Vaping With Julia – Boston Style!
I know, I’m a day early this week. But seeing as how I didn’t have time to do one last week I thought I’d go ahead and do this week’s today, since I have some time before my next photo shoot happens.
A lot has happened since my last column, some good, some not-so-good, and some that has caused some minor ripples in the vaping community.
On the Spinfuel front we’re getting in some great products for review. Since the shortage caused by the Chinese Holiday in February has finally abated many new and exciting products are making their way into the hands of some of our favorite vendors.
John and Tom are in the middle of the “iClear30 and Kanger ProTank” shootout, which promises to be an interesting read, especially if you have been undecided on which one to try out. I already which one I’m going with, and I’m using it as I type this. I won’t say which one it is, but I will say that I think the Clearomizer is finally living up to the promises it made last year.
It’s also exciting that the new Halo Triton is now available to the vaping community! We received ours some time ago and it has been hard to keep it a secret, about as hard as it is when Johnson Creek ships us a new flavor and we can’t say a word about it until it gets released to the public. Being in the vaping publishing areana makes it really difficult to keep quiet because when something is so good, like the Halo Triton, you want to tell the world about it. At least we can speak freely.
I took my Triton kit with me when we all headed up to New Hampshire for Chelsey’s wedding. These were the PV’s we were vaping in the airports and in all of the Southwest Airplanes we flew in. It was so cool that no passenger and no flight attendant gave us any grief about vaping. And let me tell you, there was not a single available seat on any of the flights so if vaping were distasteful to anyone someone would have spoken up.
One last thing about the Triton by Halo Cigs; if you are looking for an ego-style PV that feels light and balanced in your hand, that provides a wicked amount of vapor and great taste, this is the one you want to get. I sincerely LOVE mine, and I plan on adding to it with additional clearomizers, coil heads, and even a few more batteries when I get home next week. For some reason I have been able to vape for days on end with just the Halo Triton, something I have never been able to do with a Vision Spinner and a CE4+. I’m not sure what it is other than the damn thing is just such a great PV. Halo Cigs did a great job in creating their new product.
Also in the good column this week is the news I received this morning from back home (Florida HQ) that yesterday, a Wednesday of all days, was a record “shattering” day for both pageviews and unique visitors (per IP address). I don’t know if its just that more and more people are finding out about us or what, but we are growing by leaps and bounds. It feels great, and it gets us one day closer to bringing the monthly magazine option.
Building an audience with any publication, online, print, digital, whatever, is a scary thing. You put in so much time, money, sweat and tears, do the best you can and then some, and just pray that people will want to read your stuff. I wasn’t sure about Spinfuel when I came on board last year, because I just didn’t know all that much about the size of the vaping community or how fast it would grow. But I trusted John and his instincts, and he has never lost before. Well, that’s not exactly true. I remember at the height of the publication that practically ruled the Mac community in late 90’s, “MacNET!”, we had decided to launch “PCNet!” and after six months we shut it down. We couldn’t related to PC users and they couldn’t relate to our Apple Philosophy. Other than that, John has an amazing record. Why, even after he sold XtremeCamera he wound up getting it back after a year because the new owners just didn’t know how he was able to make it fly so high. We wound up buying it back for ten cents to the dollar and although its not currently active we still have it back. Maybe down the line we’ll do a relaunch. It could be fun.
Before I move on the next topic though, I want to sincerely thank every one of you that have made Spinfuel one of your many stops during the day. Without you guys there would be no Spinfuel, so we owe our success to you. Thank you!
Our Spinfuel Newsletter, of which I am the bonafide Editor, comes out tomorrow (April 5th) and our subscriber base is now over 5000. That’s amazing. I am so happy about it that even when we get a single request to “unsubscribe” it breaks my heart. Luckily that doesn’t happen much, but on occasion it does, and it hurts. Though getting an unsubscribe makes me work that much harder to produce a Newletter worth subscribing to. So, be on the lookout, and if you don’t subscribe now you can sign up right here, right now, by using the form on this page. We also put a form on the page today for last minute “Dear Julia” questions. Got one? Ask away. Ask anything you want, about anything you want. I’ll do my best to give you the straight answer. (so to speak).
We are getting a little slack from a select group of people about a couple of the reviews we did this week. Rather than discuss the particulars about them and what got this select few riled up, let me just say this;
“One of the most sacrosanct promises we’ve made to our audience and to ourselves was to always be truthful. Even when it means we don’t particularly like something. Especially when we don’t like something, or find something lacking in something (huh?). We can’t go around telling people that our reviews are honest and above reproach unless they are. It just so happened that there were two negative reviews in a row, that’s all. Can’t promise it won’t happen again because I am sure it will.”
Our Firm Stance On eLiquid
For all of you out there, the few that remain anyway, who do not mind vaping a perfect strangers eJuice all I can say is you are taking a huge risk. Look, I’m not saying that you have to avoid every vendor who doesn’t have a million dollar ‘clean room’ and chemists on the payroll, but you damn sure should be careful about vaping eLiquid you know is being made in someone’s living room, bathroom, kitchen, or bedroom, by someone that came up with a clever name and a clever logo.
You may never get sick, and you may never even notice the difference, but between you and me, I’ve seen how some of this stuff gets made and unless I know exactly where and how my eLiquid is made I’m not going to take the chance. I don’t think you should either, but I certainly can’t stop you. What I can do, what Spinfuel can do, is to refuse to review any vendor that is unwilling to provide photographs of their mixing, packaging, and shipping areas, and they better be separate areas too. If that means we get going back to the vendors we know, trust, and adore, to continue to do sequels of their newest flavors then so be it. I would rather do less eLiquid reviews then to spend 72-hours vaping eJuice made in someone’s basement, which is exactly where some of this stuff is being made. Thanks…but no thanks.
April and the FDA
So, this is the month we’re supposed to hear from Big Brother’s minions about what they are going to do with our freedoms as it pertains to vaping. Are you worried at all? Are you confident? Let me tell you what I am honestly afraid of…
I don’t think the FDA is going to ban eCigarettes or eLiquids, even the flavored ones. I am deathly afraid that they are going to reaffirm their stance that eCigarettes are tobacco products and as such should be taxed as tobacco products. I’m including a chart for the 2009 Federal and State increases in tobacco taxes. Many states have increased their rates, and should these outrageous amounts be applied to eCigarettes it will price many of them right out of the market. Of course, these can’t possibly apply to hardware like VAMO’s ZMAX’s and ProVari’s, can it? But you could very well see 30ML bottles of eLiquid cost up upwards of $60 a bottle. That’s what I’m afraid of. Then you’ll see black marker eLiquid pop up everywhere, and you think some brands are made “poorly” now? Just wait until good vendors have to charge ludicrous amounts just to pay the taxes on them.
We’re close to finding out just what the FDA has in mind so I am trying very hard to hold my panic at bay on the slim chance that the FDA realizes how much benefit there is in allowing eCigarettes to remain free of over regulation and stupid tobacco taxes. I remember hearing something about all these taxes were supposed to be about offsetting the health issues caused by smoking, so taxing eCigarettes the same way doesn’t even make sense.
And that about wraps things up for this. Although we do have a very cool giveaway going on right now, you can win TWO Big Daddy Vapors Who’s Your Daddy CartoTanks, a 5ML and 3ML, and a Slap Yo’ Momma Cartomizer Tool that you will soon discover you can’t live without. Oh, and we’re going to throw in a couple of spare pre-punched cartomizers as well. So, you know, enter the giveaway.
More giveaways are coming, including one for a 777 eCigs eHookah, which you will really love, and a couple of Halo Cigs Triton Kits. Keep checking under the Giveaway link on the menu.