Caroline Sparks

Author Archives: Caroline Sparks

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Nic Salts | Gaining Traction

Since the 1960s, freebasing has been the conventional way in which we consume nicotine through cigarettes. One of the directors of Marlboro, Philip Morris, found that if you combined freebase nicotine and ammonia then you could deliver a higher concentration of nicotine while anesthetizing the throat and reducing harshness. This worked wonders at getting people addicted to smoking and because of how effective it was, it was the go-to for nicotine replacement therapies such as gum, patches or sprays. With vape juice, this nicotine solution is added to vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol, which both flavor and change the consistency of the vapor. Nic Salts came onto the market a few years ago and have been getting more and more popular as time passes. 

So what makes them different from traditional e-juices?

Composition of Nic Salts

Unlike freebase e-juices, nic salts only have two base ingredients in them: natural nicotine and benzoic acid.

Without the acid, you’d have to vape the liquid at ridiculously high temperatures and the nicotine wouldn’t be absorbed as easily into your bloodstream. 

It also lowers the pH level of nicotine which in turn lowers the alkalinity of the vapor. All this basically means is that the vapor is smoother and doesn’t need as high a temperature to get going. What results is an easier, more pleasurable vaping experience. 

Benefits of Nic Salts

There are 5 main benefits usually associated with switching from freebase nicotine to Nic Salts:

  • A more satisfying hit of nicotine — it’s pretty common for people who have just started vaping to find it doesn’t quite hit the spot or doesn’t feel fully satisfying. Research has shown that Nic salts are more effective at getting nicotine into your bloodstream. They are also able to deliver a way higher concentration level of nicotine without it ruining the taste. 
  • A smoother hit — a lot of people are put off from vaping because of how harsh normal e-liquids often are. This is caused by the nicotine within them, so it isn’t completely avoidable, but the way that nicotine salt liquid is made makes them much, much smoother. 
  • More flavorful — the taste of conventional e-liquids is greatly affected by the freebase nicotine within it. With Nic Salts, this is avoided and you’re left with an untainted taste that’s richer and uncontaminated. 
  • More cost efficient — Nic Salts are much nicer to use with your simple basic vape pens than conventional liquids are. This is pretty great as it means you don’t need to shell out hundreds of dollars on a sub-ohm tank just for a nice hit. 
  • Increased shelf-life — freebase nicotine isn’t nearly as stable as when it’s in salt form. This means you can keep your Nic Salts for longer without having to worry about the nicotine degrading. 

Drawbacks of Nic Salts

There are three main drawbacks to using Nic Salts over freebase nicotine e-liquids —

  • Less pleasurable at lower nicotine levels – If you’re vaping liquids that have between 3 to 12mg of nicotine in them, then there’s no real reason to swap over. This level of nicotine is optimum for using with sub-ohm devices, and if you use a juice that’s high in VG, you’ll still be getting a smooth, satisfying toke. 
  • Less customizable — Nic Salts are only really compatible with vape pens and, as such, you can’t go down the fun road of customizing your tank or mod. This means you have less control over the size of clouds you produce and the intensity of flavor you’re inhaling. 
  • Less fun and less opportunities to mess about — it really depends on whether you’re looking for something for some fun or for its function. If you want a high dose of nicotine and more of a “smoking experience”, then Nicotine Salts are the way to go. If you want to produce big clouds and mess around with tank constructions, then go for freebase nicotine. 

Who are they for?

If you’re new to vaping — and a heavy smoker — it’s definitely worth starting off with a small cheap vape and nicotine salts.

As time goes on, your addiction will shift from cigarettes to vaping, and you can then move to use freebase nicotine e-liquids with a lower nicotine content and use freebase nicotine instead. 

Alternatively, if you’ve just switched over and are finding vaping too harsh, or not quite satisfying enough, then moving to Nic Salts would also be just right for you. 

Other reasons to choose Nic Salts are if you’re looking for an experience that is more similar to smoking a cigarette, if you want a stronger hit of nicotine or if discretion is important to you and you don’t want to be blowing out stupidly big clouds.

Nic Salts aren’t for everyone, though. If you prefer making massive clouds then you’ll definitely prefer normal e-juices. 

What Devices are they For?

Nic Salts work best with simple vape pens or pod-style vapes.

As they’re so much more efficient at getting nicotine into your bloodstream, there’s really no reason to use them with high wattage mods. 

Just grab yourself a cheap, simple, low wattage and low powered pen and you’ll be good to go. 

You may also like our article on vaping and the environment!

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Fruity Hoops E Juice | Sweet, Creamy, Fruity

Happy Friday, Vapers! It’s the end of the week, which means it’s time for our Flavor Friday! This week we are focusing on one of our favorite e liquids — Fruity Hoops E Juice. Based off a popular cereal (try to guess which one), this vape juice hits all the sweet spots. Check out the description:  Mr. Tucan was never much for words, but after tasting the red apple, orange, sweet cream and milk in our Fruity Hoops vape juice, let’s just say we couldn’t shut him up.  

Fruity Hoops E Juice is a favorite of our customers. In fact, cereal flavors have been a favorite among vapers for a long time now. But where exactly does cereal come from and how did it evolve into the “Fruity Hoops” of today?

Fruity Hoops E Juice Flavor Evolution

Cereals are primarily eaten in Western societies and touted as a healthy part of breakfast. The first appearance of a cereal-like food can be credited to the Native Americans in Early America. They found a way to consume ground corn in a dish which later became known as grits. Grits are still very popular today, especially in the American South. The word “grit” comes from the Old English word “grytt”, which means “coarse meal”. In 1854, oatmeal (another precursor to cereal), revolutionized breakfast. A German immigrant in Akron, Ohio was responsible for this invention using his hand-cranked oats grinder. The famous German Mills American Oatmeal Company was established and soon followed by many other competing companies, including Quaker Oats.

After the popularity of cooked oats for breakfast, James Caleb Jackson invented Granula, which was the first ready-to-eat cold cereal. Although this particular cereal never took off, it inspired many others. John Harvey Kellogg, who ran a sanitarium in 1866, served his patients his patented Cornflakes as a part of a vegetarian diet to help them recover from disease.

As cereals evolved, so did the process for making them. The processing of grains allowed for cereals to remain good for longer. However, the vitamins and nutrients are removed from the grain. Often, you will see that cereals these days are fortified with vitamins and nutrients so that the grain can recoup some of what is lost in the processing. After this mechanism was invented, Wheaties took over a lot of the market in 1941 (12%).

Soon after, cereals took on a sugary twist and many of the cereals we see today were invented. Despite cereals tasting amazing and being great for flavor, they are often criticized for their lack of nutrients and inability to stand alone as a complete breakfast.

Fruity Hoops E Juice is based on the delicious taste of a popular sugary cereal, mixed with milk. With this e liquid, you can vape the sugary cereal — without the guilt!

Fruity Hoops E Juice Reviews

Jeffrey H.

You have achieved excellence on this day. Upon vaping Fruity Hoops, it was as though the heavens had unfurled and the sky split in half, revealing the arch-angel Gabriel who bestowed upon me great satisfaction. He said unto me, “Go, bring the Israelites to the Summit of Mt. Baker. Come morning, cast your gaze over the valley below: all will be your dominion. Thou shalt till the soil and lie with woman kind. Thou shalt beget many sons (saving for a 49% chance of begetting a daughter, according to the Unites States Bureau of Labor Statistics) and, above all, Vape. And it was good.

Sean M.

I’ve always been a fan of this flavor. They did a really good job with it, and it tastes great straight out of the package. After steeping and breathing the juice for a couple days it was great. I definately recommend this juice to anyone who enjoys a fruity vape.

Rodney B.

i have tried many so called versions of “fruit loops” this is by far one of the best tasting. As for the price, you would be out of your mind not to buy this since no one even comes close.

You may also like last week’s Flavor Friday!

Teen Vaping Declining, According to CDC Study

Headlines that put vaping on blast and warn that the epidemic of e-cigarettes in High Schools and Middle Schools will lead to long term health consequences are incredibly prevalent nowadays. As I sift through the latest vaping articles, most are negative, repetitive, and the majority are about teen vaping. So it surprised me when I looked today and saw a CDC study was released which revealed that teen vaping stats have remained steady over the past year and have actually DECLINED in middle schools.

What?!?

Then what’s with the major hullabaloo over vaping and the push for major regulation of the industry? About two years ago, Teen vaping declined sharply from 16 percent to 11 percent of high schoolers having tried it. This was attributed to a couple factors including new regulations, new warnings, and fewer teens seeing vaping as novel. Some people are trying to discredit the new numbers from the study saying that high schoolers wouldn’t know that the survey was asking about JUUL e-cigs specifically, which is the most popular brand right now among young people. However, I am pretty sure teenagers are smart enough to know they are one in the same. I mean, come on, really?

Teen Vaping and the Push for Regulations

The war over vaping regulations comes down to this: what are the benefits and drawbacks of restricting the market? For opponents of stricter regulations (regulations which could put 98 percent of vape stores out of business), they say that these law could take out a very effective method of harm reduction out of the hands of traditional smokers. People who would quit cigarettes otherwise are now unable to because the vaping market is — in essence — destroyed. Advocates of the regulations say that the health of teenagers outweighs the health of these smokers. However, smoking rates in teenagers are at a historic low. And according to this study, so are teen vaping rates. 

So what’s the real motivation for the fear mongering? We’ll let you decide.

**The opinions set forth in this blog are those of the author and do not reflect Mt Baker Vapor**

You may also like our article on cigarettes being the most dangerous substance!

Mechanical Mods | A Guide

A Guide to Mechanical Mods

Around 40 million adults in America are smokers. However, the number is falling thanks to the concept of vaping, some using mechanical mods.

Vaping is a growing phenomenon and people all around the world are adapting to it. In fact, 70% of American vapers today turned to vaping all in 2014.

Vaping involves using an atomizer and filling it up with juice, then heating it up to its boiling point so that it transforms into vapor for you to inhale.

What are Mechanical Mods?

Mechanical mods are electronic cigarettes that do not have an electrical switch, chips, or circuit. They work on a simple mechanical phenomenon, which receives standard voltage from a battery connected to it.

Mechanical mods are tubes that come in aluminum, metal, brass, or steel. You insert one or more batteries into it depending on your needs and how strong you want your vaping experience to be.

However, they can’t be termed as the safest vaping devices because you’re basically vaping off a battery with no protection.

How To Use Them?

A mech mod is a tube that holds a battery (18650 or 26650). There’s a pin on top, a 510 connector, a small compartment to fill with juice, and a firing button at the bottom which accesses the battery and gives enough power to create vapes off the juice that you fill the mech mod with.

That’s it. You inhale the smoke. However, do not keep on vaping for a long time as vaping from a battery that’s close to dying can be dangerous. 

When the battery begins to drain, you will feel a difference in the experience as the hit will start to get weaker.

What To Consider When Buying Mechanical Mods

With so many mech mods on the market, it can be daunting to choose one. Buyers demand products that are durable and of the right quality. 

Here are some factors to consider:

Selecting A Mod: 

  • The mod should have a lock mechanism to prevent accidental firing.
  • It should have vent holes to release hot gas.
  • The mod should be durable to last a long time. Check reviews on websites to find a good one.

Selecting a RDA/Dripper:

It’s an atomizer that lets electricity to pass from the battery to the coil.

  • It should have adjustable airflow so that you can set the airflow higher for more vape and lower for more flavor.
  • Dual coil capability because it cuts the resistance in half and gives you more vapor.
  • Choose an RDA with good reviews.

Selecting A Battery:

  • Choose a battery that has at least 20 amp limit so that the mod doesn’t over stress the battery and cause venting.
  • Choose IMR (non protected batteries) to prevent the risk, since lithium batteries can get very hot and lead to accidents. 
  • The battery should be able to handle the mod’s output.
  • If possible, choose one with greater mAh for longer use.
  • A 16650 or 18650 battery is ideal.

Selecting A Charger:

  • Should show voltage reading to avoid overcharging, or have an automatic turn off.
  • Compatible with the battery you choose.

Selecting The E-Liquid

  • Try different flavors.
  • Choose the right level of nicotine.

Mechanical Mods Safety

  • The 510 connector pin should be insulated to prevent battery explosions.
  • Wrapper on the battery shouldn’t be torn, or else it can lead to a battery short.
  • Buy an Ohm reader to keep on measuring the coil’s resistance so as to prevent shorts.
  • Buy a voltmeter and attach it to the 510 connector pin to read the voltage. Make sure the battery isn’t drained beyond 3.4 volts. 
  • The mod should have vent holes to allow the passage of gas build up.
  • Should have a locking mechanism to avoid firing the button accidentally.

Mechanical Mods Pros and Cons

Pros

  • No electrical components means no chances of the frying of electrical parts or circuit failure.
  • Extremely durable and can bear physical abuse, too.
  • Replacing battery is easy and cheap.
  • Fires even with low coil resistance.
  • Multiple batteries can be used together.

Cons

  • No protection for short circuits.
  • Can’t regulate battery voltage.
  • Battery drains from use and must be charged.

Mechanical Mods versus Regulated Mods

The difference between a mech mod and a regulated mode is that of control. A mech mod is more like cooking on a campfire with little control while a regulated mod is like cooking on a stove with ability to regulate heat and safety elements.

Still, mech mods are known for their simple use and no hassle, as there’s no circuitry or menu to adjust. You simply fire a button and let the battery send current through the coil and vape the liquid.

At the end of the day, it is a personal choice but there appears to be a market for both products.

22

PG vs. VG | Understanding the Differences

PG and VG are terms that may seem confusing to newcomers in vaping. PG (Propylene Glycol) and VG (Vegetable Glycerine) are ingredients that are combined with water, nicotine, and food flavorings to make e-juice or e-liquid. E-juice refers to the liquid that is used in electronic cigarettes for producing vapor and simulating smoking. Proper knowledge of PG vs. VG can improve your vaping experience greatly. 

PG/VG are odorless liquids which belong to the alcohol chemical class. Despite that name, they are not intoxicating. PG is a colorless and odorless liquid which is commonly used to carry flavors in food products. VG, on the other hand, is a thick, and sweet organic liquid made from vegetable oil. These two elements are considered safe by the FDA, hence they are used in skin products such as soap and lotions, and food additives. What is the difference between PG vs. VG? Let’s explore each in detail!

PG vs. VG

Both PG/VG are the base ingredients that hold the nicotine and flavors in suspension allowing e-cigarettes to produce vapor. How do PG and VG differ?

  • PG is thinner than VG. PG has a runny consistency while VG is thicker. Hence, PG is more easily absorbed by wicks and cartomizers than VG.
  • Gunk: due to its thick consistency, VG easily clogs vaporizers. VG tanks require more cleaning than those that use PG.
  • Throat hit: PG is a powerful humectant. Hence, it produces a throat hit similar to that of tobacco cigarettes. VG tends to have a lower throat hit compared to PG. Also, PG produces a more pure flavor than VG. Because of its sweet taste, VG makes e-liquid flavor difficult to detect.
  • Temperature resistance: VG based e-liquids are more temperature resistant than PG ones. This means that they require a higher wattage to reach the sweet spot.
  • Vapor production: High quantities of VG are suitable for cloud lovers. VG produces more vapor than PG because of its thick consistency. On the downside, too much vapor reduces the flavor.  
  • Atomizer friendliness: Due to its runniness and low density, PG is quickly absorbed by wicks, and it is less likely to gunk up the heating elements of your atomizer. Therefore, PG based atomizers require less cleaning. VG, on the other hand, is highly dense, less quickly absorbed, and it forms gunk quickly. VG based atomizers wear out quickly, and they require more cleaning and maintenance.
  • Allergic reactions: a small percentage of people are reported to have mild allergic reactions to PG such as skin rush. VG however, does not cause allergic reactions. 

What do different amounts of PG vs. VG mean?

Some users prefer 100% PG or VG in their e-liquids. However, some prefer a blend of both ingredients. Different quantities of PG and VG produce differing results for users. High PG concentration means more of a throat hit. For cloud lovers, more VG will give you huge fluffy clouds. What do differing amounts mean?

  • 80/20 (PG vs. VG): users using this blend get little vapor production, and a strong throat hit. This blend is very friendly to atomizers, and it does not wear out tanks quickly. 
  • 60/40 (PG vs. VG): this blend is suitable for users who prefer decent vapor with a noticeable, but not too overpowering throat hit.
  • 50/50 (PG vs. VG):  This blend can produce the most throat hit when combined with a high strength of nicotine. The clouds in this blend tend to be less dense due to high PG concentration. It gives a stronger cigarette feel than any other blend.
  • 40/60 (PG vs. VG): for noticeably larger clouds and a good throat hit, this blend is the best. It mimics the traditional cigarette. It gives users decent amounts of clouds to blow without destroying the flavor.
  • 20/80 (PG vs. VG):  high vapor production with very small throat hit. This blend is sweet smelling and sweet tasting. It produces dense clouds. However, it doesn’t wick well, and it is hard to taste the flavors. This blend is most suitable for those who drip their e-liquids using RDA.

Which is the appropriate amount for me?

There is no appropriate amount. In fact, the vaping community is divided into half when it comes to usage, due to the notable differences between PG/VG. The appropriate amount depends on personal preferences and the results that you are seeking. If you want a high throat hit, similar to that of smoking cigarettes, ensure that you use more PG. if you just love blowing huge puffs of fluffy clouds in the air, then VG is the best for you 

Which blends are suitable for which types of coils/builds/wattage?

Aside from desired effects, if you are a newbie, you should also consider the vape coils you will be using when choosing between the two. 

Top coil Clearomizers: Those that have atomizer heads at the top of the central stem rely on wicks to soak up liquids. Hence, thick e-liquids do not work well with them. They are generally suitable for PG based e-liquids. When they fail to wick well, flavor is affected. You can use them for 100% PG or the 80/20 PG/VG blend. 

Bottom coil: Coils have their wicks at the bottom of the central stem. Basically, they make gravity work for you. Their wicks do not have to suck the e-liquid up to the coil. 

Sub ohm tanks do well with high VG ratio e-juices. They support coils under one ohm in resistance. They are less resistant and have more extensive juice channels which allow more juice, even thick juice, on the wick. They also demand more heat.

Different e-juices require different wattage and temperature settings because flavorings vaporize at different temperatures. If you are after great flavor, you will need a variable wattage device. To enjoy the experience, it is advisable to always start at a low temperature and keep increasing it till you hit the sweet spot. As mentioned earlier, different flavors vaporize at different temperatures. One flavor might hit the sweet spot at 20W while another might hit it at 30W.

VG has a higher resistance to heat, so it basically requires high wattage. PG, on the other hand, is sensitive to heat and very high volts can make it taste burned. 

When is it appropriate to use which blend and ratio?

A one-size-fits-all approach might not be the best when vaping. You might want to get different results from your previous experience, and the PG/VG blend and ratio can help you achieve that. You can use varying ratios for:

Throat hit: if you are an ex-smoker or you just enjoy an intense throat hit, blends with high proportions of PG are the best for you 

Stealth vaping: to keep your vaping activity low-key, especially in public, high ratios of PG are the best. VG produces a lot of vapor and high ratios will draw attention to you.

Smoothness: VG is excellent for a smoother feeling on the throat and a thicker one in the mouth. However, using too much power to produce vapor might cause dry hits on your throat and ultimately destroy your device. 

Cloud chasing: since VG produces dense vapor when highly concentrated, higher ratios of VG are excellent when cloud chasing.  

These differences between PG and VG are essential for anyone who wants to enjoy vaping. Remember to consider ratios and blends to get the results you desire to get from vaping. Also, remember that wattage matters a lot. PG does not do well with very high wattage because it burns. VG requires high wattage, but if too high, your device might get damaged. Once you master these differences, each vaping experience will be enjoyable for you!

You may also like our article on Dripping vs. Tanks!

Quitting Smoking | Coping with Nicotine Withdrawal

Are you interested in quitting smoking? According to the World Health Organization— smoking kills half of those who partake in it, not to mention 600,000 people a year worldwide via second-hand smoke. This makes it the world’s foremost preventable killer.  However, the key word here is preventable

What is Nicotine?

Nicotine is a chemical that contains nitrogen, made naturally by several types of (nightshade) plants, including the tobacco plant. There’s about 20 mg of nicotine in 1 g of tobacco, compared to 0.0001 mg per 1 g of an eggplant. Eggplant contains the highest nicotine content of any vegetable. It would take 20 pounds of eggplant to equal one cigarette. That’s a lot of eggplant!

What is nicotine dependence?

Nicotine dependence, also called tobacco dependence, is an addiction to tobacco products caused by the drug nicotine. 

Why is nicotine so addictive?

As the most notorious chemical in tobacco, it’s easy to understand why nicotine is so vilified. When absorbed into the bloodstream or inhaled via cigarette smoke, nicotine causes a rush of the hormone know as adrenaline. 

Adrenaline is our survival, or ‘fight-or-flight’, hormone. It increases our heart rate in order to get our blood pumping and oxygen to our muscles and brain — especially under stressful conditions. Homo sapiens love adrenaline — we crave it. We go to the theaters for it. We perform daring stunts to feel the rush of it surge through our veins. It’s why many take up smoking during times of crisis. However, after long periods of cigarette use, quitting smoking or cutting back on your tobacco intake causes symptoms of withdrawal to rear its ugly head. 

What happens when I quit or cutback on cigarettes?

Studies, research, and millions of testimonies tell us that nicotine withdrawal is short-lived. The symptoms will pass in time — usually less than a week for some. As with most things, withdrawal is the most uncomfortable part of quitting a habit. When a substance is removed from our bodies, our minds develop a desire to revert back to our old ways.      

No two people are alike. Every smoker, when he or she decides to cutback or quit, will experience different symptoms. While we are all unique individuals, the most common symptoms that people will experience include:

  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Mental fog
  • Depression
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • An increased appetite
  • Constipation
  • Cough
  • Cravings for cigarettes and other sources of nicotine

Below is the timeline of what you can expect after finishing your final cigarette, according to WebMD.com:

30 minutes to 4 hours:

  • The effects from nicotine will wear off and that craving for another cigarette will feel very, very strong.

10 hours:

  • You will become extremely restless — wondering how to fill the time. Your physical cravings for a cigarette will feel insatiable.  

After 24 hours:

  • Irritability kicks in and your appetite increases.

Day 2:

  • You’ll experience headaches as the nicotine leaves your system.

Day 3:

  • The nicotine will most likely be gone from your system by now. While your craving will have tapered off, you will begin to experience a rise in anxiety. 

1 week:

  • Give yourself a round of applause for making it this far as you are on the road to recovery. However, during this time, it is advised that you keep avoiding those tempting triggers. It is recommended that exercise be added to your daily routine. Go for walks. Take up cycling. Breathing exercises, such as yoga, have been said to deliver fresh oxygen to the brain, lower stress, and calm nerves. They will also improve your mood.  

2 to 4 weeks:

  • Your energy level will still be unusually low, but this is no cause for concern. The confusion and fogginess surrounding your brain will begin to clear up and your appetite for nicotine will start to settle down. You will start to notice an improvement in your mood. Basically, you will begin to feel human again. 

5 weeks on: 

  • The fight moves to your mind. Keeping a strong mental game from here on out is KEY!  

Quitting smoking takes more than just willpower — it takes knowledge. With this knowledge comes preparation. Slip-ups are to be expected and there is no shame to be had if one finds themselves going to back to cigarette smoking for a time. According to the American Cancer Society, it takes 8-10 attempts before a smoker is able to quit permanently. The CDC puts this number at around 8-11 attempts. 

A slip-up does not mean failure. Rather, you must consider of every smoke free day to be exactly what it is — a huge success!

As Winston Churchill once said, “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”

FAQs 

How do I quit smoking?

Would you plan a Hollywood bank heist without a plan? Probably not. Especially if you are hoping to disappear into the sunset with loads of cash and not spend the rest of your days behind bars (not recommended).

While quitting smoking is nothing like lifting a bank — one thing is for certain — no plan equals a recipe for disaster. 

There are many different ways to quit smoking. Here are several that have been said to work:

  1. Cold Turkey – Roughly 90% of people who try to quit will go it alone. This means, they will not employ the help of any aids, therapy, or medicine. 
  2. Behavioral Therapy – Talking with family, counselors or someone who has had success with quitting. 
  3. NRTs or Nicotine Replacement Therapies – Gums, patches, inhalers, sprays, lozenges and or e-cigarette products have worked for many people. 
  4. Vaping – Using electronic cigarettes has been very successful for many people recently who are gung-ho about quitting smoking.
  5. Medication – Prescription medications such as Zyban and Chantix can help with your cravings and symptoms from withdrawals, thus helping with quitting smoking. 
  6. Combination of Treatments – Using a combination of treatments may aid in your effort to quit smoking. Combinations such as using a nicotine patch while utilizing the gum may improve your chances.  

Why not quit cold turkey?

According to health.com, quitting smoking ‘cold turkey’ is difficult because smokers aren’t just addicted psychologically, but physically as well. It is said that somewhere between 4 and 7 percent of people who attempt to quit smoking are able to so it cold turkey. That’s a small percentage of the roughly 70 percent of smokers who desire to quit. In short, don’t go it alone. 

Going ‘cold turkey’ is defined as quitting smoking without any aids. People who use the cold turkey method may begin to feel withdrawal symptoms within hours of smoking their final cigarette. Medication, over-the-counter aids (more commonly known as Nicotine Replacement Therapies (NRTs)), or vaping, help mitigate the stinging withdrawal symptoms associated with quitting. While going cold turkey is admirable, it is recommended that you prepare and take up methods to soften the transition from a lifestyle dependent on cigarettes, to one that is smoke free.   

Why should I use a NRT?

Despite the well documented side effects associated with Nicotine Replacement Therapies (lozenges, patches, vapes, gum and etc.), the benefit is that these methods do not contain any of the 599 additives, nor the cancer-causing agents that are found in cigarettes. Basically, NRTs enable a person to slowly wean off of nicotine until they are no longer dependent on it. 

Do nicotine replacement products have side effects?

All forms of nicotine replacement therapies have different side effects. Though rare, it is possible for a person to become dependent on a nicotine replacement product. See the link for more details on the effects of NRTs.  

How do I fill my time after I’ve had my final cigarette?

Think of all the benefits now that you have since you’ve made up your mind to quit smoking cigarettes. Aside from the changes in health — your clothes, hair and breath will smell light years better. Your appearance will begin to improve and your pockets will stay fatter for a longer period of time. 

But during this transition, you will need to fill your time. As they say, idle time is the devil’s time, so take up all those old tasks you have been putting off. Clean out the attic or sort through all that old junk you have harbored in your garage. Build a garden. Plant a tree. Create a beautiful, new environment that gives you joy and satisfaction. 

As Mahatma Gandhi once said:

“Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, your values become your destiny.” 

With that said, the most important thing to keep in mind is that — in this new phase of life — it is critically important that you disrupt any and all habitual patterns. While the addictiveness of nicotine is a very real thing, it is our old habits that tempt us. 

Why am I gaining weight after quitting smoking?

Weight gain is a common occurrence when quitting smoking. Weigh the pros and cons. On the one hand, you may experience some minor weight gain, but on the other hand, you are regaining your health. If you find yourself consistently putting on weight, try increasing your weekly physical activity and decrease your caloric intake and sugar.   

Why can’t I quit?

The first step is admitting you have an “issue”.  The word “problem” seems so negative. 

Wanting to quit something that you know is not good for your health deserves a congratulatory pat on the back. You’re just one step from success, but it’s a step most smokers miss. This is a missed realization that can contribute to their downfall. 

For example, Whyquit.com says the “Law of Addiction” is the most important quitting lesson of all. Just one puff of nicotine will result in up to 50 percent f nicotinic-type brain acetylcholine receptors being occupied by nicotine. This creates a powerful dopamine explosion that the mind’s pay attention pathways will, in the short term, make it nearly impossible to forget. When quitting, the quitter (the word “quitter” is a good name in this situation) isn’t battling an entire pack or even a whole cigarette, but just that one powerful puff of nicotine that will destroy their hard work and all but guarantee a relapse. 

How do I bounce back from a slip-up?

Slip-ups are to be expected. Embrace them and learn from them and most importantly, don’t allow your mind to pull you down. Use these setbacks to fall forward, not backward. 

When will I know whether or not I am free of my addiction?

You’ll know when. When those hunger pangs for cigarettes diminished and when your triggers no longer have dominion over you, you’ll know you are winning the fight.  

You may also like our article on stepping down on nicotine levels!

4

Troubleshooting Vaping Problems | What To Do For Common Issues

There’s nothing more frustrating than finding that your vape device is not functioning when you want to vape. What you need to know is that it is normal to experience problems when vaping. The good news is that these are problems common to users, and they are easy to resolve after troubleshooting vaping problems. Today, let’s focus on common vaping problems and offer quick solutions so that you can enjoy vaping once more!

My vape won’t turn on | Troubleshooting Vaping Problems

Have you tried to turn on your mod or vape pen to no avail? There are several reasons why your vape isn’t working:

The device is off

If your vape is fully charged, but it is not turning on, this means that it is off. How so? Well, many vape devices have a default feature which allows them to be switched off completely to prevent discharging in case the power button is accidentally fired. Pressing some devices continuously five times (or three depending on the manufacturer) within two seconds switches them off.

How can you fix this? The battery will use the same command to switch on, so try pressing it five times within two seconds and voila!

The batteries lifespan has come to an end

Most vape batteries have a lifespan of two to three years. Some might stop working before this time, depending on how you use them. Dead batteries could be the reason why your device won’t turn on1.

Try charging your mod and if it does not pick up any charge, replace the batteries or dispose the device and get a new one if yours has built-in batteries.

Your battery door is not closed properly

When the battery door is not properly closed, your device might not work2. Most devices rely on battery doors to complete the circuit. Check if yours is properly locked. Sometimes it won’t close, and this calls for a door replacement. 

The batteries are uneven

Are your batteries new and the mod won’t fire up? The reason could be uneven batteries. Batteries are manufactured in bulk, and sometimes there might be a fault in the manufacturing process, making the batteries uneven in size.

Switch the batteries (but still put them in the right configuration), and if the mod works, it means that either the nipples (positive poles) are uneven, or that one has a dent that is causing incomplete circuits. 

Your mods brightness is low, or it is in stealth mode

Vape devices have a setting known as “stealth mode” which allows the device to work when the screen is unlit. Check if the mod is firing the tank. If the tank is receiving power, it means you accidentally set the device to stealth mode, which you can change in the device settings.

Another reason why your device won’t turn on but still fires the tank is low brightness. Adjust the brightness in the device settings. 

Residues are blocking the connection

Sometimes, e-juice seeps into the battery connection, obstructing the circuit. Check for dirt and residues on your vape mod pin and battery nipple. Wipe the dirt using tissue and your mod will be good as new.  

Your device is damaged

Did your device fall or come into contact with excessive water before it malfunctioned? It could be permanently damaged due to interference with the internal connections. 

Try the solutions we have discussed above and if it is still not powering up, get a new one.

Note: uncharged batteries and incorrectly installed batteries are also the top reasons why mods don’t turn on. On top of that, the vape pin connecting to the battery might have recessed2 due to a fall; so, ensure that the pin touches the positive pole and it is not too tight. 

That said, let’s look at the second most common problem!

My vape is hard to pull | Troubleshooting Vaping Problems

Do you have to draw too hard form your coil and even then you do not get enough vapor? This is the reason:

You’ve been pulling too hard in the past

When you pull e-juice too hard, the wicks absorb more juice than the coils can vaporize. The excess juice leaks into the atty through the air passage10. This gunks up the air holes requiring you to pull harder to get e-juice to rise to the wicks.

Unscrew the atty and clean the threading using a tissue. Clean the threading on the battery, too. Clean the tank using warm water and dry it. Blow into the air holes to check if they are working well. Clean the area where the coil comes into contact with the mod using a tissue. Also, make sure that the coil is not blackened and prime it.

Why my coils taste burnt | Troubleshooting Vaping Problems

Burnt coils taste terrible, and they burn your throat hard. They might make you wish you never vaped, but guess what? They are a pretty common problem! Here are the causes of burnt coils and how you can resolve them:

Your coils are old

Whenever your coils taste burnt, ask yourself when the last time you changed them was, especially if your device was at optimal performance before.

As soon as you begin experiencing a change in taste, change your vape coils3. Ideally, change them every two weeks if you never want to taste burnt vapor again.

You’ve not primed your coils

Are your coils new but still give a charred taste? Whenever you install new coils in your vape device, it is vital that you saturate it with e-juice before using it to avoid getting a bad taste4. Put e-juice on the wicks until they are soaked entirely then leave it for a while before using it to enjoy great tastes.

Chain vaping

Vaping without taking pauses sounds fun, but it is likely to make your vaping experience less enjoyable. You will often experience a “burnt cotton taste” when you chain vape. This kind of vaping does not allow your wicks to absorb more vape juice, causing it to dry out and burn. 

Stop your wick from burning when chain vaping by allowing 30 seconds in between puffs. Alternatively, use PG based e-juices to get a quick throat hit to stop chain vaping. This is especially useful if you are chain vaping to counter nicotine cravings.

The coils are dirty

How often do you clean your coils? Dirty coils are one of the top causes of dry hits and burnt taste. To avoid this, change your wicks weekly and rinse your coils with warm water to eliminate the gunk.

The coil loops have hotspots

A hotspot refers to an area in your coil that heats up faster than the rest of the coil. A loop that has a hotspot glows brighter than the other loops on a coil. Hotspots decrease the life of your coil and cause charred tastes even if your wicks are soaked up. To get rid of them, strum your coil with a screwdriver or pinch the loops together using tweezers5. 

High power vaping

Exceeding the recommended vape device wattage can cause your coils to burn. Also, high temperatures vaporize e-juice faster than your wick absorbs it hence the wick too will burn. Make sure that you know and use the recommended wattage for your device. If you love vaping at high temperatures, consider switching to an RDA.

Your E-juice is running low

Do not wait till your e-liquid is in its last drop to refill your tank. If you do so, you risk burning your wicks and getting a bad taste. Ensure that you never let your tank levels drop below a quarter full to avoid burning your wicks.

Having solved that, let’s explore our fourth problem.

My vape says “no atomizer” | Troubleshooting Vaping Problems

The “no atomizer” message on the screen might cause concern. This message could be brought about by a faulty coil installation whereby the coil has no connection to the mod. Check to see if your coil is well connected.

Secondly, it could be due to a loose 510 connection between the mod and the atty. Ensure that the vape pin touches the positive pole of your battery. If it does, check whether dirt is interfering with the connection by unscrewing the tank from the mod6. Be sure to clean any juice or residues on the 510 areas of the tank and mod with a tissue. 

Let’s resolve the next issue.

My battery life is short | Troubleshooting Vaping Problems

Is your vape battery not lasting as long as it used to? Here are a few things that are reducing your battery lifespan:

You’re overcharging the battery

According to research by the Battery University, batteries that charge up to 85% have a longer lifespan than those that charge fully. 

Avoid overcharging, by not leaving the battery charging all day or overnight. It might be convenient because you will wake up to a full battery, but it reduces the lifespan of the cell.

The battery is constantly discharged

Continually draining vape battery before recharging does your cells no good.

To improve the life of your battery, do not fully drain it before charging it. A battery that is not fully drained requires less energy to recharge compared to one that is fully depleted. Recharging a fully drained battery puts a strain on it and diminishes its life fast.

You are not using your batteries regularly

Failing to use your vape battery daily diminishes its lifespan. 

Use your batteries daily to maintain optimal performance and prevent them from slowly losing power. 

You’re leaving your vape device on

Just like your electric appliances, vape devices suck away power when left on, even when they are not being used. Continually leaving them on reduces their lifespan.

Extend your battery’s life by turning your vape off every time that you aren’t using it. 

Your vape battery is dirty

Occasional e-liquid spills and dirt from pockets can dirty your vape battery. When your battery is dirty, it will require more energy to send power to the vaporizer because dirt weakens the connection8. Overworking to power up your device will ultimately reduce battery life.

Clean your batteries, tank, and atomizers regularly to get rid of any e-juice that might have spilled over and improve battery life.

Wrong battery storage

Do you keep your battery at room temperature? Too high or too low temperatures reduce battery longevity. Store your battery in room temperatures and avoid leaving it in your car when it is too hot or too cold. Temperatures between 50⁰F and 70⁰F are ideal. 86⁰F+7 is considered elevated, and it can damage your battery quickly.

If you don’t fully charge your battery before storing it, it will slowly suck the charge. Store fully charged batteries in a safe bag, in a cool and dry place to increase their lifespan9.

My batteries are getting stuck in the vape | Troubleshooting Vaping Problems

Your batteries slid easily into the vape mod, but you can’t get them out now. What could be the issue? Your wrapper might have got rolled up, and a bit stuck or your battery has overheated, vented and swelled.

How can you resolve this? Wait for at least an hour after the last time you fired it, then try pushing it out using a wooden stick through the 510. Push it far enough till you can grab and pull it. 

Final take

Burnt taste, vapes that won’t turn on, batteries with short life, stuck batteries, and atomizer issues are the most common problems that you will come across when vaping. Luckily, you can resolve them with a few DIY steps and continue enjoying vaping. Remember to exercise safety when addressing these problems to avoid shorts and possible explosions.

6

American Cancer Society Says Vaping Much Better Than Smoking

The American Cancer Society has come out in favor of e-cigarettes — or vaping — over traditional combustible cigarettes. In February of this past year, they acknowledged in a statement that e-cigs (ENDS) play a role in helping some smokers quit. This most recent statement, made on June 11, goes even further stating that the American Cancer Society vows to find out the effects of ENDS and report these findings to groups like the FDA:

“The American Cancer Society (the ACS) recognizes our responsibility to closely monitor and synthesize scientific knowledge about the effects of all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and any new products derived from tobacco.  As new evidence emerges, the ACS will promptly report these findings to policy makers, the public and clinicians.”

They say that physicians should encourage their patients to use e-cigs instead of combustible cigarettes if they refuse to use more traditional routes of quitting. The American Cancer Society also stressed the importance of battling misinformation and said that the public is very misinformed about the dangers of vaping, saying:

“current generation ENDS are markedly less harmful than combustible tobacco products,” but “[m]any adults believe, erroneously, that ENDS are as harmful as combustible tobacco products, and the level of public understanding has deteriorated overtime.”

American Cancer Society | Statement and the FDA

The statement then goes on to urge the FDA to consider the ramifications on public health of its regulations and policies put in place on the vape industry. The statement reads, “…FDA should assess whether e-cigarettes help to reduce tobacco-related morbidity and mortality, and the impact of marketing of e-cigarettes on consumer perceptions and behavior.” The statement advocates for overall regulation of the vape industry, but also seems to understand that vaping can help curb mortality cause by tobacco and wants the FDA to take that into consideration.

Essentially, this statement is a step in the right direction for the vape industry. The ACS is acknowledging that there is a vast knowledge gap between science and consumer knowledge, which is seriously affecting the health benefits offered by vaping as opposed to smoking combustible cigarettes. They admit that, according to numerous scientific studies, “ENDS are markedly less harmful.”

Vaping has science and some major health organizations on its side. Now we just need to get policy-makers to follow. Teenaged rates of smoking and vaping have drastically fallen since 2015 and, despite crusaders using this as the reason for strict regulations, the stats don’t seem to be rising. The public misconception of vaping is actually frightening and stems from a smear campaign. We all need to do our part by educating our friends and family on the truth and science behind vaping when we hear falsities being spread. Make sure to start by sharing this blog post or the original statement (linked at the start of this post).

You may also like our article on teen vaping declining!

Nicotine Strength | Where Should You Start?

History of Nicotine

Before we were worrying about nicotine strength in vape liquid, the chemical hadn’t even been discovered yet. Ever wondered when nicotine was first used? Nicotine has been used as a stimulant and medicine for more than 2000 years. However, crude nicotine was known by 1571.  Nicotine is indigenous to America, and it was first spread to Europe by European invaders who loved its effect. In Europe, it stirred up divided opinion. While some saw it as medicinal, others saw it as toxic and addictive. In the early 1600s, smoking pipes and cigars spread widely. In 1763, nicotine was first used as an insecticide. It wasn’t until 1828 that the first purified version was obtained. Nicotine’s correct molecular formula was found in 1843, and the first laboratory synthesis was reported in 19043

Why is nicotine so addictive?

Nicotine is highly addictive and even lethal2 when used in high dosages, which is the reason why it is used as an insecticide. Nicotine changes the balance of two chemicals in the brain, dopamine, and noradrenaline, which causes one’s mood and concentration to change4. Nicotine also causes a surge of endorphins in the reward areas of the brain, which leads to euphoria. This surge, however, is not like getting high on other drugs5. It is much briefer, meaning you have to keep on taking nicotine to experience euphoria. Repeated exposure in search of this feeling leads to addiction. Moreover, repeated exposure to nicotine increases the level of dopamine in the brain which reinforces the behavior of taking the drug.

The Difference Between Vaping and Smoking

Most vapers were smokers. Also, most newbies in vaping are seeking to quit smoking. Therefore, the comparison between vaping and smoking is one that cannot be ignored. The most apparent reason why vaping nicotine is better than smoking it is that when you smoke nicotine in a cigarette, it produces tar which blocks your respiratory system and causes respiratory diseases such as bronchitis.

Smoking nicotine in a cigarette requires combustion of thousands of chemicals found in the traditional cigarette. More than twenty of these chemicals are carcinogenic. E-juices on the other hand, contain nicotine, flavor, Propylene Glycol, and Vegetable Glycerine. When vaping, there is no need to combust anything, and that is why most harmful chemicals found in tobacco are eliminated in e-juices. Vaping reduces exposure to numerous toxicants and carcinogens6 found in the traditional cigarette. 

Smoking cigarettes increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. According to research, other chemicals in smoke, other than nicotine, increase the risk of dying from these diseases. Carbon monoxide, for example, is emitted when you combust the traditional cigarette. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this gas damages the heart and circulatory system, which could lead to heart attacks. 

Carbon monoxide and several other harmful compounds are not found in e-cigarette vapor at all. Other compounds are also at a much lower concentration in e-juices hence reducing the risk of disease.

How much nicotine should you start with?

Nicotine levels can be very confusing for new vapers, mainly because when smoking the traditional cigarette no one bothers to look at the level of nicotine. In vaping, however, this amount is significant. Finding the right level will help you hit the sweet spot and enjoy vaping. How much nicotine is right for beginners?

The right level depends on the kind of experience you are looking for when vaping, and the amount of nicotine you are used to taking from cigarettes. To find the perfect level, consider:

  • Usage: how many times a day do you plan on vaping? If you want to vape many times a day, low levels of nicotine are the best to avoid dizziness and nausea. However, if you plan to vape once or twice a day, you can go for higher levels
  • Throat hit: high nicotine levels in e-juices give them a harsh taste and throat hit. To enjoy better favor and smooth throat hit, go for low-level nicotine.
  • Equivalency: some people prefer to look for a nicotine level that is equal to what they were taking, getting an equivalent level of pleasure.

Nicotine in e-juices is measured in milligrams per milliliter. Finding the perfect nicotine level is different for every vaper. Here are some levels to help you out:

  • 3mg/ml: this level is ideal for you if you were formally a light smoker (less than 10 cigarettes a day). It is also an excellent level for vapers who are downgrading on the amount of nicotine they take.
  • 6mg/ml: this is the best level for new vapers who were previously moderate smokers or those who were used to smoking light cigarettes.
  • 12-18mg/ml: if you were a heavy smoker, this level is the best for you. Also, it works well for people who were previously smoking unfiltered cigarettes.

How to wean down and benefits

Weaning, or gradually reducing the amount of nicotine you take, is the best way to eliminate withdrawal symptoms associated with nicotine. Gradual reduction gives your body few changes to adapt to which results in minor withdrawal symptoms. 

When weaning down, set goals for the amount you will reduce every day or every week. Begin by setting a quit date a bit far from the current date, depending on how heavy you smoke. Keep reducing the number of cigarettes you take as you approach this date. Along the way, switch to light brands.

Weaning down takes a lot of discipline. So ensure that you have a plan on how to maintain that discipline. For example, instead of smoking before dinner, take an evening walk. Always keep in mind that the greater goal is to stay healthy to avoid slipping back into heavy nicotine usage. 

How does weaning down benefit smokers? Here’s how:

  • Weaning down reduces withdrawal symptoms, which makes quitting less unpleasant.
  • Weaning helps you reduce the susceptibility of suffering nicotine related diseases.
  • Weaning is proven to be the most successful way to quit smoking over the long-term

What are nicotine salts?

Nicotine salts (nic salts) refer to processed nicotine used in e-juice. As opposed to freebase nicotine, nic salts allow you to vape high levels of nicotine without getting a harsh throat hit. Nic salts allow users to take in more nicotine per puff. In addition to this, they allow usage of stronger liquids compared to freebase nicotine. These salts work best in low powered devices.

Which devices need what nicotine levels?

RDAs: these devices need low nicotine levels such as 3mg/ml. these devices support high vapor production and lead to more nicotine ingestion

Sub-ohm: sub-ohm devices also work well with low nicotine levels (3-6mg/ml). More vapor is produced leading to better ingestion. As a result, vapers hit their sweet spot even with low nicotine levels even if they were heavy smokers. Sub-ohm devices do not do well with high nicotine levels.

Cartomizers and pens: these do well with high nicotine levels like 12mg/ml. This is because they have poor vapor and nicotine production.

It is important to note that vaping may lead to a different experience form smoking. It is easy to get more nicotine when vaping than when smoking so, do not go too high on the levels. Also, with different flavors to choose from, vaping can prove more enjoyable and help you quit smoking traditional cigars. 

You may also like our article on the history of nicotine!

UWell Crown 4 Tank | The Best Sub-Ohm Tank?

Is the UWell Crown 4 Tank the best sub ohm tank on the market? The Crown 4 Sub Ohm Tank is the latest release from UWell from the high performing Crown series of vape tanks! Uwell has more than delivered on the release on the Crown V4, especially as it now offers a mesh coil option for the sub ohm tank!

The UWell Crown 4 tank is a follow-up to the UWell Crown 3 and the Valyrian. The tank itself comes with a 0.4 coil and a 0.2 coil. The UWell Crown 4 does not come with a mesh coil, but you can buy them for the tank. The UWell Crown 4 is a top fill with the top unscrewing to fill. There are 4 large fill holes at the top. The tank has a 510 drip tip, it is not 810 compatible. The UWell Crown 4 Tank comes with a 6 ml tank and the replacement tank it comes with is 5 ml.

The coils are a plug and pull design. This tank doesn’t seem to leak at all. I don’t recommend this tank for anyone who wants a MTL tank. It has a great airflow, but I was hoping for something that was a little tighter on the draw. It provides great flavor and great vapor from a trusted brand.

The UWell Crown 4 Tank is definitely one of my favorite sub-ohm tanks!

UWELL Crown 4 Sub-Ohm Tank Includes:

(1) UWELL Crown 4 Tank

(1) Spare Glass Tube

(1) 0.4 ohm Dual SS904L Coil – recommended for 60W-70W

(1) 0.2 ohm Dual SS904L Coil – recommended for 70W-80W

(1) Pack of O-Rings

(1) User Manual

(1) Drip Tip Cover

UWELL Crown 4 Sub-Ohm Tank Features:

– 6ml Max Capacity Bubble Glass Tank (Pre-Installed)

– 5ml Max Capacity Glass Tank Section

– Hand Polished Stainless Steel Construction

– Patented Self Cleaning Technology

– Pro-Flavor Optimization Core System (Pro-FOCS)

– Dual Helix Coil System

– Convenient Quarter-Turn Top Fill Design

– Bottom Adjustable Airflow Control

– Gold-Plated 510 Connection

UWELL Crown 4 Sub-Ohm Tank Specifications:

Material: Stainless Steel / Glass

Capacity: 5ml, 6ml with Installed Bubble Tank

Size: 25.7mm x 54.8mm

Weight: 55g

Threading: 510

You may also like our article on the Voopoo Drag 2!

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