Even a serious heart attack could not stop Simon Thurlow from smoking…but vaping did.
IT Security Architect Simon Thurlow, from Swansea, South Wales, explains how vaping changed his life after 30 years of smoking left him needing heart surgery.
On June 6, 2011 (I always remember the date as it is also the D-Day anniversary), I bought and started using my first e-cigarette.
I can’t remember what type of e-cigarette it was but most were pretty rudimentary in those days compared to what we have now. A few months earlier I had found myself in hospital due to a myocardial infarction (basically, two of the main arteries feeding into my heart had become blocked, starving my heart of blood and oxygen).
In hospital I had an operation to clear the blockages and was told in no uncertain terms that my problems had been caused by my previous 30 years smoking habit, which I should quit.
I managed to stay off the cigarettes for a couple of weeks following the operation, but gradually found myself having the odd cigarette here and there and soon found myself fully back in the habit.
Around the same time, I started to read articles about this new thing called e-cigarettes on the internet. Curious about them, and because I wanted to be free of the smoking habit that had put me in hospital, I started researching them and decided to give them a go.
I smoked my last five cigarettes on that June morning and have not had (or wanted) a tobacco cigarette since then. Now I am a vaper, not a smoker and my life is far better for it.
I still have some issues, but not caused by vaping. I have regular check-ups at both my local GP surgery and at the cardiac centre in the local hospital. My current health issue is a leaking valve near to my heart and I do have to undergo an operation to either replace or repair it.
Both my GP and the cardiac consultant are aware that I vape and both are fully supportive as they recognise the considerably reduced risk of vaping when compared to smoking.
During my last check-up, I was wired up and on a treadmill. The nurse in charge of the test said my lung capacity showed that I was clearly a non-smoker. My blood pressure and cholesterol levels are also well within acceptable limits so I am seeing, and feeling, clear benefits to my health.
Quite apart from the obvious health benefits, I actually rather enjoy the whole vaping experience far more than I ever enjoyed cigarettes. It is the sheer variety of flavours that, I feel, has helped to make vaping such a successful phenomenon.
The other thing I enjoy about vaping is the community. Because of the actions of certain members of the public health and political communities, there is very much a sense of ‘us and them’ and it has engendered a camaraderie among vapers that is not seen in many other communities.
Whenever I get together with a group of vapers, whether at the pub or a vape event, you witness that great sense of community and friendship as we all have a common ground and sense of enjoyment.
However, the future of the vaping industry is an interesting query and, in my opinion, very much depends on what happens post-Brexit here in the UK.
If left to evolve naturally, vaping can go a long way in the next five years. You only have to look at the innovations and great strides forward that have already been achieved over the last five years to see that.
Unfortunately, the attitude of the governments (and Public Health) of a great many countries is going to greatly restrict vaping. All is not lost yet. Far from it. There is much, much more to come in the story of vaping.
As a passionate vaper in Swansea, other avid vapers may be aware of how close Welsh Labour got to banning e-cigarettes from enclosed public spaces earlier this year. But it was defeated due to heavy intervention and fighting back by the more vocal of us vapers in Wales.
In conjunction with the (now defunct) Save e-cigs campaign, a group of us spent two years getting ourselves in front of as many Welsh politicians as possible. We spent countless hours travelling around the country to meet with those politicians, armed with all the science to back up our assertions that vaping should be left alone, that it was not something to be feared, but embraced. And it paid off – big time.
The reason that the e-cigarette supporting politicians in the Welsh Assembly were so well informed was due to all the science and research that we had been feeding to them. It was extremely uplifting to see our political supporters standing up in the Assembly and fighting against the proposed ban using the science, facts and figures that we had provided to them.
Yes, it was a close run thing and we did get an element of luck to win that battle. But win it, we did. I like to think that the gusto and stubbornness we showed, the backs-to-the-wall no surrender attitude we displayed, was a major factor why Welsh Labour have shied away from attempting to reintroduce the vaping ban in the new Public Health Wales Bill that is about to start its way through the Assembly.
Quitting smoking does not have be an onerous or difficult decision any more. The easiest and best way to quit smoking is by switching to e-cigarettes. They taste better, are more enjoyable, and can be customised to your taste. All you need to do is find the right nicotine strength and flavour for you. Everyone is different.
Go to a vape store and they will assist you to find the right setup. The more attuned your setup to your own personal tastes, the greater your chances of switching completely to vaping.
If you have tried vaping before and found it was not right for you, try again. The technology has changed and advanced a lot in recent years. Vaping is becoming more and more pleasurable with each new innovation and advance, and you will save yourself a lot of money in comparison to smoking.
Flavor Monster to launch Drac Dragon Fruit e-juice at The Vaper Expo 2017 – The Big Weekend.
Vapouround decided to catch up with Flavor Monster who are an e-liquid manufacturer based in Colorado Springs in the USA. Flavor Monster pride themselves on manufacturing e-liquids at reasonable prices without breaking the bank.
Laura Riggs is the CEO of Flavor Monster and she was incredibly excited to tell us all about her latest release for The Vaper Expo – The Big Weekend at Birmingham’s NEC.
Introducing Drac Dragon Fruit e-juice, Laura and her colleagues have been investing their time in creating a new e-liquid specially designed to entice vapers with a refreshing e-liquid at the Vaper Expo show.
The team at Flavor Monster have been working on perfecting this new flavour since July 2016 as Laura mentioned:
“We did an initial test in July last year and we aimed to improve the flavour by tweaking certain things. Dragon Fruit can be a harsh flavour and we wanted it to have a perfect balance so that when it hits your pallet, it tastes amazing.
We really hope people at the Vaper Expo enjoy the taste of this new e-liquid too as we’ve been working really hard to be the spotlight for this show.”
Laura describes Drac Dragon Fruit as a very naturally sweet flavour with a hint of lemon. It has been selling fast as Laura stated:
“It’s a nice flavour that seems to be quite popular. A lot of people love the refreshing taste of the e-liquid and it’s definitely flying off the shelf. If you’re looking for a fruity and sweet flavour, Drac Dragon Fruit is the one for you.”
Flavor Monster have also been busy searching for an e-liquid distributor across the UK. Laura is happy to announce that Flavor Monster’s e-liquids will be distributed by Vapour Gallery, an e-liquid distributor located in London. Laura said:
“We want as many people to try our flavours no matter where you are in the world so we’ve decided to work with a distributor in the UK.
“We’re working alongside Vapour Gallery to prepare for the show and we want to get back to the UK sooner rather than later.”
Flavor Monster have also expanded their facility so they have more access to ship their e-liquids to ensure it reaches customer in a time efficient manner.
Flavor Monster have been keeping busy the last couple of months as Laura comments that:
“With the expansion of our facility and distribution in the UK, this has put us into overdrive and we’re trying to do as much as we can for our consumers as well as making sure our juices are TPD compliant for our customers across the pond.”
Laura commented that other e-liquids by Flavor Monster are doing great as she said:
“A lot of people are interested in our e-liquids. Some are hesitant to try the Key Lime Pie flavour but now it’s become a top seller in the US.”
With Summer just around the corner, Flavor Monster are working on two more new flavours. Laura mentioned customers can expect an e-liquid to be released in time for the Summer and another, in Autumn. She said: “Vapers should expect these e-liquids to be tasty and sweet.”
Review of The Vaper Expo UK – The Return 2016 by Siddiqa Khalifa
The Vaper Expo UK – The Return 2016 was my first ever vape event. Before joining Vapouround, I was new to the vaping industry but once I learned that a vaping event was taking place so close to me in UK, I was eager to attend. I was looking forward to interviewing potential clients and finding out more about the vaping industry.
It was 9AM many people were queuing up at the entrance. From afar, many vapers looked eager to get inside and some looked very excited indeed. People from other vape stands at the show were eagerly waiting for the vaping community to enter as they were ready to hand out goody bags and offer free samples of their e-liquids.
As the vaping community walked into the venue, their eyes wandered across in excitement as they noticed Vapouround’s colourful bus stand. Many stopped by and asked what the bus was all about. Matt Coupland from Vapouround, oversaw the juice deck on the double-decker bus and was showing vapers the variety of e-liquids on the bus – Naked Fish, Mello Buddha, Dinner Lady.
When I asked Matt how vapers were reacting to the juice deck, he told me he felt hot but it was a lot fun. A lot of vapers appreciated Matt showing them how to build their own coils and it gave them a chance to be adventurous with their mods and coils. It brought light onto the creativity of hand-crafting coils.
The top deck of the bus was lit up with disco lights and music was bouncing off the walls. Matt mentioned a lot of vapers from Sheffield visited the bus but one vaper in particular, Morgan Hatton, stood out for Matt. As two coil-lovers, they both shared their interests on coils which influenced other vapers to build their own coils.
As I stepped off the bus, I heard music getting louder and louder. I was curious as to where the music was coming from and so, I followed this to the centre of the hall and found people gathering around a stage where the DJ and host were keeping them entertained. People were cheering as the DJ and host announced vape companies that are soon going to appear on stage to hand out their freebies.
From hats and t-shirts to mods and e-liquids, vape companies were splurging out their freebies to the vapers that attended. Hands shot up as Strawberry Queen, Evil Cloud and Grey Haze went on stage. Vapers cheered for goodies and many of them were lucky to catch mods, e-liquids, t-shirts and so much more!
I walked around a few exhibitors to look around and see what e-juices people were raving about and what flavours vapers were sampling. After visiting nearly 100 exhibitors, I started to make my way back to Vapouround’s bus but was soon captured by Riot Squad.
After being pushed into a small interrogation room, I was questioned about my role at the event even though my black Vapouround t-shirt highlighted my status. Soon, I was demanded to wear a prison-like uniform and ushered into a second room where a second police officer took down my email.
Finally, when I reached the third room, the third police officer took my mug shot and I was strongly advised not to meddle into the rebellious vaping business ever again. I absolutely loved this experience and I thought the arrest attack was a great sales technique as it grabbed my attention and made me feel involved. Being held captive by Riot Squad was the highlight of my experience at The Vaper Expo.
As well as appreciating the unique exhibitors at the event, I noticed there was a variety of culture present at the show. Companies from Malaysia, India, USA and Japan were at the show. I didn’t realise how big the vaping industry was internationally. Coming from an ethnic background myself, I appreciated discussing the vaping industry to others.
Double Drip also stood out to me as they had a lottery-like machine. Only, instead of throwing out money, they were distributing e-juices. I thought this was a great touch to Double Drip’s stand as other people, including myself, were standing in line anxiously to participate.
Overall, I enjoyed the vibrant and friendly atmosphere. From sampling, almost every single e-juice at the show, I am extremely pleased to have attended The Vaper Expo UK – The Return 2016.