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NEWS, BUSINESS & CULTURE VAPE Magazine is the only international vaping industry focused magazine with more than 35,000 readership in the United States, Europe and Asia, where vaping professionals EDITORIAL Publisher Matt Schramel

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Editor in Chief Corey Noles Managing Editor Chris Mellides Art Director Van Avazando Graphic Designer Anil Verma


Director of Marketing Dennis Robinson Social Media Manager Eric Vonheim Director of Photography Ezra Zuniga Webmaster Axel Gillespie

Letter from the Editor Dear readers, Welcome back friends! I’d like to start off by saying I’m excited about this issue. Having Kent Hill on the cover is something we consider a real honor. Aside from being among the most innovative people in the build sector of the vapor industry, he’s also just a super nice guy. I often think of him as kind of living in the shadow behind some of the industry’s big names — but I think that’s how he prefers it. In Angela Garrity’s piece on him, it paints the picture of a kind and somewhat shy individual, who likely underestimates his own creativity. In a very short period of time, he went from “just a dude” to the industry’s most celebrated builder and designer of what is arguably the single most popular RDA ever. In speaking to others about him, they always used words like “brilliant,” “super intelligent,” or “the smartest person I know.” For that reason, we fell in love with the headline for this piece. I wanted something that celebrated Kent Hill as he is viewed by his friends and fans.

Contributors Corey Noles, Norm Bour Tony Ottomanelli, Fash Fadeio Chris Mellides, John Castle Brett Langsford, Todd Richard Angela Garrity, Rod Cochran ADMINISTRATIVE Chief Executive Officer Matt Schramel Co-Owner/Vice President Jon Laverde Executive Assistant Erin Aly ADVERTISING Jon Laverde, 800-958-6427 x4 Jacob Barger, 949-910-2138 China-based advertisers contact Wingle Group Electronics LTD +852 51759256 CONTACT

I hope you find the story and images as enjoyable as I did.


Thanks for reading.


Corey Noles Editor in Chief VAPE News Wholesaler VAPE News Magazine

New Products Employment VAPE News Magazine is wholly owned by Starpixel Marketing LLC 6209 Mid Rivers Mall Dr,Suite 194 Saint Peters, MO 63304 800-958-6427


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The Changing Face of Distro Stop ignoring your SEO Unless You Enjoy Being Unsucccessful!


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Ask Grimm Green Vaping for your health: FDA report affirms several vaping beliefs The Vape News Blotter The vaper’s harm reduction double standard Closet Vapers? Revealing the vape-shaming indicators


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Vape Visionary: Ronnie Cash Vapes CigarBabe reflects on the good old days of vaping The quirky genius of Kent Hill and Twisted Messes SAVEURvape: The vape space matures-along with people in it Believable Bedfellows: NHS could find vape shop allies in battle for smoking cessation




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TPE: A blended show you shouldn’t have missed 103 On Tour with Pablo and The Rodman: ECC Ontario 2018



109 Just In Juices



Are Creative Trends Among a New Breed of Vape Distributors Poised to Disrupt the Vaping Industry?



t’s hard to believe that it was less than a decade ago when the vaping industry blinked into existence like the universe in the big bang. One day the world woke up, and all of a sudden, there was a vape shop on every corner.

In spite of its nacience, the vaping industry has evolved so rapidly that people talk about the “age of mech mods” as if it took place back in the paleolithic era. One doesn’t have to look too far back to a time where the concept of a “vape distro” didn’t even exist. Those who

began vaping before 2012 can recall a time akin to the “wild west” of vaping. Unbranded generic cigalikes were the extent of the available products, and while the concept of vaping showed great promise, the technology, like the end product itself, was unpolished and unfinished. As quickly as the demand for vapor products exploded, the “vapor industry” sprung up around it. Thousands of hungry entrepreneurs around the world immediately began launching products and services to solve the problems and bring more professionalism to the industry. The vape distro model was born as one such solution, transforming the industry by helping e-liquid makers to more efficiently gain exposure for their products. Distros also provide value to

brick and mortar stores as a convenient source of quality products allowing stores to improve their product offering by providing alternatives to high minimum order quantities of manufacturers.

Thanks in part to the distro innovation, the vapor industry’s products have rapidly improved. Products are better designed and safer to use as they evolved from simple flashlight tubes to full fledged,


high-tech electronic devices with enhanced safety of battery regulation, temperature control, bluetooth capability and even led touch screens. The FDA’s impeding intervention has hastened the transformation of the industry, shaking out many unprofessional manufacturers unwilling to invest in raising the quality standards of their product. The great hope is that the ultimate impact of federal regulation will be a safer, better quality

product produced by more professional manufacturers, using quality assurance and good manufacturing practices. To date, the impact of vape distros has been to steer the industry toward better products. Another innovation is taking root among a new breed of vape distros. With more and more e-liquid lines jockeying for exposure in the market, some innovative companies are using dropshipping to eliminate the need to purchase, hold, and process orders themselves. In this model, the distro focuses only on the selling function, forwarding all orders to the manufacturer, who processes and ships the order as if it were coming from the distro. This simple strategy enables a these distros to sell thousands of lines of

e-liquid without ever handling a single bottle. This innovative business model creates value for less established brand manufacturers who look to gain penetration in the marketplace. Websites like Vape Ranger, for example, provide a convenient portal for nasciant e-liquid brands to connect with vape shops looking to bring in new lines. With menus consisting of thousands of e-liquid lines, vape shops may find these marketplace-type platforms to be useful tools for identifying and evaluating products. Another area of potential industry disruption is that some of these distros have begun sell direct to consumers. Often they list them on their site at steep discounts over the MSRP. For example, one such distro might sell 60ml bottles wholesale to retailers for


The manufacturer uses the distro to buy product and hold it until sold by them,” Miner said. “They buy in large volume to get a discount so they get a cut out of it. Also with distros the manufacturer just makes up enough to sale to the distros and doesn’t have to spend time shipping many small orders. which is usually a part the distro handles. Manufacturers might not like many small orders.


$9 and to consumers for $12, while the MSRP is $21.99, cutting the throats of brick and mortar shops who must contend with higher overhead. This may impact the global market for e-liquid by forcing prices below a level that allows B&M shops to remain profitable. As the strategy gains momentum among distros, it raises several questions about the future of the vaping industry. What impacts will this innovation have on the industry? Will dropshipping to consumers effect overall e-liquid prices? Will it disrupt the traditional distribution model? Will the combination of dropshipping with direct to consumer targeting by distros hurt the bricks and mortar shops by driving consumers to super cheap online alternatives?

These are some of the questions posed to Ty Miner, co-founder of Heartland Vapes, one of the industry’s most well-regarded traditional distros. As a traditional distributor, Heartland does not sell direct to consumers, but as a copack manufacturer, they do dropship for some of the lines they manufacture for other companies. Miner was quick to point out that this concept has its flaws, namely, that it does not provide the same value created by traditional distributors and that it would not appeal to established manufacturers. “The manufacturer uses the distro to buy product and hold it until sold by them,” Miner said. “They buy in large volume to get a discount so they get a cut out of it. Also with distros the manufacturer just makes up enough

to sale to the distros and doesn’t have to spend time shipping many small orders. which is usually a part the distro handles. Manufacturers might not like many small orders.”

Miner argues that while this model may prove to be lucrative for some, less established e-liquid lines, it is not a threat to the traditional distribution model because the dropshipping model could


never replace the value created by traditional distros for manufacturers who do not want the complexity of making and shipping tons of small orders. He also points out that the new model also provides little value to brick and mortar shops, who would eventually cut the middleman out once they realize their order is coming from the manufacturer anyway. Yet another weakness of the model

is the fact that with dropshipping, the distributor has no control over the shipping of the product. “If the manufacturer is slow to ship, it could make the distro look bad if the customer thinks its coming from the distro direct,� he said. It is not difficult imagining a scenario where this could create serious problems for the distributor. For this model to work, there would certainly need to be some way to rate manufacturers based on their performance. Manufacturers who cannot consistently meet standards will need to be corrected or eliminated to minimize this risk. The exciting thing about operating in a highly fractured, rapidly changing, competitive industry like the vapor industry, is that there is no such thing

as a long-term competitive advantage. As soon as someone implements an effective strategy, the others will adapt it for themselves, often improving on the original concept, requiring the innovator to constantly look for new innovations lest they fall by the wayside of progress. Many interesting experiments are underway in the industry. The unique approach to distribution channels will soon make for an interesting case study. If the brief history of the vaping business is any indication of the future, the distros will continue to be a source of disruption and change as the industry continues to find ways to better meet the unique challenges of the industry. Fash Fadaei is the owner of The Vape Bar and Vape Bar Express franchise system based in Oklahoma City.


Unless You Enjoy Being Unsuccessful !


here is a common saying in marketing that “content is king”, and while there is certainly some truth to that, that is not true for ecommerce in the vape industry. The king for our industry is search engine optimization (SEO).

SEO is one of the most overlooked subjects for many business owners. That is because not many people are talking about it. Everyone is focused on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. It certainly is not the most fun or common conversation piece to have at your local vape expo either. What do other industries have that we don’t? Ads! When you use Google, ads are everywhere, and the SEO results are buried beneath the ads. SEO is less relevant because of that. They can pay to market the content they create. The vapor industry is a restricted Industry, meaning that we cannot advertise through Google Adwords or on social media. That provides us with a very big opportunity as a small business owner. You do not have to compete with the budget of the biggest companies in the industry. With a budget of zero dollars, you can look just as big as the largest companies, all you need is time. Content is not driving thousands of customers to the website of your vape shop or e-liquid company, what is, are product keywords. This trendy industry has new products with keywords popping up daily that are easy to rank under. I get 53 percent of all my traffic for my website from Google by being on the first page for many different products. Keeping that percentage up means that I must make new product listings for the latest things. This is a never-ending process.





To get started after you create your website , you will need to create a Google Search Console account. It is free to do so and if you already have a Google account, then it is very easy. After doing that, you need to add your website or “property” to the search console and verify yourself as the owner or administrator of the site . Google will walk you through this and it is a simple task . The most common mistake is to create a new product listing or some other content and just wait for Google to find you. With Google Search Console , you can submit your new content to be indexed the moment you create it.


Seriously, hardly anyone does this. I know this because I often get first page on new products within minutes of submitting to Google and I am not seeing other websites besides the Chinese retail sites pop up right away. Doing this one thing can make a huge difference in your traffic. To submit your content to Google to be indexed, click on the crawl tab on the left of the search console. Then click “Fetch as Google”. After that you need to enter in the URL of your new content and click the red fetch button. After Google fetches the URL you entered, it will pop up in a list below and it will list the status. Assuming the status says complete, there will be a “Request Indexing” button next to the newly submitted URL. Click it, then check the reCAPTHCA box to prove you’re human. Then while there you can click either “Crawl only this URL” or “Crawl this URL and direct links”. Most of the time “Crawl only this URL” is fine, but there may be times you have that page linked to other pages you want indexed too.

Index your URL’s, not just when you create them, but every time you make changes to the webpage. You can even use this method just to index the homepage of your website. Which you should do.

There have been many times where I have been asked to carry a juice line through random emails and instant messages. I will then Google the line and not one thing will pop up, not even the companies themselves. If you have a juice line , and your website doesn’t show up when you Google that juice line , then you have a problem.

You need to make sure you rank for your own company name and products. I have a perfect example of this. A relatively unknown company released an RDA at a vape expo and I ended up buying several at wholesale to carry on my website. I was the first online store to have the RDA. The manufacturers of this RDA did such a bad job marketing and ranking under their own product, no one knew who made it. Heck, people even thought my website was that of the creator of this RDA. They discontinued the RDA and I started getting contacted regularly about when I was going to have more made. Do not be like them. Have a website and index your products! I promise you, if you do this one thing on a regular basis you will start to see results. Brett Langford is the owner/founder of


By Nick Green

What do you think is the best mass produced tank on the market today? - Merle Abney, Madison, WI Hey Merle! Unfortunately the term “tanks” these days can mean any number of products. There are some RTA’s that I love right now — things like the Pharaoh Mini and Reload RTA’s are fantastic vapes. Sense and VooPoo are making some good subohm (coil head) based tanks. Innokin and Phil Busardo/Dimitri Agrafiotis have been releasing some pretty stellar mouth-tolung tanks as well. What I would honestly suggest Is watching/reading as many reviews for a product that you can before making up your mind about any purchases.

I’ve been vaping for years, but have recently fell on hard times. What I’m wondering is, are cheaper juices generally safe to vape? Not house juices, but like cheaper “premiums”? I see stuff I can afford, but sometimes the price worries me. - Brant Kingsley, Eugene, OR If you are worried about the safety of the juices, you should contact the juice manufacturer directly. Ask about their facility and/or certifications. Certainly not all, but some “bargain” juices may use lower quality ingredients, which isn’t necessarily unsafe, but can sometimes affect the flavor in a negative way. Taste is a very subjective thing, so If you find a cheap juice that you dig, vape it and enjoy it. Vape budget hands are always in play.

In your travels, what is the best “vape scene” you’ve visited, and what made it the best? - Kandi Chapman, Jacksonville, FL Hey Kandi! wow what a great question and very difficult to answer honestly. Traveling to places like Utah, Idaho and Washington state on The Vape Tour we got to hang out with some amazing groups of people. Colorado also has a huge active vape scene which was a LOT of fun. In places like the UK and Sweden vaping is growing by leaps and bounds as well, fueled by some very passionate vapers. I still very much love the Cali vape scene. The state of California is doing everything they can to suppress vaping and every day is another battle. The vapers in California are some of the most passionate I have run across despite being constantly drug through the proverbial mud on an almost weekly basis.

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he Food and Drug Administration is at it again, but this time it’s not all bad.

The organization has sponsored one of the most comprehensive health studies to date,

and through the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, no less.

this massive conglomerate of over 800 peer-reviewed studies is finally giving credit where credit is due.

Before we start jumping for joy that the FDA is heading in the right direction, we shouldn’t forget that the results for some long term studies (cancer, for example) will take decades, and not everything in this study is great news either. Even so,

Most of the good news consists of the obvious stuff; vaping is less toxic to your body than smoking, secondhand exposure isn’t as damaging to those around you and it does help people get off conventional cigarettes.


FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb went so far as to say that, “the report finds that current smokers who completely switch to e-cigarettes may see improved short-term health outcomes.” (Side note: In the report it states that “there is substantial evidence” of this. Way to play it safe, Gottlieb.) I know it doesn’t sound like a total victory, but bear in mind that no less than two short years ago, vape shops weren’t legally allowed to prime a coil or even talk about the health benefits of switching. Now the FDA is not only acknowledging the differences between vaping and smoking, but they’re seriously considering this as a healthier alternative. To top it all off, the study is acknowledging a variation between different e-cigarettes. For anyone following up-to-date studies, this is pointing out that not all vapes are the same, and the differences between them should be more clearly studied. So, for us health conscious vapers out there, we can look forward to more studies and additional clarity in the future relative to the products we personally use. However, it can’t all be good news. The study points out a few

responsible on behalf of our entire community, or this will only get worse. I rue the day my only option for e-liquid is tobacco. I don’t want some snot-nosed kid to be the reason I can’t vape on my delicious dessert flavors. This is a case where one bad egg really can spoil the bunch, so on behalf of all of our pallets, please I.D.

other disturbing considerations, particularly when it comes to use by young adults. Gottlieb stated to reporters, “one finding that’s particularly troubling is that kids who experiment with e-cigarettes are more likely to try smoking.” Unfortunately, this discussion is about teenagers, some of consenting age, and others...not so much. Young adults using a vape makes sense, vaping is generally more socially acceptable than smoking. Future studies should consider whether or not these same young adults would be smoking had vaping never come about. The thing is, young adults can vape without nicotine if they decide to vape, it’s unnecessary for them but they absolutely have the right to choose. The real concerning issues are underage kids vaping and the poor reflection that has on the vaping community. Obviously, teenagers are crafty and they find a way to get their hands on what they want. It’s up to all of us working at vape shops to ensure that we are on the lookout for underage vapers, or for those with intent to distribute to minors. We are the adults, and we have to be

Kids are a huge concern, but the study is incomplete in some very important aspects. For example, there is “no available evidence” as to whether or not vaping can cause respiratory diseases, or affect pregnancy outcomes. These are some serious things that could have easily been researched, had anyone taken the time to do so. As the FDA continues their research, these will likely become hot issues that will need to be dealt with. Now that we’ve covered the more pressing issues, we have to take a contemptuous look at some of the other findings about toxicity and injuries. These concerns are painstakingly obvious, but if you haven’t gotten them figured out yet, then you should honestly consider quarantining yourself to prevent

harm to you and to those around you. Seriously, this is kindred to those warning labels on coffee that read: “HOT COFFEE IS HOT.”

Wow, Condescension aside, being responsible with your e-liquid is part of the game. If you have children or pets, keep them away from them. The concentration of e-juice is designed to be distributed through a vaporizer, ingesting it any other way is too much toxicity for anything to handle.

The next obvious concern from the list states that, “There is conclusive evidence that intentional or accidental exposure to e-liquids (from drinking, eye contact, or skin contact) can result in adverse health effects such as seizures, anoxic brain injury, vomiting, and lactic acidosis.” This is a no-brainer, but for those of you out there who are new to the game, or have no experience with life at all, we should cut you a touch of slack (unless you deliberately drank it). These products often contain nicotine, a stimulant and chemical compound, that has no rightful place on your skin, down your gullet, or

in your eye. If you happen to find yourself in any of these situations you should rinse the area, and call a doctor. Seriously though, accidents can happen, don’t be ashamed to get looked at because none of the above mentioned symptoms are a laughing matter. The shame can come later, after you’re not deathly ill.

Saving the best for last, “There is conclusive evidence that intentionally or accidentally drinking or injecting e-liquids can be fatal.” The fact is that there is “conclusive evidence,” as in, it’s already happened. Someone out there in the grandiose world we live in thought it would be a great idea to shoot up e-liquid.

There is minor mention of modeling projects with the intent of improving overall public health, but I wouldn’t give it much weight yet. “Maximizing the potential health benefits associated with e-cigarettes,” the reports said, “will require determining with more precision whether and under what conditions e-cigarettes help people quit smoking.” As we push for a better public opinion, and as the days come to pass, we hope to see more of this type of progression rather than the absolute demonization of vaping we’ve seen thus far. For most of us, vaping became a huge step in the right direction in regards to our health and overall life satisfaction. The recognition of this by the FDA is no small ordeal, and so long as we continue to progress towards a more open perspective on vaping, we can expect to see more individuals putting down their smokes for good.

There is still a truckload of data and analysis that has to be done before the FDA will say anything definitive regarding the public health value or cost of vaping.

Please, on behalf of everyone that vapes, don’t be that person. And if you are that person, well, you suck.


The FDA backing this study is a big deal. It means that we’ll be seeing more studies and surveys in the near future regarding the public health impact vaping has had.


The least obvious on the list of “Injuries and poisonings” is about batteries. If you’re one of the nincompoops out there that abuse batteries on a regular basis, while running a 0.001 ohm build, you deserve to blow your hand off. You bring shame to the game of vaping, and should be persecuted by an angry mob that has exchanged their torches for mech mods.








The Vape L


ost Art Liquids is asking the court to grant the motion requesting the FDA to provide all documentation it used to create the deeming ashington rule directly to the e-liquid state company. Lost senator Patty Art is requesting Kuderer (D) this motion to be introduced SB granted, without 6048 would being subjected to increase the legal a protective order, age to purchase so that Lost Art products like can share anything cigarettes and received with the e-cigarettes from vaping industry.

ep. Curtis Trent (R) of Missouri introduced legislation in that state (HB1855) which would repeal Missouri’s prohibition on increasing taxes on tobacco products. Current Missouri law prohibits vapor products from being lumped in with cigarettes for the purpose of taxation or regulations, but HB1855 would rescind that rule.


18 to 21.


n Iowa, the Ames Police Department has noticed a slight rise in nicotine use among teens who are predominately using vapor products over conventional tobacco cigarettes.


s of January 22, British Columbia Ferry Service is now enforcing a new smoke and vape free policy on all vessels, or terminal property, including vehicles on B.C. Ferries property. The change was first announced in August of last year and was introduced during National

Non-Smoking Week as a direct response to customer requests


hree weeks after Oregon adopted a Tobacco 21 ordinance, Multnomah County inspectors began working with undercover teenage shoppers to make certain that tobacco retailers are conforming to the new state-wide law. Multnomah County’s Tobacco Control and Prevention team has recruited 18 and 19-year-olds who have been instructed to visit tobacco and vape shops while county inspectors watch as they attempt to purchase cigarettes and vapor products illegally.


an Mateo County Supervisor David Canepa has temporarily halted progress toward enacting a ban on flavored tobacco products in unincorporated areas. Canepa cited unexpected negative public feedback as the

News Blotter P



regory Bauman, owner of The Vape Shop, returned to his business following a brazen robbery that left his storefront in shambles. On January 23 at around 3 a.m., store surveillance cameras captured two individuals entering The Vape Shop on West Ridge Road, in Greece, New York by smashing the front glass with a baseball bat.


wo bills being advanced in the hilip Morris’s state legislature in heat-not-burn Hawaii, SB2304 iQOS device fell and SB2654, short of receiving threaten to place support for its reduced risk claims vaping products out of reach of from a panel of FDA advisers, who consumers in that cited the skepticism state. SB2304 would prohibit regarding the tobacco company’s the opening or operation of claims that the “specialty tobacco device posed shops” within 750 reduced harm to feet of schools, users. parks, or public ingapore tobacco users housing. SB2654 are facing a government rollout that will prohibit the would prohibit purchase and possession of certain tobacco products and online purchases emerging technologies, like e-cigarettes.



new Italian vapor consumer advocacy and education organization — The National Association of United Vapers, or, in Italian, Associazione Nazionale per i Vapers Uniti — has recently been formed. The organization has two missions: To speak to government on behalf of vapers themselves from the consumer level, and to educate smokers about the benefits of switching from combustible tobacco to vapor products.


Amendments made to the Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) Act (TCASA) will enable a ban on the use of smokeless tobacco products, chewing tobacco and shisha along with all vapor products. The outright prohibition of these products took effect on Feb. 1.


cause, admitting that he, “put the cart before the horse” by not first seeking feedback from small businesses who stood to be negatively affected by the flavor ban.

rizona lawmakers will once again consider passing a bill that would raise the age for purchasing all tobacco products from 18 to 21. A similar House bill passed through the Health Committee last year, but was ultimately killed by the Commerce Committee chair following a week of deliberation.


of tobacco products directly to consumers. Further, because SB2654 would classify e-liquid as a “tobacco product”, SB2304 would apply to brick and mortar vape shops while SB2654 would prohibit online purchases of eliquid to Hawai’i vapers and from Hawaii eliquid vendors to anyone.


he International Network of Nicotine Consumer Organisations (INNCO) that Malaysian regulators from that country’s Pharma Services, along with police forces, raided vape shops throughout that country, seizing all nicotine products and essentially removing all vapor products from the market. Every single independent vape shop in the country was raided, suggesting that the operation was extensively planned and highly coordinated.


n a press release issued by the Pacific Legal Foundation today,

it was announced that three separate challenges have been issued to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration over its 2016 regulations deeming vapor products as tobacco products. The principle basis is the same for all three challenges: that the deeming regulations violate the Appointments Clause of the U.S. Constitution, and that the deeming regulations also unconstitutionally infringe on First Amendment protection of free speech.


lorida lawmakers have been unsuccessful in moving forward legislation that would increase the purchase age for all tobacco products to 21. The legislation, widely known as the Tobacco 21 Act, has been implemented in a number of states,

towns and districts and its supporters claim that the law does curb tobacco use. However, 67 lobbyists are preventing Florida from passing the act.


he city of Lafayette, Indiana is pursuing an amendment that will see vaping banned in all public locations where smoking is already prohibited. Such locations include restaurants, bars, retail stores, and others.


lawmaker in Illinois has introduced a measure to raise the legal age for purchasing tobacco products, and if passed, the bill would hike up the current smoking age from 18 to 21 throughout the state. Senate Bill 2332 would prohibit the purchase of all tobacco products, including alternative nicotine products like e-cigarettes to all underage persons state-wide.


m. Wrigley, Jr. Company, the confectionary company behind brands including Skittles and Starburst, has filed a lawsuit against Get Wrecked Juices, LLC and Brian Edward Turner alleging infringement of their Skittles and Starburst trademarks.

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here are lots of things I love about the vapor industry.

I love the sense of laid back camaraderie, the way it has given the most unlikely of people an opportunity to build a business, and how people come together to help stomp out cigarettes — well, they kind of come together. I’m starting to see a disturbing trend, but I’ll explain that momentarily. When this industry blossomed, part of its beauty was that it is sort of a land of misfit smokers — the ones who had tried everything. They’ve tried the patches, pills, hypnosis, gums, sprays, candies and whatever else you can imagine, and failed. In most cases, multiple times. We’ve spent years as the red-headed step child of the tobacco harm reduction community. Vapor is the product they hate. Whether that


is because it works better than other methods (thus taking dollars away from the pharmaceutical industry), or because it looks too much like smoking, the sentiment is there. Overcoming that has been tough, and it’s still a long ways away. We’ve spent years battling against that sentiment, reminding the public that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to smoking cessation. The problem is, much of the vapor industry clearly doesn’t believe that statement. Every day on social media, I see vapers trashing products like the IQOS or Nicoderm patches. While I believe that vaping is without a doubt the most diverse and customizable option for smoking cessation, I respect that it may not work or be the right fit for every smoker. To share a little known fact, I quit smoking using Nicoderm patches three times — including the final time in 2012. I’ve been smoke free for 5 and a half years, exactly 2,000 days as I’m writing this. According to an app I track on my phone, I’ve saved $15,000 and skipped 60,000 cigarettes during that time.

tches were I’m grateful that the pa worked for available and that they for however me. I’m equally grateful e habit. you managed to kick th quit smoking, I started vaping not to oking — and sm d se is m I e us ca be t bu ing to slip was concerned I was go r that, I again. I have not, and fo thank vapor.


What I’m trying to say is that for our industry’s mission to not become a mirror image of the enemies of vapor, we have to understand and respect harm reduction in all of its forms. If you’re not smoking today, not matter how you quit, I’m happy for you. I’m also grateful that you had access to whatever technology worked for you.

e Another thing w tend to forget, is s that some vaper d still smoke — an they’re terrified of you seeing it. There are people smoking half as e much as they wer before vaping, a substantial ey difference, and th at feel shameful th they still smoke.

Why? Because we as a community tend to ostracize these individuals instead of support them and offering encouragement. It’s ok if all you’ve done is cut back. Of course, I wish you could throw them down altogether and I hope that’s a goal you’re working toward, but you should not be judged for having not kicked a habit that held us all by the lungs for decades. Good luck on your road to being smoke free. The whole point of this column, is simply to kick us all back down a notch and remind everyone that tobacco harm reduction is a good thing — regardless of how we get there. Corey Noles is Editor in Chief of Vape News Magazine. He is owner of Busted Knuckle Vapor Fluids/Inked Up E-Liquid Co.



eading the title to this article, one might assume this is an exaggeration or perhaps a tasteless joke. I wish that were the case. When reflecting on the antivape establishment and many of their meticulous attempts to shake and break the vaping industry, a pattern emerges very clearly. If you follow the pattern of their economic strategy closely, then you will likely be witness to carefully arranged plans rising to the surface, appearing to transform into


something quite obvious as there is no reason to hide. Therefore, making a person who vapes feel shame simply because they are a vaper, is indeed a choreographed outcome — a strategy planned with efficient precision. After discussing a number of issues facing the vape industry, the concept of “Closet Vapers” was brought to my attention. Honestly, when first hearing that term, I literally laughed out loud, a rare occurrence where LOL was not just a common reply but a fullyembraced, natural response. Closet Vapers? What?

The Reality A few moments later, I realized just how serious such a situation can become. The development of “Closet Vapers” is so unnecessary, unhealthy and even unnatural to a point of causing a feeling of being slightly disturbed about how and why people become reduced to this. It’s difficult to wrap your head around if thought of feeling ashamed of vaping has never crossed your mind. For the most part, from my own personal experiences, every single

vaper I know is indeed immensely proud of their accomplishment of transitioning from being a smoker to becoming a vaper. After all, it feels pretty damn good.


Throughout my discussion with a few prominent vaping advocates, one of them hit the nail right on the head. Referring to the anti-vape establishment by stating “they know what makes us tick. They’re professionals and with more experience than us in these socioeconomic political scenarios.” This is so true.


This is unfortunate, for many reasons. Yet, if perhaps you remain unconvinced that “Closet Vapers” is a real thing, then all you need to do is reflect on a few scenarios that have been unfolding or have already occurred..

Primary Indications and Potential Explanations One particular indication is that two separate campaigns focused on promoting anti-vaping messages funded by the California Department of Health totaled nearly $180 million combined, ultimately leading to an extended reach at shaping the outcomes of policy making. Not to mention, there has been generously funded grant programs awarded by the

CDC that often fund anti-vaping campaigns.. For example, many can recall the situation in Pasadena, California which portrayed some special interest group associates smirking next to a picture of farm animals, specifically sheep using vapor devices — accompanied by the tagline of the campaign, which was “Don’t be a vaping sheep!” This failed program that never launched was funded by a CDC Grant. Another possibility that may prove how the emergence of “closet vapers” is becoming an indication of vape shaming is the sudden rise in more and more “stealth” vape devices. Perhaps it is merely a trend in the innovative vape industry, as box mods once ruled the landscape, but so many consumers of vaping products seem to be flocking towards the “stealth” mode. The term stealth is typically reserved for those who wish to move about in a covert way, remaining undetected — hence “closeted”

There are some situations that vapers can certainly help influence and perhaps make a positive difference, in the long run. Yet, there are also areas we cannot at all influence.

For instance, one of the creative, yet misguided and twisted tactics facilitated by the antivape establishment is to try and influence consumers by shaping their opinions with misinformation before these consumers can essentially think or

With the entire ever-expanding scope of the demonization campaigns on vaping occuring in schools across America, this sort of situation requires adult workers to hide their vaping behavior. Working as educators or caretakers of youth, then, of course, concealing that they use vapor devices is, quite frankly, unavoidable. Once again, the “Closet Vaper” appears to be very real. It’s a damn shame.

So, we choose to remain alive, no one knew that vaping would also allow us to thrive. We must demand to be embraced — our message of

The vaping community is populated by a vastly diverse group of countless personality types and socially constructed identities. To vape is to deny the acceptance of misdirected hate. To vape is to defy any desire to defame or discriminate. To vape is the only way to remain awake and escape those who perpetuate the traits of the fake. In simpler and less dramatic terms, the emergence of “Closet Vapers” is not our burden, the burden lies with those who chose to oppose vaping since they essentially are the originators, creators and instigators of closet vapers. It seems only right to give credit to the original creator for the work they’ve done. After all, vapers don’t suppress or intentionally demoralize others, we express ourselves and create a better future for every person, no matter which meaningless categorized group society has placed them in.

Vapers must never feel ashamed — though we must remind ourselves who it is we initially blamed. Yet, they are not our enemy, we are simply what they envy. It’s not our fault we quit, pardon us for choosing to no longer believe in all the bullshit.

genuine truth can never be erased.


One example of “Closet Vapers” directly related to adult school employees who have quit smoking and now vape. There have been reports from a handful of vape shop owners who had customers admit that they were forced to make “fake” Yelp profiles when leaving positive

reviews, all due to avoiding backlash from the politics surrounding their chosen professions.


act as freely as adults. Henceforth, the antivape affiliate groups have infiltrated the school systems with their exaggerated and embellished talking points shaped by the demonization of vapor products.

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Ronnie Cash Vapes


YouTuber, Vape Advocate And Poker Aficionado BY CHRIS MELLIDES CHRIS@VAPEMZ.COM


imly lit and filled with the melody of clanging and beeping slot machines, Atlantic City’s casinos are a welcome escape for many and the same can be said for vaper and YouTube personality Ronnie “Cash” Passaro. An avid poker player, Cash can usually be found at a No-Limit Hold’em table with cards in hand and dark sunglasses on. While always being conscious of the risks involved with poker, the stakes are higher still when it comes to preserving the vapor industry and keeping products accessible, which Cash believes is paramount.

The 36-year-old Long Island resident started smoking when he was about 18 and had continued his cigarette habit for 12 years before finally taking up vaping on August, 1 2011. “I tried all the patches, gums, and even the Nicotrol Inhaler,” Cash said. “Vaping was the only thing that allowed me to break free from cigarettes.” What began as an alternative to cigarettes soon became a hobby for Cash and led to the creation of his own YouTube channel, which currently has over 3,000 subscribers and a half million views. Initially, Cash says that he was inspired by other vapers who turned to the YouTube platform



to promote vaping, review vapor products and engage with viewers who were in dire need of information. Vape Northeast 2016 at Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut was where Cash had the opportunity to meet vapers like Brian Herb from The Vapor Chronicles, Mike Vapes, Phenom, and Darryl from Quest for Vape.


“I had enjoyed watching each of their reviews prior to meeting them at the expo,” Cash said. “ They were so fun, cool and outgoing that they inspired me to start my channel as soon as I got home.”

“My first video was about some of the juice I had purchased at that expo. I never thought my channel would do as well as it has, and I am truly humbled by this entire experience,” he added. His affinity for the music of the late rock ’n’ roll great Johnny Cash and the prowess he demonstrated while collecting money during his time working at a collection agency are what earned him the Cash nickname.

“I was really good at collecting money, combine that with being a big Johnny Cash fan, and Ronnie Cash was born,” he said.

Cash says that he tries his best to keep his videos as authentic as possible, and in staying true to himself, he only reviews products that he derives enjoyment from, despite the occasional criticism he receives for only releasing positive reviews. “I am a very positive guy. I review the products I like. If there is a product I receive, and I don’t like, I let the manufacture know what I feel they




can improve on,” Cash said. “I don’t feel the need to bash a company for a product that in my opinion is not something I enjoy.” Adding, “What I can say is that every product on my channel I would recommend to a friend, a family member or a stranger. If you see a video on my channel of a product then you know it’s something I dig.” His review process involves spending most of his time evaluating a given product and there’s usually about a two to three hour process that starts with recording and ends in an upload, with minimal editing. Cash has had the pleasure of working with companies that he considers to be leaders in the industry like Armageddon MFG, Squid Industries and Half Moon Mods, and has become friends with a number of YouTube vape personalities like Mark Fagan, ST Vapes, Heavy Metal Vaper and Mike Vapes. “The relationships I have made are what matters to me the most,” Cash said. “I have had the opportunity to meet and become friends with some of the most talented reviewers in the industry.”

As for some of the challenges he has faced since starting his YouTube channel Cash says that staying true to himself and letting that carry through to his YouTube persona has been something he grapples with. “What you see is what you get with Ronnie Cash Vapes.”

Cash says that those smokers on the fence about vaping should give it a try and credits the vaping community as being a resource to help lead smokers in the right direction by answering their various questions and addressing their concerns. The YouTuber is optimistic about the future of the vapor product industry, and while he doubts that the market will be as robust as it currently is we as vapers need to work hard to preserve our industry. “We all need to band together and disregard all of the politics, drama and nonsense that go on in this community,” Cash said. “The only way to truly save this thing that we love is to advocate. You need to do your part.” As for his YouTube channel, Cash wants nothing more than to continue showcasing products that he loves and releasing the best possible content that he can create. “My subscribers are loyal, and I am loyal to them. So, I believe staying my authentic self, and not reviewing the ‘mainstream’ products is where my channel will stay,” Cash said. “2018 is going to be a big year for the Ronnie Cash Vapes YouTube channel.”

reflects on the good old days of vaping 58 FEATURES @VAPENEWSGO


When it comes to vaping, it isn’t just about her. In fact, CB is of the “old school” when it comes to vaping, vape education, and activism. A three pack-a-day cigarette smoker and cigar smoker for over 37 years, like the rest of us, she tried everything to quit. She even wore on multiple nicotine patches because one just wasn’t enough.

Here’s the interesting part to all

On the activism front, CB has been disappointed with how that’s been going. From her point of view, all she sees these days is a lot of apathy and greed. “True activism,” CB said, “is showing up and speaking at hearings, telling your story, posting right information, retweeting,


Since the early days, she has been known for giving away vape gear to those in need. In fact, when she gives away gear, it is typically her own. How many vapers or those big names in the community do you know do something like that these days? Probably not many.

this: CB never wanted to really be a vape caster, nor a vape personality. She was encouraged to do so and found quick popularity. Since she’s no longer hosting or even writing, she’s taken to working behind-thescenes and on Facebook groups to help vapers out. After everything she’s been through as a host, she feels a bit burnt out.


In the online vaping world, she is known as CigarBabe, or “CB.” She is married to a man named Ed that her audience once knew as “Guido,” a Vietnam vet. A former owner and host on the NOVA vaping network, Elixir, Quest, and TVN, CigarBabe is not afraid to speak her mind. In fact, she will tell you what she thinks with no apologies. Those of you that know her understand. However, if you sit down and really have a conversation with her, you might just find out that she has a big heart and good intentions.

Ahlusion which still offer 50/50 juices, 24 nic, etc. The rise of cloud chasers really disappointed her. She feels that this group of vapers have turned their back on the industry. In fact, most of them just don’t care, especially since they have become so serious in making money from a contest that was originally intended to be a fun activity. “These cloud chasers don’t care about whether their ability to make money from contests or YouTube will affect vaping regulations,” she said.


About the CBD products coming out in the market, CB was not afraid to voice her opinion against it. She feels that if you don’t have THC and CBD oil together, you’re not selling the product for the medicinal effect you want. In fact, she sees CBD alone as having become a type of “snakeoil.”


As far as the overall future of vaping, CB said she is just frustrated with what people still believe when it comes to anti-vaping. writing, responding and mentoring newer vapers. An advocate has an obligation to help the community within the United States and not bring products from China because they feel it can help grown the industry.” Which begs the question, how many of us in the vaping community continue to do this and have been successful? Why are we still failing most of the time? Perhaps it’s how the arguments are presented. “The argument, nor the issue should never be about the nicotine,” CB said. Yet, that’s what’s happening. Not only with the products that have failed so many people such as the nicotine patches, nicotine gum, and Chantix, but also with some vape

shop owners and vapers themselves pushing others to completely drop the cigarettes as fast as they can.

What many people don’t realize is there are still people like CB who vape at 18, 24, and even higher. Because of this, CB only goes to those vendors who still sell juice in that amount of nic available or who can have it custommade to that level such as

She is also very disappointed with Dr. Scott Gottleib, executive director of the FDA, who is looking to lower the nicotine level in cigarettes, pushing back the date on vaping products, and “trying old-failed ideas that never worked in the past.” “I feel this will leave vaping in limbo a lot longer than we want,” she said. So, what does the future look like for CB? She just wants to “speak the truth about vaping,” When asked whether she’d consider hosting again, she said it might be a possibility. However, right now, she’s happy where she’s at and is happy to still lend her voice wherever or whenever she can minus the drama. Find her on twitter @cigarbabe2 or on Skype as cigarbabe.




ith his red hair, mutton chops and gentle smile, Kent Hill, founder of Twisted Messes, is a guy many know of, but few actually know.

Building coils was a hobby that grew into an obsession for Hill. He wanted something different than the round wire builds he was seeing everywhere in 2012. He understood the properties of various wire types and the different vaping experiences they offer if used alone or combined into complex coils. His unconventional mindset at that time took building to a



whole new level, and the industry has not been the same since. Hill’s unique view of bringing a twisted mess into order established the namesake of his company, Twisted Messes. He took the “What will this look like if I do this?” and “What will this do if I do this?” mentality of things around the house and imprinted those into his builder’s mind.


When he transfixes on a subject, he engrosses himself into it. He understood how builds can change the vaping experience with regard to flavor and clouds and in his words, “I geeked out about it.”

focus on building much these days, so he’s ignited that fire in others. He is very pleased and honored that his legacy has generated a tidal wave of builders that he helped inspire. Coilturd and M. Terk both agree that Kent Hill is one of the most interesting men in this industry, because he has done so many different things and does them well. His kindness to everyone and sense of having fun inspired these amazing builders to keep Hill’s virtues alive. Hill just wants the party to keep on going. Two years ago, Hill started the Twisted Messes sponsorship program as a pilot project. The original team was comprised of only four builders. His goal at the time was to help them develop as builders, grow their Instagram followings and try to keep it fun and interesting. He wanted to keep the team small so he could really focus on it and give everyone as much attention as they needed. He also wanted it to be the best sponsorship available, so he offered a generous monthly product allowance.


Back then Hill remembers a time when virtually everything was cell phone pictures with macro lens attachments. As building progressed, a lot of folks started using DSLR cameras and things started getting a lot more competitive. He’d see this amazing work coming from some of these builders and would think “Man, I wish I could have this guy on our team!” He discovered that other wire companies already sponsored most of these builders, so he never assumed people wanted to switch over. OhmboyOC of Anarchist and Hill of Twisted Messes, used to co-sponsor a lot of people. When they found someone they really liked, they’d both contact the individual in a group message and ask if they might be interested. Hill was always floored by the response.

Being credited as one of the first builders makes him smile, but Hill humbly says that he “doesn’t feel like one of the first.” After staying up all night taking pictures for a Facebook group known as The Builders Bar, Hill took 2nd place in a build contest. The group asks members to post their insane build photos or videos that detail builds, so they can dissect them together and help each other. That’s when he started making and selling spiral wire for $10 a stick and people bought it. Hill used those profits to fund “The Builder’s Bug” as he passionately refers to it. The Builders Bug has bitten many in this industry with zero inclination to ever stop nipping, twisting, cranking and weaving. The second thing Hill offered was fused clapton coils. He started his YouTube channel and sold them on eBay to raise funds for the first Twisted Messes RDA. Running Twisted Messes has kept Hill too busy to

“Everyone we’ve asked so far has been really excited about it,” Hill said. “Feels good to have people on board who are really excited and love the brand.” Twisted Messes is pretty exclusive to sponsoring builders. That is where Hill started and always has held a special affection for that niche of vaper. With Twisted Messes’ business predominantly focused on RDAs and wire, it just makes sense to zero in on builders. Just by necessity, the sponsorship bar has raised significantly over the last couple years. Twisted Messes is totally maxed out on sponsorships, so very rarely is Hill able to add anyone to the team these days. “The team has grown a lot,” he said. “I’m totally overextended. I think the number is up to around 50 builders that have a monthly sponsorship for wire, RDA’s and apparel.”



People contact him quite often inquiring about a sponsorship, and he feels bad that he can’t realistically accept that many people onto the team. Hill has an intense steadfast dedication to learning what most don’t quite comprehend. It is this quirk about Hill that makes him unique, fun-loving and successful. He gets bored easily. When he sets his mind to something, he is going to master it. It doesn’t matter if it is speaking Mandarin, selling fused claptons, creating YouTube videos, taking pictures or running a successful company; if he’s into it, he’s completely dedicated. Hill says he is crazy, but sane enough to live a normal life.


“My parents encouraged me to go against the grain and do what I wanted,” says Hill. They saw something exceptional in their son that has led him to ever seeking that thirst for knowledge and that drive to know everything about “it” with zero barriers to what “it” is. He comes across as far more intelligent than some might realize, likely because they just don’t quite understand his quirky personality. He is all over the place, but that is what makes him, well, Kent Hill. “Kent is one of the smartest and strangest people I’ve ever met,” said Nick “Grimm” Green, a close friend and cohort. “The guy is brilliant, like truly brilliant. I didn’t ‘get’ Kent at first. In fact I’m not sure I even get Kent now, but his loyalty to his friends and the people he cares about is heartfelt and unflinching. I really do love that guy.” Hill’s commitment to the vape industry is reflected in the dedication and precision to his craft and is evident in the relationships he’s formed along the way. “I have a lot of love for the vaping community,” Hill said. “I really enjoy interacting with the people of the community and appreciate supporting the community.” Hill does what he can for advocacy. Twisted Messes is contacted pretty regularly by wholesale customers for

advocacy fundraisers at their shops or regions. He always donates product when he can. He has contributed quite a bit to “Coils for Advocacy” in the past and has worked with different Washington shops for the Pink Lung Brigade events. In August 2016, Rip Trippers organized a big fundraiser to benefit the American Vaping Association (AVA) and R2BSF. Twisted Messes was able to do a $15,000 donation at the time. Hill pours his heart and soul into Twisted Messes. He has a lot of great ideas, but finds it best to create products based on the vape experience. He wants his products to be able to be used by the beginner or the advanced super builder. This year, Twisted Messes dropped the updated TM24 RDA that touts a squonk pin and titanium screws. He has a vast and varied taste in music. He enjoys Skrillex, Alt – J, Ween, but usually just lets YouTube Music do what it wants. He’s not too picky when it comes to tunes. Learning Chinese and getting a potato tattooed on the bottom of his foot were both achieved childhood dreams. Hill got the tattoo idea in the 4th grade after reading the book Wayside School is Falling Down. In the book, the beloved character Calvin wants to get a tattoo, but is unsure what to get. Calvin winds up with a potato tattoo on his ankle. The moral of the story is that all of Calvin’s friends think the tattoo idea is stupid, but Calvin does what makes him happy in the end. Hill never realized the idea until he opted to get a potato tattoo himself. The ink work was done in Thailand when he was 22, on the bottom of his foot with the words “potato” written above it, to avoid confusion as to what it is. He opted for the bottom of his left foot because he felt it was the only way to never regret a tattoo since no one sees it unless he shows you. Hill does what makes him happy and knows that is what truly matters; much like the character Calvin in the beloved children’s novels written by Louis Sachar. Outside of vaping, Hill says,” I enjoy building furniture, making epoxy projects, photography and keeping up on artificial intelligence technology.”

His ideal vaping setup is any quality series regulated mod that goes to at least 150 watts, a TM24 RDA with Staggered Framed Staple coils at about 0.12 ohms. He usually vapes right around 120 watts. His favorite juice is “Fuse” in 6mg by Dynamite Juice, which OhmBoyOC kindly sends him by the gallon a couple times a year. It’s no surprise Twisted Messes is such a successful company. The boss of the brand is a genius and thinks light years ahead of most people. He seeks to master anything that interests him and is considerate and generous to friends and fans alike.


He may be a little quirky to some, but that unique spirit that resides inside of Kent Hill is what makes him truly one of a kind.

Creative Director Jon Laverde @Jon_Laverde Photography Ezra Zuniga & Jen Zuniga @135fotografiks @thebroketographers Wardrobe Stylist Styled by Hailey Apostolu @haileyapostolu Custom artwork by Alex Zembo @alexzembo Grooming Hair & Makeup by Henry Rasu @henrys_portfolio Videographer Keitaro Cloward @keitarocloward Special Thanks To Scotty Davis Redefine Studios @redefine_studios @redefinerentals

the VAPE Space Matures - Along with the People in It 68



The vaping industry is full of interesting people with large personalities. We see some at events or read about them or hear their stories on social media or from the stage. You don’t need to look very far to recall those that were known for being “characters,” ie, those that stood out for their antics or high profile.

Lonnie Bozeman, founder of SAVEURvape in Torrance, California, fits that mold. We all have our stories of how we got into vape or were introduced to the industry, but few had the background of Bozeman. How many people can say that they know all the underseas submarine data cables crossing the ocean?! “I worked in telecommunications for a large data center company, kind of like big telco/server farms,” he said. “ It was wall to wall electronics and was sterile with clean air.” “One day in 2009 a group of potential investors did a tour and one of our technicians was vaping an early model ecig on a camera feed being viewed in our Network Operations Center. I freaked out when I saw the smoke and almost had a heart attack! Any smoke, especially tobacco smoke, was damaging to our equipment and that was my first introduction to a cigalike,” Bozeman laughed.

Lonnie Bozeman founder SAVEURvape


He quit smoking the year before and was intrigued by this new technology. Internet searching led him to House of Vapor, where he bought his first e-liquid, which was horrible. “The 24 mg grape flavor left my mouth coated in disgusting e-liquid.” “There were few options back then,” Bozeman said, “but House of Vapor hooked me up and I started the journey into the new world of digital smoking.”


From Curious to Entrepreneurship


He started an online auction site for vape products called CoreVape, an eBay like model, and sold vaping equipment. He soon realized that liquid was his passion — especially after his initial experiences.


Higher end mods were picking up steam and with friend David Koenigsberg, they partnered, later bringing on two more partners and began selling their first products in 2012. Superstar distributor, VapeRev, was one of their first buyers. “Our first liquid was Jameson’s Irish Vapor Juice, just like the whiskey, but this was named after my son. We went from a handful of sales to thousands in a very short time and haven’t slowed down since.” Then came The Standard Vape and things changed. “The Standard took us into party mode and we jumped in with both feet. We felt like we were creating a ‘standard’ and many years later it’s still a big seller.” In 2013 to 2104 the vape space was in party mode and the largest event, ECC, the Electronic Cigarette Convention, was the biggie. It was held in southern California and was massive, with loud and louder music and halls filled with vapor. Samples were thrown out from the stage and t-shirts were shot through air cannons. Girls paraded around with butt cheeks hanging out and mascots in costume were the norm.

But no one had Little People — except Lonnie Bozeman. Bozeman had a lunch truck full of them retrofitted as a portable vape shop with a full walk-on stage on top. People still remember five years later.

“We had a fleet of dozens of vehicles and we drove them onto the show floor and set up shop from there. Today we have just a few,” Bozeman confessed.

That was then… After The Standard took off, Bozeman and SAVEURvape did co-packing for several years. “Today we have enough lines of our own so we don’t do much co-packing anymore,” Bozeman stated. They filed all their old flavoring sku’s with the FDA so they can dip back in for a long time.

“James Greer, our Director of Sales, really changed our game, in 2016. He helped propel us into numbers we never had before. Along with Ariel Furman, our Director of Sale Strategy, they help us stay on track, compliant and ahead of upcoming challenges.” SVRF is the new game changer, along with Met4 Vapor according to Bozeman. SVRF comes in a red series and a blue series; one more fruity, one more dessert flavored. “The one thing we don’t do is offer any flavors that might pander to kids,” Bozeman explained. “We have seen the maturation of this industry and have always tried to take the high road with our packaging and brands — even though we played like kids once upon a time.”

“I think that the vape industry operates in dog years; one year equals seven. We were totally unregulated and moved at the speed of sound. Things slowed down the past few, but I believe we may be returning to that world,” Bozeman said.

“We just have to be clean and neat while we monitor the market and improve our professionalism. The serious players run their businesses like true business people and will have a greater chance of success. The kids that are unprofessional and in it for the short run won’t last. You don’t have to sink to a low or be part of the problem to survive.” We go through cycles in our lives and build upon past experience and those of others. Bozeman and SAVEURvape are no different. We start, we play, we fall, we get up. Eventually we get it right and lead others by our own experiences. Considering Bozeman is 33 years old, he has many more years of success to look forward to. SAVEURvape is a model to look at and emulate. Norm Bour is the founder of VapeMentors and creator of the VAPE U online programs. He is also a founding partner in the Vape Industry Business Exchange (VIBE).

“We have all the right people in just the right jobs.”


“All those product names are great, but the names that really matter are the names of our people; those that work with us,” he confided. “It’s said all the time, but you can’t make a quality product or grow like we did without great people.”


They manufacture premium e-liquid brands and flavors and were early and consistent leaders in the industry. Their lines include iconic names like Jackson Irish Vapor Company, Blueprint Vapor, Golden Ticket/Met4, The Originals and many more. The Standard Vape was packaged in a square glass bottle and everything they did was designed to interrupt the market.


tt le a B In s ie ll A p o h S e p a V d n Fi N H S C o u ld Fo r S m o k in g C es s a ti o n



recent study funded by Cancer Research UK, titled “A Qualitative Exploration of the Role of Vape Shop Environments in Supporting Smoking Abstinence” is suggesting that the National Health Service (NHS) could find “valuable allies” in vape shops in the fight against smoking. The study, led by researcher Dr. Emma Ward, was kind enough to interview with us and give us an inside scoop of the study. She found that vape shops create a positive and supporting environment for those trying to make the switch.


on to test. Our theory is that vape shops can provide this great behavioral support to “This is qualitative help people quit smoking, research, an exploratory and stay quit. Those study, so were really people who had tried just supporting a theory, vaping, and had a bad which we’d like to go first experience that

Typically we find that research in the area of vaping is oriented towards medical. Dr. Ward has instead taken a closer look at the psycho-social aspect of how vape shops fulfill a necessary function to those trying to quit. Here’s what she had to say,


went into decent vape shops, ones that were prepared to spend the time finding out about their smoking history, the hit they enjoyed and the types of flavors, had more success. They would walk away with a setup that was actually going to work for them rather than something that was going to kinda, sort of work, but not really meet their needs.” This points directly to the psychological needs of any individuals seeking to quit, and the support vape shops offer. Looking more politically, this is something that hasn’t made it to the main stage yet, but certainly needs to. In the US, we’re starting to see certain states apply enormous taxes to vape shops, causing price increases and even closure.

“One of the key motivators to vaping is the comparative cost to smoking. Anything that increases the cost to the consumer is going to create a barrier. In terms of vape shops going under, we found

that accessibility was key, and seeing the existence of these shops that can normalize vaping.”

be back to smoking as many as you were before. This is called ‘abstinence violation effect.’ What This study is evidence that just we found from vapers switching to vaping (sometimes) isn’t enough, vape shops fulfill roles and experience that ordering online doesn’t. we interviewed, that had Regarding other issues of smoking lapsed, those individuals cessation, relapse is an ongoing problem. Vaping seems to have an the next day rather upper hand, however, according to Dr. Ward. than thinking, “Oh, I’ll “We found, traditionally, just have a cigarette, that people who smoke I’ve blown it anyhow,” would quit however you would just go back to would quit, and then their e-cigarette. What you’d have a moment of we found then, is that a weakness, and you’d have lapse didn’t mean a full one cigarette and you’d relapse back to smoking

for some people using e-cigarettes.” Vape shops can help prevent or assist with relapse by diagnosing what the problem was. However, this isn’t to suggest that vape shops are some benevolent force either. Though the research from this study points to vape shops assisting in smoking abstinence, it doesn’t mean that they’re perfect. Employees have their own opinions and we should be worrisome about those individuals that cite sources that aren’t credible.

The notion of vape shops and the NHS cooperating has plenty of problems as well, the kinks they would have to work out would be plentiful. One of the largest problems to solve would be the intent of each being in opposition to each other.

Vape shops cooperating with the NHS would be new ground for vaping. Progressing towards the end goal of getting people off smoking is going to require assistance from as many sources as possible. Furthermore, research in this field, that involves more of the individuals perspectives, is going to create greater insight as to why vaping is so successful with smoking abstinence, and what kinds of roles vape shops play in it.

“If we can get people off tobacco and on e-cigarettes, if they’ve tried every other option


The NHS is working on behalf of the public to ensure healthier lives, whereas vape shops are working to the extent of being a business. As Dr. Ward puts it, “Around a third of vapers we spoke to planned to eventually stop using e-cigarettes, which could be in conflict with the vape shops’ commercial interests.” When asked to comment further about this contradiction she hopes to keep the larger picture in mind.

and it hasn’t worked, e-cigarettes are a much better option than tobacco. That’s why I don’t think we should dismiss it (NHS working with vape shops) because there could be this conflict of interest. It wasn’t in the scope of the research,” Dr. Ward said. “We didn’t ask those questions to the vape shops since we were there to observe. In future research, if we can get funding, that is something we will explore because that will be a little bit of an issue.”


“The main things that vape shops are doing is giving this advice about products, getting the right setup and giving the time to listen to the customer. Some training (for smoking succession) could be potentially helpful, just so the information they give about the relative

safety of the e-cigarettes compared to tobacco is evidence based, rather than something they just heard,” Dr. Ward said.

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P u r g e

M o d s

SUICIDE KING Purge Squonk Box

While a lot of squonkers tend to be 3D printed or are otherwise constructed out of a plastic material, Purge Mods dared to be different. The chassis of the Suicide King Edition squonker is constructed from

solid 464 naval brass and is designed to take a beating. The brass has been polished to a mirror finish and all of the engravings on this device are deep, beautiful and executed with expert precision. The Purge logo with the brand’s trademark skull is prominently displayed on the front lid of the box, and on the back, you’re treated to a stunning engraving of the classic “Suicide King” design made popular by renowned tattoo artist Mathew Hagermann.


he release of this fully mechanical box mod marked Purge Mods first entry into the squonk category of products and there’s no doubt that it made one hell of an impression upon its arrival.






The engravings wrap around the entire box with nary a burr or blemish. It really is seamless and positively screams quality. Hagermann’s signature is also engraved at the bottom of the mod. The Suicide King squonker accepts either a single 18650 or 20700 battery. If you want to use the mod to its fullest potential it’s recommended that you go with a 20700 battery. You’re looking at a higher amperage option with better battery life. However, if you want to use an 18650 battery a delrin battery adapter is included. The inside of the squonker is neat and tidy. You’ll find gold-plated battery contacts for maximum conductivity, a delrin battery sled to help with heat dissipation and an Ultem sled which houses a silky smooth 8.5ml black silicone squonk bottle that’s branded with a Purge logo and sports a threaded Ultem cap.

In addition to the refillable squonk bottle, Purge included a 15ml refill bottle that screws into the floating gold-plated positive pin of your 510 connection. The idea is that you remove your RDA, install the refill bottle by threading it into your 510 and fill your internal squonk bottle from the outside while you’re on the go.

I do enjoy the fact that all of the space on the inside of the device is completely utilized. There’s no gaps or empty room to speak of. Everything is tightly packed and once a battery is installed and your squonk bottle is filled and inserted into the mod’s bottom feeding pin, it’s all held in snugly and secure.

As a single battery device, the Suicide King squonker isn’t all that compact. When you consider the score of competing squonkers out there that run smaller, Purge’s offering is

Herein lies the problem. Because your squonk bottle only has an 8.5ml capacity it will need to be refilled often if you choose to cloud chase with this device. This can get a little tedious, but it’s something to be aware of. Additionally, the brass will patina, so you will need to polish it every now and again to maintain the mod’s luster. The tolerances on the lid are slightly off as well. The lid is held in with four magnets at the corners and there is some play from side to side. The lid won’t fall off or anything, but there’s definitely some movement there.

Admittedly, the Suicide Edition brass squonker is in short supply. There were only 500 made world-wide so getting your hands on one is going to be tough. And if that’s not enough to throw you, these babies go for roundabout $450 US. At the end of the day, this is an expensive high-quality device that definitely has its flaws, but more than makes up for it in killer looks and powerhouse performance. I purchased mine from www. for the purpose of this review. And for all things Purge be sure to visit

Some might see the weight of this device as a negative, and in a way that opinion isn’t without some merit. Since the mod is heavy, you’re going to cling onto it and this can get uncomfortable. The more you use it the more you’ll feel the devices edges pushing against your palm.

It should be noted that while you can use single coil squonk-ready atomizers, this mod is intended to be used as a cloud-chasing setup. In fact, Purge released a dual-coil atomizer called The Carnage, which is begging to be married to this device.

As far as performance is concerned, this is probably the hardest hitting squonker I’ve ever come across. It hits harder than your drunk stepfather with very little voltage drop, and this ultimately makes me very happy.


Something to keep in mind is that this mod seems to weigh in at about a pound or so, which translates to some serious, serious heft.

noticeably larger by comparison.


The gold-plated brass firing switch is an absolute joy to use. There are never any misfires, the throw is short and satisfying and the button never gets hot.

As a single battery device, the Suicide King squonker isn’t all that compact. When you consider the score of competing squonkers out there that run smaller, Purge’s offering is noticeably larger by comparison.

Photos by Chris Mellides

Personally, I do not use the 15ml refill bottle. I find it much easier and less messy to simply refill the squonker bottle once it’s removed from the inside of the device. It takes a little finessing, but once you’ve got it figured out refills take under a minute to accomplish.




the first time since their release, I It’s not often a tank comes For haven’t touched my TFV8 in 30 days. So here’s the rundown. along that grabs my attention these days. I’ve In The Box been virtually glued to The tank arrives in a super sexy box as is the standard with all things the TFV8 since they first —Vapergate. The tank arrives in one of three colors: matte black with purple dropped. I never cared for o-rings, pearl white cerakote with black o-rings or stainless steel with the appearance, but the blue o-rings. Also included are a clear acrylic drip tip, replacements for all flavor has always been o-rings and a replacement glass. spot on for me.

The new Doolee from Vapergate changed that immediately. By working with the TFV8 coils, the tank gives me the vape I know and love, but seriously ups the ante on style and functionality.

Specs & Features The Doolee comes in at a hefty 27mm, fitting well atop devices like the HexOhm. The matte black finish is extremely sharp, as is the stainless steel finish. Coming with opposite color o-rings gives them each a unique feel. The fill slot is a unique touch, in that instead of spinning open, the Doolee has a flat plate that slides out. Under the plate, the tanks sports two fill holes — each large enough for a glass bottle dropper or unicorn-style bottle to fill with ease.

PROS Super sexy Dual coil compatibility between the SMOK TFV8 and Cleito 120 coils Quality machine work and finish

After filling and closing the cover, a dot of juice sometimes squeezes out the top (very minor annoyance) Ensure tightness of coil adapter (not an issue on my review models)



Extreme durability


Easily accessible fill holes and innvotative fill cover

The second hole then serves as a vent for displaced air. Below the fill deck are two stylish, yet functional flutes that help with heat dissipation. The airflow adjustment at the bottom of the tank, while similar to most tanks, seems to move with a touch more resistance, but still slides quite fluidly.


The best feature of all is that the tank is compatible with all full size TFV8 coils as well as Cleito 120 coils. A small adapter at the top of the tank on the inside has to be removed for the Cleito coils, or left in place for the TFV8 coils. The real benefit to this tank for stores is that they can carry the tank without having to stock even more coils than they already do.

Real World Experience As always, I spent 30 days with the Doolee before writing this review in an effort to speak as to its durability and functionality.

As a vaper who drops devices every day, durability is among the most important aspects of any piece of hardware to me. The Doolee has withstood my unintentional abuse far above the average tank. The glass remained in one piece without so much as a crack (always an issue for me with any tank), and the finish continues to be flawless. No chips or cracks to be seen yet.

While I’ve had two people mention possible leaking issues, I came across no such problem with the Doolees I tested. If you have such an issue, my recommendation is to ensure the TFV8 coil adapter inside the tank is sufficiently tightened. Overall, I had no issues at all.

Price & Availability The Doolee comes at an average price of $49.99 and its quality supports the price tag. The tank is available online from a variety of web retailers including from Vapergate themselves. In addition, the tank is picking up steam at brick and mortar retailers as well. When the Vapergate team brought the Doolee to Vape Showcase St. Louis in January, it was hands down the most popular piece of hardware on the show floor. In addition, Vapergate offers color coordinated o-ring and drip tip packs in a variety of colors via their website.


I would hands down recommend the Doolee to any vaper. It’s a simple yet classy tank with a caliber of performance that far outweighs it’s reasonable price. To order your own Doolee, visit Corey Noles is the Editor in Chief of Vape News Magazine. He is also the owner of Busted Knuckle Vapor Fluids/Inked Up E-Liquid Co.

In my opinion, this is the single slickest tank I have ever used. The dual coil compatibility allows me the same quality of vape I have been accustomed to for more than a year, but with far greater style and functionality.



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Armageddon MFG




rmageddon Manufacturing is known for its impeccable product design and hardhitting mods, and the Hammer is no exception. All devices released by Armageddon are manufactured here in the United States, which ensures that only quality materials are being used with excellent machining and incredible build quality to match. The Hammer is one of those mods that is very versatile and feels substantial in the hand. Comprised of a few parts, the mod can run in either single tube or stacked configurations and supports 18650, 20650, and 20700 batteries. Adapters are included to accommodate all battery types.


This mod measures 28.5mm in diameter, which makes it an excellent fit for the Armageddon Elite V2 atomizer, which has the same diameter. In essence, this mod is a sleeve mod.


This mod measures 28.5mm in diameter, which makes it an excellent fit for the Armageddon Elite V2 atomizer, which has the same diameter. In essence, this mod is a sleeve mod. It comes included with two hefty brass sleeves that are grooved and offer a better grip along with an authentic handmade leather sleeve that hugs the mod in stacked mode and gives it a refined look and comfortable feel. The colors of the leather sleeve vary and include: red, blue, tan or black. In single battery mode the Hammer behaves just like any other traditional mechanical tube mode delivering 4.2 volts of power. Take an additional tube and thread the two together and you’re running the device in stacked mode, which supplies 8.4 volts of face-melting power in series. When running this mod in a single battery configuration it stands at 4 1/8” and in stacked configuration, you’re looking

at 6 7/8” tall. The Hammer has some considerable weight to it as well, due to its all brass body and brass sleeves. The weight on this device in single battery mode is 272 grams and with the stacked section it weighs in at 414 grams.

The threads on this device are buttery smooth and are machined to perfection. There are no blemishes, burrs or sharp edges to speak of. Everything is made to thread together seamlessly.

The switch is magnetic and offers the right amount of resistance for an easy throw. To accommodate the various battery sizes that the Hammer accepts, a delrin insulator that’s threaded into the switch can be raised or lowered to eliminate any battery rattle, keeping things snug and secure.

The firing pin is machined out of a solid piece of copper that’s been shined up and allows the mod to hit considerably hard. This is a very conductive mod.


This is also a hybrid device, so you must make sure that the atomizer your attach to the mod has an extended 510 connection or else you run the risk of shorting your battery, which could result in serious injury. The Hammer is not for beginners.


You cannot fault this device on the power it delivers. Overall performance is staggering. I like to run 0.3 ohm coils or higher to get the most out of the Hammer in stacked mode. Building to a 0.2 ohm resistance or lower is not recommended as it is a safety hazard.

The Hammer is available directly from the manufacturer at www.armageddonmfg. com for $379.99. The device is also sold in a cerekoted version and there are mod/ atty combos that are priced higher. If you’re looking for top of the line American manufacturing in a product that will quite possibly outlast you, then you could do far worse than picking up the Hammer. It’s a ripper!

Photos by Chris Mellides

There’s one thing that you simply cannot deny, this mod is large and beefy. So much so that carrying it around in your pocket is just not practical. Don’t get me wrong, as I’m sure you’ve already gathered, I absolutely enjoy using this mod, but there’s a time and a place for it. Bring it to a vape meet, a lounge or a cloud comp, and I guarantee that it’ll turn some heads.

An Expo Like No Other

Featuring Performers From: photo credit: Slater Mapp

chattanooga convention center

june 16 & 17 2018






inters in Las Vegas can be unpredictable, and you never know what you’re going to get. But the attendees and vendors that came to TPE this year were blessed with sunny skies, warm temperatures, and an atmosphere of positive expectations and potential.

focuses on local ordinances and regulations and offers great insight to the tobacco industry. Now that many more products are deemed “tobacco” according to the FDA, it was a natural union.

It seems the doom and gloom from the past few years has disappeared as those of us in the vape, smoke shop and alternative areas have discovered.

In less than 48 hours they provided nine different speakers or panels and covered such topics as Market Trends in Tobacco, Winning in a New Tobacco World, FDA Compliance update, and Vapor: A Survivor’s Game.

TPE, which used to be the abbreviation for Tobacco Plus Expo has gone through changes over the years, not much different than the industries they support. The program brochure calls the event “Tobacoo+Vapor+Alternative” as they, like many, have distanced themselves from the “tobacco” reference. This 2018 expo covered vape, tobacco, hookah, convenience store items, and a growing inventory of alternative products. The times they are a changing.

The New World Order

With over 350 exhibitors on the floor (they were sold out), catching all the education and visiting all the booths made for a busy, lively show. One of the panelists shared that his chain of smoke shops, which was 120 years old, has seen cigarette sales decline from 82 percent of their volume in 2003 to just 48 percent in 2017. All panelists agreed that “you must change with the industry” and though many of the speakers came from the tobacco side, their insight was applicable to vape shops as well. Randy Silverman from Klafters in Pennsylvania asked “Do you know what customers ask for the most?


This expo was a partnership with the National Association of Tobacco Outlets, NATO, which no longer does annual conventions. NATO

TPE has always excelled at showcasing a diverse line of products and providing great education. This year they kicked ass at both.


Glass pipes!” That caught his company by surprise but concluded that “that is just the state of the industry.” His company was concerned that some customers would object to paraphernalia, but they got no pushback. Another echoed similar thoughts and said, “Ninety five percent of their smoke shop sales were pipes less than $30 which accounted for 22 percent of their profit margin.” Is there a lesson to be learned? In addition, all the smoke shop owners on the panels carried CBD in their shops and one said that sales of CBD products have doubled in each of the last two years. Another panel, which included well known and respected attorney Phil Daman with Daman and Associates, shared some insight about the Lost Arts Liquids lawsuit against the FDA and provided a caveat about PMTA timing. Daman is representing Lost Art. “If you are not working on your PMTA filing already, you will be in big trouble,” he cautioned. “Four years go quickly and though the date may change again, don’t count on it.” He also shared some thoughts on why the FDA will have a hard time pushing so hard against the vaping industry.


“Congress is charged with providing direction for the common good. If vaping products cannot innovate and improve the health of the public, it contradicts their mandate.” All the panelists at that session agreed that mergers and consolidations will dictate the future of the industry.


The Showroom Floor With so much variety of vendors, the floor was a United Nations of different industries. Over the past few years the tobacco and hookah presence decreased and vape and alternative have filled in the gap.

Cosmic Fog team as well. They were all pleased with the show and shared that new relationships came out of it. One of them said it was the most successful show they ever attended.

And there was an unexpected visitor that had eyebrows raised and tongues wagging.

Kretek International owns TPE and designed and ran this show on their own. When asked about the Vapor Expo International Shows, previously held in Chicago, they announced that they will focus on just one big show moving forward.

The FDA Center for Tobacco Products brought two brave soles to offer information and two sets of ears to hear people complain about them. Their two reps were light hearted about the potential taunts and their presence showed that maybe the FDA does want to listen. But maybe not‌ A few of the big names in vape were there, though not with the mega booths that they once manned. We ran into Aaron Pederson, founder of Space Jam and members of the

If you have never attended TPE, put it on your schedule for 2019. They already have the Las Vegas Convention Center booked for Feb. 11-13, 2019. Norm Bour is the founder of VapeMentors and creator of the VAPE U online programs. He is also a founding partner in the Vape Industry Business Exchange (VIBE).

The mood of the room was fun, crowded, but not overly so, and most everyone we spoke with had good things to say. Music was everywhere, but not disruptive, and though there was copious vapor in the air, it was not congesting.


Visitors also came from afar as we ran into Oliver Kershaw, founder of the Electronic Cigarette Forum (ECF), in from London, and well known TPD compliance expert Peter Beckett, formerly with Nerudia Compliance, who resides in Belgium.


The Shenzhen companies were there along with many other overseas manufacturers.

One of the vendors who asked not to be named said they did $60K in sales on the first day, so they made their money back, which is uncommon.


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On Tour with

o i r a t n O ECC2018 103 EVENTS

Torn from the pages of the musty, leather, vod ka cranberry soaked journ al of Rod Cochran. F

ri 7:34pm

We land late and have di DotMod. Both have big th nner with Michael from NVE and Alex from ings coming..

Fri 9:16pm

We join the tribe at the D Vince Sotile or his new moubleTree. I can’ t tell if I’m more happy to see ega scooter...

Sat 11:42am

Long line of vapers outs and a really beautiful vide waiting for the doors to open to the public enue.







Sat 2:15pm

ECC 2018 is underway. Lot MiOne from Smoking Vap s of vendors and people. The Grimm Green or is a fav!


ECC Advocacy Panel wit Travis was really great! h Kari Hess and Gubernatorial candidate Scott Wish more would have been there. Sat 7:4


Just got back to the hotel doing some amazing thin. Had a great day at ECC. Bennie McWilliams is gs for Advocacy in Minn you should! . If you don’ t know him ,

Sun 1:14am

We hit the Rainbow Bar and a who’s who of the & Grill with local Matt Tibbetts from Sin Some industry. We have a grea of my favorite people...the t time eating with some n Ron Jeremy shows up an d we turned it to 11



Sun 1:28pm

Less of crowd than Saturd seems to be doing lots of ay but still two rooms mostly full. Ever yone business.

Sun 3:12pm

Ver y impressed with ever killin’ it. Wish I had an yone at Elysian Labs. Katy, James and Jeff are other day to spend with them. Sun


That’s a wrap. ECC Onta year. Bonus points for A rio was a great show. Big, but not too big this many amazing people atdvocacy and ever yone said B2B was great. So this show.

I’ll be back...


ris Mellides

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S C I N T SAL RY4 Mr. Salt-E E-liquid Salts

chocolate ramel, and ca , ey n o h f re o This icious vape. Y4 is a mixtu ple and del Mr. Salt-E R m si devices a r ed fo as tobacco in pod b se u r g fo drizzle with ed ign 30ml pricin ecifically des ith caution. w se U s. product is sp er omiz w output at and other lo is available. www.vapord


Usher in the days of autumn colors and piles of fallen leaves with a custard tobacco flavor that perfectly holds on to everything that it’s supposed to be: a rich, bold tobacco inhale with a creamy vanilla exhale. 60ml pricing is available.

from Aria Elixirs







VAPE News Magazine April 2018

VAPE News Magazine April 2018