Spinfuel – Opinion
Reactions to our Cover Story by the people that created them – Lisa Johnston – Jane Wilson – Tom McBride and Jason Little
“You WANT me to start smoking?”
#1 – Lisa Johnston – “Peace and Quiet at Last!”
Four staff writers lived with 8 brands of eCigarettes for 8 weeks. In addition to the 8 brands there were several that came and went in a flash because our aim was to evaluate the best brands we could find without turning into an eCigarette Affiliate/Review site. When the word came down that White Cloud made the cut we all knew that we would be spending quite a bit of time with it. Review Here
That’s not to say that all we did for 8 weeks was sit around the puff on eCigarettes. No, we continued our work evaluating other types of products, proofing each other’s copy, contacting marketing people, and writing. So much writing. For the first time in years though I was fortunate enough not to stress out as I usually do when things get a little ‘rushed’ around the office.
Four writers in one fairly decent sized room can still get crowded quickly. We’ve been working like this since last November and before we began the e Cigarette project there were times when I thought I grab the person closest to me and throw him to the floor. I’m not the violent type you understand, but writing takes peace and quiet and sometimes the office is anything but peace and quiet. Yet, for some reason these past couple of months was the most relaxed of times. Then it hit me; the eCigarettes!
The thing about smoking, I mean ‘vaping’ e Cigarettes is that there is no smell, no second hand smoke to deal with, and no dirty ashtrays. Still, we did get the benefit that smoking gives you with the release of some tension. If you are a smoker, or were a smoker, then you know what I mean. Smoking relaxes you, and so does vaping an eCigarette. And that is what was so cool about all of us evaluating these all these different brands of eCigarettes, we got along like never before because for the first time since the 1970’s everyone is the office was puffing away!
#2 Jane Wilson – “It was a Truly Weird Time”
I’ve written for magazines most of my adult life. It is the profession I wanted to have since I was a little girl and my father’s friend showed me a magazine article that he had written. His name was under the title of the article and from that moment on he was the coolest friend I thought my dad ever had. Today, he’s a novelist, just published his 13th novel (mystery) and if I told you who he was I’d provoke the bear. I don’t like provoking the bear.
In any case, writing is my thing. I may suck at it at times, especially when the time for rewrites is about an hour, but it is my chosen profession and my life. Imagine, then, when I was approached by the bosses for a Cover Story project on the eCigarette. I was intrigued, yes, and I was flabbergasted.
“Wait, you WANT me to smoke?” I yelled back to the bossman. You see I was a smoker of cigarettes right up till December 31st, 2011. Not yet 2 months, but I did quit and I hadn’t cheated once. Not once! And here I was being asked to toss all that aside and pick the habit up again all in the name of journalism. I was beside myself. Then, I guess they had forgotten that I quit, they begged off and said I could work on Book reviews and Movies. I was immediately relieved and began reading ‘The Hunger Games’ for the premiere issue.
Several days later the first shipment of e-Cigarettes arrived, Smoke Frii, and I watched as the boxes were unpacked and the kits and boxes of Cartomizers were placed in the Cover Story closet, yes an actual closet, and the next day the flood gates really opened up. I didn’t know what to think, it’s only been a couple of months, a couple of hard months, and now I’m looking at these amazing looking products with first-rate packaging, and I began to get overly curious. Still, I stayed away.
Once most of the brands had arrived we held an afternoon party in order for everyone to mingle with the product and try whatever we wanted, any brand, any flavor. While I had no intention to tempt myself further I did begin my investigation into the whole e-Cigarette revolution and I learned some very important things.
I learned what it was about paper cigarettes that killed people or made them wish they were dead. I learned why the eCigarette was a thousand times safer and in fact less harmful then that morning cup of coffee. I was getting closer than I ever thought I would to actually get onboard and join the project. Still, I thought, I don’t want to get nicotine back into my blood stream, there was no good to come from being addicted to nicotine again, regardless of the harmlessness of nicotine itself.
Tom walked over to me and he had a starter kit and a pack of Cartomizers with him. He told me that I should try it, and he knew that I loved vanilla ice cream, vanilla milk shakes, and so forth, so he had vanilla flavored Cartomizers with him. I told him I couldn’t do it, but before I could finish the sentence he stopped me and made me look at the box of Cartomizers and the sentence on the box that read “NO Nicotine”. Tom said that they all offered zero nicotine flavors for those that want nothing to do with nicotine but would enjoy the act of smoking. “Ahh, there it is. That’s all I needed to know”. Just like that all the barriers that prevented me from joining this ultimate cover story on the eCigarette were gone and I had no more reasons to stay away.
I’ll talk more about all this, and how I faced down some awfully good eCigarettes and lived to tell about it. I thought you might like to know that I was, at first, the reluctant reviewer. – Chelsey
#3 Tom McBride – “What do you mean I can’t SMOKE real cigarettes?”
I was all for this experiment at first. What a cool idea, what a timely idea and what a perfect idea it was to launch a new magazine. I’ve known John and Michael for a decade at least, and I knew and was involved in XtremeCamera, MacNET, and even MacFever and the Apple Picayune, but with Spinfuel, man, this was going to be huge. Like I said, I was all in and ready to go. But there was one little catch…
Part of the charm, if you will, of the eCigarette is that it is a million times safer than real cigarettes and because it has nicotine in it and you go about living your life as you would as a regular smoking, i.e., you still smoke (or vape) that any smoker could make the switch and thus save their life. So, that being the case, since I was the only smoker left (Thanks Chelsey!), I was going to play a big part in all of this as I was not allowed to smoke a real cigarette until the project was complete. 8 weeks of vaping, but only vaping, no cigarettes at all. Now I wasn’t so sure.
I hate the way I smell, I hate the way my clothes smell, and I hate the cigarette breath I have most days. I hate everything about smoking except the act of smoking itself. It wasn’t as though I wanted to continue to smoke; the thing was I didn’t know if I could, at this time, give them up. I wanted to, I really did, but with 3 months left before the launch of the magazine, was it really the right time for me?
Weeks later I come back from lunch and John and Michael had set up a display of all the eCigarettes that had so far come in and we were free to approach, handle, and even try any of them we wanted. If we signed on to the project we would receive a new Starter kit every week, along with enough Cartomizers to last the week, and then some, but today it was all about introduction.
This is where the cigarette hits the road, I guess. Could the e-Cigarette replicate all the good parts of smoking and eliminate the bad parts. That was a tall order, so I wasn’t holding my breath. Then I spotted a product called Crown7, and it looked like serious business. So I decided to play along and give them a try.
Just wait until you read what I have to say about these top-shelf brands.
#4 – Jason Little – “It was like Christmas Morning all over again”
As the only writer on the staff who was already toying around with e-Cigarettes I knew what to expect. Or I thought I did. You see, a few months ago I stopped into Walgreens to buy a pack of smokes and right behind the cashier was these 3 different eCigarettes. Now, up to that point I had heard some things about eCigarettes and I didn’t have either a good or bad impression of any of them. So I lingered a bit and asked to see each one. Two of them were disposables, one by Finiti and one by Blu Cigs. The other was a mini-starter kit by NJOY. NJOY also sold packs of refills at Walgreens as well. I decided to pick up NJOY only because it wasn’t a disposable and if I liked it I could simply stop in and pick up refills.
I didn’t know how big of a mistake I made with NJOY until that day in the office when we laid out all the brands and everyone could try out any of them for the afternoon. On the following Monday we would get a starter kit and Cartomizers from one of the companies and from that point on you had to stick with the brand you were assigned.
I was blown away by every brand we had there. Every single one of them put NJOY to shame. So much more vapor production, so many delicious flavors, and the quality of the hardware was obviously higher than what I was used to that I felt I had been wasting my money on NJOY for weeks.
This whole project has been like one long Christmas for me. I’ve wanted to switch to eCigarettes for a while and now I got the chance to live with the best of the best for 8 weeks, at which time I will know with certainty which one is right for me. This was a gift. Fate, as it were. I had a great time and I can’t wait to tell you all about it. But did they convince me? We’ll see.