There CAN be cost savings to vaping, but not for a while after you get started. Like most new vapers, you were likely a smoker. Most of you probably were a pack a day kind of smoker. So you were spending $5-$10 a day easily. It doesn’t take long for that to add up. And here’s the good news. Once you get a decent setup, you really won’t have to be spending so much money. Vaping truly CAN be a cost saver. But you’ll have to deal with the fact that it probably won’t be for your first six months or so as you invest in gear that you like. And even once you get yourself some decent gear, you'll still likely want to try out a bunch of new flavors and then it'll be having more than one setup. Then it'll be having a setup for every different life situation. It just happens.
And if you end up like me, it’ll never be a cost saver. Because once you get to the point where you have a nice collection of gear, notoriously something new will come out. Furthermore, I was born with a double whammy. Not only was I a person who absolutely loved smoking, but my other real love in life is gadgets. If you happen to fall into both of these camps, this new hobby is going to cost you money. Yes, my friends, vaping IS the Star Trek equivalent of smoking. If you're a geek and you were a smoker, you're screwed. Because every time you blink your eye, there's gonna be a new mod with even higher wattage capabilities. I saw a mod last week that actually had bluetooth so you could take calls on it while you vape. I wish I was kidding.
Let me tell you. This one pisses me off. Don’t believe anyone who tells you you’re doing it wrong. It doesn’t matter what your hobby is, there is going to be some group of people in that hobby who have some sort of agenda at pushing their own viewpoint. They do this because they are insecure people and have to spend all their time in life justifying their own decisions. Trust me. If you are having a satisfactory vaping experience, then you’re doing it RIGHT. If you aren’t, then okay, maybe you should try a different product or approach. But don't ever let anyone tell you you are doing it wrong because you aren't doing it like them.
Don't get all insecure about your manhood because you are using an eGo battery. I have two eGo batteries that I love and use everyday because they are just a hell of a lot handier than carrying a big mod around. I have several nice, large mods and a bunch of stuff in between. All of it is great. And I've mastered what I like on each device. Oh, and I could give a rat's hairy ass what anyone else thinks of what I'm vaping on today. :)
More to the point on this subject, I’d like to give you a specific example. There is a subset of the vaping community that build their own coils using rebuildable atomizers and put them on top of mechanical mods. Most of these guys sub-ohm their coils. Basically what that means is that they create atomizer coils that have very low resistance. These draw massive amounts of power out of a battery very rapidly. The end result is a lot of heat very quickly and thus producing big clouds of vapor and an overall very satisfying vaping experience. That said, I've found I can get just as good a vaping experience on top of a much safer variable power mod with safety features built into it. I'm not going to go into all the details here, but sub-ohm'ing can be dangerous if you don't know what you're doing. If you have the knowledge, it's reasonably safe. But if you don't do your homework, you could have a battery explode in your face. And I mean that literally, not figuratively. Again, I'm not slamming the sub-ohm folks. I've built some myself. But I resent being told I'm "less than" by people. I like using a product that I know has safety features. It allows me to spend less time fussing and worrying about it. Yes. Vaping is certainly a hobby for me, but I still have other things I want to have time for.
Many in this rebuildable subgroup have told me that I was some sort of lesser class vaping citizen because I actually prefer to use variable wattage protected devices. So here's the deal: don’t listen to the folks trying to tell you to jump right into a mech mod and rebuildable atomizer as soon as you start vaping. In my experience, these products can be fun, but they are very time-consuming and the end result is not necessarily a better vaping experience. In most cases, it is simply the joy of the hobby.
Bottom line: what works best for you is RIGHT. Period. If you want to try out building your own gear, then invest the time into a lot of reading or sit through a solid lesson down at your brick-and-mortar store. But by all means, if your pink eGo battery with the butterfly dangling from it is working for you, don't give it a second thought and tell anyone who tells you otherwise to go screw themselves. :)
Taste is subjective. Period. I’ve never found anything else in all of life where this statement is more true. Not only is taste in e-liquid flavors subjective, but taste in equipment is incredibly subjective. The kind of device that fits your lifestyle best is going to be radically different from the kind of device that fits someone else.
But the important carry-away from this is that you really can’t necessarily trust reviews out there for products or flavors of juice. That’s not to say that the reviewers are wrong, but there are quite a few reviewers and in the best case scenario, you’ll find one who’s tastes match up to yours. But it is the nature of this beast that I’ve used some products I loved that many reviewers hated. I’ve used some products I hated that many reviewers loved. You tend to learn this lesson quickly. And I have at least one bottle of really expensive juice that I ordered online that will sit unused because, well, I just hated it....despite dozens of reviews saying it's the best.
Don’t get all crazy when you see really stupid notions out there on the internet. The above example is a perfect one. There was one study about five years ago where trace amounts of some nasty chemicals were found in some cheap Chinese-made e-liquid. The vaping world has come a long way since then.
There are two take-aways here. First, don’t trust what you read on the internet. People say crazy crap. And the news media sensationalizes everything they touch. The second take-away is this: buy e-liquid from a reputable vendor. Almost all brick-and-mortar stores make their own. Ask them where they get their products. Are they American-made? You do have a right to know what you are putting in your body. But don’t get all crazy over it either. If you had any idea what chemicals are sprayed onto cigarette tobacco, you’d probably die of shock.
Oh, and here's some truth to the ingredients in E-liquid. The four primary ingredients of e-liquid (Propylene Glycol, Vegetable Glycerin, Nicotine, and Flavoring) are found in tons and tons of products that we take into our bodies every single day. Propylene glycol is used in medicine and food products and in almost all fog machines on the market. Breathing in the fog from fog machines has been tested extensively and proven entirely safe. Vegetable glycerin is one of the safest chemical compounds in the world. There are zero negative health effects known to it. Nicotine has been studied for decades. Health risks are well known to it, but cancer is not one of them. Nicotine and other stimulants do have risks associated with them, but there is also some health benefit to them including mental acuity.
This isn't a lie you'll hear from the vaping community. But it's every bit a lie that we have to face. Folks, I'm no conspiracy theorist. But I know one PROFOUND fact about our government: if you want to know the truth about anything, follow the money. Pick any political issue and you will find big money behind either side of the argument. No where in the world is this more true than when dealing with something like electronic cigarettes.
In one corner we have big tobacco industry. You'd better believe that they are NOT happy about products entering the marketplace that are actually effective at weening people from their addictions to their products. This is so true that many big tobacco companies have begun buying up small producers of electronic cigarettes and even developing their own brands of them, under completely different names of course. Big tobacco would be thrilled if the government shut down vaping entirely. In the meantime, they are hedging their bets by easing their way into this new revenue stream. The way they'd look at it, either way they could win from a profit potential. One thing is absolutely certain though: big tobacco wants little mom & pop shops out of the business of making their own juice. If I had to wager a bet, one of the biggest changes we'll see in the coming years is the lack of ability to easily buy concentrated nicotine unflavored base. So guys like me who DIY our own juice will be completely out of that hobby. And small shops will be out of business. Of course, that's just my prediction, but I doubt I'm far off base.
In the other corner of the fight, we have big pharma. If you don't believe that the AMA and the FDA are heavily influenced by the major pharmaceutical corporations, all you need to do is to look to the number of drugs that have met government approval in the past only to find out that they kill people. One of the worst side effects of Chantix (one of the more popular anti-smoking drugs) is suicidal depression. It's stupidly unfathomable that the government is okay with this reality and not okay with the electronic cigarette. I've yet to see a news report of a vaper who killed himself because of side-effects of e-liquid.
This is an issue that I could write pages on. Maybe I'll go into greater detail about some of the studies that have been done in a later post. The point is "don't trust that these government organizations have your back." If you want to read up on the most recent studies done on vaping, I'd recommend following the work of CASAA. It is excellent and most of the material on their website is presented in a way that anyone can understand it.
Lie Number Six: Vaping always works.
I gotta tell ya. I did a post on here a while back called "Some Days In Vaping Just Suck." And it's true. There are days when your battery dies. There are days when you drop your device and break it. There are days when your taste buds just don't seem to work right. That's all true.
But then again, every day in vaping is a day when you don't smell like an ashtray. Every day in vaping is a day when you aren't flooding your body with carcinogens. And every day in vaping can be a great day once you know what you're doing and have a decent enough supply of gear that you can deal with a faulty device here and there.
The electronic cigarette industry is still in its very infancy. And every single day a new product comes out that literally changes the whole playing field. When I started, my local shop was pushing cartomizers and vivi nova tanks. A couple months later, every customer that came through the door left with a Protank. Today, they sell almost nothing but Aspire products. The technology changes constantly. And it just seems to mostly get better and better. But it's still young. And the devices are still finicky and fiddly. Here's a big truth:
THERE IS NO VAPING DEVICE MADE THAT YOU WON'T CUSS AT PERIODICALLY.
In general, I've found the vaping community to be extremely inclusive and supportive. Of late though, I've spent more and more time digging into vaping resources on social media. And especially on Facebook, there are just a lot of douchebags. And there is a lot of misinformation and lies. I hope you've found some of this helpful. The most important advice that I could give to any new vaper out there is the same advice I often give to my daughter: "Anything in life worth doing is worth enjoying. If you aren't enjoying it, either don't do it or find a way to enjoy it."