For the Children

One of the arguments used is we must do this for the children. Now I don’t know about the rest of you, but when I was a child if my parents said no, it was no. There was no compromise, there was no getting them to give in, their word was law in our house.

Those days are all but forgotten, the state has taken away parents rights to discipline their child. Social workers visit schools telling children to call them if they feel threatened.

This makes parenting harder, then throw into the mix modern society with laws even limiting a child working on the family farm or other things that for years was considered chores then add everyone having cell phones, computers and video games, what are parents to do.

Law enforcement officer and the courts are not really any help either. Blaming parents for out of control kids, but then arresting the parents or removing the child if they try to correct the problems in their own home.

Don’t get me wrong, we need ways to protect children from actual abuse, but it isn’t abuse when parents say no and mean it. Nor is it abuse for kids to learn that they must work for what they have. The way it is now, is actually a slap in the face to those who have suffered real abuse.

Just as states need to enforce the laws they have, they need to let parents parent without fear of their child being taken from them, once given that then hold parents accountable for the actions of their child.

Look throughout history at any great man or woman when they were young, chances are you will not find them getting their way all the time or having everything handed too them. More often than not you will find a child that grew up knowing there was consequences for their actions. Learning that lesson can take a child far in this world, a lot farther than being told everyone’s a winner.

So, let’s support the right of parents to be allowed to parent their children, and educate those who don’t know how. Yes, mistakes will happen, but in the long run we and our future will be better for it.

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Why The Words ‘Max VG’ Means Nothing

It is commonplace anymore to see juices listed as max VG. Sadly those words tell us nothing of the PG/VG ratio in them.

Here’s why: You have a 30 ml of juice marketed as max VG. Lets say you are wanting 12mg nicotine level, at 100mg nicotine base, that is 3.6ml of the juice or 12%. Is that nicotine PG or VG based?

Then you add flavorings, many average around 20% flavor, meaning another 6 ml of your juice. Most flavorings use a PG base, there are a few VG flavors out, but sadly not many.  There are also some vendors who use as much as 30% flavors. Which will lower any VG ratio even more.

So already you have a juice that maybe 32/68 PG/VG, but could also be 20/80 PG/VG This difference is all based off the nicotine used.

That ratio though could wind up being much lower in VG, as this is assuming that straight VG is used for the rest. Some juice makers also add water, or instead of using 100% USP grade VG, use a 50/50 mix. All of that would still be a max VG for them, but in reality if a 50/50 base is used, you will have less than 40% VG

Why is this information so important? Many vapers have a sensitivity to PG. Some like myself it is mild, in others it is more pronounced. One friend of mine is so sensitive that even her husband vaping a high PG juice around her will cause her issues. So where I can go up to 30/70 PG/VG without concern she can’t go over 20/80.

Most experienced vapers who are PG sensitive know the ratio they can handle and will look for juices in that range. A few years ago that meant contacting vendors and asking as there wasn’t many high VG options at the time. At this stage of vaping we have a variety of options.

Many of us no longer bother e-mailing a vendor to find out the PG/VG ratio as why should we waste our time doing so when other vendors have it on their site?

Another Post about Diacetyl

Lately diacetyl in e-juice has come back under fire. So I wanted to take a few minutes and share some interesting facts.

What is Diacetyl? The short answer is, it is a flavor additive that tastes like butter. The longer answer can be found on-line here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diacetyl

Diacetyl (IUPAC systematic name: butanedione or butane-2,3-dione) is an organic compound with the chemical formula (CH3CO)2. It is a volatile, yellow/green liquid with an intensely buttery flavor. It is avicinal diketone (two C=O groups, side-by-side) with the molecular formula C4H6O2. Diacetyl occurs naturally in alcoholic beverages and is added to some foods to impart its buttery flavor.

It has been known to cause what is referred to as popcorn lung (bronchiolitis obliterans (BO)  ) in workers in microwave popcorn plants. While this is troubling it should be noted that so far only one consumer has ever gotten BO.

Is it really that bad? While I want vendors to test their juices for diacetyl and other diketones, the question we should look at is: “Is this really that bad?” I find it curious that for something as bad as this is, to not have caused many of us to get BO from smoking, as diacetyl is one of over 500 chemicals added to cigarette tobacco under the name 2,3-Butanedione. http://www.tricountycessation.org/tobaccofacts/Cigarette-Ingredients.html#list

If 2 bags of microwave popcorn a day for 10 years can cause a man to get BO, then surly those of us who smoked 2+ packs a day for 10+ years should have also been at risk, but to my knowledge none of us have developed BO.

Now all of that said, I personally don’t want needless risks for such things as BO in my e-juices and I do applaud vendors like Mike at Roar Vapor who do test their juices and reformulate any that come back with it.

Just using flavorings said to be free of diacetyl isn’t enough. As while it is an organic compound it does have a chemical formula, one that can be a by product of chemical reactions in mixing different flavorings. Also it should be noted that higher amounts of some flavors can also show diacetyl when lower amounts of the same flavor does not.

A prime example of this is 2 juices that Mike had tested. Roar Vanilla and Roar Vanilla Rootbeer.

From the email between Mike at Roar Vapor and myself:

what you are referring to is Roar Vanilla and Roar Vanilla Rootbeer. Both juices, while having different amounts of flavoring, had the same flavorings in them except one. Roar Vanilla came back very positive with Diacytel while Roar Vanilla Rootbeer, which had the same flavors as Roar Vanilla but with the addition of a rootbeer flavoring, came back clean. They were both made and tested at the same times. 

Mike being the responsible vendor he is, pulled both flavors and reformulated them.

So what about those of us who DIY? As most of the juice I vape is DIY it is important to understand the risks of what I am doing. As many of us can’t afford to spend $300 per juice to get it tested, we need to rely on facts and common sense.

We know not all flavor manufacturers test their flavorings, in reality very very few do, but that doesn’t need to stop us from being on the safe side of things. Using high quality, highly concentrated flavorings helps. As the less of a favoring needed the less chance it has to naturally create chemicals reactions leading to unwanted things in e-juice.

At the end of the day it comes down to what we already knew, vaping is safer than smoking. Even with diacetyl in a juice it has been shown to be 100 times lower than that found in cigarettes. http://www.ecigarette-research.com/web/index.php/research/2014/178-da-ap

What Makes a Real Vaper?

What makes someone a real vaper?

There is debate in the community about what group of vapers are real vapers. Some will tell you if you are not running some dual or triple cell mod with a super sub-ohm 0.09 coil you are not really vaping. Others stance is those who do are not real vapers, that real vapers don’t use sub-ohm set ups and chase clouds.

Labels such as ‘Cloud Chaser’, ‘Volume Vaper’, and ‘Tootle Puffer’ are getting tossed around all over the community, but why and are they really needed?

I will openly admit I don’t like vapers who are cloud chasers. My reasons are very simple, we are not fighting a war on facts and science. We are fighting a war on public perception. What you do in your home is completely your business. Once taken out of your home and into the public eye, it then becomes everyone’s business, and like it or not if Joe Public sees 100 people vaping and one of those is being a jerk and blowing clouds towards others or otherwise causing an problem, the other 99 will be forgotten and the one remembered.

For those wondering what a ‘Tootle Puffer’ is, it is a label coined in ECF (E-Cigarette Forum) meaning a vaper who uses low voltage/wattages and usually stays in standard to low ohm.

All labels aside, let me say this. It doesn’t matter if you are using a BT cig-a-like, an ego, or some over priced mod, if you are using it to vaporize e-liquid with or without nicotine, then you are a vaper. Same goes for carto tanks, or rba’s, you are still vaping.

There are no ‘Master Coil Builders’ or ‘Professional Vapers’, vaping is not a sport. It is a safer alternative to smoking. So I don’t care how many sponsors you have, they are just plain ignorant.

So let’s try to cut out the labels, we don’t have to like each others styles of vaping. We don’t have to even support them. We do however need to cut the crap and present a united front.

The only thing we need to ask is: “Do you advocate?”

realvapers

Cotton Wicks

As some of you know I do not use cotton for my wicks.  This has nothing to do with if I believe cotton to be safe or harmful, but is the simple fact that I have tried cotton (both cotton balls and Japanese Organic) and had a reaction to it.

When this comes up I almost always have at least one person tell me they have never heard of someone having a problem with cotton or that this is super rare.  So I decided to start looking into it more.

One of the first things I found was that having a mild reaction to cotton wicks is not as rare as some may think.  If it was, I highly doubt within an hour of reading I would have found someone else who had issue with cotton and so has also quit using them for wicks.

The Kayfun Mini V2.1 with Eko/Silica Build

In the first few minutes of that youtube video Dimitri (A.K.A. The Vapin Greek) tells of his problems with cotton and why he has stopped using it.

Now this alone should be enough to tell people we need to have other options.  Not saying no one should use cotton, but if some vapers find they can’t use it, and everything coming out uses it, where does that put them.  Thankfully Dimitri and I can both rebuild, so for us there are other options.

What about new vapers tho?

We tell new vapers not to jump right into rebuilding for good reason, but now what if one of them has an issue with cotton as well?  It is hard to find anything other than protanks that do not use cotton heads.  Are they doomed to be limited to one option only?  How well did that work for most of us?

We need options out there, not just for those of us already vaping but for those who may start.  Vaping never has been and never will be a ‘One Size Fits All’.

If anyone wants to do further reading on cotton and possible effects, I did come across this case report, and while it speaks of one man, it does reference many studies done on breathing in cotton dust.  

Memorial Day

Tomorrow is Memorial Day here in the states. A time for us to remember those men and women in uniform who have died defending our country, our rights, and our way of life.

They did it for any number of reasons, some trying to better themselves, some trying to escape their homes and/or lack of jobs. Still others just seeking a way to pay for college, and for some it was always their dream to go into the service.

No matter what their reasons were, they served with pride. They believed in what our country stands for, and they lived their lives to the fullest.

Tomorrow there will be BBQs and ceremonies going on all over the country, but I would like to ask everyone to do something else also. When someone is in the service, it isn’t just them that serve, their family does as well. While it is great to honor those who died, let us not forget their families.

If you know someone who lost a spouse or a child in the armed services, please tomorrow while you are going about your day, pay them a visit or give them a call. Maybe even invite them to go with you. Let them know you remember their loved one and them.

Side Effects of Vaping

Almost daily there is another “study” showing the harmful effects of vaping.  Most of these use bad/no science or they twist the headlines, knowing most people will never read the study.

They do have one thing right, there are side effects from vaping.

Yes, I said it, there are side effects from vaping, but they are not harmful.  That is unless you count being able to taste or smell as harmfull.  Okay, I will grant you, being able to smell again might at times seem harmful.

One such side effect is instead of drinking maybe a glass of water a week, I now drink about 2 liters of water a day.  This is due to vaping making my mouth feel dry.  The water replaced a 2 liter a day soda habit.

I also can breath again, no longer tied to asthma inhalers and nebulizers to get me through the day.  This aids me in then being able to do more.  It also saves me trips to the doctors.

No more morning cough!  I use to dread waking, knowing the second I moved an inch the coughing would start.  My chest would hurt from trying to cough up what was left of my lungs every morning.

These types of side effects tho are not the only ones I have personally experienced.

Because of vaping I have had to learn things like battery safety.  This doesn’t just apply to e-cigs and mods either, it applies to all hand-held electronics.

Ohm’s Law, this is a biggie.  It helps in my rebuilding and goes hand in hand with battery safety.  You would think having replaced all the wiring on a 79 Ford T-bird or running the wiring in my room, I would have already known Ohm’s Law, but I didn’t.

I have learned more about science and research than I ever did in school.  Reading the before mentioned studies has taught me tons about how things work or more often or not shows me why they don’t work.

To go with the research and learning how to read the studies, is learning how to tell good science from trash science.  It is my hope I see more good science coming soon.

Mixing juices and understanding how things work I have also learned a bit of chemistry.  If only my high school teachers would have taught it in a manner that interested me.

A big side effect for me has been that I now actually care about politics.  I also advocate and try to educate.  Sharing what I have learned with others.

I have experienced many great side effects from vaping, as have just about every vaper I have spoken with.  So, yes I am glad there are side effects from vaping.