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A Day in the Life of

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Erik DeAngelis

Illustration by Erik DeAngelis

VINYL AND VAPOR WITH A PUNCH OF ADVOCACY


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

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Publisher Matt Schramel

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content@vapemz.com 800-958-6427 x2 Editor in Chief Corey Noles Managing Editor Chris Mellides Art Director Van Avazando Graphic Designer Anil Verma Social Media Manager Erin Aly Director of Photography Ezra Zuniga

Letter from the Editor Dear readers, Welcome to a new issue! Spring is finally here, the ground is thawing, and plants are coming back to life — so, we took things a different direction. As you’ve certainly already noticed on the cover, we’re very excited about this issue. Managing Editor Chris Mellides recently spent a day with Erik DeAngelis to work on a feature story. You might know him better as @vinylandvapor on Instagram. Erik is an avid advocate and a superbly skilled artist. So, we asked him to draw our cover — something we’ve never done before. His work for the vapor community as well as his own community can not be overstated. Erik is a treasure to vapers and deserved to be honored accordingly. Also, in this issue, we have tons of photos from National Vape Expo Mohegan Sun and from TPE in Las Vegas. See if there’s a picture of you inside! We’ll see you next month!

Contributors Corey Noles, Norm Bour Tony Ottomanelli Chris Mellides, John Castle Susan Oser, Todd Richard Angela Garrity ADMINISTRATIVE Chief Executive Officer Matt Schramel ADVERTISING Jacob Barger, jacob@vapemz.com 949-910-2138 China-based advertisers contact Wingle Group Electronics LTD +852 51759256 dev@winglegroup.com CONTACT Advertising sales@vapemz.com News news@vapemz.com New Products newproducts@vapemz.com

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A P R I L

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REVIEWS

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Joyetech: ATOPACK Magic Broadside Mods: Brizo 21700/20700 Mechanical Mod SMOK SLM: Three Steps Back Trinity Glass Hardware: U.S. Interceptor 20700 Mechanical Mod

EVENTS

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NVE: The High Stakes Exuberance of New England Tobacco Plus Expo Starts 2019 in Grand Style!

BUYER’S GUIDE

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Vinyl and Vapor with a punch of Advocacy: A Day in the Life of Erik DeAngelis To The West Coast and Beyond Jett Vapes of Bohm Squad

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Just In Juices Hardware Prospects

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VINYL AND VAPOR WITH A PUNCH OF ADVOCACY

A Day in the Life of

FEATURES @VAPEMAGAZINE

DeAngelis

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BY CHRIS MELLIDES CHRIS@VAPEMZ.COM

nside a dimly lit apartment, 42-yearold Erik DeAngelis looks intently at the blank sheet of paper stretched out in front of him, an empty canvas inviting him to sketch a drawing while soft music permeates throughout his small living room.

The shelving behind him is home to a large collection of books, vinyl records are well-organized and prominently displayed and original artwork along with large posters hang from the walls and no doubt speak to DeAngelis’ creative spirit. Art has always been a major component of DeAngelis’ life. He says that he’s been drawing since he was a child and has always possessed a unique passion for art and its many styles.

Photos By Chris Mellides

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Erik


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“My mom said when I was little, I lived with a pencil in my hand,” DeAngelis said. “I was like that until I was a teen and then it kind of died down as I found other interests, which led me down the long path of addiction.” The Long Island resident admits that he wasn’t classically trained, so much as he was able to “finagle a master’s degree in fine art from Queens College.” During this time, DeAngelis was a slave to an alcohol addiction that left him in a “boozy haze” and was “an artist in name only.” The catalyst that helped him reemerge as an artist was found in his sobriety which also lent him a fresh perspective on life. “When I got sober, I went completely ape shit re-immersing myself in art,” DeAngelis said. “Which in turn led to my ‘selfie project’ that is now part of creating advocacy content.” This advocacy content relates to the vapor product industry and to a larger

way,” DeAngelis said, when asked about his advocacy illustrations. “I’ve been blessed with a modest platform “I see myself as more via social media and a of an information lot of the content has a source and I like tendency to find itself to convey that info in repost apps and in an engaging and recycled, which I think thought-provoking is fantastic.”

extent, the vaping community of which DeAngelis is a proud member.

His numerous self-portrait illustrations accompany short written text meant to inform, educate and ignite the passions held by vapers who want to continue seeing vapor products preserved for adult smokers looking for a reduced harm alternative.


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“I feel passionately about it and it has evolved not only into a vaping issue but an overall liberty issue. Advocacy is paramount, of course there is so much more I wish I could do,” he added. Within a year DeAngelis said that he’s produced more art than he had

in the previous 15 years of his life and has since rediscovered his “compulsive passion.” “As I immersed myself more into the vape world my drawing had opened many doors,” he said. “I have worked with Vappix for nearly four years. I’ve been able to design labels, provide

DeAngelis became better known in vape advocacy shortly after August 8, 2016 which marked the date that vapor products were deemed to be “tobacco products”

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illustrations and a monthly comic for Vapun Magazine and become the go to t-shirt guy for many personalities and brands, and on a small scale I sell prints and get commissions.”


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by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. Among other things, the FDA put restrictions in place to stifle what vape shop employees could communicate to their customers, such as the potential benefits vaping has over smoking.

During this time, DeAngelis says that there was a lot of panic among vape shops owners and their employees over how they should operate in light of the new FDA regulations. “I spent a lot of time leading up to [August 8, 2016] trying within my limited reach to inform people of what was to come,” DeAngelis said. “I was angry and couldn’t understand why there should be such an attempt to destroy something that helped me quit something I was a slave to.” “The demeanor in the shops I frequented was that of being hamstrung and defeated. It was to the point where they wouldn’t tell you how to install a sub ohm coil for fear that the FDA Gestapo would come

repelling through the ceiling panels and arrest them,” he added. In a show of personal protest and in the interest of his friends working the counters of these vape shops, DeAngelis took it upon himself to help customers by answering any questions that vape shop staff felt that they couldn’t. This became a very successful approach to protest, education and community-building and it wasn’t long before others followed in DeAngelis’ footsteps and did the same. “I could sit and let people know that not being employed by the establishment, I was under no obligation legally to comply with


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the ‘NO HELP’ mandate,” DeAngelis said, recalling that during this time he would hold a sign directing all customer questions to him.

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company. “I reached out to my friend Scott at Vaperizzo and he agreed to bring it in with a sexy rebrand and 100ml bottles. I send over 0 mg short fills and he takes it from there.”

In addition to his drawing and involvement with advocacy efforts, DeAngelis also has an e-liquid line called Deep Cuts, which he says was “born from a database of flavors I had concocted as a baby vaper.”

says that Deep Cuts There are currently has gone over well two flavors in the line, and that each flavor “Psycho Creuller” is evenly liked by his and “Dragonshake”. clientele The former is a sweet dough dipped in caramel milk and the latter is a dragon fruit milkshake. DeAngelis .

“I find that the consensus between Dragonshake and Psycho Creuller is split pretty evenly, although I find people including myself going back and forth, it kind of scratches both the dessert and fruity itch,” DeAngelis said. The Deep Cuts owner has already made plans to make his e-liquid available in the UK and is excited over the opportunity to expand his

As for the future of vaping, DeAngelis tries to remain optimistic, but says that unless vapers can attract sensible people in seats of power to their side, the survival of the vapor product industry is not guaranteed. “It’s a highly political issue and the handling of it has been dishonest, greedy and immoral. The only real hope I see is dispelling the false info and the general public knowing the truth,” DeAngelis said. With all that aside, DeAngelis is proud of what he’s been able to accomplish since he became a vaper and further involved himself in an industry that he loves, while also gaining the support from a greater community that he deeply values and respects. “The opportunities I’ve been given as an artist in the vape community has made me that much more defensive of the culture as it’s allowed hundreds of guys like me, a laid off bartender with a child, the opportunity to pursue a dream and build a life for myself and my son,” DeAngelis said.


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To The West Coast And Beyond! BY SUSAN OSER ASUE78@AOL.COM

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ne day while stopping by a friend’s channel on Ivlog. tv, I noticed that there were several vape channels airing. One of them was West Coast Vaperz created by Penny Matthews and Kenneth Darling, Jr.

When I first made my visit, I saw at least one or two familiar faces that I had recognized from vape host past now hosting in West Coast Vaperz. Over the course of the next few days, I saw a lot of screen names and faces that I had not seen since most vape shows were on


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It was a nice feeling and it felt like I was reuniting with some old friends again. In fact, since most national or regional vape shows and meets have been reduced to an expensive convention format, the feeling of just hanging out with vapers, vape company owners, and vape hosts now seems nonexistent. West Coast Vaperz is bringing that sense of family back and created a motto of “We are not just vapers, we’re family.” West Coast Vaperz is comprised of 15 hosts (at the time of this publication) and is still growing. It’s a channel designed to be for a group of people who vape, want to learn things and to support each other. In fact, this channel is not afraid to lend its support to other vaping networks on Ivlog.tv (such as The Other Side) or outside of the platform. Originally started in August 2017,

the channel has been on the Ivlog.tv platform since February 17 2018. It’s also on the platform’s all-time most likes list, which means it brings the platform a lot of traffic as well as vapers (and unfortunately some trolls).

have a place to host and kind of missed it. Most of the These included hosts who are hosts who a part of the used to be on network are vapenet, Quest, composed Southern of hosts who Vaperz and came from Freak Show. networks that In addition, either closed or each host has they just didn’t at least one or

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other networks or since I’ve been a host on VapeTVLive.


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two sponsors that not only support the channel but also do an occasional giveaway or two (as long a you support that company). Nothing is given away for free but promoted. Some of those

sense of humor. You can’t be offended

easily with this crowd, especially on sponsors the weekends when the hosts can kick back, have fun and let it all hang out. include And that’s where Kenny and Penny Budget Vapors, come in before one decides to host on the network. If you can take a good joke and you feel comfortable with them and Gorge Vapors, they feel comfortable with, you’re a part of the family. J-Wraps, Higgy Cigs and The channel several coil has been a companies. slow process and more The channel is more about quality than quantity. There’s also a DIY and ideas are in the coil building show. The one show needed is an advocacy type show that works all the at the time of this writing is still being sought after. Even without that specific show, talking about the latest issues and time. In fact, controversies is very much encouraged. one thing that Any good news or advocacy related news is highly encouraged to be shared separates West on their Facebook page. In addition to all this, whether you Coast Vaperz are a host or a guest, you must have a


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from most other networks is that dialogue and comradery is encouraged amongst hosts and even chatters alike. You never know when some off the wall idea can become a gem of an idea. But enough about the channel. What about Kenny and Penny? Kenneth Darling Jr., whose day job is working as a forklift driver (and former volunteer firefighter), has been

was her own doctor who suggested to try vaping because she was on the verge of getting COPD due to smoking. This was before more doctors were touting vaping as a method to curb a smoking habit. a show host for quite a long time. He first hosted by himself and then went to at least one or two other networks for a couple of years. As far as his vaping journey is concerned, his neighbors had a shop downstairs from him that got him into vaping. He also learned a lot about vaping from other vape shows. He didn’t have a lot of resources near him at the time when he started and now, he has a lot more resources about vaping than he can handle. Penny Matthews was never a host, but she was always a viewer and a very dedicated moderator in any channel she was a part of and still is today. Her daughter used to own Toxic Angel Vapors (which has since closed its doors due to personal health reasons). Matthews has been going on six years of vaping and has numerous devices that Darling is proud to say he’s even bought for her. As far as her own vaping journey, Matthews found vaping through shows like Mod Envy where she asked as many questions as she could. Interestingly, it

What’s interesting about Darling and Matthews is that they are one of the many couples in which vaping brought them together. They met each other through a mutual friend via a vape channel. Darling even left his job and uprooted to go to California just to be with the love of his life who at the time was recently divorced. West Coast Vaperz Network is their child and what a child it is. These days more than ever, the online vaping community is very important. This is especially true with all the negative press that vaping has received recently as well as with the drama within the community. Darling and Matthews are not out to be “vape famous” but “vape family.” It shows in their hostings, how the channel is run, and also when having a sit-down conversation with them. Where you can find information on West Coast Vaporz: Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/ westcoastvaperznet/ Ivlog.tv: www.ivlog.tv/user/ westcoastvapor


FEATURES @VAPEMAGAZINE

d a u q S m h o of B

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BY CHRIS MELLIDES CHRIS@VAPEMZ.COM

seasoned vaper, Thomas Chavonelle witnessed the benefits of using vapor products firsthand and has since strived to educate non-smokers on their advantages over combustible tobacco.

The 31-year-old Virginia native, who also goes by the name Jett Vapes, began smoking at just 13 and by 15 he was smoking a pack of cigarettes per day. Later he was smoking anywhere from two to even three packs a day.

Determined to ensure the longevity of an industry that he and so many like him have come to appreciate, Chavonelle would go on to start a lifestyle clothing brand that would also serve as a symbol for vape advocacy.

“When I heard about vaping, initially it was just the concept of living tobacco free that I found appealing,” Chavonelle said. “Eventually, that turned into me actually soaking in the fact that this product saved my life and changed

At 27, he suffered a stroke and was determined to get healthy and finally kick his smoking habit for good and found the means of doing so with vaping.

Select Photos By Tim Rohlfs

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it tremendously for the better. I want more than anything for other people to experience that feeling.” Chavonelle’s vape-related clothing brand, Bohm Squad, began with the help of his friend Danny George who offered him tremendous support and the financial aid necessary to get Bohm Squad off of the ground. Initially, the idea for Bohm Squad had nothing to do with advocacy or apparel and was simply an idea for an e-liquid subscription service, according to Chavonelle. Over time, he began seeing the real potential of what this idea could eventually become.

between “I started to advocacy see that there and product has been this promotion separation in that needs to the community be brought

together. There’s a lot of product promotion and not enough advocacy,” Chavonelle said. To bridge this gap, Chavonelle believes that Bohm Squad could be the answer. “Much like a bomb squad, Bohm Squad wants to eliminate the threats of combustible tobacco, overregulation, false claims and fear mongering, as well as the misuse of these products for a safer experience,” he said.


“In some cases, their hands have been tied, but the smallest thing done a thousand times could make a huge impact,” he says. Chavonelle and his crew currently offer t-shirts and hats in the Bohm Squad product line but by the fall Chavonelle hopes to offer seasonal items like sweatshirts, hoodies and beanies. He says that eventually he’d like Bohm Squad to offer more, everything from socks to backpacks.

“It’s more than just a brand, it represents a lifestyle. It’s something that every vaper can get behind and in turn, Bohm Squad will represent vapers by involving them in the fight against over regulation and the right for access to a life-saving product,” Chavonelle said. Since some people aren’t sure exactly how or don’t have the time to get deeply involved with advocacy, Chavonelle says that Bohm Squad allows them to rep a brand and in turn that brand sends a portion of all profits directly to “the organizations on the front lines of the fight.” Currently, a percentage of every item

“We will also be doing wholesale to shops and online retail so that those places will have an opportunity to donate locally in their states as well,” Chavonelle says. “These efforts need to be on a local, state and federal level and we want to do our best to make that possible.” Chavonelle believes that the ultimate detriment to the vapor product industry is the lack of education the permeates throughout the vape community. “The most harm done in this industry is done by lack of education and misinformation,” he says. Companies could be doing more by posting factual information and petitioning on social media while getting their retailers more involved, according to Chavonelle.

The rate of Bohm Squad’s growth will determine how quickly future endeavors will come to pass. Chavonelle foresees collaborations with other businesses along with new products and the possibility of expanding into hosting events, videography and even podcasts. “This is a project that I’m very excited to be sharing with everyone and I hope to exceed expectations with it,” Chavonelle said. “I really look forward to working with everyone in the future and bringing a quality apparel brand with a great purpose that every vaper can become a part of.” “Through education and advocacy, together we can eliminate the threat against our lives, our industry, our community and our way of life,” he added. To purchase Bohm Squad apparel be sure to visit: www.bohmsquad.com. And stay up to date by following Bohm Squad @bohmsquad on Facebook and Instagram.

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Chavonelle is a firm believer that Bohm Squad is a way to get everyone in vaping involved in advocacy efforts, whether directly or indirectly.

sold goes to the Virginia Smoke Free Association. As Bohm Squad continues to grow, Chavonelle says that he would like to start aligning with national organizations as well—with sights set on CASAA and the American Vaping Association.

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Adding, “All of those things are current threats to this industry, and we want to help eliminate them. The best way we know how is through education and advocacy. Our motto is ‘Educate, Advocate, Eliminate’.”

“Other than that, we will be hitting expos, contacting stores and consistently posting up on social media. The short answer is, ‘whatever it takes.’ Currently, it’s a lot of photos, editing and e-mails,” says Chavonelle.

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The Bohm Squad owner admits that his brand is different and difficult to gain exposure for since vaper product promotion on certain social media sites is hard to do. However, Chavonelle remains optimistic and says that he’s already received support from industry people that love what he and his brand are doing.


Joyetech

ATOPACK Magic 28 REVIEWS @VAPEMAGAZINE

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BY JOHN CASTLE JOHNCASTLE@VAPEMZ.COM

oyetech’s ATOPACK pod systems have consistently been touted as being some of the best executed and most innovative in design within the pod system category. Will the Joyetech Magic continue this tradition, or will this product signal that Joyetech’s reach has finally exceeded its grasp?

The Joyetech Magic ATOPACK, unlike its predecessors the Dolphin or the Penguin, doesn’t use atomizer coils—at least, not as most of us understand the technology. Instead, the Magic uses what Joyetech refers to as an NCFilm, which is a flat, mesh-like horizontal kanthal heating element atop which a replaceable cotton wick is placed. The atomizer in the Magic is more like the internal “oven style” heating element found in hardware like the Pax 3 by Pax Labs than it is like the coil and wick atomizers found in just about every other vapor device reviewed to date.

In The Box The Joyetech Magic ATOPACK kit arrives with one Magic battery, one empty refillable

pod, one pair of tweezers, an envelope which contains 50 squares of cotton wick for use in the system’s pod, a user manual, a warranty card, and a micro-USB cable for charging purposes. The packaging is stylish, well organized, and frustration free.

Specs & Features The specs of the Magic are, in keeping with past Joyetech ATOPACK offerings, quite generous for a pod system. The system is comprised of a 1300mAh battery, which is capable of outputting a maximum of 9 watts of power, or 2.3 volts, and a refillable pod which boasts 7ml of e-liquid capacity. Filled with the right e-liquid, it’s not implausible that the Magic could serve an experienced vaper all day. Starting at the top of the assembled system, the user will find the mouthpiece for the pod, the majority of which resides inside the upper portion of the battery. Moving down, one side of the Magic features only a squared metallic firing button, which protrudes nicely and has good tactile feedback. Flipping the device over reveals the micro-USB charging port and a single LED indicator. The bottom of the Magic reveals some good battery venting.


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represented for a pod-based system, while nicotine satisfaction and flavor are both largely dependent on the user’s choice of e-liquid. (Salt-based is recommended for any pod-based system). One odd design choice that stands out, even before using the Magic, is the placement of the battery life indicator above the charging port rather than on the same side as the firing button. The firing button can be pressed with the thumb in order to better monitor the indicator LED, which is monochromatic and either remains solid for a couple of seconds or flashes with increasing frequency as the battery depletes. Using the device in this way presents the open micro-USB port, which tarnishes the device’s aesthetics. When it comes to changing the wicks, matters can get a little hairy. Although re-wicking the pod might not be necessary very frequently, it has the potential to be an event of no small frustration for some users.

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Detaching the pod from the battery reveals one side-mounted airflow intake, which feeds air down to the 0.6 ohm NCFilm kanthal heating element, then back up through the mouthpiece.

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Real World Experience

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Upon unboxing the Joyetech Magic ATOPACK system, the first thing the user should do is detach the pod from the battery and charge the battery by plugging in the included micro-USB charging cable. While the battery charges, the user should turn the pod to its bottom edge to discover a sticker protecting the pod’s contacts. Removal of this sticker will allow the user to open the first of two doors on the bottom of the pod. This will reveal the fill port and a second, smaller door. Opening this smaller door can be quite challenging without the use of the included tweezers. Behind this door waits a pre-installed square of cotton wick, under which is the NCFilm heating element. Leaving the wick door open, fill the pod, careful not to overfill. Gently prime the cotton wick, using the tweezers to tuck the four corners of the wick in if necessary. When the battery has charged, you’re all set. The performance of the Joye Magic ATOPACK is well in line with its siblings the Dolphin and the Penguin. Visible vapor output is well

For those vapers who have used rebuildable dripping atomizers—more so for those users who might clean and re-wick a coil rather than simply throw the entire thing away and install a new one—removing used cotton is probably something experience has built a tolerance to. For new vapers without that experience, plucking clusters or strands of frayed cotton from their device before they can install the fresh wick could be enough to turn them away from the device. It’s a curious frustration to have migrated from the farthest border of open system vaping into a system presumably aimed at converting smokers or even closed system vapers.

Price & Availability The Joyetech Magic ATOPACK is available from Misthub for $24.99 before shipping and is available in Silver, Black, and Phantom Blue colorways There’s no doubt that a coil-less atomizer is a big step in pod systems, and we can understand why Joyetech would gamble on it. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t quite seem to pay off. While users of larger mod and tank setups might make more of it, users of pod based systems might not be the right audience to appreciate this Magic trick.


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Broadside Mods

Brizo 21700/ 20700 Mechanical Mod

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ollowing the highly coveted Admiral mod that came before it, the Brizo is the latest mechanical tube mod released by Broadside Mods.

contact switch which contributes to far less arcing which other competing mods may be prone to, though there are claims that battery arcing is nonexistent with the Brizo.

This device is 25mm in diameter and with its ergonomic body design and sleek exterior it feels great in the hand and is built exceptionally well.

To adjust for battery rattle, simply undo the switch and adjust the pin to make contact with your battery. It really is a snap, and this device is compatible with both 20700 and 21700 battery types.

There is a nautical engraving at the 510 connector and there are some neat accents on the top and bottom areas of the tube. Unlike the Admiral, the Brizo is a side-fire mechanical mod. What’s interesting about it is that the switch operates without a spring or magnet thanks to an innovative design that also employs a unique clutch-style silver-plated copper contact. We’ve seen clutch switches in the past, but this one in particular has never been done before and works flawlessly. This is also a constant

A delrin insert located in the switch ensures that there will be adequate heat dissipation, and together with the springless design, the Brizo button never ever gets hot. Buttons on mods like the Dominus were known to get hot, but this is simply not the case here. Additionally, the button is lockable, which adds an extra layer of security and is nice to see. The Brizo sports a hybrid 510 connection so make sure to use

All Photos By Chris Mellides

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proper atomizers with protruding 510 pins. It goes without saying that hybrid mods tend to hit harder than those mechanical tubes that use floating 510 pins, and the Brizo is no exception—it hits hard and preforms exceedingly well.

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If you’ve ever owned a mechanical mod from Broadside you know that you’re getting a quality product. The machining and build quality of the Brizo is excellent as is the look and feel There’s not a whole lot of the device more to say overall. about the Brizo. It’s a capable mechanical mod

atomizers. But as it currently stands, the device is nice and compact, and you wouldn’t have that otherwise. Another thing of note is that sometimes the button will back into the switch which could lead to misfires but backing the button out with a twist or two will alleviate this. This is in no way a deal breaker as every mod has its quirks, but this was worth mentioning nonetheless.

I can think of only a handful of sidefire mechs that can match the Brizo in sheer performance, but as far as innovation is concerned, this mod is hard to beat. It would have been nice if the Brizo were wider to accommodate larger

and an excellent performer that’s constructed well and is a welcome addition to the Broadside line of mods. I was skeptical about the switch at first, but believe the hype. It’s a new design with two contact points that provide a strong connection and help to elevate the Brizo to a level occupied by some of the best mechanical tube mods on the market. The Brizo is available in: White Brass, Brass and Copper. It can be found on a number of online sites and authorized retailers for $200.


SMOK SLM

Three Steps Back 36 REVIEWS @VAPEMAGAZINE

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BY JOHN CASTLE JOHNCASTLE@VAPEMZ.COM

ix years ago, vapor technology looked a little different and performed much differently from its descendants of today. The number of parts in a given kit was higher, while performance was a good deal less robust. Variable voltage, the then breakthrough, was available on expensive devices like the ProVari, but would eventually trickle downmarket to Innokin, Tesla, and others.

the times, but most of the time, barely satisfactory in real world use. Leap forward from 2012 to 2019. The industry has seen a long line of cig-alike devices. Even as vapor hardware technology matured and advanced, new technological breakthroughs were continuously introduced and in some ways disrupted that maturation process even as they pushed the envelope.

But for many, the affordable solution was the device we now call the cig-alike. A cigarette-shaped battery fitted to an e-liquid cartridge containing an atomizer coil.

The biggest disruption came in the form of pod systems, which reshaped batteries from cigarette shaped into shorter but wider forms which disappear in the hand. For smokers, these devices can feel so alien to the hand that they make standing by the decision to switch from combustibles to vaping almost impossible.

On some devices, like the eGo-C and its little brother the eCab, or the upscale eLips-C by Ovale, the atomizer was a separate piece entirely. It was delicate, finicky, with adequate performance for

Enter the SMOK SLM, a 2018 rebirth of the cigarette-lookalike form factor. Could five years of technical progress rehabilitate the venerable form factor? We got our hands on one to find out.


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In The Box The SMOK SLM kit includes one battery, two empty pods, one micro-USB cable, and miscellaneous paperwork, all delivered in a slim, relatively frustration-free box.

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On paper, the SLM kit is pretty nearly a dead ringer for its cigarette lookalike ancestors: a 250mAh battery is paired with a 0.8ml refillable pod. The battery will output from 10-16 watts of power and features a micro-USB charging port at the bottom. Additionally, like its forebears, the battery uses a pressure sensor to detect when the user inhales in order to fire the atomizer. There are no user-facing buttons of any kind here.

Real World Experience @VAPEMAGAZINE

Setting up the SMOK SLM is perhaps best described as an exercise in nostalgia. First, simply plug the micro-USB charging cable into a suitable power source, then plug the other end into the battery. While the battery charges, remove the pod from the battery and lifting the rubber seal from the side-mounted fill port. With the pod filled and reinserted into the charged battery, your SMOK SLM is ready for use. Use of the SMOK SLM, too, is an exercise in nostalgia. Unfortunately, not in a good way. Primer puffs are a must with the device, and the saving grace when it comes to nicotine satisfaction from the SMOK SLM has less to do with the device itself than it has to do with the availability, in 2019, of high test nicotine salt based e-liquids. Unfortunately for the SMOK SLM, nicotine salts would also similarly boost the performance of competitor devices like the old Halo G6. More unfortunately for the SMOK SLM kit, the airflow on the pods is next to non-existent, while spitback and leakage are both serious issues. Taking

a hit from the device sometimes feels more like drinking e-liquid through a clogged straw than it feels like taking a vape from a modern piece of vaping kit. When the device does perform as intended, it’s not bad; what’s bad here is that the device so rarely performs as intended. Even when it’s as on point as it can get, however, the SMOK SLM delivers muted flavor, negligible visible vapor, and decent if not outstanding nicotine satisfaction. As a smoker’s first vape, we can’t recommend it. For a seasoned vaper who has probably used other examples of the form factor, we’re sure they’d know what to expect and would give the SMOK SLM a fast and hard pass.

Price & Availability The SMOK SLM starter kit is available from MyVaporStore for $16.99 before shipping or accessories in three colors: black, stainless steel, and red.

Pros Conveniently sized Easy to set up and operate

Cons Spitback and leaking issues Draw is way too tight Paltry battery life and e-liquid capacity Mediocre performance We’re not sure what SMOK was trying to do when it came to the SLM kit. If they were trying to create an exact recreation of the cigarette lookalike form factor, they did a fantastic job — warts and all. If they were trying to give that form factor a rebirth through innovations in materials and execution, they missed it by a mile. The SMOK SLM would have been just okay in 2013 — and 2013 is where it belongs.


july 6th & 7th 2019 july 6th & 7th 2019 fira de barcelona, spain fira de barcelona, spain VapeConventions.com - the event organizer that brought you Vape South America, VapeConventions.com - the event organizer that brought you Vape South America, Vape Scandinavia and Vape North America is excited to announce our upcoming Vape Scandinavia and Vape North America is excited to announce our upcoming convention in Spain, Vape Barcelona 2019. convention in Spain, Vape Barcelona 2019.

why why attend attend vape vape barcelona barcelona Barcelona, and Spain in general, has a large market for international vape products. Barcelona, and Spain in general, has a large market for international vape products. The popularity of vaping has grown tremendousley due to their large population of The popularity of vaping has grown tremendousley due to their large population of smokers looking for an alternative to traditional tobacco smokers looking for an alternative to traditional tobacco

EXHIBITORS ATTENDING: EXHIBITORS ATTENDING:

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40

REVIEWS

@VAPEMAGAZINE


Trinity Glass Hardware

U.S. Interceptor 20700 Mechanical Mod

All Photos By Chris Mellides

The Interceptor is similar to its predecessor in that both mods aren’t just straight tubes, instead there is a smooth contour to both that make a mod like the Interceptor incredibly comfortable to hold. Being able to use a 20700 battery is great, since most mech mod users probably have tons of them lying around, though I would have wanted to see the option to use a 21700 battery. That aside, a 20700 battery still offers cracking performance and when you’ve got

Each mod is serialized at the hybrid connector with deep engravings found towards the bottom of the tube as well. Machining and overall construction is spot on. There were no scuffs, scrapes or imperfections visible to the naked eye— everything looks spotless and super clean. The Interceptor unscrews at its center, which allows for easier battery installation and removal. This design feature also adds to the mod’s overall safety because of how quickly you’re able to break the battery connection by simply unscrewing the tube should auto firing occur. Because of how well-machined the Interceptor is, the seam where the tube unscrews to produce two halves isn’t noticeable in the slightest. Say for example if you had a brass, copper or stainless steel version, it would appear that the Interceptor is one piece and yet it is not. The device stands 3.67 inches tall and is 25 mm wide. For a 20700 battery device, I can’t get over how compact it is. It’s definitely smaller than a lot of other devices I’ve seen in

VAPENEWS.com

The U.S.1 Mod, their first, housed a single 18650 battery and was widely known for its comfortable shape and precision machining. Now no longer available, the U.S.1 has been replaced with the hard-hitting U.S. Interceptor, which accepts both 18650 and 20700 batteries.

one installed in the Interceptor, expect results.

REVIEWS

K

nown primarily for their high quality glass caps that are custom made to fit most every popular rebuildable dripping atomizer on the market, the people at Trinity Glass Hardware have also been dabbling in mod making.

41

BY CHRIS MELLIDES CHRIS@VAPEMZ.COM


this category and this is a good thing in this reviewer’s opinion. Performance is excellent and is what you’ve come to expect from products that are in the same category. I get a hard-hitting experience and find that the vape quality is very satisfying, although mileage will vary as there are a number of variables that will determine your own experience with this product.

42 REVIEWS @VAPEMAGAZINE

The Interceptor is a little funny in the way you use different atomizers with varying 510 pins. When you first receive the mod it is ready to be used with medium length pins like what you’d find on something like Trinity’s own U.S. 1 V2 atty.

However, in order to accommodate RDAs with longer pins you must either use the delrin heat disk insulator or change the button insulator inside the mod with a white button insulator. Both the heat disk and white button insulator are included with your purchase of the Interceptor. I can appreciate that Trinity Glass Hardware had the foresight to include this information on a handy card inside the box and have allowed users to use just about any RDA with the Interceptor as they see fit. Some people might be put off by this, but unless you’ve got several RDAs in constant rotation with this mod, then you really don’t have much to worry about. The switch is threaded into the housing of the device and is easily accessible should you want to disassemble it for cleaning. A chunky copper contact ensures excellent conductivity and good performance. The button is spring-operated, and the throw is very nice with little in the way of travel. One of the best things that the Interceptor has going for it is its asking pricing. Whether you choose the mod in stainless steel, brass, copper or a black cerekote over copper you’ll only pay $140. The performance, craftsmanship and overall look and feel of the device are enough to where purchasing the U.S. Interceptor really is a no-brainer. And for just $140, this device comes highly recommended. If you’re interested in this mod or are in the market for a quality glass cap for your favorite RDA be sure to visit: www. trinityglasshardware.com


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NVE

The High Stakes Exuberance of New England


T

BY ANGELA GARRITY ANGELA@VAPEMZ.COM

he March chill didn’t stop vapers’ plans for attending National Vape Expo (NVE) at Mohegan Sun Casino Resort in Uncasville, Connecticut. The event was held March 16 and 17 and “luckily” just happened to fall on St. Patrick’s Day weekend. Vapers traveled from all over the world to attend the twoday event that has been repeatedly mentioned all over social media as “an absolute blast.”

even a trick competition for advocacy. Vapers wanting an all-out event were not disappointed, as there was truly something for everyone at Mohegan Sun.

Vapers attending NVE were surrounded by enormous casino floors, exquisite dining options as well as first class shopping. Mohegan Sun was a stellar surrounding for a vaping expo like NVE that touted “Everyone’s a Winner” here.

Advocacy messages filled the sound system from the stage of guests that included a ‘straight’ lineup of names such as: Michael B. Siegel, Greg Troutman, Eric Hutchinson, Aaron Biebert, David Goerlitz, Mark Anton and Matthew Elliott.

The event was hosted by two insanely fun MC’s—Rod Cochran (The Rodman) and Blake Webber (Blake Vapes). Vape Radio had a big presence onstage and were live from the event. There were raffles, vape awards and

Booths, stages and walkways were packed to the gills with vapers who were excited to connect with advocates, special guests, sponsors, vendors, the first ever Vape Hall of Fame Inductees and their fellow vapers. NVE prides itself on advocacy, entertainment, education and raffles and the event measured up well in each of these categories.

A slew of special guests could be found around every corner. Vapers were snapping pictures all weekend with Zophie Vapes, Jai Haze, Buffalo Juice Girl, Kent Hill, M. Terk, OhmBoyOC, Fresh Skater Jay, Grimm


Green, Carl Riskey, Mike Vapes, Mr Modi, Drip Media, Mark Fagan, Ruby Roo, The Vaping Chronicles, Wendy Vapes, Julie Roark, Chris Alpha Goode, ohmmywattsup, Scott Zegans, Lamar Odom and many more. The Vape Hall of Fame was the first of its kind and debuted at Mohegan Sun. Inductees included Julie Woessner from CASAA, Five Pawns e-liquid, Mike Runshe of Giant Vapes and former Winston Man and star of A Billion Lives David Goerlitz. Winners were popping up on stage like budding spring flowers. They were awarded trophies in each of the following respective categories: Category

Winner

Product

Mechanical Mod

Immortal Modz

Siege

Squonk

Signature Tips

Mechanical squonk

Regulated/Unregulated

HDNE

ExoArmor

Starter Kits

Ion Pod System

Oncloud

Menthol

Milford Vape Co

South Shore Mist

Drinks

Diamond Vapor

Ohm Caps

Candy/Sweets

Ritual Craft Vapor Diosa

Dessert

Cream Vapors

Loverly

Fruit

Dem Thangs

First Thangs First

Cereal

Cloud Chemist

Heisenberry Crunch

Tobacco

Streamline Vape

Arabic Oasis

Salt Nic

Solace Salts

Juiced Apple

Best in Show

Milford Vape Co

South Shore Mist

A huge congratulations to all the winners of each category! The vendor list was bursting at the seams with over 200 booths. The sponsors of the show included Blu, Elysian Labs, Solace, Saveur Vape, Pinnacle Hemp, Avid Lyfe, Giant Vapes, T.V.L., Square Vape Labs, Vape Radio and Vape News Magazine. The next stop for NVE will be at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York July 13 and 14 and then onto the Hampton Roads Convention Center in Hampton, Virginia October 12 and 13.


Tobacco Plus Expo Starts 2019 In

Grand Style! 48

BY NORM BOUR NORM@VAPEMENTORS.COM

EVENTS @VAPEMAGAZINE


I

f we remove tobacco and “alternative” from the equation, the 2019 TPE event was all about two things: nic salts and CBD, especially.

The Tobacco Plus Expo is usually held early in the year and sets a high benchmark for the 2019 vape event schedule. Focused more on education and sales than loud music and parties, this year TPE brought 10 different workshops, including several focused exclusively on CBD.

Once again, several educational sessions were joint partnered with NATO, the National Association of Tobacco Outlets, who primarily focus on tobacco regulations. They discontinued their own annual meetings and now combine resources with TPE. The first speaker up was Don Burke with Management Science Associates, who reported on the metrics and numbers behind retail sales.

The study proved that people want what they want and will go where they need to in order to find their vice of choice. Shops from outside the city limits saw huge increases of flavored tobacco

VAPENEWS.com

One of the interesting facts shared was a case study in the city of Duluth, MN, where flavored tobacco sales were banned within the city, except for approved sales from “adult oriented smoke shops.”

EVENTS

“If we look at Google trends and key words, the numbers remain high for vape, vapor, JUUL and CBD,” he continued, “and flavors, especially mint, are gaining in popularity.”

49

“One of the biggest trends we saw last year was the huge increase in Dollar Store’s sales of tobacco and related products. They are taking a lot of tobacco and nicotine revenue away from c-stores and smoke shops,” Burke said. “But c-stores still command the majority of tobacco sales overall with almost threequarters of all retail sales.”


sales and (legal) vape shops within the city showed 42 percent of volume was flavored products. Shops inside the city limits saw a five percent increase of non-flavored tobacco products, too. It would be nice if regulators and the FDA would recognize that banning and prohibition has never worked before, and it will not work now. Bonnie Herzog, Managing Director of Equity Research for Beverage, Household & Personal Care, Tobacco & C-Stores is always a great source of financial data from Wells Fargo Securities. She has been bullish on vape since she started reporting on that channel almost 10 years ago and shared that 50 percent of US smokers are “interested” in vape; about 10 percent currently do vape, and projects that vape will command 30 percent of the tobacco market by 2025. Reports show that tobacco and nicotine products are about $100 billion annual and growing to $115 billion by 2025. From that, the electronic bite has grown to $9 billion total, with vape comprising just 2.6 percent.

50 EVENTS

JUUL, of course, was a major topic of conversation, which ranged from positive to negative. Many acknowledge that JUUL has cannibalized other brands, but they also bring in many new customers from the traditional tobacco space.

@VAPEMAGAZINE

New technology was prevalent throughout TPE, and most admit that they ignore the deeming regulation date as well as ignore FDA retribution. The recent federal shutdown put many government agencies behind and the FDA is no exception. That applies to nic salts as well since no one can state that any of these products are legal ones, yet they took up a large percentage of the showroom floor. PMTA (premarket tobacco application) was also discussed in the educational sessions and many wondered “What about the Philip Morris IQOS,” which has been in the


51

EVENTS

VAPENEWS.com


PMTA queue for 18 months. Insiders report that the FDA is close to approval and we should see our first new fully legal device sometime in 2019. “JUUL singlehandedly invigorated the e-cigarette market in many countries and may do the same thing here,” Herzog said. Some think they could command 30 percent of the market by 2025 once they are legalized. TPE is the one show not to be missed, so bookmark https://tobaccoplusexpo. com/ in preparation for early 2020. This year the vendor booths were sold out and some had to co-op with another company to get a space. When 330 booths sell out and thousands of visitors come by, you know you have a successful offering. Norm Bour is the founder of VapeMentors and creator of the VAPE U and Vape Shop Certification online programs. They offer services & resources for anyone in the vape space, including vape shops, online stores and e-liquid brands and work internationally with an office in Europe. He’s also the host of Vape Radio, the largest vaping radio show in the world with more than 1.3M downloads.

52

Contact him at norm@VapeMentors.com

EVENTS @VAPEMAGAZINE


ris Mellides

Compiled By Ch

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S O C C A B TO from Go

AMSTERDAM CLASSIC from Truebacco E-Ju

ice

VAPENEWS.com

Amsterdam Cl assic consists of the finest qu flavors. This eality tobacco liquid is a mix of Dark-Fired Golden Virgin Kentucky and ia Leaf tobacc o that produces the truest and most satisfying cigarette-style vape. www.vapetrueb acco.com

BUYER’S GUIDE

a oa and m, coc a cigar h a t r s g robu y es of t t t o u n n d un of a ackgro d you . t has b l remin a il h ailable w t v It a o . c c weet ing is s ic r g A toba p in l h 60m somet flavor. hint of classic h it w om packed vapor.c oodlife .g w w w

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BUYER’S GUIDE

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57

S C I N T L A S


Compiled By Chris Mellides

58 BUYER’S GUIDE

iJoy

SHOGUN UNIV 180 Watt TC Box Mod

@VAPEMAGAZINE

This dual 18650 box mod is well-constructed and features eye-catching resin doors that will vary from model to model. The SHOGUN utilizes a compact design and with the integrated UNIV Chipset it is capable of achieving up to 180 watts of power. The panels are easily removable to access your batteries and are held firmly in place by magnets. The chipset is definitely versatile and aside from normal power mode it can be configured to operate in several different settings, including but not limited to temperature control mode. The SHOGUN is a capable and excellent device for vapers of all kinds. $59.95

www.elementvape.com

Purge Mods Coil Case A perfect accessory to store and compliment your coils and RDA. The coil case by Purge Mods will become your day to day companion with construction that’s in line with what you’ve come to expect from the Florida-based hardware company. Consisting of an anodized aluminum case with a custom strap, this accessory is as simple as it gets and will serve you well when you’re on the go. Included is three feet of Fused 24g/40g Ni80 wire. $50.00

www.localvape.com


Vaperz Cloud

The Widowmaker from Vandy Vape is a 24mm squonk-ready RDA, with an innovative quad post build deck with hex screws accepting single or dual coil configurations. Included with the kit are three different airflow rings to maximize your airflow customization like never before. The airflow is slanted and pointed towards your coils, providing better flavor and ease of use when installing larger builds. The deck is also elevated from the base, leaving 5mm of room for your cotton in the juice well. If squonking isn’t your thing, this kit also includes a standard gold plated 510 pin for use with other mods. $32.99

The Storm Breaker is a beastly mod that’s guaranteed to deliver on plumes and flavorful vapor! The device is a fully mechanical parallel box mod, which delivers on unregulated power with longer battery life and great performance overall. The Storm Breaker utilizes a lightweight aluminum body and accepts up to three 21700 batteries. Batteries can easily be installed and accessed at the bottom of the device via a bottom-loading latch door that snaps into place with confidence. All contacts and internal components are silver plated copper and offer excellent conductivity to ensure a powerful hit. $210.00

www.myfreedomsmokes.com

www.innovapes.net

VAPENEWS.com

Storm Breaker

BUYER’S GUIDE

Widowmaker RDA

59

Vandy Vape


Immortal Mods 60

Elite V3

BUYER’S GUIDE @VAPEMAGAZINE

The Elite V3 is a staggering 28.5mm in diameter with rugged stainless steel construction throughout. The deck is similar to what you’ve seen from previous versions of this device and now includes a quad clamp design with a single flathead screw per post that allows for an excellent connection when tightening down your leads. The width of the deck is 24mm with a 4mm juice well. A double-slotted barrel can be fully adjusted to dial in your perfect airflow, which is nice to see as an option. The Elite V3 is 810 compatible and an 810 wide bore drip tip is included. $64.99

www.armageddonmfg.com

Swipes Polishing Rags Double Yellow Pack Swipes is a unique scratch-less polishing cloth that will safely make your mods, metal contacts and RDAs look brand new. The Swipes polishing cloths instantly remove tarnish, dirt and patina, leaving a flawless mirror shine. Swipes are perfect for copper, brass, silver, stainless steel, gold and even wood! The Yellow Swipe is perfect for removing tarnish and polishing your hardware, while the Blue Swipe works best for your daily wipe downs. Relax, and give your whole mod, top to bottom and inside and out, a nice clean fresh-looking shine. $14.00

www.swipesrags.com


FREE TO INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS ONLY

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