Category Archives: News

The DotBox 300w Has Battery Issues – Recall Notice

DotMod is known for their luxurious high-end products. A lot of people say their mods are the Macbook of the vape world because they are so visually appealing. But unfortunately, their devices are also known for their lackluster performance due to the proprietary chip they use (their older products use the much better DNA chip). The Dotbox 300 has been out for a while now, since at least January 2017, so nearly a year, but just recently, owners are reporting that the LiPo battery inside has started to get puffy and will not hold a charge.

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Aspire Has Changed The Cell They Use For Their 18650’s

See, now this is why it’s so good to have someone like Mooch in the vaping community testing batteries for us.

Originally, the Aspire 18650 was rated fairly highly by Mooch. At some point, Aspire started wrapping lower quality cells. They have new wraps that no longer have current ratings, which is ridiculous because now a user has to go to the Aspire website to figure out what their battery is rated at. Not that wraps are ever accurate, but we should at least have a point of reference.

Mooch says that this new version will still hit really hard for the first few draws, but then the voltage drops quickly after that. His new rating for it is 25a and 1800mAh. Not too bad, but he says that the Sony VTC5A is a much better option.

iJoy Has Changed Their 20700 Battery

Back in April of this year, 2017, Mooch ran some tests on the iJoy 40a 20700 battery. He found that while it was overrated at 40amps, it does seem to be a good battery at 30a and is accurately rated at 3000mAh. The market for 20700 batteries is small, so there aren’t a lot of good brands to choose from who make them, so ever since Mooch’s tests, the iJoy’s 20700 has been one of the most popular and top recommended 20700 sized battery.

In early October, however, iJoy changed the cell – same wrap, different battery. Mooch ran some new tests and unfortunately, it looks like it has lost quite a lot of performance. He rated the new batteries as 15-20a, with a capacity of 2800mAh, and it also has a lot of voltage sag.

There’s a really easy way to find out if you have the good ones or the new poorer performing ones – the older good ones have 5-prongs on the positive end, while the new ones have four prongs.

iJoy sent out an announcement once the news broke saying that it’s true that there are now two versions of their 20700 batteries on the market.

They gave a couple of reasons for this. For one, due to current high demand, they are no longer able to keep up with production. They have also experienced an increased cost of materials.

To account for this, they are now packaging kits with the 4-leg version, but they still plan to sell the 5-leg version separately. They also explained that they didn’t have time to get new wraps for the 4-leg version before they started shipping them out, so that’s why they have the original labels on them. They said the new ones will have a different label on them, but they didn’t say when that would start if it already hasn’t.

Slissie: A Vape Device Marketing Itself an Anti-Snacking Aid

There’s a company in the U.K. marketing a vape device called the Slissie as a method to curb snacking habits by using it as an aid for losing weight.

The company’s website specifically says that the Slissie is “vapour-free.” Instead of vapor, they say users receive a “mist” of appetite-suppressing flavor.

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The FDA Suspends Nicotine Testing on Monkeys

I’ve mentioned this a couple of times before but if you don’t know, I was a vegan. Not one of those PETA nutcases, but I was a devoted vegan for nearly 3 years. It was entirely for ethical reasons, not health reasons. I’m not going to go into why I’m not vegan anymore, but I still care a lot for animals.

One thing that being vegan taught me was to have a deep respect for all life. Life is a precious thing, for all living things, and we shouldn’t take it for granted. Even today, I still practice some vegan philosophies, for example, I try to buy most products from companies that don’t test on animals.

And that’s why this latest announcement from the FDA makes me happy.

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Bill S-5 Could Legislate Vaping Out of Existence In Quebec, Canada

David Goerlitz, the former Winston Man, and producer Jean-Philippe Boutin partnered to make a short 15 minute documentary about Bill 44 and Bill S-5 in Quebec, Canada.

I don’t know how big of a role David Goerlitz played in advocating for vaping before he was featured in the popular documentary “A Billion Lives,” but since then, we’ve seen a lot of him. He’s been a really big advocate for promoting the benefits of vaping, which is great.

Goerlitz traveled to Quebec and talked with several vape shop owners.

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UK’s Next Day Battery Found Selling Fake Chargers

The UK-based battery company Next Day Batteries has confirmed that they have been unintentionally selling fake battery chargers since as far back as July. July is when they started receiving complaints but it wasn’t until just recently when someone posted a forum thread on PlanetOfTheVapes.co.uk that the news really broke.

According to the original author of the thread, he ordered a Nitecore I4 charger and found that it did not have a UK plug, did not have a serial number, and the security validation scratch code was invalid. He sent pictures to Nitecore who confirmed that it was fake.

The owner of Next Day Batteries, Josh Malone, posted on Facebook that he did not sell any fake chargers and that people were attacking his company for no reason. Then more stories of fake chargers sold by Next Day Batteries started coming out. Many more. Instead of responding to real concerns and questions posted on their Facebook page, he’s ignoring or deleting them.

Now here’s where it gets really bad. Malone could have prevented this from getting so big. He could have contacted all of the people that have purchased these chargers and offered a refund or replacement. Instead, he threatened blackmail against people that left bad reviews on TrustPilot and said if they didn’t remove the review, he wouldn’t refund their money. These are the claims people are making.

He could have put up a warning on his website, but instead, he responded with “Why would I want to drive away new customers?” Other people have said that they sent back fake chargers and received fake one again in return. This is a company that is not making the smartest choices here.

These fake chargers are dangerous. The plugs do not contain a fuse, which protects the device from drawing too much current. Without that fuse, the charger could start a fire, so if you’ve purchased a Nitecore charger from them, contact them to get a refund and stop using it immediately.

The FDA Released Their Final Guidelines on Free Samples of Tobacco Products

I talked about this in-depth when the draft guidance came out in January 2017, and not much has changed as far as I can tell. But this new guidance is finalized and out of draft form, so I wanted to cover it again for anyone who missed me talking about it before.

This is still only guidance and not all of it is legally binding, but it gives us an idea of what the FDA recommends and also what they might eventually regulate and/or enforce. That said, it’s also important to note that some of this info IS legally binding because they are laws covered by other regulations, for example:

  • There are regulations that do not allow free samples to be given out unless it’s smokeless tobacco distributed in a “qualified adult-only facility”
  • Cigarettes and smokeless tobacco can’t be sold to anyone under the age of 18
  • Age must be verified for all sales using photo ID if the buyer is under 27

Those laws have existed since 2010 when the FDA finalized Code of Federal Regulations Title 21. But with the deeming rule, which went into effect in August 2016, this gave the FDA the authority to further regulate all tobacco products similarly, whether smokeless or not. That means those previous regulations do apply to vaping too.

In the new finalized guidelines, the FDA clarifies that all components, materials, and even software are a covered tobacco product. That includes atomizers, e-juice, devices, coils, and probably other parts. The exception to this is accessories.

The FDA defines accessories as:

  • Products that are used to for tobacco products, but that do not contain tobacco and that do not alter performance or characteristics of the tobacco product. The FDA isn’t clear exactly what that might be, but maybe something like the screws on an atomizer.
  • They also define accessories as products that DO alter a tobacco product but are used to control moisture or temperature of a stored product. This sounds to me like they are referring to humidors for cigars.
  • And finally, accessories can be products that alter tobacco products but solely provide an external heating source but not to maintain combustion. I don’t know how the FDA is classifying combustion. Our coils maintain heat, but not combustion, since nothing is lit on fire. But I think this most likely refers to lighters.

Who These Recommendations Apply To

I know a lot of people are wondering if reviewers will be allowed to keep doing what they’re doing. So first, the FDA defines distributors as any person who further distributes a tobacco product at any point between the sale of the device and the buyer receiving it. I believe this excludes reviewers since reviews happen before the sale. I also don’t believe that reviewers would fall under the manufacturer or retailer labels.

From what I can tell, reviewers are mostly in the clear, unless they sell products, which I think is technically the case if a reviewer does giveaways. Doing a giveaway would probably classify a reviewer as a distributor and maybe even a retailer since the FDA requires that no products are given away for free and must be given away in a transaction.

Free Sample Ban

Now let’s talk about the free sample ban. This says that no manufacturer, distributor, or retailer can distribute, or cause to distribute any free samples of tobacco products. That statement about no company being allowed to “cause to distribute” would probably mean that a company is not allowed to distribute samples through a third party, such as a reviewer or blogger.

There’s one exception here and that’s for smokeless tobacco products. If in a “qualified adult-only facility”, free samples are allowed. I’ve seen some questions on this too and what the FDA considers to be a qualified adult-only facility. This is defined in the FDA’s Code of Federal Regulations Title 21.

To be a qualified facility:

  • There must be a law enforcement officer or security guard to check IDs
  • The facility cannot serve alcohol
  • It can’t be in close proximity to a space primarily used by youth
  • It must be a temporary structure designated for the purpose of free samples
  • The space must be covered with an opaque material so that people outside cannot see in
  • Tobacco advertising cannot be seen from the outside

All of these requirements would probably rule out most vape shops. I can only think of a couple of examples such as strip clubs that don’t serve alcohol or black tents set up in local street fairs. I’ve seen Marlboro with black tents downtown at events like the Oktoberfest.

Based on everything I’ve already said, we can imply that pretty much all vape equipment is prohibited from being given away as a sample, but the guidance document clarifies that this does include atomizers and e-liquids.

All Tobacco Products Must Be Sold

And to shore it all up, they require that all tobacco products are sold to people meeting the legal purchase age and using photo ID’s. You’ve probably seen many giveaways in the last year that require a fee and photo I.D. This is why. A tobacco product can only be given to someone through a transaction as if they are a retailer. This transaction must be monetary.

The guidelines also cover coupons, membership and rewards programs, and giveaways. Free samples are allowed in these instances but only if the free product is given away during a transaction.

Business to Business Exchanges

I’ve seen many people saying that this is the end of giving away free products to reviewers. This section existed in the original draft guidance and hasn’t changed. The FDA’s recommendations for Business to Business exchanges say that businesses are not prohibited from distributing free samples in limited quantities, for example to market or raise awareness of the product when it’s part of an effort to sell or market a product to that business. I think a product reviewer would fall into this definition, which means reviewers can still receive free products.

So that’s it. I don’t think much has changed, if anything at all, from the original draft guidance, but since this is such a popular topic now, I thought I’d cover it again.