bekivapes

My journey into vaping


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Cornflake Tart by Vape Dinner Lady

20160804_153452Back before I moved house the lovely people at Vapedinnerlady.com contacted me and asked me to review three of their premium E-Liquids. I agreed and they sent me their sample pack, and then I fell off the planet while my house move (and family issues) dragged on and on. So this review is about as late as reviews get and I’m really sorry, because these juices are good. Very good. Cornflake Tart has been my go to second flavour ever since I found the sample pack when I finally unearthed my vaping stuff in the huge pile of boxes.

20160823_124805Firstly it’s a 70% VG mix, which makes it smooth enough for me to really enjoy.  I get the cornflake and syrup straight away, followed by a hint of sweet strawberry and then pastry crust. I also get a touch of cream, just the tiniest hint of a custard jug, even though the taste profile doesn’t mention it. The flavour is exactly what they say it is on the menu. It also vapes beautifully, rich thick vapour that isn’t harsh. It wicks well in a basic protank and tastes just fine. It’s also smooth and good in a simple fixed power sub ohm system that I’m testing to review over on Amazon.

This is a very nice vape indeed and has helped keep me happily insane through the last four weeks. When I test a flavour to review I fill a tank with it and add it into my standard rotation. I know if it’s really good if I start to pick it up unconsciously more then my normal flavours. I’m running short of this one already, and I’ve barely touched my other standard second flavour at all, so I know it really is a winner. I have in fact picked this up instead of refilling my all day vape tank when I’ve been busy. If you’re a desert vape fan as I am, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed even if you never had cornflake tart at school. For those of use who did though, the added nostalgia is really nice as the flavour really is exactly as I remember it from first school.

I will be testing the other two to review over the next few weeks. Please note that I received these E-liquids free of charge in return for an honest review. I will always give my real opinions of the things I’m sent to review, regardless of whether I paid to buy them or not.


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Two years vaping, zero tobacco cigarettes smoked

It is two years since I last smoked a tobacco cigarette. The main reason why vaping has worked to bring me this far is that I enjoy it. I have come down in nicotine levels to 6mg from 36mg in easy stages and I have no interest in reducing that level further at the moment, but then nicotine has never been the issue with smoking. The benefit I get is all as a result of the fact that I’m no longer breathing in smoke and burning particles, no longer breathing in carbon monoxide and all the other products of lit tobacco. My breathing is easier, I no longer need to use my ventolin inhaler, I’ve had no episodes of bronchitis and I can taste my food again; all the benefits of being a non-smoker with none of the drawbacks of having to cease all nicotine use. I was already a nicotine user, so the fact that I still use it is also not an issue. For those telling me that I’ve just swapped one addiction for another, my answer is a resounding, “So what!” because it really doesn’t matter at all, even if I continue to use nicotine for the rest of my life, it is doing me less harm per year than ONE DAY of relapsing to smoking. It is preventing me from relapsing to smoking.

I also haven’t dropped a lit cigarette in two years. Remember how many house fires are still caused by smoking materials? For every scare story about ecigs exploding there are hundreds of unreported deaths and injuries in house fires that are not sensationalised because they aren’t newsworthy, when they should be. In all honesty vaping probably has saved my life. I was a house fire statistic waiting to happen.

In the last two years I have suffered two major bereavements and supported a close friend through a major bereavement and another through a psychotic break. I have survived my (rented) house being completely renovated while I was living in it and I’m about to purchase my first home. These are stressful events in any life, and they hit me as a vulnerable disabled person very hard indeed, remembering that stress levels increase the severity of the symptoms of my chronic illness. Through it all I have not wanted to smoke, because I had a viable alternative that I enjoy more than I enjoyed smoking. The main reason that I enjoy it more than smoking is because of the flavours. Those same flavours that the anti-nicotine puritans say is ‘attracting children’ against all of the research that says that they do not, are the reason why my safer alternative method of obtaining nicotine which is preventing my relapse to smoking is working for me.

So what do you think will happen to me if those flavours are restricted? I will very likely relapse to smoking.

The TPD is also going to cause me huge problems immediately in May. I will no longer be able to buy my eliquids in bottle sizes greater than 10ml. These bottles are too small for me to handle safely. They will also only dispense twenty drops of eliquid a minute, meaning that in order to fill even a TPD compliant 2.5ml tank, I’ll have to sit and squeeze a bottle without moving for well over a minute, whereas now I have a nice big chunky soft squeeze bottle that’s easy for me to hold and it takes seconds to fill my tank. I’ll have to fill more often, from smaller bottles, with more waste, using bottles I can’t grip, that take much longer for me to fill a tank in a way that is practically impossible for me to do.

So what do you think is likely to happen to me in May?

The government don’t seem to realise that the TPD rules are doing actual harm. We need to get this nonsense sorted out, so that ordinary people like me are able to stay away from smoking lit tobacco.


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13 sins from ECigaretteDirect

Over the last 24 hours I’ve been indulging in two new juices sent to me free of charge to review from ECigaretteDirect and I have to tell you, I’m loving every last drop of these two. I tested them with a GS air tank at 1.6 ohm, finding my sweet spot for each juice using an eLeaf iStick 30w. Both of these come in dark coloured 30ml glass dripper bottles with childproof caps, proper warning labels and a textured warning triangle. Batch numbers and a clear use by date alongside nicotine content and PG/VG ratio and last, but not least, an ingredients list and nut allergy warning. This is excellent stuff. I don’t like dripper bottles generally as my sub-ohm tanks have very small filling openings, but these have a slim pointed end to them and I’ve not had much problem filling either my GS air or my GSG3 tank that I’ve been testing to review on Amazon. I would have to decant this to fill my Arctic Horizon tanks though I doubt I’d have any issues filling a subtank at all.

13sins

Jack 3 is a beautifully balanced and not too sweet desert vape. The first flavour I taste is buttery toffee popcorn followed closely by banana. Then a subtle cream flavour follows, with a blast of fresh coconut on the exhale. Sometimes I taste a hint of raspberry, but it’s light and just barely there. Mostly it’s the popcorn flavour I remember from those jelly beans that seem to cost more than gold nuggets to buy, alongside that same banana. Imagine putting a popcorn and a banana jelly bean in your mouth and then taking a spoonful of rich extra thick double cream. This tastes better. The sweet spot for this one for me on this set up is 10 watts, at that the throat hit is nice and gentle, but intensifies as soon as you put it up any further. This is 60VG/40PG and it’s smooth, never harsh. Perfect for an evening vape although I admit I’ve been picking this up at all times of day. I don’t get tired of the flavour at all.

Suzy 6 Is a really refreshing long cool summer fruit vape. Like a fruit spritzer with cream soda over ice. In this I taste the strawberry first, fresh and ripe and slightly sweet. Then raspberry and watermelon and a hint of cream soda. The menthol is just there, subtle and understated it just cools the exhale and leaves the mouth feeling fresher. I am not a fan of fruit vapes generally, but this is such a nice blend that isn’t at all sickly, and doesn’t taste as if I’d stuffed half a dozen fruit jellies in my mouth at once. Nothing sickly or cloying about it at all, and it shifts and changes enough to risk taking out without a backup flavour. I’ll turn to this if I have vaper’s tongue, not because it’s strong, but because it’s very, very different. Suzy 6 is a 50/50 blend that seems to sit nicely at 10 watts again in my test setup, a very gentle throat hit again at that power level, but it kicks in satisfyingly enough for anyone at a slightly higher wattage.

I hope that this range is going to be expanded because these first two are absolutely first class. I have found myself reaching for these even more than my beloved caramel over the last two days (it’s taken that long to write this post). These are definitely keepers and I will be buying both of these myself once I’ve gone through these first bottles.  They are priced at £18 for 30ml and I think that’s actually justifiable for juice of this quality.

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The post I just wrote finishes above that line. I’d like to draw your attention to the Totally Wicked legal challenge to the TPD Please sign as a supporter. This petition is being handed over on the 29th September – please see the NNA call to action and if at all possible turn up and add your support.

Change.org petition to scrap Article 20 of the TPD. Sign here.

Please Support the NNA so that their voice for vapers can be heard loud and clear. Add your name as a supporter and then find the Paypal donate button on the right of the main page. Follow @NNAlliance on Twitter.

Medical professionals please see M.O.V.E and add your voice.

The petition against the ban in Wales. Anyone may sign from anywhere. Donate to support the printing of campaign packs for activists in Wales to collect as many petition signatures as possible here.


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Anecdotal evidence – but this is our truth.

Best Friend and I were discussing the PHE report, and the response of the Health and Safety Executive over coffee at too-early-for-a-Sunday this morning. I was all set to rant against idiocy but he stopped me stone cold in my tracks.

What we have to point out, over and over again, is the simple truth that vaping has worked for us. It might not work for everyone. But you have the ‘vapefam’ to back you up. Tell the idiots until they’re sick of hearing it the simple fact. How long since you started vaping and your best guess as to how many fags you haven’t smoked.

So this isn’t my blog. This is his. Please do as he suggests, just that one simple truth as a tweet. Use #notblowingsmoke and #vaping2015 and just tweet it every now and then, randomly. As he says, they can’t ignore our anecdotes forever.

I have been vaping since: 21/1/14. Cigarettes not smoked: 11590 and counting.

Best Friend has been vaping since 1/2/2014. Cigarettes not smoked: 34591 and counting

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Change.org petition to scrap Article 20 of the TPD. Sign here.

The post I just wrote finishes above that line. I’d like to draw your attention to the Totally Wicked legal challenge to the TPD Please sign as a supporter.

Please Support the NNA so that their voice for vapers can be heard loud and clear. Add your name as a supporter and then find the Paypal donate button on the right of the main page. Follow @NNAlliance on Twitter.

Medical professionals please see M.O.V.E and add your voice.

The petition against the ban in Wales. Anyone may sign from anywhere. Donate to support the printing of campaign packs for activists in Wales to collect as many petition signatures as possible here.


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UK Government should refuse to implement Article 20 of the TPD in light of PHE report

This petition started by the one and only @Hifistud is the perfect way to start putting pressure on the UK government to take note of the PHE report and tell the EU that Article 20 of the TPD should die. Please sign it and spread the word. Thank you.

The UK’s primary Public Health agency, Public Health England, recently published its review of ecigs in the UK. Its findings are now common knowledge, and, frequently in that document, Article 20 of the Tobacco Products Directive due for implementation in May 2016 is criticised. We call on the Department of Health and the UK Government to refuse to implement Article 20, as it will certainly result in nett harm to UK Public Health by preventing the uptake of effective ecigs by current smokers.

Linking it again here. Yes, I know it’s another petition. If you don’t like petitions, then write to your MP direct saying the same thing, but please do something to keep the pressure on off the back of the positive press. We can sort other issues out later.

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The post I just wrote finishes above that line. I’d like to draw your attention to the Totally Wicked legal challenge to the TPD Please sign as a supporter.

Please Support the NNA so that their voice for vapers can be heard loud and clear. Add your name as a supporter and then find the Paypal donate button on the right of the main page. Follow @NNAlliance on Twitter.

Medical professionals please see M.O.V.E and add your voice.

The petition against the ban in Wales. Anyone may sign from anywhere. Donate to support the printing of campaign packs for activists in Wales to collect as many petition signatures as possible here.


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Please don’t try and turn my ecig into NRT

I’m delighted that Public Health England has reviewed the actual data on vaping and actually come up with a sane and sensible evidence based statement. I’m delighted that they’re telling the truth about the relative risks of vaping versus smoking and have not repeated the nonsense claims so often seen in the media. My warning bells went off when I saw that they want to prescribe them on the NHS like the NRT products I know and loathe.

Firstly, as I have said so often on this blog, vaping is not NRT. Vapers who choose to escape the smoke-quit attempt – relapse heartbreaking cycle by using “secret option three” do not use vaping in the same way as NRT. We are told to use NRT products to work through a “craving”. We have it explained to us that these “cravings” are a result of wanting to smoke, and that they pass in 7 minutes. By using distraction techniques or an NRT product we can get through the “craving” and stay off the lit tobacco. Remember that NRT is about 94% ineffective.  All this “doubles your chances of quitting for good” tagline says is that it goes up from about a 3% chance to a 6% chance. No wonder smokers are cynical. Trying to use vaping in this way would not have worked for me. These mythical cravings that I was supposed to be able to stave off like windmills to be tilted at weren’t just cravings. They were a gnawing grinding hunger, a sense of something missing, like a limb, a miserable feeling of loss, of no longer being me. I turned into a brain fugged, depressed, snappy, shrew with the social skills and quality of life of Severus Snape surrounded by dementors.

I needed a direct replacement for smoking that I could enjoy. The flavours, the different set-ups, finding the one that felt best and looked good. The ability to use a vape in the same way that I had smoked – better than smoking for me as it turns out. Regulating it, standardising it, making it medicinal will treat vapers as if they have a disease that needs curing. Not treating us as if we’ve made a valid and reasonable (excuse me while I choke on this swearword) lifestyle choice. Don’t homogenise them, don’t wring every last 0.01% of safety out of them, for the love of all I hold dear don’t standardise them. In short; let them be what they are – a consumer product. Let us choose to use them in the way that works best for us. As Clive Bates says, “What use is a Perfectly safe product that no one wants to use?” and as VIP’s Liam Bryan says:

“At present, vaping is driven by consumer-led demand for new vaping devices and the enormous range of e-juices available. IIf all this innovation is legislated back to drab little medical devices and government approved flavours, as current EU proposals recommend, vaping will lose much of its appeal. The end result will be less smokers turning into vapers, and even current vapers turning back to cigarettes.” [source]

Secondly, don’t shove ecigs and vaping down the throats of smokers. Please don’t attack smokers, who are already demonised and ostracised, with demands for them to switch. Back off. Butt out. Just don’t do it. If vaping had been shoved at me as a quit method while I was a smoker I would have dug my heels in and made rude gestures. Smokers will have the information needed in order to make an informed choice as to whether they want to switch to vaping as soon as the media stop demonising vaping. One of the reasons that vaping has worked so well for me is that it was my choice to switch. I did the research, discovered that vaping could be used as a direct replacement for smoking, and switched. Let this quiet revolution continue with added support. It’s working now; don’t try and fix it.

Lastly, please don’t start guilt tripping successful switchers into nicotine abstinence. We’ve switched, we’ve reduced the harm of the delivery method by at least 95%. We’ve done it by choice and we’re successfully not relapsing to smoking. Again, butt out, back off. Nicotine is not the enemy. You don’t want me vaping for the rest of my life? That really is absolutely none of your business. Once someone is successfully using a harm reduced product there is no need for them to cease use of that product unless they choose to do so. There is no need for them to reduce nicotine levels, unless they choose to do so. My continued use of vaping products is a) because I enjoy them and b) preventing my relapse to smoking. Have you actually read the Carl Phillips study I keep linking to? Please go and read it and understand the logic. One to three months of relapse is the same level of risk as a lifetime vaping; I choose to vape so that I will never relapse.

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The post I just wrote finishes above that line. I’d like to draw your attention to the Totally Wicked legal challenge to the TPD Please sign as a supporter.

Please Support the NNA so that their voice for vapers can be heard loud and clear. Add your name as a supporter and then find the Paypal donate button on the right of the main page. Follow @NNAlliance on Twitter.

Medical professionals please see M.O.V.E and add your voice.

The petition against the ban in Wales. Anyone may sign from anywhere. Donate to support the printing of campaign packs for activists in Wales to collect as many petition signatures as possible here.


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My goal is to never smoke lit tobacco again

I am so tired of reading comments like “the ultimate goal of individuals becoming free of nicotine dependence” [source] because it’s not helpful to me. It negates my choice to use a relatively safe substance which has been demonised by the puritan “abstinence only” agenda so that my achievement in becoming smoke free is tarnished by their, “ah, but you’re still addicted to nicotine.”

So what?

I’m using a method of delivery that has reduced the harm by 95-99% of the risk and I was already nicotine dependant. Just as I am caffeine dependant. That harm has already been done – I am not increasing it. I have proven to myself that I have reduced my nicotine intake to a level that I can live with and as things stand at the moment I do not intend to reduce it further. This is my choice. I do not intend to stop vaping and I do not intend to cease nicotine use for one very good reason.

I relapse to smoking every time I cease nicotine use.

For me vaping not only replaces smoking, it has become better than smoking – in the form of third generation devices, very likely to be made unavailable as of May 2016 when the TPD comes in. Why should I cease something that I enjoy and that is preventing my relapse to a product which I am told kills one in two of its consumers?

I am a Tobacco Harm Reduction anecdote

I’ll state my argument once again for the record. An individual who switches to a reduced harm product that confers 95-99% of the risk of smoking lit tobacco has reduced their risk of death. If I had smoked for one month more (three at most) and then stopped tobacco use altogether and never relapsed the risk to me is the same as continuing the harm reduced product for the rest of my life. [source] Every time I have relapsed to smoking I have smoked for more than three months before another quit attempt. A method where I can prevent that from ever happening again is one which I will not cease to use. I am not trying to reduce my risk to zero. It’s impossible anyway. The risk of vaping is minimal compared with smoking and it is preventing my relapse to smoking while improving my quality of life.

Nicotine is not the enemy and never was.

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The post I just wrote finishes above that line. I’d like to draw your attention to the Totally Wicked legal challenge to the TPD Please sign as a supporter.

Please Support the NNA so that their voice for vapers can be heard loud and clear. Add your name as a supporter and then find the Paypal donate button on the right of the main page. Follow @NNAlliance on Twitter.

Medical professionals please see M.O.V.E and add your voice.

The petition against the ban in Wales. Anyone may sign from anywhere. Donate to support the printing of campaign packs for activists in Wales to collect as many petition signatures as possible here.