as compatible in our testing.)


TESTED DEVICES:

  • • XHaler
  • • Precise Plus and P18650 (P18500 with 18350 battery)
  • • Megaladon
  • • Silver Bullet
  • • Empire (best to fully down thread outer sleeve when installing and removing Kick)
  • • GVM (Groove and Smooth)
  • • GGTS
  • • Roughstack
  • • The Cube
  • • REO Grand (modifications required: please check with device manufacturer for further details.)

Other metal tube devices may work with the Kick module, please adhere to the above mentioned 19.5mm internal diameter dimension

Kick Pics