I have seen a few posts on forums of late that have really got me thinking about the whole vaping hardware situation. In relation to PODs, Atomisers and Tanks etc.
There is to date a bewildering array of hardware to choose from now, if I think back to the start of my vaping journey and unbelievable amount in fact.
The latest thing is PODs - there are hundreds of different ones now, they are easy, they are very pocketable and convenient. You can even get one time disposable ones now, pre-filled with a flavour, when its gone - you chuck it away.
We have seen Vaping follow this form before though several times, a new concept comes out - gets pushed by the distro’s and large vendors, that gets picked up by the Manufacturers in the east - and suddenly the market is flooded with it.
In the past, we have had the sub-ohm revolution, when suddenly it became very hard to get MTL Equipment and everywhere you went was huge clouds, we have had the Sqounk revolution where all of a sudden all drippers and atomisers suddenly came with a bottom feed pin, and Sqounk mods (some absolutely beautiful creations at the start) were suddenly produced by the thousands and flooded the market. Im not even gonna get started on CBD (which I don’t disapprove of) and its myriad of Ganja shaped leaf marketing (which I feel for an industry desperately trying to be seen as the healthier option, did the industry no favours whatsoever).
As a community I feel us vapers allow this to happen too often these days, it never used to be this way before it became big business, we the Vapers, we shaped what came to market, we shaped the industry back in those early days, and I realise I may be starting to sound a bit “When I was a Kid ., you could get three packs of woodbines and still have 50p left over for some chips….” But you know - I feel we let ourselves get pushed around by big business more than we ever used to. I would love to see a return to grass roots vaping - but clearly things have gone too far now.
But - as is my won’t - I digress, The purpose of this Blog (oh no .. am I a blogger now? Why do I feel shame?) is to dissect why I feel we should all be using Tanks or for a preference rebuildable tanks over disposable POD kits.
I do not doubt the validity of the easy to use pocketable POD system as a tool in the vapers arsenal at all, I even have one myself for travel emergencies (we even sell some for that purpose), but as a main tool ? I think we have succumbed to the hype.
There are without doubt some great little POD kits out there, and the Evolve Reflex when sat in its correct market position as a quit Smoking tool is an absolute technical and necessary marvel.
So what is my beef with POD systems ?
Lets go through it point by point - in no particular order shall we?
1: Frankly compared to even a low cost stock coil atomiser, most of them suck on flavour and performance, its not 100% true but it absolutely is for the most part, personally Ill take having a bulgier pocket and good flavour and satisfying throat hit every day of the week over something I probably have to carry a power pack around to keep using all day.
2: Im a fan of the underdog, if big companies are pushing something like this at the expense of other longer lasting items, its not because they have your convenience and best interests at heart - it’s because something has a huge profit margin.
3: Longevity - as touched on very briefly in the above point, these things do not have the last-ability of even a cheap stainless steel stock coil atomiser, never mind a well built rebuildable (which theoretically lasts forever, or for as long as you can buy cotton or wire for) on top of a half decent mod.
4: Cost - That disposable single flavour POD may have been cheap, but you gotta buy it again! That pod system with the replaceable PODS may have been a good deal .. but the Pods are a tenner for 3 when it comes to replacing time, all this for mostly less flavour - no thanks, it’s not for me. With a stock Coil Atomiser you can get better longevity and for the most part the coils are cheaper than pods. Move up to rebuildables and boom 3 quid on some Muji and 3 quid on a reel of wire (or if you really don’t want the fuss a fiver on a load of pre-made coils). And you are talking £6-£10 for about 4 years worth of vaping supplies - rebuildable REALLY are that cheap to run, and this brings me onto my final but probably biggest point.
5: Plastic landfill, the world, climate change - I mean come on, I mean how much are we hearing these days about plastic waste and landfill and climate change ? Its real, its an issue, Its bad enough our previous Euro masters (arbitrarily and with no good science behind it) forced Nic E-Liquid to be in a myriad of 10ml plastic bottles that have no use after they have been used (at least shortfill bottles and glass are reusable by the end user.) that to now have hundreds of plastic PODS and even worse Battery containing one time POD delivery devices clogging up our bins and landfill ?! This is a massive no to me, as a producer of 10ml E-liquid it breaks even my cold dead corporate heart how much plastic waste that causes, hence one of the reasons for us developing a wider range of strengths in shortfills. This alone should be a good enough reason for people to look into at least Stock Coil atomisers (the atomisers last forever .. and the waste from coils is cotton, metal and a tiny bit of rubber) - and for a preference rebuildable devices, They last forever, the waste is a tiny bit of wire and organic bio-degradable cotton, they cost about 6 quid for years and years worth of rewicking supplies, its a no brainer. Dont be pushed around.
VIVE LA REVOLUCION! - Bring back Rebuildables, think before you POD.