Monday, 11 August 2014

Happy Birthday, Scott !

Today happens to be Scott Bonner's birthday, so I thought that it is the perfect time to pay my respects to him.

I started using electronic cigarettes in the summer of 2011 and spent the next couple of years finding out more about them.

Scott Bonner was one of my biggest influences back then, I learned so much from watching his You-Tube videos about e-cigs. I can remember the joy of finding out that he had uploaded a new video and would sit and avidly watch each and every single one. Even if he was reviewing a product that I had no intention of buying myself, I would still watch them over again just to learn and find out about what was new on the electronic cigarette scene.

Scott's You-Tube Channel

I would go so far as to say that if I had to pick someone who had helped me learn about e-cigs - someone who has been the biggest influence for me over the previous 3 years - then Scott would be one of the first names to spring to mind.

This is just my personal view, but I am fairly sure that there are thousands of other people out there that think the same way.

So, THANK YOU, Scott.

I hope that you have a Happy Birthday.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Blucigs TV ad campaign, and the Pro kit.

Blucigs were formerly known as Skycig in the UK, and now owned by Lorillard (a giant US tobacco company).

Have launched their multi million pound TV ad campaign which will run continuously between now and the end of December.

It aims to be seen by 50% of adult smokers per month - and to have been seen by 90% of all adult smokers by the end of the year.

This is the full version - the TV version contains a subtitle with the words:
"Contains nicotine, 18+ only, Blu ecigs are not a smoking cessation device and have not been evaluated by the MHRA"

And on the subject of Blu cigs, I purchased one of their new Pro starter kits to see what they have done with it.

It is basically an evod starter kit for 19.99, nothing new there. Here are my initial thoughts :

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

A vaping great week on holiday !

Last week, I was lucky enough to be able to take the opportunity to have a week off work and go on holiday.

I decided to travel South and visit some family, but that meant driving around the country, and that meant going past some vaping shops.

Now, I love visiting e-cig shops whenever I am away from home - for a chat and to say hello, so I wasn't going to let this holiday be any different.

First stop - on my way down the M1 - I took a little diversion and went to see my friend Stuart, who works at the Ecigwizard shop in Kettering.

I was glad that I did - It was great to meet up with Stuart and have a natter, in between the steady flow of customers. His enthusiasm for the shop was plain to see and I wish that I could have spent more time there. The next time I am passing, I will certainly pop back to sit on the sofa and chat about e-cigs.

Two days later, I was in Peterborough. I had been invited to visit the Ecigwizard headquarters, and spent most of the day as a guest of Chris Carr, who took me on a tour of the factory. I have been selling their WizMix brand of e-liquid in my shop for quite some time now and it is, and always has been, a very popular range for my customers. 

I was glad that I went. Incredible to see the sheer commitment, dedication and enthusiasm of the whole team behind the company, experience the mesmerizing effect of watching the bottling machine go round, and to finally meet people like Sam, for example, that I have spoken to on the phone several times.

The following day, it was time for something a little different and a trip to SweetCloud in Farnborough  to say hello to Jan.

I had met Jan, at her Sweet Cloud shop, back in January - and since then the shop has literally doubled in size! She has extended into the shop next door. If you are ever in the area, then I thoroughly recommend you pay a visit to this shop - hundreds of flavours of e-liquid available, in a choice of PG, VG or 50/50 and choice of products from a CE4 up to a Innokin 134 - and everything in between.


After these 3 visits, one distinct common theme was the genuine sense of enthusiasm and enjoyment of working with e-cigs. It seems to be the same all over the country.

But alas, all good things must come to an end, and eventually it was time for the long ride home !


Saturday, 8 March 2014

the XL Pro e-cig from Intellicig (Nicoventures/BAT)

The XL Pro is the new starter kit from Intellicig, a company owned by BAT.

It is interesting that it has been timed to launch just after the Puritane from Imperial, however the e-cig itself is completely different.

It works using a glass Aspire BDC tank and a variable voltage, Spinner, type of battery.

Here is my initial demonstration of the XL Pro and a quick run-down on how it works.

It is a good starter kit, there is no doubt about that.

I personally use an Aspire tank on a Spinner on a fairly regular basis, and have been doing ever since the Aspires first appeared a short while ago, so there is nothing especially new here.

It seems as though they have looked at what is available and then come up with a checklist of what would be needed for a good starter kit.

- Refillable
- Glass Tank
- Changeable coil
- Variable Voltage battery

The results are then neatly bundled into a well presented box and supplied with a good set of instructions.

It is noticeable that BAT are using the Intellicig brand to develop their 'Generation 2' e-cigs.

I have a feeling that they will run with this kit, whilst at the same time developing new clearomisers and atomisers in anticipation of the Tobacco Products Directive legislation.

It seems to me to be a good tactic for them to have the 2 brands, both Intellicig and Vype - and the strategy appears to be for the Intellicig label to supply regular e-cig products whilst the Vype brand is used for BAT specific products that they have developed themselves.

Actually, I was both pleased and relieved when I saw the kit. Why ? - because it wasn't a "let down". It was good, it worked, and it is the kind of starter kit that I would have come up with using currently available products.

This is part 2 of my XL Pro video

So, it seems like Nicoventures are trying to get some market share, with the launch of this starter kit.

An whilst they are committed to having a licensed medicinal product, they clearly recognise that the real growth is going to be in the generation 2 consumer products and they don't want to be left behind in either sector.


Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Martin McKee is not an expert on e-cigs

Martin McKee
Martin McKee
It seems like we just keep going round and round in circles on this one.

Martin McKee was on BBC Newsnight last night (38 mins in), perpetuating the myth that he is an "expert" on e-cigarettes - he isn't

As Christopher Snowdon pointed out in this post HERE, - McKee has shown no interest in e-cigs until September last year, and then after posting 2, rather dubious, opinion pieces - he is suddenly elevated to the status of an "expert".

After his dismal appearance on BBC Radio 4, which I commented on HERE, it is surprising how he manages to maintain the facade of expertise on this subject.

Let us just remind ourselves how Martin McKee is viewed by REAL e-cig experts :

Going back to his performance on Newsnight, last night - Martin McKee did his usual trick :
In order to try to mask his lack of knowledge, understanding and research on electronic cigarettes, he always brings the subject round to smoking.

He does it every time - simply because he is out of his depth on this.

When confronted with evidence that the EU TPD could result in 105,000 deaths due to restrictions on effective e-cigs, he doesn't have an answer for this, because he doesn't understand the subject.

When asked a direct question, by Kirsty Walk, he replied "thats not the question we should be asking" - because he had no answer - he was unprepared.

Now, if I published a couple of posts about gas boilers, would that make me a qualified gas engineer?
No, of course not.

So lets say this again, Martin McKee is not an "expert" on the subject of electronic cigarettes. He has demonstrated this time and time again - he has done no research and seems to be completely unqualified on this topic.


Saturday, 22 February 2014

The Puritane e-cigarette, by Fontem Ventures.


On sale from Monday 24th Feb at Boots the Chemist

The Puritane e-cig has generated a lot of publicity recently, much more so than the average new e-cig launch. I think that this is for 2 main reasons. Firstly because the Puritane is made by a company called Fontem Ventures which is part of Imperial Tobacco and, secondly, because the Puritane will be on sale in Boots the Chemist.

Boots have a very high level of consumer trust, and so its says a lot for the quality of the Puritane.

I was lucky enough to receive some samples of the Puritane to try out and these are my first impressions.

Lets have a look at the presentation - The Puritane comes in 2 formats, a disposable and a rechargeable version.

The packaging is very neat and professional looking, with plenty of information and instructions on the back of the packet.

Here is a size comparison of the Putitane next to the Vype, one of its main competitors.

The Cartomisers are made in the UK. The Puritane holds 1.1ml of liquid and has a highest strength of 1.6% nicotine. Personally, I would prefer to use a higher strength of nicotine, especially in this form of e-cig, but I have to remind myself that this is just the first product from Fontem and I am fairly sure that there will be several variants available in the future.

Fontem appear to be approaching the e-cig market with a different strategy to BAT.

BAT have played a very slick advertising and social media campaign to make their product appeal to smokers as an alternative.

Fontem seem to be playing it in a more cautious, but well thought out, way. With total reassurance about quality at the forefront - and completely guarding themselves against false claims of providing any form of "gateway" or "marketing at kids" - by providing the product over the counter in a respected chemist.

The Puritane would not be suitable for me - but then again, it doesn't aim to be - I am not part of the target market. This product would appeal to someone who is a smoker and who would like to try an e-cig, but who has, so far, had various concerns about electronic cigarettes, a fear of the unknown. That it is available from Boots will provide a high level of reassurance about the quality and safety of the Puritane.

Will it be a success? Of course it will, but how much of a success depends on how it is advertised and marketed. Fontem do seem to play their cards very close to their chest, but I have a feeling that we will not have to wait very long for the marketing to begin.

This is just the first step for Fontem and Imperial, on what will end up being a very long journey for them.


Monday, 17 February 2014

the Vype national TV advert


The TV advert for the VYPE electronic cigarette, due to be shown from tonight (Feb 17th) until April 6th.

The advert uses the tagline “Experience the Breakthrough”  It shows a man and woman running through a city before passing through a cloud of vapour and being propelled into the air.

This version of the advert uses the words "satisfaction for smokers" - however the TV broadcast version will use the words "satisfaction for vapers"