Friday, October 16, 2015

Some of my Favorite Concentrated Flavors

              Today we are going to talk about concentrated flavors and some of my favorites. As we all know, each flavor is going to differ from manufacturer to manufacturer. However, what some people do not know (or sometimes understand) is that a flavor from the same manufacturer will differ from batch to batch as well. Maybe they added a little less citric acid and a little more sucralose to a particular batch of your favorite lemon flavor. If you receive that specific batch then the normal lemon flavor with a bite that you are used will be more subtle and a little sweeter than usual. These changes are not always a result of error in manufacturing the flavor, but the manufacturer changing the recipe. All of these factors will play a part in the same flavor from batch to batch having a different smell, taste, and/or color.
               When it comes to color, this can be largely impacted by the manufacturers’ use of synthetic chemical that may naturally exist in the fruit, spice, etc. or their use of synthetic chemicals that simply mimic those flavors or natural extracts directly from the flavor that they are trying to develop. For example, most artificial (synthetic) strawberry flavors are typically a light pink to clear, but a natural extract from real strawberries has a deep red color (unless they filter the color out through a charcoal filtering or similar process).

                Now that we have cover some things related to concentrated flavor consistency, let’s talk about some of my favorite flavors. My favorite types of flavors are:

1. Peanut Butter
2. Bananas
3. Strawberry
4. Custards
5. Cereals

Hands down the best peanut butter flavor out there is Capella’s Peanut Butter if you are looking for the flavor to really stand out in your e-liquid. If you are looking for something a little more subtle then check out the peanut butter from The Flavor Apprentice (TFA).
For banana flavors, the first one that I tried was the Banana Cream from TFA and I never tried another one because I was hooked.

When it comes to strawberry flavors it really depends on what I’m looking for in my e-liquid. If I’m going for something sweet I go straight for the Sweet Strawberry from Capella, for something creamy I go for the Strawberries and Cream from TFA, and if I looking for a nice subtle flavor I use Strawberry (Ripe) from TFA.

I thought once upon a time that I would never find a vanilla custard as good as the one from Capella until TFA released theirs. It’s hard for me to really say one of them is better than the other because they are very comparable. I will say that I prefer the smell of the Vanilla Custard from TFA more.
Lastly, when it comes to cereal type flavors I believe there are only four worth mentioning. The Berry Crunch and Fruit Circles from TFA, and Apple Jacks and Captain Crunch from Flavor West.

I will leave you with this, remember that no two flavors or batches will be exactly the same and when it comes to finding a great (insert here) flavor is to try all the different options from each manufacturer because flavor are 100% subject to personal opinion.

By: Joshua Sheffield, Chemist/MIT

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The Birth of a VG Queen

Greetings Vape World,

This is my first ever blog post, so allow me to introduce myself.

I am Monique: A baby vaptriss, 3 weeks old.

My first and only mod being a generous gift from RTS: a 50 W istick E-leaf with an aspire sub ohm tank.  As I opened the box to set her up (yes I gave my mod a gender lol) a surge of excitement filled my being. This was the Genesis of something beautiful….

For 27 years, my only experience with analogs accompanied a social setting and a couple of strong drinks that dragged me outside to bum a cig from one my friends. Upon inhale I could feel the toxins coursing my veins, making my blood cold and my head light. Even in the fresh air, the pungent smell of cancer sticks lingered on my hands as I continued in celebratory fashion to turn up. The next morning would always remind me that compromising with carcinogens was psychologically repulsive. Feeling as incongruous on the inside as I smelt on the outside. But how else could I sate my unbeknownst oral fixation within reason? I was in need of an alternative….but what?

I was aware of e-cigs like Blue and Vuse, but never felt inclined to purchase one myself. So life went on in this want/hate cycle until I was employed at RTS Vapes. Hence my conception into the vape world. The moment I saw our CEO, Randy, vape in a production meeting, I knew I had found what I had been missing.

Having an awesome opportunity to learn about vape culture via blogs and forums, hearing testimonials from customers and colleagues about how vaping has benefited their lives, viewing tutorials on different mods, rebuilds, cloud tricks, DIY E-liquids and vape shows. The more exposed that I became to vaping, the more I love and appreciate it as a worthy adversary to smoking. 

Submitted by Monique Miller, Executive Assistant

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Base Basics

Are you a newbie to the DIY e-liquid community? Have you ever struggled with deciding what Propylene Glycol (PG) / Vegetable Glycerin (VG) ratio to choose? Well you’re in luck because that is what we’re going to talk about in this post.
One of the hardest thing to decide on when making e-juice, is deciding what PG/VG ratio to use. There are many things to consider when making this decision such as your preference on throat hit, how well you want the flavor to carry, and what type of device you are rocking. Let’s talk first about how PG and VG will affect your e-juice.

PG has three effects on your e-juice; it carries flavors extremely well because it is the carrier of almost every concentrated flavor on the market. It decreases vapor production and enhances throat hit which can be seen as a positive or negative depending on your preference. Lastly, it makes e-juice thinner due to its low viscosity.

VG has the opposite effect of PG. It does not carry flavors as well as PG, increases vapor production, it has little to no throat hit, and it has a thickness similar to that of honey.

The type of mod you are using will also help determine what PG/VG ratio to use. If you are using an EGO pen, you probably want to start with a 50/50, PG/VG mixture so that the liquid will wick well enough to not get a dry hit. Then you want to consider your preferences such as throat hit. If you want a harder throat hit then you can go up to a 60/40 or 70/30, PG/VG ratio, if you want a slightly less throat hit then you could use a 40/60, PG/VG ratio (I would not advise using a higher VG percentage than that in a pen).
If you are using a box or mech mod with a dripper and your coils are built to sub-Ohm then you will want to use an 20/80, PG/VG mixture or a max VG (meaning the only PG in the e-liquid comes from the concentrated flavors used). There is some room to increase the PG content for your preferences, but remember that with a setup like that even a small increase in PG will have a substantial effect in the throat hit you receive.
If you swap out the dripper for a tank or a sub-Ohm tank, there is a larger range to play with from a 60/40, PG/VG mixture up to a max VG e-juice. You just have to consider your preferences and adjust PG and VG until you find a ratio that meets your needs for flavor, vapor density, and throat hit.

Lastly, a couple things to remember when deciding on your mixture. Concentrated flavors count towards your PG percentage. So if you are wanting to make an e-liquid at 20/80, PG/VG and your flavors add up to 25% you need to increase your PG to make a 25/75 mixture. This also goes for the nicotine that you are using to make your e-liquid. If you are making a max VG e-juice then your nicotine must be VG based in order to truly be a max VG juice.

I hope this information helps you on your way to finding that perfect PG/VG ratio for yourself. Please post any questions or comments below.

Joshua Sheffield, Chemist

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Vape In Style

Vape In Style

   Today’s modern vaporizers are all about fashion and making a statement; whether it’s a bold statement or a simple one. I personally like the smaller mods that fit perfectly in my hand for ease of carrying around and it’s not such a hassle. So here are the steps I tend to take to Vape in Style!

   First, I like to select the type and size of mod I would like. Whether it’s a digital wattage mod (which allows you to choose what level of voltage or wattage you would like it to be), mechanical mod (where gives out one certain voltage depending on what amp the battery you insert is), and then we have your average stick battery which can range from 1100 or 1300mah, so it is a lot to choose from to suit anyone taste.

   Second, I of course pick a great color that suits and fit me in that particular mod. (Most of the time I try to pick a mod that comes in multiple colors because I am just a colorful chick.)
   Thirdly, if that mod doesn’t come with a tank I try to get a neutral color such as stainless or a black top piece to suit the mod. Tanks also come in various options such as Clearomizers, cartomizers, RDA’s, or my favorite sub ohm tanks J.

   And lastly, my favorite part, choosing your drip tip for your tank. There are so many options for drip tips to different textures, colors, shapes, and material. I tend to stay with an acrylic material because I don’t like the metal feeling on my teeth and then of course I try to match it as best as possible to my mod.

   You can also get all sorts of skins for your mod to even go a step further into customizing and to make it even more personal. Here is a picture of my vape and how I vape in style!

This is a picture of the eleaf 30w with a mini sub tank and a cherry vape drip tip. I can’t wait to receive my blue band seals to switch out in the tank!

    So you have this pretty big mouth piece that’s definitely a conversation starter. And it is pretty obviously that I am partial to the color blue. Flaunt your style and let your personality show through your vape.

If you post a picture of your style we will definitely send you a coupon for your next order, how about that! Show us what you’re working with! I cannot wait to see all the styles!

Submitted by: April, Operations Specialist 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Vaping Trivia

You may be surprised to learn how early the concepts of vaping started and how far it has come since then.  This quiz will test your general knowledge about vaping and the history of vaping itself. 
The first person to comment below with all of the correct answers will receive a store credit for $10.00 off of their next order with RTS Vapes.

1.      In 1963, ­­­­_________________ patented a device he described as "a smokeless non-tobacco cigarette" that could "provide a safe and harmless means for and method of smoking by replacing burning tobacco and paper with heated, moist, flavored air."  Though it was a great idea, the devices never took off and became popular.

2.      Some years later in, ­­­­______ (year), a Chinese pharmacist named Hon Lik invented the first nicotine-based digital cigarette.

3.      True or False?  Vegetable Glycerin can only be manufactured with a soy base.

4.      ­­­­___________ is the flavored liquid that will be heated to produce the vapor you inhale. There are hundreds of flavors to choose from

5.      True or False?  When vaping, nicotine is optional.

6.      What is the part of the ecig that delivers eLiquid to the coil? Typically made of silica, mesh, cotton and sometime ceramic.

7.      What is the metal piece that attaches to the battery? It also houses the wick and coil, and is the part that is responsible for heating eLiquid to the point of vaporization.

8.      Electronic cigarettes were not able to be purchased in the United States until what year?

9.        True or False?  Smokers of the electronic cigarettes refer to themselves as “vapers”.

10.    A ______ is where the liquid is stored. It attaches to the battery and uses a wick system to carry the juice to the coil.

11.  A ________ is where you inhale from. It attaches to the top of the tank.

12.  True or False?  Propylene Glycol makes the perfect base for vapers who love a thicker and higher density vapor cloud. It is easier on your throat which means it delivers less throat hit.

Bonus Question

13. Who is the best distributor of Do-It-Yourself E-Liquid supplies? J

Thank you in advance to all those who have participated in this trivia contest.  We hope that you learned something new about vaping and the history of the electronic cigarette.  Best of luck and vape on!

Submitted by:
Kelsie Davis, Customer Service Representative 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Vaping Glossary

Vaping Glossary

       The Vaping Industry is such an exciting and relatively new field that is unlike anything before it. We are a community of people with a specific interest, knowledge, and lingo. I know that when I was introduced to vaping the terminology was like another language to me. Words like atomizer, dripper, coil, and mod had me feeling like my head was in the clouds (pun intended). However, after working in the industry and vaping for over a year I have become more confident in my vape knowledge. Those of you who are new to vaping, you are the inspiration for this post. The following is a glossary of terms that are commonly used in the industry.

Adjustable Airflow: This refers to the part on your tank that allows for more or less air to be received while vaping. Adjusting this piece results in more or less vapor. Additionally, the more air you allow the cooler the vapor will feel.
All Day Vape: The eJuice that is your go to. You can vape it all day and not get tired of it.
Amperage (Amps): A measurement of electrical current that is delivered through the system.
Analog: A term used to reference traditional cigarettes.
Atomizer (Atty): This is the metal piece that attaches to the battery. It also houses the wick and coil. It is the part that is responsible for heating eLiquid to the point of vaporization.
Automatic: A type of electronic cigarette that does not require a button to active that heating element. This type of ecig is activated when the vaper draws on the mouthpiece.

Battery: Provides power to active the heating element. There are two types: Manual, which requires a button to active whereas Automatic batteries are activated upon inhalation.
Box Mod: Any APV or PV that is box shaped and comes in a variety of wattage selections. (10-100+ watts).
Brick and Mortar: Any physical store that provides eLiquid, eCig and eCig accessories
Bridge: Metal piece in anatomizer that wicks the eLiquid from the cartridge.
BT: Slang or abbreviated term referencing big tobacco companies.

Cartridge: Plastic or metal piece that contains absorbent material that holds eJuice.
Cartomizer: A device which holds eLiquids and is typically made of poly-fill surrounding a type of absorbent material. They are a combination of disposable cartridges and atomizers. There are single and double coil cartomizers. Double coil cartos produce more vapor.
CASSA:  Consumer Advocacy for Smoke-Free Alternatives Association is nonprofit organization that campaigns for the rights of eCigarette users.
Cig-A-Like: Any PV that has the look of an analog cigarette.
Clearomizer: A clear version of a cartomizer which allows the user to see the amount of eLiquid they have in the device
Clouds:  The vapor that is exhaled after hitting an eCigarette
Coil:  The part of an eCig that is made from metal wire and vaporizes the eLiquid by creating an electrical circuit
Coil Winder: A tool used to make your own coils
Connection: The connection that allows you to connect your atomizer, clearomizer, or cartomizer
Custom Build: Any device that was handmade from parts that were not originally made for vaping purposes
Cut-off: Safety feature that interrupts a drag if it is too long. This prevents the atomizer from overheating

Dewick: Removing a wick from an atomizer
Disposables: eCigarettes that are designed to be used and then discarded
DIY: Term used to reference “Do-It-Yourself” which applies to those who make their own eJuice
Doubler: A double-strength flavor that increases the flavor in mixes that are 50/50 based or max VG which can decrease the amount of flavor produced in a final eJuice
Drip: To drip eLiquid directly into the atomizer chamber. This results in a lot of flavor and vapor
Dry Hit: An unpleasant sensation and taste that happens when the wick is not saturated with eJuice

eCig Accessories: Products that enhance your vaping experience such as batteries, cases, chargers, etc
eLiquid: The solution that is vaporized which consists of Vegetable Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, and/or Liquid Nicotine, and flavor concentrates.

Filler Material: The absorbent material inside a cartridge that holds liquid inside the cartridge and insures that flooding does not occur
Flooding: Occurs when there is too much eLiquid in the atomizer

Goose Neck: A long flexible extension for you PV

Heat Steeping: The process of accelerating the steeping process by placing eLiquid in hot water or any hot environment
High Resistance: An atomizer/cartomizer with a higher Ohm rating which results in the ability to apply a higher voltage to the coil
HV: High Voltage device which means it operates above the standard 3.7 volts

Juice: Or eJuice/eLiquid

Knuckle Head: A short adjustable mouth piece that can be placed at any desired angle

Leaking: Occurs when eJuice leaks out of the atomizer and potentially onto the battery which can cause damage to the device
Low Resistance: A device with a low Ohm rating

mA: A measurement (1/1000th of an Amp) that is typically used to reference the output of a charger
Macro Coil: Large coils that increase vapor production
mAh: An abbreviation for Millampere per hour which refers to the energy that a battery can hold before being recharged
Manual: An eCig that operates when a button is activated
Manual Shut-off: A feature that allows the user to shut off their device usually by click the button a certain number of times which allows for safer transport
Mechanical Mod: A device that does not have wiring. Simply a battery with a connection for the tank of your choosing
Mg Strength: Refers to the amount of nicotine in an eLiquid. Measured as mg/ml
Milliliters: The amount of liquid in a given bottle

Nicotine Liquid: Liquid form of nicotine use in eJuice
No Resistance Wire: Conductive wire used in RBAs to complete a circuit. This wire does not heat up

Ohm: The measurement of electrical resistance. The lower the number the lower the resistance which means faster heating
Organic Cotton: Absorbent cotton used in devices. The organic cottons tend to last longer than alternatives

Passthrough: A device that plugs into a USB port which allows the user to vape while charging and eliminates battery life concerns
Pen Style: A style of eCig that resembles a ballpoint pen
Personal Vaporizer (PV): Another term for Electronic Cigarette
Propylene Glycol: A major component in eJuice
Priming: The process of preparing a fresh wick by dropping eLiquid directly onto the absorbent material in an effort to avoid a dry hit

Rayon: A synthetic alternative to cotton, ceramic, and stainless steel wicks
RBA: Rebuildable atomizer
RDA: Rebuildable dripping atomizer
RDTA: Rebuildable dripping tank atomizer
RTA: Rebuildable tank atomizer
Resistance: References the measurement of ohms which allows you to conclude the proper amount of voltage to apply in an effort to result in the best wattage possible

Sensor: The device of an eCig that detects when a user has taken a drag
Silica: Material with a very high melting point that is used for building wicks
Standard Resistance: For a cartomizer the standard resistance is about 3.0 ohm and 2.5 ohm for an atomizer
Starter Kit: A vaper’s beginner kit. Usually includes battery, charger, atomizer, and cartridges
Steeping: The process of letting your eLiquid sit in order to develop maximize flavor. This practice is typically more used for high VG percentage
Sub-Ohming: Advanced vaping practice which increases the battery power and reducing the ohms of the coil to achieve massive cloud output

Tank: A special cartridge that holds more liquid than most cartomizers or some atomizers which can contain a filler
Throat Hit:  The sensation that a vaper experiences when vapor hits their throat. Those who enjoy this sensation are typically mimicking the feeling of hitting a traditional cigarette
Topper: Any device that attaches to a battery

USB Charger: A battery charger that is compatible with any USB port

Vaper: The given name that refers to a user of electronic cigarettes
Vaper’s Tongue: Vaping so much that your mouth becomes dry or vaping one flavor so much that your taste buds become desensitized to the taste
Vegetable Glycerin: Common ingredient in eJuice which is usually soy or palm based
Voltage: Amount of energy that creates wattage when paired with resistance
Variable Voltage (VV): Any PV, APV, or Mod that allows the user to control the voltage output of the device
Variable Wattage (VW): Any device that allows the user to control the wattage output

Wattage: The amount of heat that the atomizer coil uses to vaporize the eLiquid
Wick: The part of the ecig that delivers eLiquid to the coil. Wicks are typically made of silica, mesh, cotton and sometime ceramic.

       So there you have it! Who knew there were so many terms exclusive to the vape industry? I hope that this glossary has proven to be a useful tool and has helped build your knowledge of the vape lingo. Vaping can seem a little overwhelming but you just have to dive in. There are so many resources and knowledgeable people in this field. Please feel free to like, comment, and share some vaping terms that I may not have included

Written by: Bethany Stinar, Sales Representative

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Unwarranted Fearmongering That Surrounds E-Cigarette Use

*RTS Vapes does not offer any medical advice. This is an opinion based post

Just the other day I was looking for some e-cigarette studies to read, and first search result from Google was a recently updated post from the American Lung Association®. The title of this post American Lung Association Statement on E-Cigarettes”, I was intrigued. I began reading and the more I read, the more aggravated I became. While some of the statements cannot be refuted, the lack of any data being provided and zero references given immediately turned me off to the post. So I resumed my hunt for a peer-reviewed, scholarly work (the only kind recognized in the scientific community). The next article I came across was a review article in the Journal for Therapeutic Advances in Drug Safety titled Safety evaluation and risk assessment of electronic cigarettes as tobacco cigarette substitutes: a systematic review” written by Konstantinos E. Farsalinos and Riccardo Polosa. This is a very thorough review published in April 2014 that goes into length about the article selection process for articles that were included in the review. It has everything that a good article should from analytical data to over one hundred references. In this post I will touch on just a few of the points from the review regarding the safety of e-cigarette use.
In 2013 the World Health Organization stated that there are nearly 6 million deaths annually as a direct result of tobacco cigarette use, with a predicted death toll of 1 billion in the 21st century. A 1992 report from the EPA revealed that a conventional cigarette contains more than 4000 chemicals and carcinogens present in the smoke emitted. Then in 1993 a study by Pryor and Stone revealed that each puff from a cigarette contained more than 1 x 1015 free radicals. If you are having trouble visualizing what that number looks like, let me help: 1,000,000,000,000,000. One fallacy that is being promoted by Big Tobacco and physicians is that nicotine is a carcinogen. According to the World Health Organization – International Agency for Research on Cancer in 2004, nicotine is not classified as a carcinogen and does not promote lung disease. Nicotine intake through Nicotine Replacement Therapies (NRTs) has been demonized in the eye of the public by the media, even though it has been shown that nicotine intake may have beneficial effects in treating some disorders. Studies that have shown this beneficial effect are:
Disease Studied
Year the Study was Published
Nielsen et al.
McClernon et al.
Sahakian et. al.
ulcerative Colitis

Another public fear is that electronic cigarette users will overdose on nicotine. This very unlikely for vapers since three different studies by Farsalinos et al. 2013, Nides et al. 2014, and Dawkins and Corcoran 2013 have all shown that the amount consumed and actually absorbed is quite low. In 2013 a study done by Etter et al. tested 20 e-liquids and found that the actual nicotine levels were off by about 20 % above and below the labeled amount. I believe the root of this problem goes back to some nicotine suppliers not testing the strength of the nicotine that they are selling to the customer to ensure accuracy and quality. That is why here at RTS Vapes we test every batch of flavorless liquid nicotine before the product is bottled to ensure that it meets the US Standard for Weights and Measures. With that said, this goes back to the studies mentioned before that it is unlikely to overdose because vapers much like smokers self-titrate their nicotine intake. For example I vape all day at 3 mg/mL, but if someone gives me a bottle that is 6 mg/mL I notice that I do not pick up my mod as much throughout the day.
Going back to the post that sparked this blog post, they talk about tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNAs), formaldehyde, and benzene trying to scare the public without even giving a reference. A study done by Cahn and Siegel in 2011 reported that the amount of TSNAs were similar to those found in pharmaceutical NRTs. The best study done on TSNAs in e-liquids was performed by Kim and Shin in 2013. They evaluated 105 liquids and found that on average the liquids contained 12.00 ηg/mL. The daily exposure to these chemicals by smokers (with an average of 15 cigarettes per day) is estimated to be up to 1800 times higher when compared to e-cigarette users.
There is so much more information in the article that I cannot relay in a blog post, so please give the article a read and post in the comments below with your thoughts or questions.

By: Joshua Sheffield, Chemist at RTS Vapes

*RTS Vapes does not offer any medical advice. This is an opinion based post