Vaping Diaries #293: VapeHead Origins Chinen Aguna Interview (VapeCon Manila)

VapeHead Origins had a pair of awesome products on display at VapeCon Manila 2015 — the VHO Quad Box Mod and Mini Haze atomizer. In the interview below, VapeHead Origins’ Chinen Aguna walked me through both products. First, let’s talk about the Quad Box, which is one of the slickest box mods I’ve ever seen. Available in black and silver, the Quad is made from hard aluminum and features copper contacts. Compared to most box mods on the market, VHO’s device is svelte and sleek. On paper, the materials the Quad is made from should translate to fantastic performance if the workmanship is point. I’m anxious to get one in my hands so that I can find out for myself.

On the atomizer side, VapeHead Origins was showing off the Mini Haze RDA. The original Haze was prized by cloud blowers. The newer and smaller model offers better flavor, but can still produce some sizable clouds. VapeHead Origins also implemented some improvements from the original, which Chinen detailed in the interview. Also available in black and silver, the Mini Haze comes with a standard cap for flavor chasers and a competition cap for cloud blowers.

Looking back at my VapeCon Manila 2015 experience, the VapeHead Origins booth was the first one I hit up. I was excited to see the Quad Box and Mini Haze in person. After checking them out, I was sold. Unfortunately, I got so busy with interviews that I became really tired and forgot to pick these products up. I’m still kicking myself for not taking advantage of the great prices at VapeCon Manila.

Anyway, check out my chat with Chinen to learn more about these sweet VapeHead Origins products.

Vaping #292: Influx E-Juice Jason “JJ” Joves Interview

One of the coolest people I’ve met in the vaping industry, Jason “JJ” Joves is the mastermind behind Influx E-Juice. Recently, I chatted with JJ at Vape Star Los Angeles. He spoke about his culinary background at Le Cordon Bleu, his three launch flavors, upcoming flavors, and more. Influx E-Juice’s Manilla Thrilla is really popular in the Southern California area and the company’s best seller at Vape Star. Maeberry is JJ’s all-day vape and one of the few fruit blends that I really enjoy. Vapers looking for refreshing complexity will enjoy Chill Pill, a delightful summer blend.

I’m really excited to try Influx E-Juice’s upcoming liquids. During our chat, JJ teased some upcoming flavors, including a dessert mix, a whiskey e-liquid, and a champagne e-liquid. As you can tell from my videos, I’m a big fan of dessert, champagne, and whiskey, so I’m looking forward to checking out these juices, which should debut at the upcoming Vape Summit trade show.

In a short time, Influx E-Juice has become a very popular e-liquid company. With tasty products and creative mind like JJ at the helm, it’s no wonder why. Check out the clip below to learn more about the company and it’s delicious e-liquids.

Vaping Diaries #291: Ghetto Inc Customs Christopher Malolos Interview (Vapecon Manila)

At Vapecon Manila 2015, I caught up with Ghetto Inc Customs owner Chrisopher Malolos to talk about the Supremo 26650 mod, APO v2 atomizer, Buhawi atomizer, and more. A lot of people know Malalos as the designer for the original APO atomizer. The new and upcoming Ghetto Inc Customs products he showed me will certainly take the company to new heights.

As a Filipino-American, the Supremo 26650 has become my favorite mod of its size. The tri-tone copper, brass, and steel look makes it easy to match the Supremo with other hardware, while the Filipino map engraving is totally boss. The contacts are silver plated for optimum performance. The mod looks great and hits hard — I couldn’t ask for anything more (except, perhaps, a special edition model with my face and logo on it).

As a flavor chaser, I was greatly interested in Ghetto Inc Custom’s Buhawi atomizer. This atty handles airflow in a unique manner, with top airflow holes that channel the air to the side of the body. In its default mode, it’s a compelling option for vapers that prefer flavor over vapor. That said, if you’re looking for more vapor, it comes with a competition-style cap with much larger air holes.

Lastly, Malolos showed me Ghetto Inc Custom’s APO v2 atomizer. It looks like a very versatile atomizer that should be available at an affordable price. During the interview, Malolos said that when you see the price of the APO v2, you won’t want to buy a clone. I can’t wait to see what the final price will be.

For more details on these products and to see them, be sure to watch the video interview below.

The Vaping Diaries #272: The Big Levapeski Brandy Tseu Interview (Vapecon USA)

Inspired by the cult classic film The Big Lebowski, The Big Levapeski is a line of vaping e-liquids that will appeal to fans of The Dude, Donny, and The Jesus. At Vapecon USA 2014, I met up with The Big Levapeski manager Brandy Tseu to learn more about this line of juices. There are a few notes here. First, I didn’t realize that I still had Lilly Evans lipstick on my face while I was interviewing Brandy until I edited the video. So, oops. Secondly, with juice names like “Shut the F*ck Up Donny!” and “Nobody F*cks With The Jesus,” I had to make ample use of the censor sound. Ha!

Check out the The Big Levapeski interview above to learn more about the four launch flavors in this line of juices.

Big Levapeski interview

Vaping Diaries #271: The Vape Kit Interview (Vapecon USA)

The Vape Kit is one of the smartest companies in the vaping business. The company originally started with a question-and-answer site, similar to a Quora or a Yahoo! Answers for vapers. Considering that there’s a lot to learn in the (relatively) new and (relatively) wacky world of vaping, a crowd-sourced and community-driven solution that answers questions many vapers have was a fantastic idea.

For its second act, The Vape Kit has released a compact and complete toolkit made just for vapers. Again, this was a really smart idea that solves a problem that many vapers encounter. Since there isn’t a vaping section at Ace Hardware or Home Depot, many beginning vapers start out with the wrong tools that end up being a waste of money and space. The Vape Kit toolset packs all the essentials in an easy-to-carry package. You get an ohm reader, tweezers, needle-nose pliers, a wire cutter, precision screwdrivers, and more.

Learn all about The Vape Kit — both the company and the toolset — from founders Aleks Blagojevich and Aaron Silva in the Vapecon USA interview above.

Vape Kit interview

Vaping Diaries #198: Vape Shops and Mistruths About Cotton

For the last year or so, cotton has become the wicking material of choice for many vapers. There are several reasons why cotton makes excellent vaping wick, but there are also some misconceptions about what it offers and what it doesn’t. Recently, I was at a local vape shop and was shocked by what one of the clerks was telling a customer about cotton. Some of the things he said were inaccurate and some of them were flat-out false. With so many unknowns in vaping, I was appalled that a vape shop employee was spreading misinformation and mistruths about cotton. Let’s take a look at some of the things this vape store clerk said about cotton.

“Cotton is totally safe — much safer than silica.” — The first part of of what this clerk said is simply not true, while the second part is unknown. The employee’s reasoning was that cotton is safe because it’s a natural substance. What the employee didn’t tell the customer (either out or ignorance or out of laziness) is that the sterile CVS cotton balls used at his store are chemically treated (more on that in a sec). While its second-nature to vapers that have been using cotton wicks for a long time, newcomers have to be mindful about the wick drying up. Inhaling burning cotton is not safe, despite what the clerk said.

As for cotton being safer than silica, there are no longterm studies about the use of cotton or silica for vaping. Saying one is “much safer” than the other is misleading. The reality is that nobody knows at this time. Cotton balls, silica wick, ceramic wick, steel cable, etc. were not made with inhalation in mind. Just look at the product description for CVS sterile cotton balls: “To be used for application of antiseptics, medications and to cleanse scratches, cuts, or minor wounds.” While it’s entirely possible that cotton could be safer than silica for vaping, there aren’t any longterm studies that back up this opinion. At the very least, someone at a vape shop shouldn’t be stating a rudimentarily-researched opinion (at best) or foolish conjecture (at worst) as fact.

Swisspers Organic Cotton Vaping

“Sterile cotton and organic cotton are the same.” — Saying something like this to a customer at a vape shop is just irresponsible. There are huge differences between sterile cotton and organic cotton. Again, there aren’t any longterm studies about one being safer than the other at this time, but saying that they’re the same is simply not true. In addition to being chemically treated for sterility and color, the sterile cotton balls that many vapers use were made from cotton staple that was grown with pesticides. Fear of pesticide inhalation is why some vapers choose organic cotton over the sterile version.

That isn’t to say that organic cotton is “completely safe,” but it’s certainly not “the same” as using sterile cotton. One issue with organic cotton is that it requires boiling prior to use. Ideally, this should be done with an immaculately clean pot and distilled water. Some vapers make the mistake of using tap water to boil their cotton. Almost all tap water contains minerals and some tap water supplies have been contaminated with antibiotics. Introducing these elements into something you inhale could be dangerous.

I love cotton, but… — Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not a cotton hater by any means. While it’s not my wicking material of choice, it’s certainly part of my rotation. There are many reasons why vapers love it — low cost, ease of use, clean flavor, etc. — and I totally understand why it’s so popular. That said, many vapers are under the impression that using cotton is completely safe and that’s just not true. For a vape shop employee to say this to a customer is…disturbing. There are a lot of unknowns about vaping and there’s a lot of misinformation being spread. I believe that vape shops have a responsibility to their customers and to the industry; they should be educating people about vaping, not lying to them or misleading them.