Vaping Today: Great for Cloud Chasers But What About the Beginners?
All the hullabaloo around Aspire’s release of the new Nautilus 2 vape tank is welcome news for shall we say ‘intermediate beginner vapers’ – but has the vaping industry forgotten what it’s all about?
Not a day goes by without a new sub ohm tank or super powered mod hitting the shops which is great for the sub ohm vapers among us.
But has the industry forgotten that vaping in the purest form is a method to stop smoking?
And if that’s the case then is the industry in danger of eating its own tail by shifting away from beginners and pandering to the cloud chasers – the high wattage brigade and the enthusiasts?
And I’m not just talking about the manufacturers either – bricks and mortar shops are just as guilty as I’ll explain from personal experiences later.
OK so where’s all this come from you might ask and why is the silly old sod moaning?
Let me explain.
Are Beginners to Vaping Forgotten?
I watched a couple of YouTube videos this week – one featuring a vape shop owner from America and the other a very popular reviewer from Malaysia.
First up the video from the shop owner who goes by the You Tube handle ‘Luscious Vape’.
She asks a simple question – ‘What happened to mouth to lung [MTL] vaping?’
Once a 2 packs of cigarettes a day smoker it was vaping that got her off the habit and now five years on and as a vape shop owner she can’t find any new beginner MTL products to sell.
If this is all that the vaping market is selling anymore we’re gonna start declining on the amount of people that are quitting smoking using this.
At one time I felt it was a very successful in helping people to quit – I’ve helped hundreds of people to quit – and stay quit!
She believes that many of the newer shop stock mostly sub ohm vape gear and that simply isn’t going to help people quit smoking.
She says the shift in focus has made her sad adding:
The whole point of starting this [vaping] four years ago was to help people quit. It worked for me and I believe in it so much.
She raises the point that even before you’ve bought a version one device/tank there’s a version two and three on the market and it’s all pretty much sub ohm stuff.
Anyone who wants a decent mouth to lung hit has a hard time finding a new trendy looking funky kit that is going to be enjoyable.
She makes it very clear she’s not ‘dissing’ the sub ohm crowd – but makes an extremely valid point.
A Problem With Bricks and Mortar Vape Shops?
I read somewhere recently that vaping ain’t just for the hip kids anymore with plenty of the over 50s proudly calling themselves vapers.
Given I’m 55 – yeah I know hard to believe and my photo was taken last year lol – I’m proud to be an oldie vaping advocate of sorts.
I say ‘of sorts’ as despite my partner being given an Aspire K2 at Christmas she’s still eyeing it suspiciously muttering such things as ‘I really must try that soon’ whilst puffing on a John Player Blue.
However, I have managed to encourage plenty of other smokers to give e-cigarettes a go and at one point my local pub became almost a ‘quit smoking by vaping surgery’ as curious regulars lined up to chat about the benefits.
So I was delighted to be asked last week to pop into town to get a guy slightly older than me a decent beginner’s kit and some of that ‘juice stuff’ lol.
There’s two vape shops in my town that sprang up a few years ago on the wave of hope for smokers that vaping brought.
On hitting the first I was surprised to see he stocked not one beginner’s kit! Yup you read that right – not one beginner’s kit.
Sure he had a whole host of the new [extremely expensive] Boxer mods and a handful of well-known mech brands – all the wires and cotton you could wish for – but the closest the shop had to your basic beginners e-cigarette was…
”We Don’t Stock Tobacco Flavoured E-Liquid”
Undeterred I asked for a tobacco flavoured e-liquid with 18mg nicotine – the guy I was buying for is a heavy smoker of 40 years as I once was.
The young lad behind the counter looked at me as if I was from another planet.
“Er we don’t stock tobacco flavours – or go that high” emphasis on high – and wait for it “as it’s bad for you”.
If folks working in a vape shop are under the misguided notion that nicotine is ‘bad for you’ then any hope of getting more folks to quit the cigs with all the evil extras created by burning is over!
Nicotine is no more dangerous, when used sensibly, as caffeine.
Apparently the highest nic strength stocked was 12mg and a custard flavour which incidentally was sold out – which makes you think!
Knowing the old fellah would look at me like I was an idiot bringing back custard flavoured ‘juice’ I thanked him and left [though those Boxer mods did look nice lol].
Shop two was a little better.
Vaping Fog in Shops – Off Putting to Old Fogies Like Me?
This one is for the funkier crowd and staffed by what I call the black clothed snap cap wearing brigade and walking in there is indeed like walking into Victorian smog – created by the staff I have to add.
Now given I’m quite a hip old guy [honest :)] and an established vaper that kind of thing doesn’t bother me.
But a prospective customer desperately wanting to give up cigarettes and walking into ‘cloud city’ – especially older folks – are – well not going to bother are they?
I mean if that’s what they think vaping is then I’m pretty sure most will be put off immediately never to return to the life-saving/life-changing world of vaping again.
OK so I ask what beginners kits they had available – I had already checked on their website – and once again I got ‘that look’ – you know the one I mean – that vape shop assistant look half way between eyes rolling at having to deal with an idiot customer [I play the part well!] and this is soooo boring as I wanna talk about the new RDA and supa-dupa mech mod you’ll need a second mortgage to buy 😉
He told me they had the K2 from Aspire in stock ‘somewhere’ – things were looking up!
Putting him to the test I asked if I could hold one – remember I have reviewed this super piece of kit and loved it.
Unfortunately they did not allow customers to handle the goods which I understand – but I couldn’t help but notice half a dozen high end ‘cloud chasing’ sub ohm kits ready to be tried out [with hygienic tip covers].
Let beginners test the goods too guys!!!
To cut a long story short he knew nothing and I mean nothing about the set-up apart from telling me it was ‘popular’ with ‘old people and women’ – the oldies who dare to fight their way through the fog I assume.
But I bet your bottom dollar he knows absolutely everything about the Goon or the Smok GX350 – and there lies the big vaping issue IMHO.
If we forget the beginners then you might kiss goodbye to vaping? [discuss below in the comments].
I’d like to see shop owners educating their staff in beginner kits just as much as they would more advanced all singing all dancing devices – does that not make sense to you?
As to e-liquids?
The shop will be only stocking 6mg nicotine juice in the future [it’s the law he said which induced a real life face palm from yours truly] however I was ‘lucky’ as they did have a decent number of 18mg juices left – tobacco flavours too.
Long story short – I took it back to my mate and luckily was able to show him how to fill it – swap out the coils and all that jazz. And to be honest, I left him puffing away in the corner of the pub [they allow vaping but not cloud chasing] with a look of sheer bliss on his face.
A pint and a tobacco flavoured e-cig – in a pub – beautiful!
It Ain’t Just Me
Regular ECigClick visitor Sharon contacted me via Facebook whilst I was writing this asking for help with her Innokin Pebble and Slipstream tank.
She already owns a Pebble ‘with another tank’ and loved it so much she decided to buy a backup.
The ‘guy in the vape shop’ [see where this is going?] sold her the Pebble and Slipstream kit and a set of spare coils.
She was led to believe this set up would ‘vape the same’.
Now she’s relatively new to vaping and enjoys MTL. However, on trying the Slipstream out at 15 watts it of course would barely fire the coil in the tank given they only come in 0.5 and 0.8ohm – that’s sub ohm!!!
You can of course shut off most of the airflow but trust me it’s not a very good MTL vape 😉
Long story short – she ploughed through the two coils in the kit AND the spare pack and almost choked on strong nicotine e-liquid as she increased the wattage.
I started vaping to give up smoking and save money – this has cost me a fortune!
She told me.
She really must have been at her wits end to contact me for advice – haha – but we eventually managed to sort things out and she has swapped the Slipstream for a Nautilus – which is a great MTL tank!
I’m pretty sure there are stories like this up and down the country if not the world – and it really has to stop but I’ll come to that in a moment.
Sexy Big Ass Vape Set-Up But What About the Newbies?
You Tube is a great place [OK was] for a newcomer to vaping to get some idea of what it’s all about.
I say was because it’s very rare you’ll see a ‘popular’ You Tube reviewer putting out a beginners to vaping guide or a beginners kit review these days – it just ain’t sexy enough for them maybe?
Hey – don’t forget your roots guys and gals – we were all beginners once and we all had no [or little idea] what we were doing.
Given the popularity of vaping videos and channels at the moment you guys and gals are in the perfect place to get more folks off the ‘stinkies’.
And yes I know it’s ‘your channel’ and therefore you can [within reason] do what you like with it – and that’s how it should be.
You are Vape Ambassadors – vaping advocates – even life savers – so come on increase the knowledge for the new to vaping scene instead of the continual conveyor belt of over-priced over powered vape kits.
Don’t just half-heartedly stick a sentence at the end of your video asking people if they’d like to see a beginners kit reviewed [and not only the new Nautilus 2 you received pre-launch embargo] – REVIEW it!
Yes I know a few of you have and that’s excellent.
But if the hype around the Nautilus 2 hadn’t been so well stage managed by the marketing team behind it [particularly on social media] and the build-up so cleverly handled – would it have received such attention?
In the case of the Nautilus 2 I guess it might have done given the enormous debt vapers owe to the original game changing tank.
But as to other beginners devices – not that there’s many around – where are those reviews on the popular channels?
I strongly doubt your regular channel subscribers will suddenly leave in their droves in disgust at you reviewing or offering a tutorial for stone cold newbies to vaping – if anything they should ENCORAGE it!
It might not be ‘sexy’ enough but it WILL get folks off the cigs AND that is what vaping is all about.
And hey how about this – you might even encourage the vape manufacturers to stop and think a bit.
For as Malaysian You Tube reviewer Geekay Vapes said recently – innovation appears to be bigger and more powerful mods and tanks where the real innovation should come from the type of batteries we are using as in not the‘dated’ 18650s and the like – great point!
Keep the Vaping Wagon Rolling
Look I’m not moaning about You Tube reviewers per se – I watch the good – the popular and the absolute train wreck channels lol.
I’m just saying that the vape industry through lack of knowledge by shop assistants – over engineering by manufacturers and the lack of an open door helpful policy across the board in welcoming new vapers is in danger of grinding this great movement to a halt.
99.999% of us turn or have turned to vaping to STOP SMOKING!!!
And what you vape shouldn’t matter – but how you present as a vaper should.
There’s a great rant on You Tube from Suck My Mod – love that channel – who after surfing around a few forums and Facebook vape groups was shocked to see the distain from ‘experienced’ vapers towards newcomers.
It’s well worth a view and hopefully the next time someone enters a group you’re a member of asking a seemingly simple question – you at least will take the time to answer carefully – thoughtfully and above all politely.
Look I’m not being a doomsday merchant here – as long as the demand is there for high wattage devices and juice guzzling cloud chucking monsters the companies will pump them out and I have no issues with the folks using them!
But as I said earlier let’s not forget our roots and let’s NOT leave newcomers behind because without them continually arriving on the scene vaping as we know it will eventually eat itself.