Racer E-Liquid Blog

Best Social Media Marketing Practices for Vape Shops in 2021

The vape market is set to be worth over $67 billion by 2027, which is almost 24% growth from 2020 to 2027. It’s a good time to get into the vape business as vaping becomes more legitimate as a viable way to quit tobacco. Because of that, there are now many successful vape shops, both online and brick-and-mortar.

Competition is now a lot more intense, which is why your vape shop should be able to stand out in its own way. To succeed in this landscape, your vape shop must make use of social media marketing strategies both novel and traditional to become more visible and attract new customers.

There are many ways to promote a vape shop on social media, some being more reliable than others. Picking out the best strategies and making them work for your business will take you closer to success.

Social Media Marketing

Smartphones are now ubiquitous, and just about everyone is on social media. That means if your vape shop is not on social media, then you’re definitely missing out. One like on Facebook can lead to over 200 views on your website, and 69% of customers are more likely to visit your vape shop if you’re on social media.

Be on every social media platform that has a sizable vaping user base like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, and so on. Each platform fits a different type of content, like high-quality photos for Instagram, text and images for Facebook and Twitter, and video for YouTube. If you’re going to be on it, be ready to create those types of posts.

The great thing about social media is that not only can you market your business there, but you can also interact with your customers. Customers are more likely to return to a vape shop that they’ve engaged with on social media, and it’s even better if you have chat support to respond to their questions and take their orders.

Content and SEO

If you have a website, you definitely have to post content on it. Having a blog helps a business not only become more visible, but also build their authority and authenticity. Also, web content becomes even more powerful when coupled with search engine optimization, which will help it show up in search results for relevant keywords.

When made with search engine optimization in mind, it will show up in search results for keywords. Creating helpful niche content is the best strategy as it’s more likely for your website to show up for search terms like “best budget vape” instead of just general terms like “vaping.”

Once that drives more traffic to your website, you’ll see more people looking at what you have to offer. Just make sure you don’t do this by stuffing your content with keywords. This isn’t the 2000s anymore, and search engines will penalize your website for spamming keywords all over your content. Focus more on the quality of your content and you should bring in more traffic.

New content can then be shared on social media for immediate visibility. An important aspect of the vape industry is the culture and the community. The people who vape come together in forums, message boards, and social media groups to talk about their preferences, share their experiences, and help each other with questions and problems.

Much of the information that vapers get about vaping come from blogs written by both brands and fellow vapers. Blogs remain a cornerstone of vape culture, and having one of your own can help your business grow its audience by providing useful and relevant vape content.

That content can be shared in your social media channels, which should drive more traffic to your blog. The more traffic you drive to your blog, the more people will become aware of your brand. You can then entice them to become customers of your vape shop.

Video Content

As mentioned, you would want to be on YouTube to gain even more visibility. That means creating your own videos to upload on your channel. You can make videos about the products you sell, as well as guides for beginners to get into vaping.

You can curate your products on video by showcasing their pros and cons and detailing which kinds of vapers will like them. Much of the vape user base are tech-savvy, so they visit review sites and watch YouTube videos before making a purchase. Having a YouTube channel that has videos with the information they’re looking for can yield a ton of views and engagement.


Social media influencers can help market your business by lending you their credibility. You can give an influencer a free product to review, which they then post and share to their audience. That then brings attention from that audience to your business.

A good review from a popular influencer can create a tremendous difference for your business, giving you more new customers, as well as more followers to your social media channels.

Encourage Customer Reviews

Most people who buy from a shop they find to their liking tend to return. The same goes for vape shops, which vapers depend on to get their devices, eliquids, and accessories. When a customer finds one that carries everything they need, provides good service, and has a nice atmosphere, they’re likely to go back for more and soon become loyal customers.

They’re also likely to give the vape shop a good review. Other people looking for a place to buy their vape supplies would then read that review and be enticed to giving the place a try. Some of those people who also end up liking their experience would also leave good reviews and become loyal customers, and the cycle continues.

Reviews and other forms of user-generated content are an extension of word of mouth. Leveraging that to your favor will bring more customers to your vape shop and encourage customer loyalty, thus improving your business reputation and extending your reach even further.

You can encourage customers to leave good reviews on both your Facebook page and other review sites. People looking for a vape shop can then read those reviews and know about your vape shop. Maybe they then look for your shop on the map, your website, your social media pages, or your online store.


Marketing your vape shop in social media is not difficult at all, but it does take considerable thought and effort to have a strategy that works best for your business. You have to do your homework to understand your audience and how to best cater to them. Social media can help you grow your online presence, which can then increase your revenue.

Juggling your sales and day-to-day operations with marketing may seem like a lot, but it can be done once you figure out your marketing strategy. Many tools can help ease the burden and employees can be trained to handle much of the busywork. It’s all about figuring out what works best for your brand.

How to Double Your Vape Shop Sales

Running a vape shop can be pretty tough. Some may find themselves not getting a lot of positive results or at least much more room for improvement. They may be missing a few key elements that can make customers return.

That’s why creative ideas are needed to increase sales, especially with marketing being more limited by new legislation. Let’s look into what can be done in 2021 and beyond to greatly increase your vape shop sales.

Improve Your Store Design

Running any physical store is mostly about observing the three basic rules—location, location, location. But while you’d think that being in a prime location with lots of foot traffic will bring in sales, that alone is not enough.

The vape shop itself is the most flexible marketing vehicle as it’s a space where you’re still allowed to freely market vape products without legal restrictions. Therefore, store design is of great importance for vape shops.

Promote Customer Loyalty

Much of your sales will come from loyal customers who are looking to top up on eliquid, as well as buy new vape devices. Whenever you get new customers, you should give them a good reason to return and buy more from you.

The best way to promote customer loyalty is creating a loyalty program like a loyalty card that can be filled out for freebies, or a VIP club that provides bonuses and additional perks with loyalty points. That can encourage your customers to become patrons.

Partner with Other Businesses

You can also partner with nearby businesses who don’t directly compete with you as a way to introduce new customers to your store and vice versa. This doesn’t only enrich your own business, but also your whole area as you promote your neighbors.

You can also host special events in your area and have your neighbors participate as well. Hold a big special event and/or four weekly mini events each month to give customers something to look forward to and have a way to promote the businesses nearby you.

Content Marketing

Nowadays, Google advertising is very limited for vape businesses due to legal restrictions. Therefore, it’s imperative for vape businesses to use content as their primary means of digital marketing. That means creating quality vaping content that’s both relevant and helpful.

It has been found through studies that businesses that blog are 13 times more likely to attract and engage with more customers, thus generating more leads and improving their ROI. Blogging ranks as the most effective form of content for generating brand awareness.

Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization remains a powerful online marketing strategy as it’s a gift that keeps on giving. Post high-quality content on your website and optimize it for search engines with relevant keywords. You can use tried-and-tested SEO tools, techniques, and strategies to help make your website more visible in search results.

That will then bring in people who otherwise would’ve never found your vape shop. It’s one of the best ways to extend your reach and acquire new customers beyond your physical area. This is especially true for vape businesses, with most customers looking online for information.

Social Media

Nowadays, social media serves as the most effective marketing channel for a lot of businesses, and even more so for vape shops. Having a solid social media presence lets you engage with your audience on a regular basis, thus creating more trust and some of them may be enticed to become your customers.

Whenever you have new products coming in, you should promote them on your social media channels. Take high-quality photos, then share them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and so on. You may also want to use Facebook marketplace as well for even more visibility, especially if you happen to have a delivery system in place.

Social media platforms also let you track your analytics, so you know what posts get the most engagement. You can then focus on the types of posts that work best for your business, as well as try new things to see what ends up being a hit for your audience.

Video Marketing

If you want to take the extra step in content, you can start making vape-related videos featuring your products. You can curate each of your products to show viewers what they’re good for. You can also show glimpses behind the scenes, promote events, and so on.

Of course, if you’re getting into making videos for your business, you should have the equipment for it. Fortunately, a good quality video camera may already be in your pocket. If your smartphone happens to have a good camera that takes HD video, then that should be good to start with.

YouTube is one of the most significant search engines where people look for content about vaping. It’s a great place to build up your brand visibility and authenticity, which can then build customer trust. There are plenty of active vape channels there, and you can watch their videos for ideas on what to do with your videos.

As you post more videos, you may want to gradually improve the quality like doing more video editing and acquiring better equipment like microphones and higher-end cameras. Only upgrade if you see that video marketing is working for your business in improving your ROI.

Email Marketing

Finally, we have the “old reliable” of digital marketing. Email marketing remains one of the best methods of generating and nurturing leads, and it works well for vape businesses. You can deliver updates and vaping news directly to your subscribers’ inboxes.

You can promote new products, announce new business information, give sneak peaks to upcoming events, and so on through your email newsletter. It’s cost effective as you get to directly communicate with each and every subscriber with not too much effort.


Of course, doubling your sales is easier said than done. The vape industry now is incredibly competitive nowadays with all the new businesses popping up. It has also become rather perilous due to all the legal restrictions you have to walk around.

Much of the challenge in running a vape store is finding the right balance that will bring profits in. Taking a steady and measurable approach is crucial to your success. Focusing on quality over quantity is best, especially in the long run.

By tracking your progress along the way with measurable metrics and adjusting your strategy according to trends and changes, you should be able to double your sales and stay ahead of the competition.

What You Should Know About Zero-Nicotine Vaping

It’s now established that vaping is a lot safer than cigarettes. However, smokers who are thinking about trying out vaping may ask this question at one point—”Is it safe to vape without nicotine?”

After all, if they’re thinking of quitting tobacco, it means they want to wean themselves off the nicotine that makes tobacco addictive in the first place. Most of the time, people are worried about nicotine, especially with its dangers that are often exaggerated in the media and online.

But if eliquid with nicotine is safe to vape, then zero-nicotine eliquid should be safe as well, right? Let’s look into it for ourselves.

Why Would You Want Zero-Nicotine Eliquid?

Some would want to vape eliquids that don’t contain nicotine for a number of reasons. For instance, they’re good for casual and recreational vapers who don’t want to get addicted to nicotine or feel that head rush.

Also, some countries restrict the maximum amount of nicotine allowed in eliquid. The EU restricts it at 20mg per ml, while it’s actually illegal to procure eliquid containing any amount of nicotine. Of course, the nicotine levels in commercially-available eliquid are nowhere near harmful enough to be toxic to the human body.

But with that in mind, zero-nicotine eliquid may be more available in certain countries where nicotine is restricted or prohibited. And of course, people working to quit nicotine can definitely benefit from zero-nicotine eliquids.

Benefits of Zero-Nicotine Eliquid


In eliquids containing nicotine, the common ingredients are propylene glycol and/or vegetable glycerin, water, flavoring, and nicotine. Among them, it’s nicotine that’s habit-forming, while the other components are known to be not so. Therefore, by using eliquid that does not contain nicotine, the user won’t get addicted.


As mentioned, nicotine can be toxic in high amounts. After all, it’s produced by the tobacco plant as a defense mechanism against bugs and other critters that may want to eat it.

While the nicotine levels in commercially-available eliquids are nowhere near any amount that would make it toxic, it can yield side effects like dizziness, headaches, palpitations, and so on when you vape it too much in one sitting.

Also, with zero-nicotine eliquids, there’s less worry of your bottles being within reach of children. The nicotine in eliquid can be very toxic to kids, so you’ll be more careful and on edge when you have some in the house. Nonetheless, eliquid should be stored securely.

Smoother Experience

Eliquids containing nicotine tend to give a “throat hit'' similar to smoking. For some people, this is a pleasurable sensation that makes them like vaping. However, there are plenty of people who may not be into it. Also, some vapers may start feeling that it’s too much, so they’d seek reduced nicotine levels.

Zero-nicotine eliquids does not have that problem. Perhaps those with a mostly PG base may still give a hint of throat hit, but not to the extent of nicotine-laden eliquids. This makes for a smoother vaping experience.

Clearance Prices

A great thing about zero-nicotine eliquids is that they tend to be plentiful in supply. After all, most vapers are likely vaping eliquid with nicotine, so less people are buying those without it. That results in zero-nicotine eliquids being sold with discounts to get them out the door faster.

They’re already cheaper for not containing nicotine to begin with, so you can get them for rock bottom prices during sales.

Why You Wouldn’t Want Zero-Nicotine Vaping

It’s Not Zero Risk

Different people may react differently to vaping. If you’re really worried about risk, then the best choice is to not vape at all. It’s indeed less risky to vape zero-nicotine eliquid instead, but it must be done with discretion and safety in mind.

Vaping Isn’t That Cool

This is a controversial statement to make, especially in a vaping article. But if you’re getting into vaping to do tricks or just to look cool, you won’t get much out of it.

Vaping tricks can get old pretty fast unless you were a smoker who did tricks to begin with, in which case you should get into vaping to quit tobacco anyway.

If you’re getting into it just because you think it’s cool, it may not be the best idea, especially if you’re still young. As mentioned in the previous item, it’s better not to start.

Vaping won’t make you look cooler. But if you really want to get into it, just know that zero-nicotine vaping is a viable option. At least you won’t get addicted to nicotine.

It Might Make You Vape More

With that said, since vaping zero-nicotine eliquid shouldn’t give you headaches, you may end up vaping a lot, especially if your juice happens to be delicious.

If you’re a former smoker who got into zero-nicotine eliquid to quit without tapering down first, you’ll find yourself vaping a lot more to satisfy your craving.

While you’re vaping eliquid without any nicotine, you may still feel the effects of vaping from the juice alone, like drying your throat. Take breaks and drink water.

Potential Side Effects of Vaping Zero-Nicotine Eliquid

While the long-term effects of vaping eliquid is still mostly unknown, we do know of the short-term effects. Be wary that if you’re getting into vaping for reasons other than quitting tobacco, you have to be aware of what vaping can possibly do to your body.

Vaping nicotine-free eliquid can cause irritation and trigger an immune response that may yield inflammation. It’s different for everyone—while it may be harmless for one person, it may be quite bad for someone else.


Our stance with vaping is that it should only be picked up by people who are looking to quit tobacco and do it as a harm reduction strategy. We don’t encourage people who never consumed tobacco products in their life to get into vaping. If you never have, don’t start.

Zero-nicotine vaping is a great way for a recovering tobacco addict to graduate from 3mg nicotine eliquids, thus completing the journey of quitting nicotine while still being able to enjoy flavors. 

The Best Tanks for Cafe Racer E-Liquids

There are so many vape tanks available in the market right now that it could be difficult to pick out which one is the best for vaping your choice of eliquid. You may be spoiled for choice, but there are a few that stand out as the best for the eliquids you prefer.

We here in Cafe Racer have our own preferences, and we’d like to share with you the latest and greatest tanks for our own eliquids in 2021. These are the latest tanks that we think would draw out the most amount of flavor from Cafe Racer eliquids.

Uwell Crown 5

This is perhaps the best sub-ohm tank available right now. Uwell has been making waves in recent years with its products, and they’ve come out with their best work yet. The Uwell Crown 5 is a reliable tank that delivers on both durability and performance.

It improves even further on the original Uwell Crown, which was released back in 2015. This fifth iteration delivers amazing flavor and big clouds, which is certainly what you’re looking for from a sub-ohm tank. It’s like the original, but with even better airflow.

However, it’s not the best tank for temperature control mode. While there are indeed stainless steel coils available for it, making temperature control work for the Uwell Crown 5 may require trial and error to find a way to make it work. If that’s what you’re after, look elsewhere.

Other than that, this tank should serve you well. If you’re just vaping within 50-100 watts, this is unquestionably the best tank you can get right now.

Freemax M Pro 2

If you like vaping at high wattage, like 90 watts or more, this tank is the one for you. The Freemax M Pro 2 is a great sub-ohm tank for handling the three-digit watt range without being disappointing, instead giving you great flavor with every draw.

If you have a dual-battery mod, this is the tank you should go for. Another plus is that the coils in this tank are built to last, so you won’t have to change them as quickly as most coils in other high-wattage tanks. It’s also big and airy, so you can blow fat clouds with it.

Its predecessor, the Freemax Mesh Pro, had major issues with the top cap sliding mechanism that would open in your pocket and leak all your eliquid out. The Freemax M Pro 2 doesn’t have that problem, so you can be sure that it won’t leak your juice in your pocket or bag.

Freemax FireLuke 2

If you don’t have a mod that’s over 100W, but you want the same performance as the Freemax M Pro 2, then you can go for the Freemax FireLuke 2. It’s a hybrid of the tank from the brand’s popular Freemax Twister kit with coils that have their 90% tea fiber cotton and 10% organic cotton wick that’s super absorbent and long lasting.

That wick holds more juice compared to other wicks, thus producing more vapor and more flavor with every draw. The Kanthal mesh plates that are laser-cut with precision lets it make contact with the wood pulp cotton closer than any other coil can. That makes for a flat and smooth surface that gets the eliquid heated as evenly and instantly as possible.

Horizon Falcon

Horizon is a reputable brand when it comes to vape tanks, and the Horizon Falcon is perhaps their best tank yet. It has a 5ml capacity that can be upgraded to a whopping 7ml, which is easy to fill with its enlarged dual fill slots.

The adjustable airflow marks sure the mesh coils and wick with 70% cotton and 30% wood pulp get just the right amount of air for every draw.  The design makes for even and instant heating of eliquid for great flavor. There’s also a resin version of this tank for those who want a resin mouthpiece to go with their Horizon Falcon tank.

GeekVape Zeus X

One of the most popular vape tanks of all time is still going strong with its latest version. The GeekVape Zeus X is the ultimate iteration of the original Zeus, which combines top and top-to-side airflow for incredible flavor and vapor production.

It’s even easier to build the coils in this RTA with its new build deck design. The detachable inner chamber makes it a lot easier to clean. Also, it’s guaranteed to be leak-free. The tank itself holds 4.5ml of eliquid, and all of it will be secure and vaped with no concern for leaks.

Other than that, if you’re looking for a classic RTA and you were a fan of the original GeekVape Zeus, then it’s hard to go wrong with the GeekVape Zeus X.

Our best-selling Lucky 13, Lucky Bastard, and Cool Bastard, as well as our Daily Grind, are known to be great eliquids for this tank.

Hellvape Hellbeast

As far as versatility and compatibility are concerned, the Hellvape Hellbeast is the best tank in this list. It’s a sub-ohm tank that combines many of the features vapers look for in one easy-to-use RTA. If you’re still confused about what you want, get this one.

The dual-purpose airflow system includes an MTL option, so you can choose to use it with eliquids that are better for MTL vaping. This is great if you want to vape our Salty Bastard eliquids, which are best enjoyed with MTL.

You can use a variety of different types of coils with it, whether it’s the SMOK TFV8 Baby Coils, Vaporesso GT CCoils, or the Aspire Nautilus Coils that come with the Hellvape Hellbeast.

That also means that it’s guaranteed to vape just the way you want it with great flavor and vapor production. You can customize it to fit your preference, and it also comes in a variety of different designs for the best fit with your mod.

Top 5 Pros and Cons of Buying Vape Products Online vs. In-Store

Let’s say you’re getting into vaping and looking to buy some vape products right now. The next step is to find a source, but maybe you’re not well aware of the buying options. Perhaps you haven’t decided yet whether to buy from a local store or online.

Nowadays, there are a lot of vape retailers to buy devices, eliquid, and supplies from. Choosing which one to buy from takes some thought if one wishes to not be disappointed by faulty, bootleg, or overpriced products. There’s also where it’s located, how you pay for your purchase, and how you get your products.

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of buying from either a local vape shop or an online retailer.

Pros of Buying In-Store

The best thing with buying from a local store is that it’s local. It’s nearby, so you don’t have to go far to get what you want. And what’s even better is that you get your vape products right then and there, so you get to take them home and use them right away.

If you’re lucky enough to have a vape shop near you that’s well supplied and offers a good variety of products, almost nothing else can compare to it. But even if you have to travel a bit to reach the nearest vape shop, being able to obtain vape products right away is a good thing.

That’s even better if you’re buying vape devices. You get to see them and hold them in your hand. Whichever you choose it’ll more likely be the one that best fits your needs.

Aside from being able to pick and obtain stuff you want right away, you also get to support the local economy. You’re able to see for yourself who you’re supporting and choose to be a patron if you happen to like that establishment.

You also get to ask questions about the products and get an answer quickly and easily. This is especially good for beginners who are still learning about vaping.

Cons of Buying In-Store

On the other hand, buying from a local vape shop can be more expensive. Then again, when factoring in shipping costs with buying online, that can even it out.

However, local shops may not have the same variety as online vape retailers. You may find that some products you want are only available online. Also, online retailers have more competitive prices, so you may find vape products at rock-bottom prices.

Also, you have to physically go there yourself, which some people may not prefer. Having to travel all the way there, especially if it happens to be far away, can be a bit of a drag.

Finally, vape shops aren’t always open. For instance, during the pandemics, they’re subject to lockdowns. Some may also not open on holidays, while others may even permanently close due to poor business. Traveling to a vape shop only to find them closed can be quite disappointing.

There may also not be as robust of a return policy in a local vape shop as those online. It does depend on the vape shop, as some may be fairly lenient and cooperative, while others may be more strict or frustrating to deal with.

Pros of Buying Online

All you have to do to browse vape products online is to visit the website. You can see everything right there on your screen, and all you have to do is pick which one you like. You likely get to do this at any time of the day, so you don’t have to worry about the retailer being closed.

You don’t have to go out of your house and travel to a physical store in order to purchase vape products. You also don’t have to deal with either a pushy salesperson making you uncomfortable or a disinterested one making you frustrated. You get to either take your time shopping or make your purchase right away in the comfort of your own home.

There’s a greater variety of products available online, so you’re spoiled for choice. You may even find something that you have never seen before. Also, since there are plenty of businesses online vying for customers, you can get much better prices.

If you don’t like one retailer, there are many others to purchase from. The Internet is a cornucopia of splendor, and that goes for vape products as well.

Lastly, online retailers tend to have robust return and warranty policies in place to entice more customers. That makes for a more worry-free vape shopping experience.

Cons of Buying Online

Perhaps the biggest disadvantage to buying vape products online is having to wait for your purchase to be delivered to your home. While the convenience of not having to leave your house can be really comforting, having to wait for them does take away from it.

The shipping costs can also make it more expensive, depending on your location. If delivering vape products to your home costs more than going to a vape shop to get them, then you may want to opt for doing your vape shopping in a physical store.

You also don’t get to see and touch those products, as well as be able to ask a salesperson for help. Some vape retailers do have helpful and responsive chat support, but it’s not exactly the same as being able to ask an actual salesperson your questions and getting answers face to face, which you may want if you’re a beginner in vaping.


In the end, it’s your decision on whether you buy from a physical store or order your vape products online. There’s no wrong choice as it has to fit well with your life situation. Vaping as a lifestyle choice should only enhance one’s life, especially if you happen to be a 

If you’re still undecided about where to buy vape products, there’s nothing stopping you from trying out both options. You can do something like buy a vape device online, then shop for your eliquid in a physical store. Having both options open can make vaping a much better experience.

The Future of Online Vape Retailers

As the world slowly opens back up with the prospect of vaccines and better understanding of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the future seems tenuous so far. During the lockdowns of 2020, “non-essential” establishments were forced to close, including vape shops. That made online vape retailers more of a lifeline for vapers everywhere.

However, the industry has taken yet another hit with legislation for bans on online sales and postal distribution of vape products started to be enacted. Even if the pandemic finally subsides and the world returns to a semblance of normalcy, things may never be the same again for the vape industry with the possibility of an online vape retail ban.

Vape Shop Closures and Decrease in Vape Sales

Thousands of small businesses closed shop during the lockdown, vape shops included. It was a difficult time for brick-and-mortar stores as cities only allowed “essential” businesses to remain operational at a decreased capacity.

However, while it’s easy to understand that the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting lockdowns may have caused sales to plummet, a survey of vape shops conducted by ECigIntelligence suggests another culprit.

According to a majority of vape businesses, decreased vape sales in 2020 is mostly due to the scandal resulting from reports of vape-related lung injuries due to use of illicit THC vape cartridges containing Vitamin E acetate.

While the cause had been pinpointed, the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, or the CDC, continued to point the finger at e-cigarettes as the culprit for what they’ve dubbed EVALI—E-cigarette or Vaping product use Associated Lung Injury.

It was found by ECigIntelligence that the average vape store experienced an 18% decline in sales between 2019 and 2020, while 80% of surveyed stores reported a loss. EVALI topped the survey as the main cause of loss in sales, while the COVID-19 pandemic was cited as the second.

Concerns Regarding Online Vape Retailers

The main concern raised about online vape retailers by various state governments such as in Illinois and Washington is the sale of vape products to underaged consumers. Due to the difficulty of enforcing proper age screening on the Internet that can definitely prevent underaged customers from procuring vape products, a ban on online vape retailers is being pushed.

For instance, the city of Chicago filed a lawsuit against Minnesota-based Vapes.com and its parent company Equte, LLC for “marketing and selling vaping products, including to underage Chicagoans.” The city had passed a flavor ban back in September.

Five vaping companies had to settle with the state of Washington and pay more than $130,000 to avoid being sued for selling vape products to minors online. This was after the sellers were caught in a sting by the Washington State Attorney General’s office, wherein they posed as minors to attempt purchasing vape products on their websites.

Meanwhile, New York City filed a federal lawsuit against 22 online vape retailers for luring in and selling to underaged buyers back in October 2019. A year later, in December 2020, the New York attorney general issued 47 cease and desist letters to vape retailers for selling banned flavors and ignoring tobacco age limits.

Federal Online Sales Restrictions

Back in 2019, a bipartisan bill was introduced in the House of Representatives to establish 21 years as the minimum age to purchase nicotine-based products nationwide, including tobacco and vape products.

The Stopping Consumption of Tobacco by Teens Act, or the SCOTT Act, was named after former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottleib, the man who raised the alarm for underaged vaping during his tenure. The Aderholt Bill, also known as HR 2084, proved to be popular across both the Republican and Democrat parties.

Aside from banning sales of tobacco and vape products to customers under 21, the SCOTT Act also requires online vape retailers to verify buyer information through a third-party database, as well as requiring signature on delivery by an adult 21 years or over.

This creates more processes that may dissuade many vapers from purchasing vape products online. While the intent is to make sure that vape products were only used by adults, it may also encourage finding illicit sources for vape products.

Online Vape Retailers in the UK

Meanwhile, things are a bit different in the UK. The National Health Service, or NHS, has been known to have embraced vaping as a harm reduction strategy for tobacco mitigation. This is supported by a 2019 study that touts the key role of vape shops in helping smokers switch to a safer alternative.

Despite that, vape shops in the UK were declared “non-essential” and were forced to close during the lockdown. Independent vape businesses feared for their survival, while customers worried about being able to procure vape products during this time.

The UK Vaping Industry Association, or UKVIA, issued a press release to remind vape users in the UK that they could obtain vape products from online vape retailers and home delivery services. The same was done by the Independent British Vape Trade Association, or IBVTA.

Unlike in the US, the online sale of vape products was encouraged across the pond. Many vape businesses had to quickly restructure in order to adapt to the circumstances, but it was definitely a better alternative to facing bans and sanctions.

How Are Vape Businesses Going to Survive?

As things open back up, vape shops have to take extra measures to ensure customer safety. Finding new wholesale sources that are not beset by supply chain issues caused by the pandemic was certainly one of the first steps, especially since a lot of those products come from China. This is especially true for devices and accessories. 

Despite the distribution of vaccines, there’s still a need for safety measures. As with all business establishments, sanitation and disinfecting of commonly touched items and surfaces should be encouraged. Even when the pandemic finally passes, it would be a good idea to maintain these protocols to promote a clean and disease-free environment.

Just about any vape business nowadays, being able to sell online is a good way to get sales. For most without the resources or facilities to deliver vape products, the next best thing is curbside pickup. A lot of vape businesses have taken to this method for selling vape products without customers being able to enter their stores.

In any case, having an online storefront, either on a website, online marketplace, or in social media for customers to make their orders is a smart move. Of course, with the concern regarding minors purchasing vape products and the possibility of bans, it’s best to have an airtight age verification process to prevent violating the law.

It has been mandated since September that all vape products being sold should have an associated premarket application on file with the FDA so they’ll be legal to sell. That also means that while vape business can continue to sell vape devices, accessories, and eliquids, there’s now a need to find new revenue channels.

That may include widening product selection and finding a way to sell other merchandise. For now, the vape industry is still getting by. But as more regulations are being put to work, it’s up to vape entrepreneurs to find new ways to stay in business.

Nicotine Use and COVID-19

So far, there’s mixed evidence when it comes to how nicotine use affects one’s risk for COVID-19 infection, onset, and outcome. While it’s expected that smoking may lead to worse outcomes, as is usually the case for other acute respiratory infections, some studies are pointing to the contrary.

It’s still unclear whether these seemingly counterintuitive results are due to biases, misreporting, and flaws inherent in the studies or a potential for a protective effect of smoking on COVID-19 outcomes and whether it’s due to nicotine or something in tobacco products. Of course, it must be said that despite COVID-19, smoking is bad for health nonetheless.

Meanwhile, nicotine is known to be safe when consumed in other forms such as vaping. That’s why there are now studies being conducted to determine whether it affects onset of COVID-19. Finding this out may help us better understand the disease itself, how nicotine affects the body in the context of this pandemic, and even the small chance of finding a cure.

French Study

A study conducted in a French university hospital between March and April 2020 sought to determine if there’s a correlation between daily smoking and susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Researchers estimated the percentage of smokers among COVID-19 patients, compared them with the percentage of smokers in the French population, and categorized them according to sex and age.

They found 5.3% of COVID-19 patients were smokers, compared to 25.4% within the French population. This finding purports a lower probability of symptomatic or severe COVID-19 among smokers compared to the general population.

It must be said that this study only looks at the correlation between the percentage of smokers among COVID-19 patients and the general population of a specific country, so it may not reflect what’s happening in the rest of the world.

As it always is with science, correlation does not imply causation. More studies need to be conducted first to properly understand the relationship between tobacco use and COVID-19.

Farsalinos Study

In late March 2020, Greek cardiologist and e-cigarette researcher Konstantinos Farsalinos published a preliminary study looking into the role of nicotine in COVID-19 infection. The hypothesis supposes that nicotine can affect the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) that coronaviruses bind to.

It has been suggested that poor COVID-19 outcomes in people who use tobacco may have been driven by nicotine withdrawal during illness. This may necessitate the use of nicotine patches or other delivery systems to continue supplementing nicotine in those patients.

The verdict was that nicotine may indeed have an impact on SARS-CoV-2 infection, but clinical significance has not been made clear yet. In the meantime, studies are being conducted regarding the use of nicotine replacement therapy as a therapeutic aid for COVID-19.

Legal Ramifications

Meanwhile, liabilities concerning the link between COVID-19 and vaping were filed in federal courts across the United States throughout the thick of the pandemic in 2020.

Multiple COVID-19 patients made claims that vaping put them at greater risk of serious health complications due to the disease, which were added to the multidistrict litigation case against Juul Labs.

However, with the appearance of peer-reviewed studies arguing the connection between vaping and how it may exacerbate COVID-19 infection and complications meant that those liability claims do not hold up in US courts just yet. Due to the current lack of viable information that can unequivocally prove causality, the most that can be asserted is merely plausibility.

That means as of right now, there’s no proof beyond speculation. The science is still being sorted out, so US federal courts can’t make judgements on these liability claims just yet. The most that can be asserted is the seemingly high probability of vaping placing people at higher risk of COVID-19 infection and/or subsequent complications.

If litigation is pushed against vape companies on these grounds right now, it will not yet have the appropriate medical evidence to stand on.

Race for Evidence

Farsalinos later published an update to his study, citing new data from various countries, including the United States and France (the aforementioned study) that showed low rates of infection among smokers.

He added to his hypothesis that aside from tobacco use being associated with changes in ACE2 receptors and decreased levels of ACE2 in multiple organs, it may also inhibit hyperinflammation and platelet reactivity, as well as prevent cytokine storms.

This suggests that not only does nicotine help prevent infection, but also reduce damage in already infected patients. Farsalinos has called for clinical trials of nicotine replacement therapy for COVID-19 patients.

Meanwhile, Pasteur institute biologist Jean-Pierre Changeux had already initiated such a clinical trial in France. An expert on the cholinergic system, which includes nicotinic receptors, Changeux saw the lower rates of smokers among COVID-19 patients and sought to find a link between nicotine and the disease.

However, the preliminary study authored by Dr. Changeux and his colleagues had only been published nearly a month after Dr. Farsalinos’ paper. These studies draw the same conclusions, follow almost the same methodology, and are now running in parallel. However, since Farsalino came out with his study first, it’s the one that’s more often cited.


Such instances are surprisingly common throughout the history of science. Even controversies regarding theft and plagiarism have been rife for ages. Hopefully, whoever gets credit for whatever discovery may crop up from these studies, everything is done to benefit the people.

However, tobacco control and public health interests will likely be against anything to do with nicotine as anywhere beneficial, especially with a disease like COVID-19. After all, decades of crusade against tobacco will likely not give way to nicotine suddenly being heralded as a medical boon, despite new things recently being discovered about its properties.

The Truth About the New PMTA Regulations

The vape industry in the US has recently been up in arms due to the new PMTA regulations being enforced by the Food and Drug Administration under the Tobacco Control Act of 2009.

In early 2020, there were fears of favorite vape brands being wiped out from the American market due to the “flavor ban” and the ongoing war on vaping. Not only is it seen as a threat to the vape industry, but also to vapers themselves.

But we must separate fact from fiction when it comes to Pre-market Tobacco Product Application regulations and be informed instead of hysterical. Despite the fears, this is not the death of vaping in America.

What is PMTA?

PMTA, or Premarket Tobacco Product Application, is something that all e-cigarette manufacturers must submit to the FDA in order to keep selling vaping products. It requires the companies to provide scientific data which shows their products are safe and appropriate for protection of public health.

It had been in the works since the Obama administration. Advisers of then-President Barack Obama were apprehensive about quickly implementing the new tobacco regulations as it may result in disaster for the burgeoning vape industry.

President Donald Trump had spoken against vaping and nicotine user rights during the height of last year’s “epidemic” of vaping-related lung illness. But despite that, his administration has extended the deadline for PMTA for as long as possible for current products in distribution.

New products must be registered and be authorized for every marketing component they may undergo. That includes adjustments in packaging, manufacturing processes, product design, and so on. The FDA also has the right to enforce discretion, letting them defer PMTA requirements for products already available on the market as of August 8, 2016.

This systemic grandfathering date does not assure legality of said products as introduction of new products will still require PMTA approval.

PMTA Application and Review Process

Preparing for premarket tobacco product application, as with most legal registrations, involves compiling the necessary documents.

The PMTA itself includes full reports of all published information showing the actual health risks of the tobacco products being 

The FDA recommends a structured format of cover letter and administrative information, table of contents, summaries, product description and manufacturing, nonclinical information, clinical information of product impact on individual health and population health, and environmental impact.

You may submit your PMTA online through the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products (CTA) portal or by mail to the CTP’s Document Control Center. Amendments may be submitted as well through these same procedures.

The review process involves a voluntary pre-submission meeting for initial screening, acceptance review to verify the qualification of the product, filing review for preliminary scientific review, substantive review to evaluate the scientific information in the application, action to come up with an order letter for either allowing marketing of the product or not, and post-market reporting to determine whether the product is indeed safe or should be withdrawn.

Why is the PMTA Necessary?

PMTA is being set as a foundation for establishing long-term vape businesses due to the incredibly high standards and complicated processes that vape products have to undergo. The rise of illicit vape products in recent years has necessitated this action to ensure public health and safety without permanently banning vaping in America.

Vaping has brought together people of all creeds, nationalities, ethnicities, and walks of life due to being an effective method of quitting conventional tobacco products. Therefore, banning vaping poses a significant threat to the vaping community, which only continues to grow over the years.

The establishment of PMTA is both a compromise and a way to further legitimize vaping as both an industry and a way of life.

Why You Should Not Panic About PMTA

PMTA will not end vaping in America. In fact, it’s far from it. The PMTA deadline is not when the vape industry ends. It’s merely one of the first steps in the fight against those who think they know better about people’s rights and health.

Vaping was created to give people hope with a viable alternative to smoking. Other countries like the United Kingdom have incorporated vaping into their healthcare system, using it as a means of harm reduction and addiction management. That can be possible for the US as well.

Instead of panicking, the best thing to do from here on is to join the movement to convince the whole world of vaping as an effective harm minimization method for quitting conventional tobacco. Every step towards that legitimization counts.


Only time will tell if PMTA is actually effective in eliminating illicit vape products from the market and making vaping safer for everyone. There may be more regulations in the future to curtail other vaping-related problems, like vaping among minors.

However, PMTA is a significant step towards making vaping much less of a taboo and more of a lifestyle choice that makes smoking obsolete. While it can make vape products more expensive due to the added costs of applications in terms of money, time, and energy, but 

Mi-Pod New PRO Pods Review: AMAZING!

All the way back in August 2017 (which feels like a century ago in Vape years) Smoking Vapor launched the Mi-Pod to rave reviews.   It's compact size, powerful  900 MaH battery and pods that offered great flavor for newly launched Nicotine Salt based eLiquids made it a huge hit.   

Fast forward to 2020, we are happy to announce that the newly released Mi-Pod Pro Pods are almost as revolutionary as the original - with a tremendous improvement in flavor, vapor production, a raised mouth piece and side fill slot for easier filling.  

The biggest difference in the new Pro Pods from the original pods is the advanced mesh coil which is rated at .9 ohm resistance.   This technology provides far better flavor than the original horizontal single coil, which was very good back when it was first released but wasn't quite up to the performance of some of the newer pod systems like the Lost Vape Orion Q.  

Pro Pods offer a big upgrade to the familiar Mi-Pod experience without the cost of a new device.  

To celebrate the new Pro Pods, we are now offering the stylish Mi-Pod Royal collection starter kits /  at the same price as the previous Digital collection Salty Bastard Starter Kits - just  $44.95 for the battery, 2 pods and a 30 ML bottle of Cafe Racer's award-winning Salty Bastard eLiquids.  Also we are offering a 2 pack of Pro Pods Refill Kit  + a 30 ML bottle of Salty Bastard for just $24.95 





Pairing E-Liquid with Craft Beer [2020 Guide]

Every first Friday of August, we celebrate International Beer Day. The annual celebration started in 2007 and had only one thing in mind: To be able to gather with friends by celebrating the beers of all nations on a single day. Here at Cafe Racer, we take our International Beer Day to the next level.

We make epic e-liquid and beer pairing suggestions which you can try yourself to celebrate the day!
Smoking has always gone hand in hand with drinking popular beverages like coffee, whiskey and beer so why not create eLiquid flavors that are intended to pair with these?  This is a 2nd of a series of posts on pairing - starting with our favorite:

Pairing Lucky 13 & Lucky Bastard Tobacco eLiquids with Craft Beers 

Pairing eLiquid with Craft Beer | by Cafe Racer Vape


When I started Cafe Racer in 2015, one of the main focuses was to create a flavor that paired well with craft beer.  Cycle touring through Belgium in the fall of 2014, I had 3 bottles of a generic old school RY4 tobacco flavor and a basic Nautilus tank.


Cycling through Belgium in Fall of 2014 before the Cafe Racer Vape Craft eLiquid development process had began.

There are over 2000 breweries in Belgium and an amazing variety of world class beer.   I was particularly fond of the Belgian Blonds - like Leffe and La Chouffe.  Leffe Blond is an authentic blond abbey beer with a slight hint of caramel and some hoppy bitterness to it.   After 500 miles and many stops at local breweries in Belgium, I became obsessed with creating a beer that would pair well with my favorite beers ranging from the Belgian Blondes to the hoppy west coast IPA’s.

Pairing eLiquid with Craft Beer | by Cafe Racer Vape

When we started working in the lab on the first Cafe Racer E-juice flavors in January of 2015, shooting for a tobacco flavor that would pair well with craft beer became our first main goal.

Given that most of the commonly used tobacco flavors available were unacceptably bitter and harsh, we made a pilgrimage to tobacco country (Carolinas, Virginia, etc) in search of a new source.  After weeks of meetings and testing, I was able to work with a chemist to create an amazing naturally extracted tobacco flavor that was a compound of several ingredients creating a rich, smooth almost buttery tobacco that was a perfect base to build a next-generation RY4 that I would love to vape. (CLICK HERE to read more about the history of the RY4 Tobacco Flavor)

Each week I would bring some craft beer to the lab on Friday afternoons and we’d test the latest batches to see how well they paired with the tobacco flavor we were working on.  Tough work I know!

Lucky 13 took over 6 months to finish.  We played around with many different versions - sticking with the base of Vanilla, Caramel and Tobacco sounds simple but when you have hundreds of vanillas and dozens of caramels to choose from, this process takes a while. We also added some new ingredients like toasted almonds and a few other things to help bring the flavor to where we wanted it. Many beer pairings were tested - not a bad way to close out each week.

Something rather magical happened with the flavor over time.  When you pair Lucky 13, or it’s stronger tobacco flavored brother Lucky Bastard, with rich hoppy beer, it changes the flavor of both the beer and the vape.  We discovered this by trial and error but wow, what an amazing experience. It’s impossible for me now to drink beer without my trusty Lucky Bastard on hand. It just wouldn’t be the same.

 Pairing eLiquid with Craft Beer | by Cafe Racer Vape 

Lucky 13 went on to win many awards for Best Tobacco flavor.   Hopefully many of the thousands of Lucky 13 and Lucky Bastard fans out there are also enjoying these with their favorite craft beers. Cheers!

If you're interested in exploring other vape pairings, check out our article on 5 vape pairings you need to try today.

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What Ever Happened to Juul?

The controversy of vape-related lung injuries that occurred throughout the US in 2019 had Juul at its center. This has deeply affected the company, and the problems don’t stop there. There have been lawsuits, layoffs, and an uncertainty in the future of the most recognizable name in vaping.

While those lung injuries were mostly attributed to illegal THC cartridges that had ingredients like Vitamin E acetate that resulted in lung illnesses, that didn’t stop Juul from being blamed for much of it. Since then, Juul has had some rough times. Here’s what happened.

Juul’s Recent Legal Problems

A lawsuit was filed by a former Juul executive, which alleges that Juul knowingly released a batch of contaminated eliquid that was used in a million pods earlier in 2019 without informing customers. This may have led to many of the cases of lung injury that brought about the “vaping epidemic.”

Siddharth Breja, former senior vice president of global finance at Juul from May 2018 to March 2019, claims that he had been fired due to complaining about the contaminated pods.

He states that during a meeting on March 12 of last year, he learned that a batch of mint eliquid that was used to make 250,000 refill kits, or a million pods in total, was actually contaminated. Despite that, it had already been shipped to retailers.

Breja then claims that while he had forwarded this information to higher-ups, the company refused to issue a product recall or health and safety notice. Doing so would have cost the company $38 billion in valuation. A week later, he was fired from Juul.

He says that the reason for the firing was due to him misrepresenting himself as a former chief financial officer at the ride-sharing company Uber, a claim that he reaffirms as accurate. He claims to represent himself as a former chief financial officer of a division at Uber.

The former Juul executive now claims that Juul wants to sell pods that are almost a year old. He says that he suggested including expiration or best by dates on the packaging of the pods, which was allegedly responded to by former CEO Kevin Burns that they need not bother as their customers wouldn’t care anyway.

In an email, a Juul spokesperson stated that Breja’s claims were baseless, his firing was due to his failure to demonstrate leadership qualities needed in his role, and the allegations regarding safety issues with Juul products are meritless.

Juul Pulling Out of International Markets

In late October 2019, on the same day when news of the lawsuit broke out, Juul announced that it would let go of 500 people, which was 10-15% of its then-current workforce.

Four executives also departed Juul while the company was under intense scrutiny by the Food and Drug Administration due to claims of having given misleading statements about its products and purposefully targeting teens for sales.

Later on, announced in April of this year, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Juul set forth to lay off 800 to 950 jobs, including a third of the workforce in its Bay Area headquarters. That’s around an additional 40% of its workforce.

They have pulled out of many countries like Indonesia, South Korea, China, Israel, and so on. They’ve also delayed their launch in the Netherlands. Much of the pull-outs were due to push-back by the respective countries’ governments against nicotine-based products.

When the company was acquired by the Altria Group, the parent company of Philip Morris International, it was projected that in five years, 50% of Juul revenue will come from international markets.

However, anti-vaping sentiment in those countries have since made that prediction seem jinxed. They now have to taper off their global ambitions and focus more on securing the American domestic market.

Juul Headquarters Moving to Washington DC

Juul is set to move their headquarters from San Francisco to Washington DC. The move seems to be a politically-motivated one as they’re aiming to influence federal regulations on vaping.

This plus the downsizing of their workforce in San Francisco makes it look like their future is now being directed by their parent corporation, which has close lobbying ties with the capital.

The company owes much of its early success to its vision as a tech company, mingling with other tech startups in Silicon Valley and designing their product to look like a sleek tech gadget.

But now, it looks like they’re moving to a new direction, especially due to the undeniable fact that they’re selling nicotine-based products first and foremost.


More recently, another former employee has filed a lawsuit against Juul over the company’s use of non-disclosure agreements. Former manager Marcie Hamilton alleges that those confidentiality requirements harm Juul’s current and former employees, the public, and the state of California.

It does seem like while they had a meteoric rise during the 2010s, their entry into 2020 has been marred with controversy, downsizing, and legal problems. It remains to be seen how the company will fare in its future, no longer as a startup, but as a vaping juggernaut.

Can Vaping Help with Anxiety?

People vape for various reasons. Many do it to quit tobacco, some like the flavour, and some like just having something in their hand that they can take a puff from. It’s comforting to have a vape mod or pod in hand, and it’s that comfort that some people lean on to manage their anxiety.

Let’s dig more into how vaping can possibly help in dealing with anxiety.

What is Anxiety?

It’s important that we properly define what anxiety is. Anxiety is your body's natural response to stress. It’s a feeling of apprehension and unease, either through concern or fear. Everyone has feelings of anxiety at some point in their life, either mild or severe, and everyone manages their anxiety with different methods.

People with anxiety disorders often experience excessive and persistent worry and fear in everyday situations. Anxiety disorders have repeated episodes of anxiety that get intense within minutes, resulting in panic attacks.

Anxiety disorders are difficult to control, out of proportion to the actual danger, and can be chronic. You may have to avoid places or situations to prevent attacks, and it may manifest during childhood or adolescence and go on into adulthood.

There’s generalized anxiety, social anxiety or social phobia, specific phobias, and separation anxiety. It’s possible to have more than one anxiety disorder. Sometimes, anxiety results from a different medical condition that must be treated to alleviate the resulting anxiety.

Can Nicotine Cause Anxiety?

Nicotine is the main addictive chemical in tobacco. Reasons why nicotine causes anxiety are not fully understood. Current theories speculate on effects of carbon monoxide and other chemicals in cigarettes being the cause.

The chemicals in cigarettes are known to lead to lung illness, which can trigger anxiety through shortness of breath. According to WebMd, Nicotine is a stimulant, which raises heart rate and increases blood pressure.

Tobacco smoke induces airway resistance and other respiratory problems, as well as sleep problems. Sleep deprivation and shortness of breath can also lead to anxiety.

How Does Vaping Help with Anxiety?

It’s common for smokers and vaper to say it calms them down. Vaping can be a comfort habit, like a hug or eating comfort food. Due to its relaxing nature, it can help with anxiety, depression, PTSD, etc. For some people, knowing they have something to calm them down or take their mind off things can help.

Vaping doesn't cause most of those problems associated with smoking. Even with lower nicotine levels, vaping can reduce stress. It can replace cigarettes altogether as vaping can be an adequate substitute for tobacco.

Mental health has a strong connection with the placebo effect. Mental health conditions can be made worse by one's ignorance, fear, or feeling of being alone. Believing that you have something that can help you feel better can have a positive effect in battling that condition.

Can Nicotine-Free Eliquids Help?

Yes and no. Without nicotine, there's no physical “need" to vape, similar to smoking. What remains are either an oral fixation or a deliberate want to vape. It's common for people to enjoy social vaping, depending on the individual and their preferences. Doing it with other people can be comforting, thus decreasing anxiety.

Many people vape simply for flavor and smell. It can be a form of aromatherapy, which is known to help relieve stress and anxiety.

If you've completely cut nicotine or a non-smoker, vaping can help with relaxation even without nicotine. Eliquid has no harsh chemicals like in cigarettes. Nicotine-free eliquid has no actual stimulants other than caffeine in some if indicated. For most of them, no increase of heart rate or blood pressure to be expected.


It’s not a cure-all solution; not one thing can instantly cure anxiety. It’s a process of knowing about oneself, understanding when and how anxiety can strike, and what things can help manage it. In the end, vaping could be one of those minor tools in dealing with depressive episodes and a relatively safer option of managing stress. 

Where to Get Your Vape Supply During Quarantine


Vaping has gotten more difficult due to the quarantine measures being taken to combat the spread of COVID-19. That makes procuring vape supplies more difficult as most businesses are closed at the moment and social distancing makes going to a vape store to buy them difficult.

It’s a hard time for vapers, especially those who got into vaping to swtich from smoking. If you don’t want to be forced back to smoking, it’s high time to get a bit creative. There are still a few ways you can get vape supplies during the quarantine, and here are a few ways you can do that.

Brick and Mortar Shops

Many vape businesses are doing curbside selling to stay afloat while still obeying social distancing measures. If you have a vape shop near your neighborhood that has stayed operational, you can contact them by phone or online chat to order a product.

You can then arrange to either meet up with them by the sidewalk near the shop or have a delivery service pick it up for you and deliver it to your place. This has made acquiring vape supplies still possible and convenient during this quarantine.

If you decide to go get your order yourself, make sure to practice proper safety procedures during this quarantine, like wearing a face mask and other personal protective gear, and observe social distancing. Also ask if the seller is doing the same

Once you’ve received your package, make sure the seals are still intact if there are supposed to be any. When you get back home, you may also want to sterilize the packaging before handling it yourself. A rubdown with alcohol should suffice, or even a dip in water laced with bleach, as long as the products don’t get waterlogged.

Online Shops

The obvious choice for most is to order online. Many vapers already purchase their vape supplies from online vape shops, so it’s not that hard of a transition. However, many vape shops may not be operational during quarantine, so options may be more limited. Good thing though, we here at Cafe Racer still delivers all your eliquid needs for FREE ( if you're in the US and $20 flat rate for international orders)

If you have to find another online vape shop to buy from, see if you can find one that’s located close to your physical location so you can minimize distance. This will ensure faster and more reliable delivery. You may also want to find one that carries your favorite brands and hardware, so you’ll have to browse through their products to see if they have them.

Make sure to look through customer reviews to see how good their products are, how fast and reliable their delivery is, and if there are any customer service issues. This goes for both ordering from the shop’s own website or from an online marketplace.

Here are a few of our favorite online shops:





In the EU:


NZ and Australia:



South America:

https://vaporkingdom.com.co/  (Colombia)

http://www.elvapeclub.com/  (Paraguay)


DIY Vaping

Since the quarantine has most likely given you extra time on your hands, perhaps it’s a good time to be a bit more experimental. If you’re willing, the DIY route may be something you want to take up in order to keep enjoying your vaping during quarantine.

Those interested in learning DIY vaping can find plenty of guides in vaping websites, blogs, and forums. Just make sure to find guides that are from reliable sources so you get the best possible information with health and safety in mind.

If you’re looking to make your own eliquid, you’ll still have to procure ingredients from outside sources, most likely online stores. If you’re indeed able to procure enough ingredients, like propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin for base, freebase nicotine if needed, and flavorings, then you should be good to go.

All you have to work out is the proportion of each ingredient. Always remember to measure twice and mix once.

You can also try your hand at making your own coils and wick. This can get a bit tricky since you need to find the right kind of wire and wicking material for the job. That’ll require some research and some practice with wires and wick specifically for vaping. You’ll learn how to build your own coils either way, if you haven’t already.

There are plenty of other things you can learn to do DIY vaping, which you can look up on the Internet. Let’s leave it up to you to dig further, but do know that you must approach it with caution.


When things get tough, you persist and find ways around the problem. That’s what many vape businesses are doing right now to survive this COVID-19 crisis, and vapers are doing the same.

Whichever way you acquire your vape supplies during the quarantine, it’s best that you do so through one of these means to maintain social distancing and self-isolation to help fight COVID-19.

What is "Friday the Lucky 13th?"

If you've landed here, you're probably wondering what all the hype around this "Friday the Lucky 13th" holiday is all about...

Well as you all know, when Friday lands on the 13th of a particular month, it's always a pretty big deal. But for us at Cafe Racer, it's THE BIGGEST DEAL.

Our globally recognized flavor, Lucky 13, has won multiple awards in 6 different countries. So, to celebrate this flavor that has changed the perception of tobacco flavors in the industry, we have adopted every Friday the 13th as "Cafe Racer's Friday the Lucky 13th" holiday.

But just because it's been recognized as the "Best Tobacco" by vapers all over the world, don't get it confused... Lucky 13 is actually more of a savory dessert flavor than tobacco, with a light smooth tobacco finish.

The actual flavor profile is: "Creamy Vanilla, Toasted Almond and Caramel topped off with just the right amount of our smooth naturally extracted Virginia Tobacco."

This flavor was designed over a period of 6 months, and tested with over 50 different beers in search of the perfect light tobacco flavor to pair with a nice craft beer.

You can check out Lucky 13 HERE.

On the 13th of March and the week leading up to it, we have a lot of promotions, giveaways, content, and on the 13th itself - we hold the BIGGEST promotion of the year on our website for 24 hours only.

Make sure you're following us on social media and check back here on the website often to make sure you don't miss any of these amazing deals - Friday the Lucky 13th is coming up FAST!

Care Racer's Friday The Lucky 13th Holiday

Featured Racer of the Month: Seaweed & Gravel

We here in Cafe Racer pride ourselves as not just a vape company, but also as a lifestyle brand. As our name and logo suggest, we are deeply enamored by custom motorcycle culture. We’re into vintage motorcycles and the captivating people who build and ride them.

That’s why we would like to share that side of our brand by doing a monthly feature on some of our favorite people and companies in this space.  It could be anyone who creates bikes for themselves or those that build bikes for others professionally.  Some also make clothing and accessories that go hand in hand with cafe racer lifestyle. For this month, let’s take a look at Seaweed & Gravel, a vintage motorcycle, goods, and apparel brand that serves as a throwback to California’s past as a stomping ground for rugged old souls.

What is Seaweed & Gravel?

In their own words, Seaweed & Gravel is “the retail extension of the collective conscious of non-conforming-never-grow-up-weirdos.” You’re not going to find here the usual kind of clothes and apparel that you may find in other shops, and that’s exactly the way they like it.

Everything is centered around surfing vintage motorcycle culture, from new and vintage clothing for men and women, surfboards, custom and vintage motorcycles, and accessories. But you’ll also find home goodies, bonsai trees, and more.

You can also have a custom-built Cafe Racer motorcycle designed and made for you here. Whoever heard of a shop that mixes motorcycles with surfboards and bonsai trees? The whole place is designed to be outside-the-box from the ground up.

Seaweed and Gravel's Custom Motos


History of Seaweed & Gravel

The brand is the brainchild of David Patri, who spent twenty years working in the apparel industry. He went on to open Seaweed & Gravel in 2012 after growing “tired of watching retailers control the destiny of clothing design,” which seemed to suppress anyone looking to do something new and fresh in the ready-to-wear clothing industry.

He wanted freedom from corporate control, which is what Seaweed & Gravel represents. The hodge podge of vintage products featured in the shop stray away from trends and fads of the modern day and harken back to a glorious past that colored California’s history.

It also represented much of David’s youth, when he would surf at spots like Beacons, Grandview, and Stone Steps during summer. Much of what’s inside Seaweed & Gravel are filled with his private collection, meant to connect with likeminded artists, makers, surfers, and travelers from all walks of life.

During the grand opening of Seaweed & Gravel, David met Brady Young, a young custom motorcycle builder in the local area. They hit it off right away and decided that they could team up and bring their collective efforts and knowledge into the brand. Brady was already known for designing and building Cafe Racer-style motorcycles, which was a perfect fit for the brand.

This tandem brought even more substance to the brand, with David designing apparel and Brady working on bikes. What completed Seaweed & Gravel as a brand was the community that organically gathered around it, composed of misfits of all sorts with a common interest in surf and vintage motorcycle culture that’s distinctly Californian.

As it grew, David added small local brands to the stock of vintage and handmade goods to promote them. He knew from his experience in the apparel industry how hard it is for small local brands to gain traction in a market ruled by big brands. Through this effort, he could do what he couldn’t in the corporate world and help individuals and small companies grow.

Seaweed & Gravel Location

Their main location is in the middle of Leucadia, at 1144 North Coast Highway 101, Encenitas, California, just down the road from Cafe Racer's headquarters.  They don’t have a listed phone number, but they do have a website, a  Facebook page  and avid following on Instagram (@seaweedandgravel) with over 44k followers.  

The place is something you can both expect and not expect for something in Leucadia. In front of the store is space for motorcycles, where like-minded people can hang out and congregate. At first glance, it seems all macho with all the metal and rubber. But then, you go inside the store and get something seemingly out of place in this tiny Cafe Racer mecca.

The front of the store is decked out in painted brick and old wood, with a black on white sign on top. There’s a surfboard on the left, a portrait of Chief Sitting Bull painted on the right, and bonsai framing the front seafoam green doors. Inside, you see a mix of vintage biker apparel, lace dresses, boots, hand-painted surfboards, hats of all sorts, and more bonsai trees.

The central theme of Seaweed & Gravel is anything David and Brady have imagined. It attracts anyone who would be interested in whatever there is in the store, whether it’s artists, makers, bikers, chefs, flea market collectors, tourists, and everyone else in between.



Whether you’re interested in motorcycles, surfing, gardening, crafting, collecting, or so on, you may find yourself at home in Seaweed & Gravel. It’s outside the box, which is how David Patri digs it. 

Why Vaping Has Helped More People Quit Smoking Than Anything Else in History

The difficulty of quitting conventional tobacco products can never be understated. Out of all the methods devised to help with the process, it’s vaping that made a difference. Vaping is like a miracle that has saved lives, proving to be an effective tobacco-quitting method over the years.

Much of that success is due to the nicotine delivery and tobacco eliquids that make the possible for smokers to transition to vaping more easily. Those elements combined make up the one thing that has rendered all other methods obsolete. 

Here’s a rundown of why vaping has helped more people quit smoking than anything else in history.

Tobacco-Quitting Options Before Vaping

Most methods of quitting conventional tobacco are centered around the concept of tapering off nicotine intake. The theory of slowly decreasing the nicotine consumed over time until a dead stop is sound, but there’s more to quitting cigarettes than just the nicotine. But until vaping came along, the variety of options available in the market was limited.

Nicotine replacement methods like nicotine patches and gum were mostly used. Nicotine patches let users absorb nicotine through the skin, but their overall effectiveness has been limited. Nicotine gum may be seen as more successful as it can serve as an analog for the oral fixation from cigarettes, but it does not completely replace the sensation of smoking.

There are other forms of oral replacement like himalayan salt inhalers, but their actual effectiveness has been dubious at best. There’s also hypnotherapy, which does have a degree of effectiveness, but takes way more time and patience, and it may not work for everyone.

Of course, there’s the age-old method of quitting cold turkey, which has been known to be the most difficult as cutting all nicotine after years of heavy smoking can result in intense cravings and high chances of relapse.

What has proven to be the most effective way to end the cycle of tobacco addiction was vaping, which came along, first in the 2000s, and has helped countless people get off of cigarettes all over the world.

History and Intent of Vaping

The first ecigarette was designed by Hon Lik, a Chinese pharmacist who had been struggling to quit cigarettes. His father had died from lung cancer due to years of heavy smoking, and he himself got into the habit when he was 18 while working in an agricultural state enterprise in the tailend of the Cultural Revolution.

He was nicotine patches, but still craved for cigarettes. One day, after waking up in the morning, he noticed that he forgot to remove a patch before going to bed. This was when he realized that patches didn’t give the same head rush as smoking a cigarette, so he knew it didn’t deliver the nicotine in the same way.

His revelation was twofold. For a tobacco-quitting method to work, the nicotine delivery must match that of a cigarette, and the ritual of putting something to your mouth and inhaling should be replicated. He then came up with the idea of an electronic device that vaporizes a liquid containing nicotine—something he formulated through his pharmaceutical expertise.

His development of the first ecigarette took place in 2003, which resulted in the “Ruyan”. It consisted of three parts—a battery, a cartridge containing a nicotine solution, and a heating element that atomized the solution. Eventually, the technology reached the western world and later caught on fire, resulting in the revolution that led to the proliferation of vaping.

Vaping became a global phenomenon, gaining widespread popularity in the 2010s and gave rise to a whole new industry. Nowadays, we have all sorts of vape devices and eliquids that are enjoyed by people from all walks of life.

While it has become a hobby onto itself, its original intention was to serve as an effective method for quitting tobacco, and that remains strong to this day.

Variety of Vape Devices

A big part of the appeal of vaping is the immensely wide variety you get in vape devices and eliquids that has been spawned by the global vape industry. The technology and design involved in vape devices has been progressing at an incredible pace since the early days of the ecigarette, and it only continues to grow and become more effective and enjoyable.

At first, vape devices were small and meant to closely emulate the look and feel of a traditional cigarette. They then evolved to pen-type devices, which retained the portability and feel of a cigarette. Designs then started to diverge, taking on new shapes and growing in size.

Mechanical mods were devised to deliver more power, and thus more nicotine. But then, safety concerns regarding batteries cropped up, which paved the way for regulated mods with chips that were programmed to manage power and had the function of cutting off current when there’s too much of it. This made vaping safer and more accessible to more people.

Then in 2015, JUUL came out with their own product, which was the genesis of the vape pod. This innovation brought portability back to the top of the vaping game, opening the floodgates to vape devices that could fit in people’s pockets and could use a new type of eliquid that delivered even more nicotine while requiring less power.

Pods have made vaping even more effective as a method for quitting conventional tobacco due to being able to deliver nicotine more sufficiently. Nowadays, there are even disposable pods available for those who wish to vape only to taper off their nicotine habit, and then stop altogether once they’re completely off the hook.

Flavored Eliquids (Including Tobacco)

As mentioned, there is a cornucopia of choices in eliquid, from different types to different flavors. You can now find hundreds of brands and thousands of flavors online and in local vape shops.

At first, most eliquid were unflavored, their existence owed solely to their purpose of nicotine delivery. But nowadays, through the development of various processes, flavors were added and made vaping more enjoyable to more people.

There are plenty of fruits, custards, candies, pastries, beverages, and so on to choose from. However, for many who got into vaping for quitting conventional tobacco, it’s the tobacco-flavored eliquids that they most likely encountered and tried out at first.

Tobacco eliquids don’t only help make the transition from cigarettes to vaping easier, but also offer better and more varied tobacco flavor experiences. Vapers can get naturally-extracted Virginia tobacco flavor mixed with things like nuts, caramel, and so on.

Flavored eliquids doesn’t only make vaping an effective way to quit cigarettes, but also make it a more appealing option. Vaping is a healthier option that doesn’t have the same detrimental effects as cigarettes—which had chemical additives that caused lung illnesses—and was more fun and exciting to be into as well.

The Vaping Community

The spread of vaping started with word of mouth at first, and then the Internet took over and turned it into a phenomenon. Soon enough, local and online communities started cropping up.

With the technicalities involved with vaping, including building and maintenance of vape devices, the chemistry of eliquid, the urge to spread the word about it as a great way to quit cigarettes, and the need for validation through scientific studies regarding the safety of vaping, it was very important for vapers to band together, help each other out, and become a community.

Online forums became a resource for people who are looking to get more knowledge and resources on vaping. Blogs started growing due to the constant need for more information, especially for beginners. Vape companies started selling vape devices, eliquid, and accessories through ecommerce, generating more money and giving rise to the global vape industry.

Vape shops began to multiply, where vapers could shop, hang out, and talk about vaping. Local events became giant conventions that showcased the latest and greatest that vaping has to offer, as well as educate the public on the wonders of vaping. As the years passed, vaping grew from a niche movement into an institution.

All of this is thanks to the sense of community that vaping has fostered through its mission to make the world smoke-free. The spirit of the vaping community is focused on helping each other out and wanting the world to be a healthier place to live in.


Vaping is facing some tough challenges right now due to the panic resulting from vaping-related illnesses that cropped up in the US during late 2019. Despite all the challenges, vaping continues to stand as people’s best hope in kicking conventional tobacco to the curb.

All the good vaping has done for people who have quit smoking because of it is the main thing that will let it survive these tribulations. As more people are able to quit cigarettes thanks to vaping, the more vaping will be able to save lives through education and community.

You can help and support vaping by continuing to be a patron of your favorite brand and vape shop, as well as spread the word of it being the most effective method for quitting conventional tobacco products.

The UK Approach to the “Vaping Epidemic”

Last year’s vaping panic was quite a wild ride. Due to the scare regarding vaping-related lung injuries that were almost exclusively due to Vitamin E acetate found in contaminated black market THC vape cartridges, the US has been treating all things "vape" as an “epidemic” of sorts—something that must be contained and regulated. For more on this, check out our previous blog post HERE 

The vaping episode of the documentary series Broken on Netflix has a segment that showed how the United Kingdom has tackled vaping differently from the United States. They took an opposite approach that has been proven to help people instead of hurt an industry.

Let’s dive into how the UK approached vaping not as a health hazard, but as a medical practice that is saving people from the dangers of cigarette addiction.

The UK Approach

The biggest cause of preventable death in England is smoking, with around 4 million smokers nationwide and 96,000 deaths annually.  However, in recent years, smoking has fallen to 14.4%, thanks to vaping.

While nicotine products are considered detrimental to health, the British have seen vaping as not only a lesser evil compared to conventional tobacco, but also a way to combat it as well. Of course, as with any new solution to an age-old problem, it wasn’t welcomed with open arms.

Many were skeptical at first with the idea of e-cigarettes as a way to quit smoking, fearing that it would renormalize smoking and propagate nicotine addiction among young people. However, they soon changed their tune as the program took off and produced good results.

The UK has the National Health Service (NHS), which sets it apart from how healthcare is handled in the US. Whatever is relevant to healthcare in Britain goes through the NHS, which centralizes regulation and implementation of something like an anti-smoking program.

The UK vape market is also regulated, so minors can’t get a hold of vape products through mainstream channels. There is no teen vaping problem in the UK to speak of, so they’re doing something right, unlike in the US. Nicotine levels in eliquid are also restricted, being half of what can be procured in the US.

Comparison with USA

Meanwhile, Americans seem to have a propensity to turn health issues into moral crusades. The absence of universal healthcare exacerbates this problem, resulting in a lack of proper government-backed programs that could help smokers with quitting the habit.

Coupled with an unregulated vape market that paved the way to the proliferation of illicit vape products and widespread vape use among minors. The US government’s reactionary stance towards vaping has caused a panic among the public with the vape-related lung illnesses that cropped up in late 2019.

Prohibition of vaping may lead to more illicit products being consumed as vapers turn to underground markets for their needs. That’s what was seen in the leadup to the vape crisis of late 2019, wherein illegal THC cartridges were almost exclusively to blame for the resulting vape-related lung illnesses.

Source: BusinessInsider.com

Despite that, reactionary prohibition was exactly what both state and federal governments in the US had in mind when vaping got the blame for those illnesses. Many states declared a ban on the sale of vape products, and President Trump expressed sentiment towards a nationwide ban.

The US vape industry has been hit hard by the impromptu bans, and it threatens legitimate users who got into vaping as an alternative to smoking. The resulting scarcity can push them to either return to smoking cigarettes or rely on illicit sources of vape products to get them by.

How Vaping is Helping the UK People

The UK approach is focused on the philosophy of harm reduction, which vaping has provided. Since vaping is proven to be safer than cigarettes, it’s apt as an alternative. It also gives users the option to control the amount of nicotine consumed through eliquid, thus letting them safely and thoughtfully taper down their nicotine levels until they get to zero.

This harm reduction policy has extended to even pregnant women. In this particular case, most would advise the woman to not smoke at all, but that would subject her to nicotine withdrawal symptoms. Vaping is on the table as an option for easing that process, as well as all the other nicotine substitutes like gum, patch, etc.

The NHS has now completely adopted a smoke-free policy that encourages smokers to switch to vaping or traditional nicotine replacement therapies. While it has yet to be universally accepted, members of the British Parliament are now calling for e-cigarettes to be prescribed for smokers in pharmacies.

Through the UK approach, Tobacco Control lead Martin Dockrell opts for the e-cigarette as the solution. If using one helps the patient stop smoking, then it’s much safer for her and the baby in the long run compared to the (high) chance of continued smoking.

What We Can Learn from the UK

There are anti-tobacco experts in the US who agree with the UK approach to vaping, seeing it as a more calm and pragmatic way of tackling the tobacco question. As it stands, the way the US government has been tackling 

Matthew Myers agrees with the UK approach to vaping and sees the contrast between it and how the US is handling vaping as a lesson on how addressing it in a calm and pragmatic manner is best and the lack thereof yields a different and disturbing result.

How the US state and federal governments have been responding to the recent slew of lung injury cases this year is the polar opposite of the UK approach—not with calm pragmatism, but with panicked dismissiveness.

Vaping bans in the US threaten both the vape industry and the ex-smokers who took to vaping to quit tobacco and better their health like their British counterparts.


We can learn much from the approach being taken in the UK. Instead of seeing vaping as a problem in itself, they considered its original intent of being a substitute for smoking cigarettes into account. They let it have an opportunity to prove its original premise as indeed viable.

In the meantime, we in the vaping community can do our part in spreading awareness to those who are not aware of vaping as an effective alternative to smoking. The more people there are with the knowledge of vaping’s purpose as a viable solution for the tobacco problem.

The Top Award-Winning eLiquids

Vapers all around the world are inundated by the wide variety of eLiquids in the market with hundreds of brands and thousands of flavors to choose from. Picking out a favorite can be a daunting task, but there’s a way to know which ones are good by consensus.

Vape awards aren’t merely self-aggrandizement. They’re recognition for the hard work and creativity shown by vape brands in designing and manufacturing their products. This is especially true for eliquids, which take a lot of care and expertise to craft.

Here are some of the most award-winning eliquids out there, each of which you should definitely give a try. This list is for both beginners who are stumped with what they should vape and veterans who are looking to explore new flavors.

Cafe Racer Lucky 13


Our flagship eliquid is the Lucky 13, which is our original classic RY4-style naturally extracted Virginia tobacco flavor with hints of creamy vanilla, toasted almonds, and caramel. It’s our most popular eliquid for a good reason—it continues to impress.

The Lucky 13 won the best tobacco eliquid award in The Vape Summit IV 2015, Ukrainian Vapor Week 2016, Vapouround Awards UK 2017 (also won runner-up for best eliquid in that event), and Vapexpo Spain 2017.


Cafe Racer Lucky Bastard

A remix of the Lucky 13, the Lucky Bastard is basically the same flavor profile, but with double the naturally-extracted Virginia tobacco creating a more nutty full-bodied tobacco experience.  Like Lucky 13, Lucky Basterd is a great flavor to pair with your favorite craft beer or coffee in the morning. 

The Lucky Bastard won the best tobacco eliquid award in Vapexpo Las Vegas 2019. It’s one of our most recent awards, and it’s for a variation of our oldest flavor.

Cafe Racer Daily Grind

This is our first crack at a coffee-flavored eliquid, and we’re glad to say that we did a pretty good job. The Daily Grind is a French vanilla coffee flavor with hints of butterscotch, caramel, and hazelnut. It’s a great breakfast vape to get you started for the day.

The Daily Grind won the best dessert award in Vapexpo Spain 2019. It’s our newest flavor, and it was immediately recognized by one of the biggest events in vaping. Daily Grind is a French Vanilla Latte that is a great way to start the day or as an all day vape. 

VaporFi GRND RSRV Catch Ya Latte

The GRND RSRV line of VaporFi is their premium series of eliquids that have drawn praise from vape pundits and enthusiasts alike. Among the flavors in it, Catch Ya Latte stands out as their award-winning stalwart.

Catch Ya Latte is a blend of freshly-brewed espresso from the finest coffee beans with steamed milk, crushed hazelnuts, brown butter caramel, and a drizzle of syrup that both soothes the senses and wakes you up. It's not your ordinary coffee-flavored eliquid.

Naked 100 All Melon

Naked 100 is one of the top brands in the vape market, and their All Melon flavor has garnered a lot of praise. It's not the only fruit flavor of theirs that has impressed, but this one is pretty special due to its fantastic blended melon flavor.

This 70/30 VG/PG eliquid is a subtle mix of watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew melon that's both deep and refreshing. This is the perfect all-day vape whenever summer rolls around, and that distinction brought it notice as a high-quality flavor in the vaping world.

Black Note Prelude

This brand has turned a lot of heads in recent years as a big name when it comes to premium tobacco-flavored eliquid. They're the sort of tobacco eliquids that make cigarette smokers ashamed for not vaping them instead.

Among their flavors, it's the Prelude that has garnered the most attention. This savory blend of carefully-crafted Virginia tobacco is Black Note’s foremost answer to the question of creating a “smoke-free world,” and it's an exclamation mark.

If you’re looking for a tobacco eliquid that really makes you pity those who are still puffing on conventional tobacco, then the Black Note Prelude is the highest expression of that.

Vampire Vape Heisenburg

This last one is a vaping wonder courtesy of Vampire Vape. The brand name is quite apt in this case as you’ll be sucking this up like there’s no tomorrow. The Heisenburg was designed from the ground up to be the ultimate all-day vape.

The Heisenburg is not your standard fruit flavor with a mint finish. It hits a balance between its fruits and mint, then kicks them all up a notch to deliver a subtle yet powerful taste and experience. It also gives a nice throat hit, which makes everything complete.


When you see an eliquid that has been awarded by a well-known body, whether it’s a vape convention or a widely-read publication, there is confidence and respect put into such a high recommendation. Those bodies are vouching for the quality of that eliquid, which tells vapers everywhere that if they try it, there’s a high likelihood of them liking it.

However, do take note that all taste is subjective. Just because an eliquid won some awards, it doesn’t automatically mean you’ll be amazed by it too. That still depends on your personal preferences, and there is always a chance of you not liking something many others like.

Of course, these are not the only eliquids you should turn to. There are plenty of great flavors out there that have not won any awards, but certainly are worth your attention. However, awards serve to give focus to the amazing and exemplary that stand out of the pack.

What Type of Pod System is Right for You?

Getting into vaping can be a bit of a challenge due to all the different things that are thrown at you when you start to gather information.  So many the different devices, eliquid flavors, ways of vaping, and many more can be daunting and overwhelming to take in at first.

But nowadays, there are pod mod systems that are a lot easier to understand and use.  They’re portable, convenient, and require almost no learning curve.  But there are also different types of pod mod systems as well, so it’s important to know which one you should go with.

If you’re looking to buy a pod mod system, here are a few things to know about the two main types of pods in these devices.

Different Types of Pod Mod Systems

Pod mod systems are basically the portability of a vape pen that use either disposale or refillable pods.  A pod mod provides the best of both worlds, letting you vape on the go. When used with a nicotine salt eliquid, it can be much more satisfying than more traditional sub ohm devices. 

Pod mods are vaped either by pressing a button or simply by drawing. There are no settings or mods to mess with, making them fairly fool-proof. They’re very easy to maintain—just keep them charged and replace the pods when the coils are burnt.

The main difference between types of pod mod systems boil down to the pods themselves. When you’re picking between pod mods in the store, you’ll see closed pod mods and open pod mods. Knowing the difference between the two will inform your purchasing decision.

Closed (Disposable) Pod Mod System

Closed pod come pre-filled with eliquid and can’t be refilled, making them disposable. They’re a lot easier to use and don't require you to also purchase eLiquid to top up. 

Closed pod mods are good for people on the go as well as people who want to keep it as simple as possible.   All you need is a charged battery and a pod with some liquid. No filling, etc.  

The coils and eliquids in the pods are designed to work perfectly for that device, so you get the best possible experience right out of the box. If you get a device from a reputable manufacturer, the pod, coils, and eliquid should be high quality.

If you happen to not like the flavor pod so much, then you can choose a different flavor that’s more to your liking. While choices are more limited with closed pod mods, most brands do offer options for all kinds of vapers in various nicotine strengths.

Open (Refillable) Pod Mod System

Open pod mods have many similarities to closed pod mods, but the only major difference is that the pods are refillable. They’re designed for vapers who like vaping their own choice of eliquid or like to switch between flavors often.

This makes open pod mods have virtually unlimited diversity in flavors and nicotine strengths, not being limited to whatever the pod manufacturer has to offer. If you’re used to regular vape mods, this is the better option for you as it better fits your already-established vaping habits.

Open pod mods tend to be bigger to accommodate the refillable pods. But a positive side-effect of that design is usually having a slightly bigger battery, especially if the pods go up to 2-3ml. But they may be a bit bulkier in the pocket, so find smaller ones if portability is important to you.

Since open pods are not completely sealed, you’d want to find an open pod mod that’s not leaky. That’s where it gets tricky as there are some open pod mods on the market that are somewhat infamous for leaking. Because of this, it’s worth doing research first before you decide on your purchase.

Other than that, open pod mods offer most of the same advantages of closed pod mods, but with a lot more ways to enjoy your vaping experience while having to put in a bit more effort.

How to Choose the Right One?

Choosing the right type of pod mod system depends on your vaping habits and experience. Ease of use and convenience are what pod mods are about, so buying one that takes a lot of hassle to live with is counterproductive.

If you’re a new vaper and just looking to vape temporarily, then a closed pod mod may be better for you. All you need is a convenient supplier of new pods until you’re ready to quit nicotine altogether. They’re a thousand times better than starter options in the past, which tended to be underpowered and quick to outgrow.

The good thing about closed pods is you get the pre-filled eliquid as well, so you can just put it in and start vaping again immediately. Closed pod mod systems are designed with beginners in mind, but they should do just as well for veteran vapers who are looking for the best flavor possible.

If you’re a long-term vaper, then you can go for open pod mods. You’d already be familiar with different eliquids, so you can just carry them over. However, if you’re looking for a sufficient nicotine kick, then you’ll have to look into nicotine salt eliquids if you haven’t yet.

In any case, pod mod systems are pretty good in general. Whether you go for a closed pod or open pod mod system, you should find it to be quite fitting for your vaping needs.


Pod mods have rendered vaping more accessible and more viable for both quitting conventional tobacco and pure enjoyment. Choosing between closed and open pod mods is mostly up to personal preference and purchasing convenience.

A good pod mod system you can choose right now is our very own Cafe Racer Motto pod, which is a closed pod mod system that comes with some fantastic flavors. The Motto starter pack comes with three flavored pods for only $39.95.

Top 9 JUUL Alternatives to Try in 2020

The JUUL is the e-cigarette that everyone talks about, for better or for worse. We hear about it endlessly on the news and it is someetimes interchangable with the term vaping ie Juuling.   Juul is popular for very good reasons as it’s a vape pod that’s portable, satisfying and easy to use.  

Anyone can vape with a JUUL, but not everyone is satisfied with it. Its pod doesn’t hold that much juice (0.7ML) and Juul has eliminated all flavors in USA except for tobacco and menthol. For those who want something different that may actually be even better than the JUUL, here is a list of alternatives you can choose from.

These alternatives are small and sleek vape pods like the JUUL, but they have other features that make them superior to it in one way or another.

Before we move forward, we should be clear that there are two types of pod mods - open and closed systems.  

Open system MTL pod mods come with empty pods that allow you to refill the pods with the eLiquid of your choice.   Examples are Mi Pod, Suorin Drop, and the SMOK Nord

Closed systems are pods that come prefilled with eLiquid and (usually) only fit the device made by the same manufacturer.  The big difference for closed vape systems is that they are not refillable - something many people prefer. 

Cafe Racer motto  (Closed System)

You need not look very far for a JUUL alternative. Our motto device is designed to be a portable, convenient, and easy-to-use vape pod that isn’t that far from using a JUUL, but gives even better results.

The motto is considered one of the best closed pod systems on the vape market today. It has the same thin form factor as the JUUL, but provides a more premium experience with its flavor and great selection of flavored pods. Motto pods have 1.8ML of 5% nic eLiquid with a 350 mAH batter - both of which should last for a full day.  

SMOK Novo 2 (Open System)

The brand name SMOK is a recognizable one in the vaping world. The follow-up to its SMOK Novo pod is an improvement and refinement of the original, maintaining the stealthy design while giving four times more capacity than the JUUL.

While wider and a bit heavier, the SMOK Novo 2 is also shorter than the JUUL. However, while the JUUL can only provide 6.5 to 9 watts of power, the Novo 2 is capable of providing 6 to 25 watts of power. This makes the Novo 2 superior in terms of flavor and vapor production.

SMOK Infinix (Open System)

If you like what the SMOK Novo 2 offers, but really want the same form factor as the JUUL, then the SMOK Infinix is your best bet. In fact, most people may mistake this as a JUUL due to how it looks, but this can do so much more.

It has a bigger battery and larger pods. The draw is tight like a cigarette, so it’s perfect for anyone looking to kick the tobacco habit. Also, its starter kit includes two Fit pods and is significantly cheaper than the JUUL.

UWELL Caliburn (Open System)

It may look a bit like a JUUL, but the UWELL Caliburn is one of the most underrated vape pods out there. The JUUL is not even in the same galaxy as the Caliburn in terms of vapor and flavor production.

The Uwell Caliburn is a dual firing method device uses both button and draw activation and has an 11W maximum output. The Caliburn has a voltage output of 3.2 to 4.0V.  Each Caliburn refillable pod has a 2ml nic salt e-liquid capacity and an atomizer resistance of 1.4 ohm. Each pod can use salt nicotine e-liquid and can be refilled with the removable tip. The drip tip also serves as a juice fill cover. The Caliburn has a built-in 520mAh battery with 1A charging. The base of the Caliburn features a single micro USB charging port. The Uwell Caliburn body has an LED battery indicator and an oversized firing button. The Uwell Caliburn Pod System is a great device for the active vaper that needs a pocket sized vaping device.

Vaping enthusiasts rave about the Caliburn in message forums for good reason.

Smoking Vapor Mi Pod (Open System)

Let’s bring in vape pods that do not have the same form factor as the JUUL, but are too good on their own to be overlooked. The Smoking Vapor Mi Pod can be kept in your pocket or hung on a lanyard, even though it has a 950mAh high drain battery.

Being one of the most well-known pods in the vape market today, the MiPod looks fashionable and comes in tons of designs, so you can find one that fits your outfit.

The refillable pods are fairly long-lasting, which definitely makes it better than the JUUL. You can either put it in your pocket or wear it around your neck with a lanyard, the latter of which you might want to do due to how pretty it looks.

Its design also allows for incredible airflow, which lends to amazing flavor and vapor production through its 2ml refillable pod. The Mi Pod’s small size and unique look belies its awesome features. 

If you want to start using MiPod today, we have a Salty Bastard Starter Kit that goes with a MiPod of your choice! 


Lost Vape Orion Q (Open System)

The Orion Q by Lost Vape took the vape market by storm in 2018.   It combined great flavor, ease of use and a new form factor that fits perfectly in your hand. 

With adjustable airflow, you will find that you can vape either wide open directly to your lung, or tight for a mouth to lung experience. Filling Lost Vape Orion Q Pods is easy, just twist off the cap found next to the proprietary drip tip to find a wide open fill port. You can fit a glass dropper or your chubby bottle tip perfectly and avoid potential drippage to the outside of your Orion Q Pod system.

We highly recommend this device as our top pick for open system pod mods! 

Suorin Drop (Open System)

This uniquely shaped vape pod by Suorin may raise some eyebrows, but it certainly delivers a lot more compared to a JUUL without even trying. Even with the fatter form factor, it’s still small and light, so it’s easy to carry around in your pocket.

But with that form factor, it has a 300mAh battery and 2ml refillable cartridge, making it superior in terms of vaping convenience. However, what it really boils down to is the flavor, and the Suorin Drop is known for being perfect for just that.

JoyeTech Exceed Grip (Open System)

While it does look chunky at first glance, it’s still pretty small and more thoughtfully designed than what meets the eye. The JoyeTech Exceed is a vape mod made with ergonomics and handling in mind.

As the name suggests, it features a ribbed exterior that lets you hold on to it nicely. It won’t slip out of your hand easily and can be held onto for long periods of time. This is especially important considering its huge 1000mAh battery and 4.5ml pod with replaceable coils.

If you’re looking for not just an all-day vape, but also survival vape that won’t run out on you at the most inopportune times, then the JoyeTech Exceed Grip is the right pod for you.

Suorin Air Plus (Open System)

The Suorin Air is a mainstay in pod discussions due to its consistent performance. The Suorin Air Plus improves on the original, making it one of the best JUUL alternatives out there.

While the JUUL has a tiny 200mAh battery, the Suorin Air Plus has a 930mAh battery that you don’t have to charge as often. It also has a 3.5ml pod, which is one of the largest in the market.

If you’re looking for an all-day vape, then this is certainly the one to get, especially if you don’t mind its form factor.

How the First E-Cigarette Came to Be

Time for a vaping history lesson. It’s a story worth telling as it’s the genesis of this whole industry we now get to enjoy, and its humble beginnings were inspired by the very thing that many vapers share—the arduous quest to quit the tobacco habit.

The origins of vaping go back to China in the early 2000s, when a man named Hon Lik started designing a device to serve as a substitute for conventional cigarettes. This is the story of Hon Lik and his journey in creating the first e-cigarette.

Enter Hon Lik

Hon Lik (Han Li in Mandarin) was born in Shenyang, China on 26 September 1951. His father worked as a planner for the state, managing electrical machinery for factories.

As a young man living in the period of the Cultural Revolution, he had to find a career path fast. He worked in a faraway rural area at 18 to earn his education, where he started smoking. He then returned to the city to study pharmacy.

He has said that while he felt it had been forced upon him, he is grateful for having gone far with his trajectory. Upon graduating in 1982 with a pharmaceutical degree from Liaoning University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, he continued his studies in Liaoning Academy.

Cafe Racer - FAST & FREE SHIPPING on all vapor/ecigarette products

After finishing his studies, he spent the next decade in a plant agriculture state enterprise, mostly working on herbal remedies. In particular, he worked on manufacturing “a ginseng known as an aphrodisiac,” among some other things.

He then got married in 1984 and had a daughter six years later. In 1990, he became vice superintendent of his alma mater, Liaoning Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine, where he was responsible for technology development. On October 2003, he became director of Western Technologies Corp.

A few years after his father retired, China opened up to enterprise, which gave rise to the country’s current economic boom. However, Hon’s life changed when his father suddenly fell terribly ill. Due to decades of smoking, his father was later diagnosed with late stage lung cancer.

Like his father, Hon had a daily two pack habit. His father’s illness prompted him to attempt quitting tobacco, but he found it difficult. Having been a heavy smoker for many years, the hook was deep in him. He tried using nicotine patches, but found himself craving a cigarette whenever he saw someone smoke.

He then realized that supplementing nicotine wasn’t enough as the ritual of smoking a cigarette—that oral fixation—was an integral part of the habit. For a tobacco-quitting method to be successful, it must be able to replicate that ritual of putting something between the lips and inhaling.

That was when he started designing what would then become the first e-cigarette, as well as the first eliquid, drawing from his pharmaceutical knowledge and engineering experience.

The First Prototype

One night, Hon went to bed, but forgot to remove his nicotine patch. When he saw that he still had the patch on, he realized that the patch doesn’t give him the same head rush as smoking a cigarette, which was why he kept craving for a “real” cigarette.

Before coming upon the idea for the e-cigarette, he had worked on other alternatives using Chinese remedies like ginseng and deer antler. Their efficacy wasn’t up to snuff, so he then came upon the idea of vaporizing a liquid that can be inhaled to deliver nicotine through the lungs, which can then be absorbed through the bloodstream.

The premise behind his design is to enable the absorption of nicotine in the same manner as a conventional cigarette, but without the harmful additives like tar and other chemicals that cause lung cancer and other respiratory illnesses.

He went to work while still using nicotine patches to temporarily curb his cigarette cravings. In 2003, he worked on using food additives as solvents, as well as experimenting with vaporization by ultrasound. The first e-cigarette was first patented in China, Europe, and the United States in 2003, and it was manufactured with the ultrasound technology a year later.

However, the droplets formed by this vaporization didn’t resemble tobacco smoke because they were too big. Hon continued to work on his design, looking for ways to better emulate the effect of cigarette smoking. He then tried resistance heating and achieved better results, leading the way to the modern vape devices we have nowadays.

Once he solved the problems of the liquid and the vaporizer, his next problem was scaling down the vaporizer enough to make the device portable, as well as delivering the right amount of nicotine and having the right odors from harmless flavors. After all, it’s supposed to be a healthier alternative to conventional cigarettes.

Ruyan V8 and Dragonite International

The first commercial e-cigarette model was the Ruyan V8, made by Ruyan, the healthcare and pharmaceutical company Hon Lik co-founded. It consisted of 3 parts—a battery, a plastic cartridge containing a nicotine solution, and a heating element using an ultrasonic atomizer.

This was not the vaporization system that’s typically used today in modern vape devices. The idea is based on atomization, which uses ultrasound to turn the liquid into mist. Nowadays, vape devices use a battery-powered heating element rather than the ultrasonic technology Hon patented back in 2003.

Ruyan Group Holdings later became Golden Dragon Group Holdings, and then became Dragonite International. The e-cigarette technology soon spread, creating a demand in Europe and North America. Hon Lik served as chief executive officer, executive vice chairman, and non-executive director for eight years, from 2005 to 2013.

In 2013, the intellectual property of the e-cigarette that was owned by Hon Lik was acquired by Imperial Tobacco for $75 million.

The E-Cigarette Goes Global

Despite having come out with the first e-cigarette products, there was still little to no interest in China. However, market demand in Europe and North America rose, and that’s when the vaping industry really became established.

For a more detailed history on the continued evulution of ecigs and vaping devices, click HERE 

Hon is hailed as the father of modern vaping for good reason. His invention has saved countless lives that were gripped by conventional tobacco. He was nominated as a candidate for the 2010 Kcancer Hero award due to his invention. He has stated that he sees his invention as comparable to “the digital camera taking over from the analog camera.”

He has also expressed the hope that international pharmaceutical companies will start manufacturing e-cigarettes and regulatory organizations like the USFDA will impose strict standards to ensure safety of e-cigarette products.

Best Vape Solutions to Help You Switch from Smoking in 2020

Switch from Smoking to Vaping


Many people get into vaping for one significant reason, and that is to stop using combustible (i.e. cigarettes) tobacco products. Whenever people start  the process of looking to vaping to kick their tobacco habit, their first question is usually what device to get. After that, the second question is what eliquid they should vape with. So if switching to vaping is your New Year's resolution, check out this guide to get you started!

Your choice of eliquid can significantly impact your success at switching from conventional cigarettes to vaping full time. 

Motto by Cafe Racer

The first option for those looking to quit smoking would have to be the simplest choice out there. Our Motto pod vape is the premier vaping option for anyone looking for a nicotine supplement without all the nasty chemicals in a conventional cigarette.

The Motto starter kit is available for $39.95, and it comes with three flavored pods to start with. You get a choice between Kick Ass Mint, Tangerine Ice, and Virginia Tobacco. This variety in flavors are sure to make you want not another cigarette, but another hit from the Motto vape.

Salty Bastard by Cafe Racer

Salty Bastard by Cafe Racer MiPod

If you happen to have a refillable pod vape, then you should go for our Salty Bastard line of flavored eliquids. There are three great flavors to choose from—Tobacco, Tobacco Ice, and Tangerine.

It doesn’t matter whether you want straight-up tobacco, menthol tobacco, or a fruity flavor. With the Salty Bastard, you can have the best open system pod vaping experience and will be a long way towards leaving the smelly, messy and unhealthy world of cigarettes behind you. 

Lucky Bastard by Cafe Race

Open system sub ohm vaping devices still are very popular.  They combine great flavor with excellent vapor production. Coming from combustible cigarettes, you want that tobacco flavor, but not the by-products  like tar, horrible smell and carcinogens  that come with it. Fortunately, we have the right eliquid just for you.

The Lucky Bastard is much like our award-winning Lucky 13 eliquid, with that smooth Virginia tobacco along with hints of creamy vanilla, toasted almonds, and sweet caramel. Lucky Bastard is actually the same flavor profile as Lucky 13 - but with 2x of our exclusive naturally extracted tobacco flavor - a real treat! 

That means twice the goodness, which is guaranteed to be way more than what a cigarette can offer. If you still want that tobacco flavor, but want a lot more of it and a lot less of the harmful effects to your health, then the Lucky Bastard should be perfect for you.

Cool Bastard by Cafe Racer

Were you more of a menthol cigarette sort of person? Then get the Cool Bastard, which is basically the Lucky Bastard with an added minty kick. That should definitely give you a lot less reason to go back to your menthol cools.

It has the same smooth and creamy Virginia tobacco flavor from the Lucky Bastard, but it also delivers a crisp mint finish that should give you the coolest tobacco experience you’ll ever have.

Berry Ice by Cafe Racer

The Berry Ice is a cool blend of fresh berries that’s topped off with an icy menthol finish. If you like the minty coolness of the Cool Bastard, but are not that into tobacco anymore, then the Berry Ice eliquid should be a good choice for you.

Daily Grind by Cafe Racer

The newest addition to our product line is also the best one yet. Awarded the best dessert eliquid in Vapexpo Spain 2019, the Daily Grind is a great coffee flavor mixed with creamy French vanilla, butterscotch, caramel, and hazelnut.

That deep richness in flavor is more than what you’ll ever get from even the most expensive of cigarettes. Make the switch now and you definitely won’t regret it. Vape this along with your favorite pastry or breakfast item and you’ll feel very much alive.

Grand Reserve Collection by VaporFi

Perhaps you want even more options. After all, you don’t want to get vape tongue, which is when you get too used to vaping one eliquid and start tasting nothing from your vape. That’s why you should look at other options, which are plenty throughout the vaping market.

The Grand Reserve Collection by VaporFi is a great option, and is perhaps one of the best eliquids to come out in 2019. Made with top-shelf glycerin, this 100% American set of eliquids offers a medley of tropical fruit flavors that are hard to beat.

Doughnut by Mig Vapor

Perhaps you have a sweet tooth, yet you are trying to lose weight. Not only is nicotine an effective appetite suppressant, but you can also get flavors like Mig Vapor’s Doughnut eliquid that can beat whatever you get at your local donut shop any day.

The Doughnut set by Mig Vapor are a set of nine different flavors of donut eliquids that will surely satisfy your pastry cravings, but without the carbs.

Philippine Mango by Vape Chemist

If you’re looking for a really creamy and fruity eliquid to take you away from smoking, then the Philippine Mango by Vape Chemist is worth a try. This high-quality eliquid is available in both freebase and salt nicotine, so it’s great whether you’re using a vape mod or a pod vape.

This eliquid offers a tremendous amount of Philippine mango flavor with each draw, and with the vapor production to match. It also gives a throat hit that you won’t get from a regular cigarette.


You get a greater variety of choices in vaping compared to cigarettes. That’s certainly one of the best things about switching from conventional tobacco to vaping, making it the best and most amazing way to quit smoking for good.

The Best Tobacco Eliquids for US States with Current or Pending Flavor Bans

The ongoing bans on flavored eliquids due to alarm regarding vaping-related lung illnesses have been daunting for vapers across the country. While the controversy has been starting to clear up as the end of the year approaches, multiple states still have flavored eliquid under lock and key.

Meanwhile, combustible tobacco (cigarettes and cigars) are still legal. Then again, that also means tobacco-flavored eliquids are also still legal. Here are some of the best tobacco eliquids you can get right now here in America while the flavor bans are still in effect.

Lucky 13 by Cafe Racer

Our award-winning tobacco eliquid is your best bet at getting that deep and satisfying tobacco flavor for your vape. This classic RY4 tobacco eliquid combines naturally extracted Virginia tobacco flavor with notes of creamy vanilla, toasted almonds, and caramel.

The Lucky 13 is great with craft beer. Pop the top off your favorite IPA, sit back, and enjoy a nice cold brew while vaping this world-recognized tobacco flavor.

Lucky Bastard by Cafe Racer

If the Lucky 13 isn’t enough tobacco for you, then you need to double it with the Lucky Bastard. Yet another one of our award-winning flavors, the Lucky Bastard has the same flavor profile as the Lucky 13, but with twice the Virginia tobacco.

Pair this with a dram of your favorite whiskey and let it take you to places you can only imagine. There’s no better way to wait out the flavor ban.

Cool Bastard by Cafe Racer

Some people like menthol in their tobacco, and that’s something we have as well. The Cool Bastard is the Lucky Bastard with a splash of menthol for that cool and soothing flavor.

It’s the same RY4 Virginia tobacco with vanilla, almonds, and caramel, but with a menthol twist for a refreshing vape. It clears up the senses and doesn’t get old anytime soon.

This eliquid is great during summer and whenever it’s hot. It’s a great companion for watching a game, along with an ice-cold glass of beer and maybe some wings or nachos.

Prelude by Black Note

One of the most premium tobacco eliquids in the market today, the Prelude by Black Note is made from the finest Italian flue-cured tobacco plants. It’s crafted in small batches, so supplies are fairly sparse, but that also guarantees its quality.

This 50/50 VG/PG mix brings out the best of Virginia tobacco with no diacetyl or other additives. It’s pure unadulterated tobacco goodness that soothes the soul and opens up the senses.

American Patriots by Naked 100

No better time than now to assert your pride for the freedoms afforded to everyone in America by vaping a tobacco eliquid named American Patriots. It has a taste that will make you see red, white, and blue, but in a good way.

It has freshly cut tobacco flavor with subtle nutty undertones, making it balanced in both sweetness and depth. The best part about this is it’s 100% American. The American Patriots eliquid is available in both regular and nicotine salt varieties.

Patriot’s Brew by Kind Juice

Here’s another one with “patriot” in its name. Patriot’s Brew by Kind Juice is made with American flue-cured and naturally-extracted tobacco, hence the name. It’s an adult tobacco flavor that is great for both casual vaping and deep relaxation.

Aged for four months in oak barrels, the Patriot’s Brew has notes of bourbon whiskey, maple, vanilla, and oak. This depth in flavor also comes with 5ml menthol drops as an option and five nicotine strengths courtesy of Kind Juice.

Cubano by VGOD

Let’s take it away from America for a moment and bring it to a place that had long been embargoed. You can legally have a Cuban cigar in America, but not everyone can go to Cuba to get them. The Cubano by VGOD promises to bring the experience of a Cuban cigar to vapers everywhere.

That unmistakable flavor of a Cuban cigar is coupled with a hint of vanilla for a premium tobacco vape. VGOD did well with this eliquid, bringing forth an authentic Cuban cigar vaping experience that’s hard to find anywhere else.

Butterscotch Reserve by Glas Basix

If you want something with a bit more flavor that goes well with tobacco, then the Butterscotch Reserve by Glas Basix should do the trick. It’s not just candy sweetness, but a deep and unctuous flavor that compliments tobacco quite nicely.

A smooth mix of sweet tobacco and creamy butterscotch, the Butterscotch Reserve is made better with notes of caramel and vanilla. This RY4 tobacco eliquid comes in 70/30 VG/PG blend and is available in three nicotine strengths.

Apple Tobacco by Pachamama Salts

If butterscotch is not your thing, then perhaps some fruit can cheer you up. The Apple Tobacco eliquid by Pachamama is an amazing tobacco eliquid for sub-ohm vaping, delivering a balance of fruit and tobacco for either pod or vape tank.

This 50/50 VG/PG eliquid blends hand-picked green apples with freshly-cut tobacco for a fresh yet deep vaping experience. The Apple Tobacco is a nicotine salt eliquid and is available in both 25 and 50ml.

Pistachio by BLVK Unicorn

BLVK Unicorn is a unique brand, and their Pistachio tobacco eliquid is a unique product. Whoever heard of pairing tobacco with pistachios? Not a lot of people, but it’s actually pretty good.

It has toasted pistachios with a sweet tobacco base, along with a menthol kick you wouldn’t expect to top it off. This may seem weird at first, but you definitely have to try it.


Even with just a single flavor, and one as simple yet as nuanced as tobacco, you can get a lot of choice. It’s not to say this is more than enough to hold you over while flavored eliquid bans are still in effect, but it’s still not a bad variety of options at all.

While we await for this fog to clear, we can still celebrate the joys of vaping with these tobacco eliquids.

Why Are Illegal THC Vape Cartridges Dangerous?

This recent surge of vape-related lung injuries has significantly sullied the reputation of vaping. There has been much misinformation spread about vaping and its apparent negative effects on health, and it’s mostly because of the upsurge in the usage of THC vape cartridges that were procured from illicit distributors.

Held to no standards other than profits, the THC formulas found in these cartridges tend to make use of ingredients that end up being directly harmful to the lungs. This is unlike commercial eliquid manufactured according to strict standards for safety.

The misinformation that has led to the ongoing issue of vaping bans has brought the vape industry and community to an existential crisis. That is why getting the right information is important. Here are a few things you should know about illegal THC vape cartridges.

Professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences at Boston University’s  School of Public Health published the findings from their study: 

“They tested lung tissue samples from 29 case patients and all 29 (100%) were found to contain vitamin E acetate oil. This finding does represent a major breakthrough for four reasons:

  1. The vitamin E acetate oil was detected in the actual lung tissue of the case patients.
  2. The vitamin E acetate oil was detected in every single one of the lung tissue samples from these 29 case patients.
  3. The samples came from 10 different states, confirming that the outbreak seems to have a common cause, rather than geographic variation.
  4. Three of the patients whose lung samples revealed vitamin E acetate had reported using only nicotine-containing products, thus confirming that there is significant under-reporting which may explain why about 11% of the patients do not report vaping THC.”

Why Do People Get Illegal Cartridges?

There is a lot of demand for THC vaping devices, in both legal and illegal markets.  A lot of people who get these illegal vape cartridges tend to be people in their late teens to early 20s,  many who aren't old enough to buy the product legally or, are just trying to save some money due to taxes and regulatory compliance by the legal companies. 

Vitamin E Acetate

This is where things get really bad. Manufacturers of illicit THC eliquid look for cheap and widely available ingredients to serve as the base, and what a lot of them have settled on is Vitamin E acetate. What makes it dangerous is that it's an oil.

When consumed orally or topically, oils are known to be not harmful to health in the short term. Vitamin E acetate is commonly used as a base for products meant for such applications as skin care products.

But when those oils are inhaled, it can actually be harmful as it may cause a lung illness known as lipoid pneumonia. Much of the symptoms found in vaping-induced lung injuries mirror lipoid pneumonia, which makes Vitamin E acetate as a primary culprit.

Mineral Oil

Similar to Vitamin E acetate, mineral oil is a commonly used base for various things, including cosmetics and skin care products. It’s inexpensive and readily available, making them a prime candidate as a base for illegal vape cartridges. However, when vaporized and inhaled, it can also cause lipoid pneumonia since it’s an oil.

The liquid bases commonly used for eliquid—namely propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin—went through tests and trials in order to prove their safety. But they may not be as widely available or as cheap as the other bases that are being used for illegal vape cartridges.

Other Additives

There are also other additives that may cause these severe respiratory maladies. Biopsies of 17 victims indicate “airway-centered chemical pneumonitis” from one or more toxic substances inhaled from illegal vape cartridges rather than exogenous lipoid pneumonia. That means there’s more than one cause for the illnesses.

However, the toxic substances causing them have not been identified yet. But they do seem to be additives in illegal THC cartridges that may be exacerbating these lung injuries. The trouble with illegal vape cartridges is not being sure what their ingredients are, unlike legitimate eliquid that contains information regarding their ingredients and even the ratio.


Vaping has existed for well over a decade and had become popular worldwide since the early 2010s, but only now have we encountered such severe acute respiratory injuries and illnesses. It’s up to us to be aware of the dangers of these illegal THC cartridges and spread the right information in order to preserve vaping as both an industry and an alternative to tobacco.

What Can You Do to Fight the Impending Vape Ban?

The recent calls for a nationwide ban on flavored eLiquids due to the sudden spike of vape-related illnesses have been alarming to both the vape industry and vapers alike. It has been a tough time for vape businesses everywhere due to this panic, especially with the rampant misinformation on what may have caused the illnesses in the first place. The FDA and CDC took months to clarify on this issue, making the problem worse. 

From here on, fighting the impending vape ban does seem like an uphill battle that may not be won, but there is still hope. While more and more states are starting to impose their own laws on prohibiting vape products, 

Here are a few things you can do to be a part of the fight against the impending vape ban.

Let Your Voice Be Heard

The most significant way you can help with the fight is to exercise democracy and let your voice be heard by the US government. Speak up about your vehement opposition towards a vape ban on the local, state, and federal level through various means.

Write to your state government and representatives through both email and snail mail. Call them on the telephone and be the voice of reason regarding this whole vape ban debacle. Tell them why a nationwide vape ban would be a grave mistake, especially with everything being led on by misinformation and lack of proper understanding.

Tell them that a whole industry will be left in the dust if a vape ban is enacted. Inform them of the countless lives that have been saved by people switching from smoking to vaping. Sign petitions and join protests in your area to let the vaping community be heard more loudly. Make your voice heard however you can to help fight this vape ban.

Educate the Public, But Do Not Irritate

Let people know it’s 100% illegal black market THC cartridges that caused the outbreak of lung illnesses, and is not associated with electronic cigarettes. But first, you must educate yourself on the intricacies of the matter, understanding exactly what has caused the illnesses to suddenly crop up after all these years of vaping.

Click here to read an article from the NY TIMES 

Once you’ve gained an understanding of the issue, do what you can to educate others around you on why these illnesses happen in the first place and help them shift the blame away from vaping itself. Focus on the most important thing, which is to let them know that it’s not vaping, but illegal cartridges that are to blame.

Inform people of the dangers of illegal THC cartridges and the need for legitimate vape businesses. Drive home the point that if a vape ban is to be imposed, it will only drive the industry underground and make illegal and potentially dangerous vape products proliferate more.

However, you must make sure to not get obnoxious and annoying whenever you say your piece on the matter. Be respectful and genuine when you talk about the issue as doing otherwise may actually help convince people further of why a vape ban would be a good thing.

Share Your Story

Perhaps writing to your congressman is too much effort and you may get burned out with trying to convince people who don’t want to be convinced. The least you can do at this point is to tell your vape story, especially if you’re a vaper who kicked the tobacco habit through vaping.

Few things are stronger than genuine testimonials given by ordinary people whose lives have been positively affected by vaping. Be honest when you tell your story as that, more than anything else, will help your case in letting others understand why you’re against the vape ban.

Continue to Support Your Vape Shop or Brand

However you can, as long as it’s legal in where you are, continue to support your favorite vape shop or brand. Support the businesses in your local area that are still selling vape products and encourage other vapers to be patrons of those establishments.

If you tend to order vape products online, make sure that it’s still legal to deliver to your location to avoid problems with the law. Stock up on eliquid right now while you still can from legitimate sources and continue to vape your favorite brands.


If vaping has helped enrich your life in any way, you can give back and help with the fight against the impending vape ban. Join the rest of the vape community in banding together and talking some sense into the government and the public who have been misguided into thinking that vaping itself has caused the recent rise of vape-related illnesses in America.

Remember that it’s all about clearing up all the misinformation. Learn the facts and help bring light to the actual problem.

Netflix’s Series Broken: Episode 2 BIG VAPE Review

A hard-hitting documentary series called Broken premiered on Netflix, with four episodes tackling different industries and their supposed unethical practices. The second episode of Broken is called BIG VAPE and is about the rise of electronic cigarettes and current state of the vape industry.

Our founder, Kurt Sonderegger, was one of the vape industry figures interviewed for Broken: Big Vape.   Let’s take a look at how the Netflix team tackled vaping and what the vaping community can take away from it.

How Broken Episode 2 Tackles Vaping

From the opening scene featuring 4 high school students, most viewers may assume that this documentary is a hit piece on vaping. This was not 100% the case as the film is actually fairly balanced as it also shows the UK model and how they view vaping as an indispensable tool to tackle the real problem - smoking and it's 50% death rate of smokers that fail to stop smoking. 

Broken frames vaping as an “epidemic” among American teenagers, with emphasis on nicotine addiction and its potentially harmful effects on long-term health. It then looks into the history of the tobacco industry, and then that of e-cigarettes and vaping and how the original intent of its invention was for helping people quit tobacco.

Besides the 4 high school students using an annoying amount of lingo  ( ie "rip a juul" or  "zeroing a hit", etc) sprinkled with an even more annoying amount of the word "like" between all of this - it is somewhat dumbfounding that no one ever asks the students where they purchase their vape products from?  Isn't this the real issue? How are these kids getting their hands on vaping products with the legal age of 18 (at that time) and now 21? 

Big Vape Students

Big Vape then visits the Vapexpo Las  Vegas followed by exploring the details JUUL’s rise as an upstart brand launched in 2015 whose groundbreaking device delivers higher doses of nicotine effectively - which has been shown to be more effective in helping smokers switch to vaping than anything previously on the market. This is coupled with the picture of how vaping is seemingly turning younger generations into addicts for the sake of profit.  Thus is the conundrum - greater success in reducing smoking coupled with an increase in teen nicotine addiction. 

We also see how the big tobacco comapanies like Phillip Morris is looking to eventually phase out combustible cigarettes and get into vaping as well, taking advantage of the country’s lack of regulations. The focus then shifts to how the United Kingdom is addressing vaping and contrasting that to the current policies of the United States.

It’s shown that while the US has done much to hinder the vaping industry, the UK government has fully supported vaping as a healthier (95 % safer according to  the Public Health England) alternative to smoking.  This actually makes sense since in the UK, the government pays for people when they get sick via the National Health Service or NHS and in USA, pharmaceutical companies make a profit when people become sick. 

Big Vape was filmed in 2018, a full year before it's release, so it wasn't able to really weigh in on the more recent developments detailing the surge of vape-related lung illnesses in 2019, illegal THC cartridges being the main culprit, and how the Center of Disease Control is addressing the issue.  They did add some text to the  end of the piece but even this was not entirely accurate as we now know that 100% of the vape related illnesses were caused by exposure to Vitamin E Acetate - a known additive to black market THC vaping cartridges.   


History of the Tobacco Industry

The beginnings of the tobacco industry go way back to well over a century, but it did not experience a boom until after World War II. Cigarettes were marketed to a post-war world as a lifestyle product, portraying it as a conduit for social interaction like with alcohol and an enhancer of one’s image.

Meanwhile, tobacco companies had been coming up with new ways to sell more of their products. They added chemicals like ammonia to make smoke easier to inhale and make their cigarettes more addictive. But then, the specter of cancer soon loomed as cases of lung cancer and other respiratory diseases started to spike up.

While the tobacco industry continued to deny the connection between their products and respiratory illness well into the 1990s, medical science had already drawn that conclusion for decades. It has since become undeniable, and the tobacco industry had known all along internally while continuing to deceive the public.

Over time, governments all around the world clamped down on the sale of cigarettes, from imposing taxes and adding graphic warning labels to banning tobacco advertisements and their consumption in public places.

Tobacco sales have been dropping, but it’s still not enough to bring the tobacco industry to their knees. People were still smoking and dying of lung cancer, and quitting aids like nicotine patches were not enough to help eliminate addiction.

Hon Lik: Inventor of the Modern E-Cigarette

Born in northwest China, Hon Lik’s father had been a smoker and he himself also picked up the habit at a young age during the tail end of the Cultural Revolution. To earn his education, he was sent to work in a rural area where tobacco is grown and processed. He eventually moved back to the city and studied to become a pharmacist.

He continued to smoke well into his adult life, smoking one to two packs a day.  Then in the early 2000s, his father was diagnosed with lung cancer. He tried to quit using aids like nicotine patches, but would then crave a cigarette whenever he saw someone smoking in the street. He realized that nicotine supplementation alone can’t sufficiently substitute cigarettes.

He figured out that the ritual of taking a draw from a cigarette is an important part of the habit. In order to properly substitute cigarettes with something else, something has to satisfy that oral fixation and deliver nicotine at the same time without having to inhale the harmful chemicals that cause respiratory illnesses.

His solution was what would become the first modern e-cigarette. As a pharmacist, he had the knowledge and expertise to formulate what would later become eliquid, which contains freebase nicotine. He then engineered the mechanism for vaporizing the eliquid so it could be inhaled. He came up with a prototype in 2003, which is shown in the film.

Interviewing Hon Lik to get his take on why he created the e-cigarette presents to viewers the original intent behind the invention as an effective method of quitting tobacco. He has since sold his patents and is still credited to this day as the father of vaping.

For a more complete history of ecigs and vape  devices, check out our blog post HERE 

If you'd like to learn more about Hon Lik, check out this awesome biography from The Guardian.

The Vape Industry

Our CEO founder of Cafe Racer Vape, Kurt Sonderegger, was interviewed in VapExpo Las Vegas, one of the premier events for the global vape industry.  Kurt was the first employee at Juul back in 2007 (it was called Ploom back then) and he himself had been a former smoker who struggled with the habit until he came upon vaping.

“The first time I went into a real vape shop and I got a proper device, I literally crushed up the pack of cigarettes I had in my hand, threw it in the basket, and that was it. That was May of 2012,” Sonderegger said, looking back at how vaping helped him quit smoking.


An Interview with Kurt Sonderegger, CEO of Cafe Racer Vape from Cafe Racer on Vimeo.

“I’d say most of (VapExpo) is former smokers, at least 90% of them,” stated Lonnie Bozeman, founder of SVRF & Saveurvap. “The last time we counted, there were about 22,000 e-liquid brands worldwide.”

Since 2009, vaping has grown from a niche subculture to a mainstream industry. Meanwhile, independent vape companies are now being acquired by big tobacco companies, which can potentially grow the vape market.

However, the US government’s response to the growth of vaping has mostly been to label it as an epidemic, despite its primary intent of being an effective and safer alternative to smoking.  This has been making it difficult for vape companies and businesses, and New York vape shop owner Stewart Bowers stood before a panel on flavored vape products hosted by the FDA In New York University to defend flavors as a boon for vaping as a tobacco alternative while critics, including Matthew Myers, call for a nationwide ban—perhaps the biggest threat that vape businesses are facing right now.

Critics of flavors in vaping view it as a gateway for the youth into nicotine addiction. Their conjecture is that you can’t prevent young people from exploring and experimenting with attractive flavors such as mango or desert flavors,  so we must eliminate these options.  

In response, Stewart Bowers stated that unflavored vape products just don’t sell, because flavors is the thing that works. To summarize his testimony, in order to help smokers quit tobacco, the deck should be stacked to favor the customer, and flavored eliquids help greatly with that.

FDA has since shifted their focus from a total ban on flavored e-liquids to only allowing them to be sold by stores with age-restricted areas. But the side effect of this restriction is the increased demand for illegal vape cartridges.

JUUL Vapor

The Rise of JUUL

While the invention and proliferation of e-cigarettes and vaping had undergone substantial progress, it exploded even more with the advent of JUUL and nicotine salt eliquids. JUUL’s popularity is shown to be due to its design, being small and almost indistinguishable from a flash drive, when in fact we know it was due to Juul being extremely simple (no buttons) and satisfying. 

Technology culture writer Nitasha Tiku surmises that while the company may not have intended their product to be especially appealing to younger users, the JUUL has “the same of convenience, ease, discretion, and clean design that they’re used to from Macbooks and iPhones.”

JUUL founders Adam Bowen and James Monsees were a couple of graduate students who found themselves wasting a lot of time going out to smoke, so they decided to do their thesis for MS Product Design at Stanford University on their own ultra-compact electronic cigarette design.

Meet Adam Bowen, The Co-Founder of JUUL from Cafe Racer on Vimeo.

What they came up with was what we now know as JUUL, which debut in 2015 with an ad campaign called #Vaporized. The campaign was criticized for having used the same tactics as the tobacco industry did in the mid-20th century to sell cigarettes.

There’s also the question of nicotine delivery. Freebase nicotine in conventional e-liquid delivers small doses of nicotine over time, which is not equivalent to the way cigarettes deliver nicotine. But through the use of benzoic acid, nicotine salt eliquid was made and made JUUL an even better tobacco substitute.

The JUUL took off and the company was worth over $2 billion in 2018, which then rose to over $38 billion in valuation after Altria Group (formerly Philip Morris Companies) acquired a 38% stake in JUUL in December 2018.

Its initial success was mostly due to Bowen and Monsees having tackled e-cigarette design from a tech-savvy perspective, which happened to have matched with the sensibilities of the youth.

“Every aspect of JUUL is designed to make it a complete substitute for smoking. So, it had to hit on these key elements—the amount of nicotine, the rate of nicotine, the sound that it makes—we felt were all important aspects to making a complete and easy replacement for cigarettes,” said Adam Bowen, reflecting on designing the JUUL.

“They made a better mousetrap. They made a device that really worked. They made it simple and they made it satisfying,” commented Kurt Sonderegger, who had been an early employee of JUUL before founding Cafe Racer Vape.

Regarding vaping among minors, Adam Bowen has stated that they’re doing what they can to prevent further proliferation of social media content that had minors using their products. He maintains that their intention was for the product to be used by adults and JUUL never intended to market to minors.

JUUL has taken the extra mile to show commitment to this position, even taking down their social media pages and removing certain flavors from their catalog that may be more attractive to younger users. Their advertisements carry notices that the JUUL is for adult smokers, and that non-smokers and non-vapers shouldn’t start.

Meanwhile, their partnership with Altria is seen by JUUL as a win-win as the vape company rises in value while also gaining access to the shelf space of brands like Marlboro. They’re also able to advertise JUUL directly to smokers in their cigarette packets, which can potentially grow their market.

The Tobacco Industry’s Fight for Survival

Tobacco companies like Philip Morris International had seen the potential of vaping right from the get-go. PMI had shipped 740 billion cigarettes in 2018, but they’re aware that vaping is encroaching on their territory. But instead of fighting it, they seek to harness its power for themselves.

A Look Into Phillip Morris International from Cafe Racer on Vimeo.

Back in 2009, PMI built a state-of-the-art research facility to come up with products that can create the same effect of combustible cigarettes without actually burning tobacco.

Serge Maeder, director of product research in PMI Science and Innovation, talks on the film about creating a “smoke-free future.” But despite stating that PMI is putting most of their resources into creating these products, the contrary is the reality. 

Martin Dockrell, the tobacco control program lead of Public Health England, surmises that if the reduced risk tobacco market is where the money really is in the foreseeable future, tobacco companies will do everything they can to head that direction.

While they’re indeed putting some effort into creating their own reduced-risk tobacco products, they’ve also been buying up independent vape companies left and right, as mentioned.

Matthew Myers, president of the non-profit organization Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, surmises that they’re really aiming to dominate both the conventional cigarette market and the vaping market.

“They get both. They can sell as many (cigarettes) as they can possibly sell; sell as many e-cigarettes as they can possibly sell. They get the marketplace either way it moves,” said Myers.

Student Vaping in High Schools

Fran Thompson, principal of Jonathan Law High School in Midford, Connecticut, first spotted vaping on school grounds around two years before the interview. He found that just about every group in the school were vaping, whether it’s the drama club, sports teams, honor students, or so on. Vaping is shown here as having become ubiquitous with high school life... but the real question is: Where are these kids getting their vapes from?!

Fran Thompson | High School Principle weighs in on teens vaping

The film cites reports of student vaping in high schools all across America. Matthew Myers  showed his concern for the sudden rise of teenage vaping within the period from 2017 to 2018, calling it “unprecedented in our history.”

Myers does cite the statistic of high school tobacco users from 1996 and present-day—from around 36% to less than 9%. There is indeed a tremendous decrease of tobacco usage among high school students within the past two decades, and much of it is shown in the film as tobacco being no longer in vogue in today’s younger generations.

Findings from the National Youth Tobacco Survey in 2018 is then shown, with US high school e-cigarette users amounting to 1.73 million in 2017 and 3.05 million in 2018—a 78% increase. Much of this is linked to the JUUL’s meteoric rise in popularity.

The four female high school students interviewed for the film related their disgust for combustible cigarettes and how they came upon the JUUL. They also related how it can be hidden in clothes and vaped in class discreetly, making the practice more pervasive in today’s classrooms.

The high school kids got into vaping not because they were trying to quit tobacco, but because the practice was seen as cool. There is indeed a valid concern regarding minors using vape products, especially in a school environment and regulations need to be put in place to make these adult products not as accessible to teenagers.

The UK Approach (to the rescue)

“The biggest cause of preventable death in England is smoking,” states Martin Dockrell. “We have about 60 million smokers and 70,000 deaths every year. And worst of all, it affects mostly disadvantaged communities the hardest. But in the last five years, smoking rates have fallen by about a quarter.”

“When you see somebody vaping, you either see a nicotine addict getting their fix, or you see a smoker who isn’t smoking,” says Martin Dockrell. “I’ve worked in public health for thirty years; it makes my heart sing every time I see a smoker not smoking.”

Martin also added: “Look, if the choice is between e-cigarettes and fresh air – choose fresh air. if the choice is between e-cigarettes and smoking – chose e-cigarettes.”


Vaping In The United Kingdom from Cafe Racer on Vimeo.

Louise Ross, former manager of Leicester Stop Smoking Service, was wary when she first encountered of e-cigarettes as a way to quit smoking.

“I had these fears that it would renormalize smoking, that young people will get a hold of them and start using them and become addicted to nicotine,” Ross said about her first impression of vaping.

However, she eventually changed her mind and actually became an advocate of vaping as a viable alternative to tobacco. She started offering e-cigarettes in the Stop Smoking Service to help smokers quit, and this radical move would see incredible results.

Government and health care work differently in the United Kingdom, and it seems they have acknowledged the role of vaping as an effective tobacco alternative. But they also want to make it clear that vaping should be reserved for smokers who are looking to quit.

There is no teen vaping problem in the UK. The British vape market is more tightly regulated, unlike that of the US. Vape companies are not allowed to advertise their products in the country like how JUUL did in the US.

Welcome to The UK's Stop Smoking Service | Louise Ross from Cafe Racer on Vimeo.

Nicotine levels in eliquid are also restricted. When JUUL launched in the UK, it did so with less than half the nicotine in their pods compared to their American launch.

Matthew Myers agrees with the UK approach to vaping and sees the contrast between it and how the US is handling vaping as a lesson on how addressing it in a calm and pragmatic manner is best and the lack thereof yields a different and disturbing result.

How the US state and federal governments have been responding to the recent slew of lung injury cases this year is the polar opposite of the UK approach—not with calm pragmatism, but with panicked dismissiveness.

Vaping bans in the US threaten both the vape industry and the ex-smokers who took to vaping to quit tobacco and better their health like their British counterparts.


As with the other episodes of Broken, this episode shows in a straightforward manner a perceived problem born and nurtured by an industry for profit at the expense of society.

The documentary doesn’t just land on one side. We think that it was created comprehensively and fairly backed-up with solid facts, contrary to how the mainstream media and anti-tobacco people would portray vaping today.

In this case, vaping is seen as both a way to help eliminate the #1 preventable death in the world (smoking-related) but also as something, left unchecked, could lead to a new generation of young adults addicted to nicotine. 

It is indeed a crucial issue to be acted upon, but considering how significant teenage smoking rate has decreased from 35% to 5%, the biggest takeaway is that smoking has almost been ALMOST eliminated with teens.

In the midst of controversy with vaping-related lung injuries due to illegal THC vape cartridges, the timing of release for this documentary couldn’t have been more perfect for that agenda.

Watching this documentary doesn’t only shed some light on how society, especially how teens are interacting with the vape products today, but also unveils some underscoring need for vape education and regulation. 

Our take away from this film is mostly positive.  This is probably the first mainstream film that focuses on vaping - and while it does focus a lot of time on the controversies, it does present a fairly balanced view of the industry and vaping as a life-saving option for the millions of people who continue to smoke, especially with the inclusion of the more steady minded UK folks who add much-needed balance to the entire episode. 

We also believe that the way to prevent teens from vaping is to vigorously support age restrictions on the sale of vaping products and punish those who are caught selling vaping products to minors - just as we do with alcohol.  With the Trump administration days or weeks away from announcing new legislation on vaping, let's hope that they focus on the balance between health benefits vs the youth vaping "epidemic" that is entirely solvable with proper age verification in the various sales channels.  Certainly limiting flavors is not the answer. 


motto Launches in Colombian Market with Vapor Kingdom

We are very pleased to announce our expansion into Colombia, and our partnership with Vapor Kingdom who owns the majority of the Colombian market for e-cigarette sales.

As we expand into countries around the world, we take a lot of time to make sure we choose distribution partners that really see the vision of our brand and will work with us to disperse great products into the local marketplace.

Vapor Kingdom is a company we believe in and are very excited to work with, and as part of our partnership we have created a custom version of our motto products branded with Vapor Kingdom branding on the packaging, and engraved with the “VK” logo on every device that is sold in the 30+ Vapor Kingdom stores in Colombia. 

motto by Cafe Racer in Vapor Kingdom Colombia

If you come across a motto device that has a Vapor Kingdom logo engraved on it or printed on the packaging that is sold at a Vapor Kingdom Location or online, this is in fact an authentic motto product – just customized for the Colombian Market.

If you’re in Colombia or South America, be sure to check out Vapor Kingdom at one of their locations or online at https://vaporkingdom.com.co/ to get your hands on a motto device of your own & SATISFY YOUR FREEDOM.

motto by Cafe Racer in Vapor Kingdom Colombia

8 Things You Need to Know About the Vaping-Related Illnesses and Flavored Vape Ban

By now, vapers all over America may be aware of the news of a sudden rise in vaping-related illnesses, which has prompted the government to act by imposing bans on the sale of vape products in more and more states.

If you are a vaper who is still confused about the whole issue, you’ll want a summary of what has been going on and what may happen next in the near future. Here are 8 things you need to know about this whole mess regarding reports of vaping-related illnesses and the flavored vape ban that is poised to follow.

1. The recent rise in vaping-related illnesses

There has been a slew of news regarding vaping and people of ages ranging from 15 to 50 being stricken with vaping-related illnesses. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 530 separate cases in 38 states and the US Virgin Islands have been recorded.

The first case was noted by the public health department on August 14, and there are 13 cases in Connecticut alone. A total of 8 deaths have been reported across the US as of this writing, with two from California, and one each in Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, and Oregon.

In all of these cases, patients have reported a history of vaping, and almost all of them acknowledged having used products containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the primary psychoactive ingredient in cannabis. 

While these cases do involve illnesses related to vaping, the CDC and state health agencies have not yet found a specific cause for them. There is still no single vaping product that has been linked directly to these cases.

Connecticut health commissioner, Renee Coleman-Mitchell, has declared the situation “a serious public health concern” and has advised residents to refrain from vaping while investigations are underway.

The American Medical Association released a statement on September 9, advising the public to avoid vaping. The next day, on September 10, President Donald Trump expressed his thoughts on banning flavored vape products in legal e-cigarettes.

The Trump administration has since announced plans for banning the sale of most flavored vaping products from the market due to this development. Meanwhile, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has now opened a criminal probe into the vaping-related illnesses.

2. Which states are imposing a ban on flavored e-cigarettes?

Michigan was the first state to enact a ban earlier this month amid reports of these cases, cited as an emergency ban by Governor Gretchen Whitmer. It is a tentative six-month prohibition, which can be extended, and Gov. Whitmer has expressed her hopes in legislators writing it into law.

New York soon followed suit, with the state’s Public Health and Health Planning Council voting to prohibit the sale of all flavored e-cigarettes and other vaping products except for menthol and tobacco flavors. Retailers were given two weeks from the date of announcement to remove said products from their shelves.

Several other states, including California and Massachusetts, are now outlining plans to impose similar bans in their respective jurisdictions. As of September 25, Massachusetts has imposed a “temporary ban” on sale of all vape products in the state.

3. What is the suspected diagnosis?

In many of these cases, symptoms are similar to a condition called lipoid pneumonia, which is usually found in patients who have inhaled mineral oil.

Acute lipoid pneumonia occurs when fat particles enter the lungs, which then causes inflammation. There are two types of lipoid pneumonia—exogenous and endogenous. The former refers to fat particles entering from outside the body, while the latter refers to fat particles from within the body accumulating in the lungs.

Source: BMJ Case Reports

Endogenous lipoid pneumonia is also known as cholesterol pneumonia, golden pneumonia, or idiopathic lipoid pneumonia.

The most common symptoms of lipoid pneumonia are chest pain, chronic cough, and breathing difficulty. It may also be accompanied by fever, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, blood in sputum, weight loss, night sweats, and difficulty in swallowing.

4. What are the possible culprits?

As of this writing, two possible culprits are being scrutinized—THC and vitamin E.

The CDC has stated on September 19 that the contamination of vape cartridges is coming from the supply chain for illicit THC vape cartridges. This is mostly surmised from reports of most patients having used vape products containing THC.

Meanwhile, New York health authorities have confirmed that synthetic vitamin E oil, also known as tocopheryl acetate, as another cause. It is mostly used by pen makers as an inexpensive thickener and dilutant to "cut" the very expensive cabbabis/THC oil to make it appear that there is more in a cartridge. 

The FDA is now looking into specific forms of vitamin E oil, which is usually used for both health supplements and industrial applications. While people know about it being taken orally, it’s not recommended to be consumed in vapor form due to its causal relationship with lipoid pneumonia.

The state of New York has now subpoenaed three thickener manufacturers in connection with the use of vitamin E oil in vape products, namely Floraplex, Honey Cut, and Mass Terpenes. All three products have been proven to contain tocopheryl acetate in tests.

The FDA has also found vitamin E oil in 10 of the 18 THC samples they’ve tested so far. One New York patient reports having tested his cart, finding out that it contained formaldehyde and pesticide along with THC and vitamin E oil.

These two are now being cited as the main culprits of these vaping-related illnesses, which should shift the blame away from nicotine vape products.

5. How are vape users reacting to this news?

Vape users are reacting to the news with a mixture of shock and disdain. There are even speculations of tobacco companies facilitating misinformation fueling the panic over vape products, although these claims are yet to be substantiated.

Vaping blogs, forums, and social media communities are now putting up massive efforts to have their voices heard by the government, both state and federal level.

Vape users are using social media to communicate how vaping saved their lives, and that the eliquid flavor ban should stop. They're using hashtags such as #vapingsaveslives, #adultslikeflavors, and #prohibitiondoesnotwork on their posts to spread awareness. 

Source: https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/prohibitiondoesnotwork/ 

There are even online petitions which goal is to stop Trump from signing the federal flabor ban of e-cig products. 

6. How will the flavored e-cigarette ban affect the vaping industry?

Vape store owners everywhere are greatly concerned as the growing issue has negatively affected business. Legitimate vape manufacturers are also threatened, with the entire American market being potentially closed off by the prospect of a national vape ban.

The ill effects of prohibition are well-documented in the annals of American history. A vape ban can result in the expansion of the illicit vape market, giving rise to unregulated vape products that are potentially harmful to health, which is counter to the very reason of the existence of vaping—to fight the good fight against tobacco.

This ultimately affects the vapers, especially those who have turned to vaping to curtail their tobacco habits. With no legitimate source of vape products, they may either turn to illicit vape markets for their vaping needs or go back to tobacco. Either option is a significant health risk.

7. What can we do to stop the vape ban?

Our voices must be heard. If you’re an American citizen living in the country, call your governor, state representatives, senators, and the Department of Public Health to voice your concern and explain how much a national vape ban can be a detriment to American citizens.

If you are a vaper whose life and health have been improved or saved with vaping in an effort to quit tobacco, tell your story. Implore them to get the science straight and inform them of how a vape ban can have people going back to tobacco.

Tell them how jobs, businesses, and an entire industry may be wiped out with the enactment of a vape ban in all of America.

8. Will we actually get sick from vaping?

As mentioned, the cause of these vaping-related illnesses have not yet been pinpointed. Vaping legitimate vape cartridges or eliquid, like Cafe Racer Vape, isn't the cause of concern. In fact, vaping has helped save lives, letting countless people free from the bondage of tobacco.

On the other hand, illicit vape cartridges tend to be unregulated, untested, and often contaminated. If you are in possession of such products, throw them away immediately.

Avoid procuring vape products off the street and buy only from legitimate sources, either from established vape shops or reputable online sellers, who are licensed to sell vape products that come from regulated brands that prioritize quality and safety.

Be wary of disposable vape cartridges sold outside these channels, whether they contain THC or nicotine. They're usually filled with the wrong additives in the wrong amounts, which can immediately bring harm to your lungs.


This is indeed a scary situation for vapers, not just in America, but all over the world. A national vape ban in the country can create a snowball effect that can affect the global vape industry.

We can all do our part and let our voices be heard so calm and reason may prevail. Support your local vape shop! We must act as one and stand together as a community.

How the Weather Can Affect Vaping

When you think about the components of a vape device, you may realize that that most of them can either deteriorate or not perform very well in certain conditions like extreme heat or getting wet. You can do what you can to protect your vape device, but you can’t control the weather.

The next time your vape device doesn’t work the way it should or your eliquid doesn’t taste right, you may want to think about the weather. Here are a few ways how the weather can affect your vaping experience.


As the heat sets in, remember to never leave your vape devices or batteries in the car. Since they get really hot during the summer, especially if parked in the open air, vape devices and batteries can get really hot and even explode when kept in the car.

The heat can also make your eliquids go bad, especially when stored under direct sunlight. Eliquid can deteriorate in quality and consistency when exposed to light and heat, which is why they should be stored in a cold and dark place like your drawer or even the refrigerator.

Another thing that can happen to batteries in hot weather is they can run out quicker. If you’re vaping all day in the summer and you have to move about, you may want to carry extra batteries. You’ll want them to be kept in a secure way, like in the plastic case most lithium-ion batteries come with.


Related post: 6 Top Summer Eliquids You Need to Try


Extreme cold can also negatively affect your vape device, making it close to inoperable. When it’s cold and is suddenly brought into a warmer environment, condensation can build up both inside and out. That can affect the circuit in the device, especially if it’s still on.

For pod mods like Juul or motto, leaking pods is always an issue. This becomes much more pronounced in cold temperatures - so keep an eye on your pods to make sure that they are not leaking which could short circuit your battery.  

It can also reduce the battery’s capacity, just like when it’s used in higher temperatures. You can say it’s only at around 70% capacity in the cold, so you want to keep them in warmer environments as much as possible. You can store them in something insulating like in layers of fabric.

Another thing that can happen when vaping during winter is exhaling thicker clouds than usual. The vapor that comes out gets condensed in the cold air, resulting in those thick clouds. They also take a lot longer to dissipate, so take care to not vape around lots of people or in public closed spaces. 

Humid Climates

Humidity can definitely affect vaping in various ways. For instance, the seals in tanks tend to be made of rubber, and that can be affected by the humidity. While they tend to be designed for withstanding high temperatures generated by the device during use, but they may not be as resilient to moisture.

They then lose their flexibility, which makes the seals not do their job as well. Since tanks are meant to get juice into the wick in a vacuum-sealed environment, that can affect the flow of eliquid to the wick. If you’ve been getting burnt hits lately, that could be the issue.

It can also affect the viscosity of the eliquid. Both heat and high humidity can affect the flavor, and the added moisture can thin the eliquid out, which results in less flavor. Coupled with the compromised rubber seal, you may find your tank leaking eliquid if you happen to be in a humid place.

Obviously, the moisture can also affect batteries. If you can, vape and store your device and eliquids in a climate controlled environment.

How to “Weatherproof” Your Vape Devices and Eliquid

The best thing to do is to have a storage case for your vape. It may seem excessive for some, but they are very good for protecting your vape device, batteries, and eliquid from the elements. If you can give up some money in a good one that suits your needs and happen to be a daily vaper, then this is a worthy investment.

Other than that, it’s mostly just about sensible vape storage habits, like storing eliquid in a cool, dark place, keeping your vape devices away from water, the edge of tables, and other dangerous places where it may be compromised, and so on.

6 Travel Tips for EVERY Vaper Should Know

Travelling can be rather perilous for vapers as taking your vape with you on your trips can involve a lot of caveats. Ideally, you want to be able to bring your battery and e-liquid/pods with you, get it through airport security, take them on board the plane, and be able to keep it in the destination country and even vape it there.

Of course, it’s far from an ideal world. Here are 6 crucial travel tips for vapers, which can save you from headaches and frustrations while travelling.

1. Check Whether Vaping is Legal in Your Destination

Different countries have different laws regarding electronic cigarettes. Some of them even impose fines and threats of jail time. Perhaps that may scare you, but it’s imperative that you check local laws in your destination before bringing your vape along for the ride.

For instance, countries like Japan, Finland, Norway, and Denmark have sales bans on all products containing nicotine. While they do allow you to bring your vape along for personal use, there won’t be stores to buy more eliquid and vape supplies from. While the U.S. doesn't have a ban on sales of vape products, the T.S.A. has issued a strict set of guidelines for flying with e-cigarettes.

Meanwhile, countries like  Thailand, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates have complete bans on vaping. In fact, in Thailand, you can be arrested and sentenced to as much as 10 years in jail for vaping.

2. Read Airline Rules Beforehand

There are safety concerns regarding the carrying of devices and batteries. As a general rule, you must take your battery in your carry on luggage. Lithium-ion batteries are usually never allowed in check-in baggage.

Well-known airlines have rules regarding carrying e-liquid, vape devices, and accessories stated in their official websites. 

3. Keep Your Vape Device in Your Carry-On Luggage

The general rule-of-thumb in carrying vape devices is to have them in your carry-on luggage. As mentioned, having it in your other luggage has its safety concerns, so most of air travel would prefer to have them carried on carry-on.

If it’s small enough, you may even carry it on your person, and you can place it on the conveyor for the x-ray inspection machine when you’re at the security checkpoint. Provided that you’ve done your research beforehand, you should have no problem having them inspected in that particular airport.

4. Store Eliquids with Your Other Liquid Items

This is mostly a matter of convenience. Having them with your other liquid items is something most airports prefer you to do to make security checks easier. Have your eliquids properly sealed and put in a resealable bag.

If your vape device has eliquid in it as well, you’ll have to put it in the resealable bag as well. Meanwhile, eliquid bottles larger than 100 mL should be packed in your checked luggage.

5. Store Your Batteries Properly

Vape devices these days tend to use lithium-ion batteries, which are the same kind used in electric cars. That means they’re very powerful, and can be potentially dangerous if mishandled or not properly stored. You wouldn’t want them loose, which would make them move around and bump into each other in your luggage.

Keep your spare batteries away from other metallic objects and make sure to not let their contacts touch each other in your luggage. Storing them in the plastic case you got them with is best. simply covering the contacts in electrical tape and storing them in a padded carrier is also a good alternative storage method.

Whichever method you use to store your spare batteries, make sure they are kept secure and with their contacts kept from touching each other at all times.

6.  Flying at High Altitude Can Cause E-Liquid to Leak

The increase in the pressure when flying actually allows excess air to enter your  pod or tank, which often causes it to leak.  It's best to take your pods out of the battery before flying or empty your tank.  We recommend placing these in ziplock baggies to prevent them from getting into your luggage, pockets or back packs. 

When you have reached your destination, you should try turning the pod/tabk upside down, to prevent flooding of your tank and get rid of that excess air. 

Bonus.  Don’t Try to Hide Your Vape

Some may find the possibility of having their vape devices and e-liquid confiscated at the security checkpoint to be motivation enough to hide them, but this is ill-advised. This is very important as hiding your vape from security checkpoints, only for it to be found out, can result in hassle and confusion. 

Trying to hide it only makes you look suspicious to airport security. Even if you succeed one time, or you’ve heard someone who has succeeded in concealing their vape in their luggage, the risk of being caught hiding your vape can get you into more trouble.

This is something you can never be too complacent about. Do your homework and bring it only if you’re sure that the destination you’re going to will allow vaping.

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