Vaping Diaries #380: OLC Mod Prometheus v2 & Stratum

At ECC 2016, OLC Mod showed off some of the lightest box mods I’ve ever encountered. The company claims that its Stratum and Prometheus v2 box mods are the lightest 18650 and 26650 mods on the market, respectively. While I can’t verify that, both are among the lightest vaping devices that I’ve ever held. They’re also quite beautiful. Below are more details and photos of the OLC Mod Stratum and Prometheus v2.

OLC Mod Stratum Specs
  • Dimensions: 24 x 38 x 76 millimeters
  • 18650 Battery
  • YiHi SX350 Chipset
  • Up to 60 Watts
  • 85 Grams Without Battery
  • Anodized Aviation Aluminum
  • MicroUSB Charger Builtin
OLC Mod Prometheus v2 Specs
  • Dimensions: 30 x 50 x 80 millimeters
  • 26650 Battery
  • YiHi SX350J v2 Chipset
  • Up to 75 Watts
  • 89 Grams Without Battery
  • Anodized Aviation Aluminum
  • Highest Quality Stabilized Wood

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Vaping Diaries #379: Klir E-Liquids (TFN)

Klir is a line of vaping e-liquids made with tobacco-free nicotine (TFN). Produced by Ventura Vapor in Southern California, these e-liquids feature classy packaging and clean flavors. The main draw is, of course, TFN, which is still relatively uncommon in the vaping world at this time.

For those of you not familiar with TFN, it’s a lab-produced nicotine, as opposed to the plant-derived nicotine the vast majority of vaping e-liquids use. The advantages of TFN are that it offers a remarkably clean taste, it vapes noticeably smoother than plant-based nicotine, and there’s no risk of other substances from the plant entering the mix. The disadvantages are that it’s more expensive than common nicotine and some e-liquid companies successfully use the taste of plant-based nicotine in their flavors.

Klir has launched with three e-liquid flavors. Here are the official descriptions.

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Vaping Diaries #378: Philip Morris iQOS Submitted For FDA Approval

Philip Morris International has submitted the iQOS smokeless tobacco e-cigarette for FDA approval. Many consumers know the Philip Morris brand from tobacco cigarettes like Marlboro and L&M. The iQOS is a tobacco vaporizer that works similarly to the PAX line of herbal vaporizers. It uses tobacco leaf catridges, which are heated rather than burned like a traditional cigarette.

According to Reuters, Philip Morris International is the first company to file for FDA approval since the new laws were passed in Summer 2016. According to its report:

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Vaping Diaries #377: Dream by Shy Kane E-Liquid

Dream by Shy Kane is a new line of e-liquids from one of the most popular models in the vaping business. At ECC 2016, Shy Kane was on hand to debut her new flavors. Many enthusiast vapers are familiar with Shy from her various promotional work and beautiful photographs. She has access to all kinds of vaping hardware and e-liquids, so she certainly knows her stuff. When she decided to come out with her own brand of e-liquids, her legions of fans took notice.

Dream by Shy Kane has launched with two flavors Glitter and Gold. Glitter is described as “strawberry white chocolate wafer,” while Gold is described as “creamy green tea wafer.” I tried some of both at ECC 2016. While I enjoyed both flavors, I greatly preferred Gold.

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Vaping Diaries #376: Beautiful People at ECC 2016

While ECC 2016 had loads of excellent vaping hardware and delicious e-liquids, my favorite part of the show was the people. More specifically, the beautiful people of ECC 2016 made the event something that I’ll remember for years. The vaping business is full of beautiful people that are clever and charming. There are so few of us. To have several of us together at the same event over the course of a weekend is…miraculous. Below is an extremely special photo gallery of several of the outstanding people I spent time with at ECC. For your convenience, their Instagram handles are below so that you can see more of these beautiful people.

Included in the “Beautiful People of ECC 2016” gallery are:

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Vaping Diaries #375: Closing Thoughts on ECC 2016

I just got back home from ECC 2016. It was a great time, full of excellent people, interesting products, and a few surprises. I have plenty of previews to write and photos to post from the event, but before I get to that, I wanted to talk about the show as a whole. The best word to describe it was surprising. Here’s a brief breakdown of ECC 2016.

Bigger Than I Was Expecting

Given California’s new laws — no vaping indoors and a higher vaping age of 21 — I was expecting a relatively small show. While ECC 2016 was certainly smaller than the gargantuan expo in Pomona last year, it was bigger than I thought it would be. There were more companies and more attendees than I expected, which is a credit to the show’s organizers. Several of my industry colleagues were similarly surprised.

The word on the show floor was that ECC 2016 will be the last major vaping event in California, given the new restrictions. If that’s the case, at least California vape shows went out on a strong note. Hopefully that’s not the case and there will be more great California vaping expos in the future.

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Vaping Diaries #374: MasterCard vs. Vape Retailers

MasterCard Incorporated appears set to take action against vape retailers in 2017. Some of it was expected, as per the recent FDA regulations. Some of it is arguably excessive. The ones set to be hit the hardest are online vape retailers.

I recently obtained an email sent from credit card processor US Merchant Systems that was sent to a vaping retailer friend of mine. He has a brick-and-mortar store, as well as an online business. The email was a warning that his business must be in compliance with MasterCard’s Business Risk Assessment and Mitigation (BRAM) program. Here are the BRAM requirements from the email that pertain to brick-and-mortar vape shops.

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Vaping Diaries #373: Should Politics Affect Your Vaping Purchases?

It’s election day in United States, a glorious time when Americans get to hire and fire a bunch of public servants. The 2016 presidential election has been astonishing. The campaigns have easily been the angriest and most divisive that I’ve ever seen. There are strong emotions coming from the supporters of both major-party candidates. Whether you care about politics or not, I’m certain that some of those emotions have crept into your life. As a vaper, I was wondering if the election has had any influence on your vape life. As for me, there’s one modder and one retailer that I’ll no longer buy from due to politics.

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Vaping Diaries #372: Blow E-Juice Interview

My interview with Blow E-Juice co-owner Farid Zahreddine comes with an added bonus. As expected, he told me about Blow E-Juice and its three launch flavors. In addition to learning about the company and its tasty dessert e-liquids, Farid went on an inspired rant of how it’s wrong for politicians to equate vaping with tobacco cigarettes. His passionate diatribe was a pleasant and welcome surprise.

As for the company itself, Blow E-Juice started in mid-2015. The owners are people that are passionate about vaping and got into the scene. In addition to appreciating the fact that vaping got them off of tobacco cigarettes, the owners were fascinated by the vaping community. As with many new and rapidly growing industries, the vaping business is relatively small and has a sense of family. The owners of Blow E-Juice seem to genuinely enjoy that aspect of vaping.

Moving onto the three Blow E-Juice vaping e-liquids, the company’s most popular flavor is Om Nom Nuke. It’s a savory dessert blend that combines toffee custard, vanilla ice cream, and caramel. It’s a very rich flavor that’s bursting with complexity. Vapers that enjoy simple, straightforward flavors will likely be overwhelmed by Om Nom Nuke. The bit of it I vaped was quite delicious.

Dolce Fuel is the company’s strawberry cheesecake e-liquid. While not as rich as Om Nom Nuke, it’s still quite flavorful. The company did a good job of mixing the cheesecake creaminess and the bright fruit notes. While there are a lot of strawberry cheesecake flavors on the market, I believe that Dolce Fuel is certainly worth a try.

To my surprise, my favorite Blow E-Juice flavor was the company’s simplest blend. Orgasmic Aftermath is a straight-up cheesecake. Perhaps I was influenced by its fantastic name, but I really enjoyed this straightforward cheesecake vape.

For more information on Blow E-Juice and to hear Farid’s fantastic rant, please check out the interview below.

Vaping Diaries #371: Hold Fast Vapors Interview

When I first met the Hold Fast Vapors crew, I was excited by the prospect of meeting a group of pirates that made vaping e-liquid. Sadly, Hold Fast Vapors doesn’t have any actual pirates on staff (or so the company claims), but what it does have is a bunch of delicious flavors. Senior account executive Connor O’Brien spent some time with me to talk about the company and three of its flavors.

The newest addition to Hold Fast Vapors is the Ironclad line. The Ironclad e-liquids use a higher percentage of vegetable glycerin (VG) for more vapor production. The first Irconclad flavor is Key Largo, a yummy Key lime sherbet. I very much enjoyed this e-liquid’s blend of light sweetness and tanginess. It was my favorite of the three flavors covered in this interview.

One of the earlier flavors in the Hold Fast Vapors line, Mutiny is a blend of pear, berries, and cream. It’s an interesting mix that stands out from the numerous berries-and-cream concoctions on the market. Mutiny’s use of pear gives it a tasty edge. While I’m generally not big on fruit vapes, I do enjoy fruit-and-cream blends. With its pear kick, Mutiny was a pleasant surprise.

The last flavor in the Hold Fast Vapors lineup is a dessert mix called Port Royal. Vapers with a sweet tooth will enjoy this medley of cake, maple sugar, and nuts. I love me some dessert vapes, so I was instantly drawn to this flavor and enjoyed the bit I had during my meeting with Hold Fast Vapors.

Connor told me to expect two more flavors in the Ironclad lineup, which makes sense considering that many vapers have moved to sub-ohm tanks. The extra VG will help them fog up some rooms with delicious vapor. Unfortunately, he wouldn’t reveal much about the flavors. Off camera, he said I’d have to walk the plank if he told me what the new flavors were. See, I knew they were pirates!