Thoughts On A November Morning…

By Renee

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Outside my window, the trees groan under the barrage of a bitter November wind. The air is heavy with the threat of a chilling rain, and the sky is covered in a cloak of sullen gray clouds. I sit here quietly thankful to be inside, vaping at my desk with a warm cup of coffee by my side, and filling the room with a sweet scented haze, instead of outside, huddled in my coat and hat, puffing on a cigarette, miserable and cold.

As I reach for another drip, I hear the tell-tale squelch of a dropper that finds only air where liquid should have been. After a desperate attempt to procure the last precious drops by holding the bottle at all imaginable angles, I finally give up and go to find another flavor to vape for today.

It seems like only yesterday that I took the plunge from convenience store cig-alikes to a Kangertech Evod. With it, a 30ml bottle of e-liquid would last weeks. Instead of longing for more of that flavor, I’d be bored of it by the time it was gone, and ready to move on. Now here I am, quite a few upgrades later, with a Velocity RDA perched atop my Sigelei 150, vaping on fancy dual coils at 100 watts, and the juice seems to practically vape itself. I open the bottle, and somehow or other, it mysteriously disappears in a matter of days. I imagine that I’m anything but alone in this dilemma. There are some vapers that can happily puff away on a little stick battery and a cute little tank with a cute little drip tip, day in and day out. But there is also a large number of vapers who, quite frankly, just want All The Things. More clouds. More flavor. More coils. More watts! Many begin vaping simply as a means to quit smoking, and for them that is all it will ever be. But for people like me, it becomes both a passion and a lifestyle. Something to share with everyone we meet. Something that broke a long and nasty tobacco habit in favor of a far less harmful alternative. Something to enjoy and tinker with and explore. Not so much a habit as a hobby.

So how are people like us affecting the industry as a whole? As more powerful devices flood the market every day, what kind of things are we looking for in an e-liquid? What’s the future of the e-liquid market?

Although the threat of the FDA deeming regulations hangs over the industry like the black cloud of Mordor, new vapor products and vape shops continue to pop up all the time. Until all hope is lost, we’re going to keep vaping. And most likely, we’ll keep vaping even after hope is lost, if it comes to that! But as long as we continue to grow, the vape industry will continue to evolve.

As more and more people move towards sub-ohm tanks and dripping, the push for higher VG liquids, with their promise of large, luscious, satisfying plumes, will likely cause a falling away of many high PG liquids from the forefront of sought-after options. PG plays many roles in an e-liquid, from thinning to enhancing flavor. But the powerful new devices that are available to even the beginning vaper are fully capable of handling thick e-liquid, and extracting massive amounts of flavor from it, too.

It’s hardly surprising that some e-juice that I had previously found to be ho-hum have turned out to be a part of my regular rotation, as the depth of flavor as it was intended to be tasted is revealed thanks to better equipment. Other things have become more noticeable as well, such as how different brands use different nicotine sources. I find some brands to be more peppery, with a greater throat hit, and some are smoother, despite that I always vape at the same 3mg strength. And the taste of high PG juices is something I personally shy away from now, as that PG aftertaste isn’t something I’m particularly partial to.

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And because of the speed with which we are now consuming our e-juice, it’s likely that larger bottles will also be in greater demand. Because really, how long does it take you to go through 30mls? Hopefully this will also lead to something of a decrease in price, since for instance a 60ml bottle is cheaper to produce than two 30ml bottles- it’s one less bottle, cap, and label for the manufacturer to have to deal with. One thing that draws smokers to vaping is the allure of saving money. We want to be certain that the market stays competitive, and that there is at least a chance that vaping will be cheaper than smoking. I say at least a chance because, really, how many mods do you own? How many authentic attys? And aren’t you proud of your myriad drip tips and how you have one to match any outfit? Our vaping arsenals may very well be called an addiction in their own right! But I digress.

Another thing that will be interesting to watch is the evolution of what makes up our e-liquids. Although I am of the personal belief that any liquid is a far better choice than a cigarette, as e-liquid consumption continues to grow, it is our duty to make sure it’s as safe as it possibly can be. For instance, some view diacetyl in their e-liquids an acceptable risk. Others don’t want to touch it with a ten-foot pole. I think that along with a lot of common-sense standards such as child-resistant packaging and proper labelling, we’re going to start seeing more companies offering more information about what is in their products. We can still vape whatever flavors we choose, but we can do so as informed consumers, rather than just wandering around in ignorance, making assumptions about what we may or may not be vaping.  And a greater knowledge of what it contains is likely to lead to more research about the effects of said substances, which is never a bad thing.

Each vaper is unique. There are flavors out there for every palette, and the options to tweak and toy with how we vape are nearly infinite. As 2015 draws rapidly to a close and 2016 stares us in the face, I believe that only one thing is certain. Vapers will continue to be passionate about vaping, and they will never be satisfied with the status quo. And you know what? That’s perfectly alright with me!

Renee is a painter of words, sharing the thoughts of an eliquid artist as she makes her way through the many paths life presents. As co-owner of Sarcastic Fringehead Vapery, Renee knows a thing or two about her art, her craft, and life. Renee is a regular contributor to Spinfuel eMagazine with her esoteric and eclectic column, Just Clouding Around™.