Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Picky Vaper

I think I mentioned this somewhere a long time ago, but I used to be a smoker. I smoked cigarettes from age 12-ish to 33.

I firmly believe that smokers, or people who have the personality for addictions like smoking, are born. Not made. For instance, my husband who is just like me, only a bigger version, was also a smoker. He smoked cigarettes until 2008 and he started when he was a teenager. He's a naturally nervous person, like me. My middle son, "Artist", is also a high strung individual. And, smokes, unsurprisingly. However, my youngest son, "Gamer", doesn't smoke and has absolutely no inclination to do so. He's very laid back, very calm, not at all a nervous, adrenaline junkie like the rest of us. The oldest son, "Movie Buff", doesn't smoke either. But, he has Down Syndrome.

When I quit smoking, I found that I was always miserable. I don't want to go deep into the history of it, so I'll shorten the story and get to the point of the rant by saying that I picked up vaping.

For those who don't know, vaping is using e cigarettes for your nicotine fix. I've been vaping for two years, now. My husband and the Artist both vape as well.

This post is a collection of rants that I have stored up about vaping and buying e-liquids for my e-cigs. It should surprise no one that knows me that I make a lot of my own e-liquids because my satisfaction with the e-juice industry is so low.

It's all the same crap!
My biggest beef with the e-juice industry is that once someone finds a juice that works and everyone loves it, every Joe Schmuck on the street makes their own version of the cash cow. This is one of my big beefs with the gaming industry too, but this is about vaping. On every single site, everywhere, you can find branded versions of the same stuff. Strawberries and Cream, Absinthe and Anise vapes,  Citrus Coolers, etc. Everyone has their own version, they all taste exactly the same.

In fact, I'm finding it increasingly common to find websites with pages and pages of "run of the mill" flavors and very little else. So, when I find a new flavor, I usually buy it. But, if the website just has all the same crap I can find everywhere else, I usually pass and make my own.

Your Juice's Name Has Nothing To Do With This Flavor! Pass!
My second beef is with people's naming conventions. I'm finding more and more e-juices with names that have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the flavor they're trying to create. This can be okay, if it's a totally random name and not something that invokes thoughts of flavor profiles that aren't in the juice.

An example of one of the more egregious examples of offenders in this category is a juice I came across called "Ambrosia". The picture on the front of the bottle has an angel of a sort and the rest of the juices they make are about Gods like Bacchus and Artemis. And, indeed, Ambrosia is considered "the food of the Gods". Ambrosia, in real life, is a fruit salad. It's made from oranges, coconut, cherries, pineapple, pecans and tiny marshmellows. It's truly gross to behold for people with food nightmares, but I digress. A juice by the name of Ambrosia invokes thoughts of decadent fruits, cream and marshmellow. You'd think that this would be what you were getting, and you'd be wrong. Whoever created this juice decided that "Ambrosia", "food of the Gods", should be a cinnamon strudel cupcake.

Cinnamon strudels have zip all nothing to do with Ambrosia, or foods of the Gods. This just bugs the ever lovin' crap out of me. I mean, everyone and their Uncle Pete has a cinnamon strudel juice of some sort. If you're going to have one, you could at least name it something that fits for crying out loud. Don't just.....shoehorn it into your theme!

And, this is not the only offender in their line, either. They've only got one that has anything to do with what it's named after. It's called, "Bacchus", and is a grape and wine flavored juice. Hurray! Don't celebrate too much, though. Baldr, a manly man God got raspberry marshmellow, Apollo got pineapple and guava (two things that aren't even native to Greece, so I'm not sure why the association), and the one called Mjolnir (which is Thor's hammer more or less) is a chai latte vape! Chai is Indian!!!!

Actually, I intend to order Bacchus.......it's the only one that seems to be fittingly named.

Another offender with names is a company that makes an entire line of e-juices named after Gunslingers of the Wild West. The line is actually called that. Now, when I think of Gunslingers from the dirty, gritty, harsh wild west, a place that I hail from mind you (I'm originally from the plains), I think of tobaccos and flavors that are woody and nutty, perhaps yeasty. I think a lot of people would. I was very disappointed to see the flavors associated with that line of juices.

They've got men like Jesse James, and Billy the Kid and Doc Holliday, all who's names are now associated with some of the wimpiest flavors imaginable. Jesse James got pear and coconut, while Doc Holliday got banana waffles with cream. Are you freaking kidding me?! Doc was a dentist, and associated with the famous gunfight at the O.K Corral and you gave him a banana waffle?!?! Did it ever occur to anyone that Doc Holliday had very likely rarely eaten a banana?! They were only sold in port cities. There were no bananas in the wild west. Who thought this was a good idea??? Don't even get me started on coconut.....none of these things has anything to do with Gunslingers.

I would hope the makers of this line would have at least put some thought and originality to making juices for this theme. Give us something new! Something tobacco-y, not the same old crap regurgitated!

They also included Geronimo the Apache Indian who only vaguely belongs in this category. He got to represent peaches and cream.

Poor Geronimo. Jesus Christ. Pass.

There's also one called White Out . It's a black licorice vape. I could go on all freaking day about this issue.

Your Lack Of Transparency Means I Won't Buy!
We don't know very much about vaping, yet. We don't really know what it's affects are on the body, etc. So, we're really dependent on all the information we can get. Including what people put in their juices. For some of us, we have other reasons to require transparency regarding this.

More and more often, I'm seeing people that either blatantly tell me they're not going to tell me certain things, or they want to toy with me. This turns me off and I won't buy their juice because of that. I'm allergic to things like Watermelon, so any watermelon juice is off limits. I don't even like melons anyway, so it's not a loss to me. But, if they don't tell me what's in their juice I have to pass out of caution........and annoyance.

One offender in this category has a description on their juice that says, "you'll just have to figure it out". Not only will I not buy something like this, you don't get second chances to make first impressions and the maker of a juice that puts something as flippant as that in the description will forever go down as a douchebag.

There's a really popular juice out there, it's called Boba's Bounty. I'm sure every single vaper on planet Earth has heard of it. It's really not all that great, but it gets obscene amounts of hype. The guy that makes it refuses to say what's in it and instead toys with people about it on forums. "It's only got X number of things in it and that's not iiiiittttt". I will never pay money for that juice. I've tasted it because other people I know love the stuff, and I've made a "clone" of it that I believe is better than that, but I would never give a person my money for toying with me. He won't even describe the juice in the description which is just stupid and ridiculous.

There's another, "Radiator Pluid", that is in the same boat as Boba's. You can't even buy Pluid 90% of the time because people just freak out about it and buy it faster than the guy can produce it. But, he refuses to say what's in it. I've made a clone from a recipe I got online, but I will never buy the original simply because lack of transparency bugs the crap out of me.

How about a juice called "White Gummy B". They just describe it as a "candy vape". Fabulous, but what kind of candy vape, can you give us a clue? And, don't say that we should be able to figure it out by the name of the juice because while I would expect it to be a white gummy bear, we've already established that some joker out there thinks Ambrosia is a cinnamon strudel! For all I know, White Gummy B could turn out to be banana bubblegum or perhaps something with blue raspberry in it. Just tell me what freaking flavor it is for Pete's sake!!

Yeah, I'm pretty picky. But, in an industry we don't know much about yet, that still is getting hit from all sides of the "smoking cessation" debate and we're still trying to regulate, a lot of these issues hurt us as a community. So, I won't buy something that doesn't have a legitimate description that's accurate and doesn't give out exactly what's in the juice. It's just too important an issue to mess around with.

All in all, I really love vaping. It's kept me off of cigarettes, even in the most stressful times. And, I've decreased my nicotine usage to amost zero! Vape on!

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