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Best RDTAs 2017 – Vaping360


Best RDTAs 2017

What is an RDTA?

One of the things that can make vaping pretty confusing when you are starting out is all the different names for the devices. RDA’s, RTA’s and more recently RDTA’s have been building in popularity. Do Rebuildable Dripping Tank Atomizers, give you the “best of both worlds”?.

Think of an RDTA atomizer as a cross between a tank and an a dripper. Instead of only holding juice within the cotton and juice wells, it’s essentially a dripper sitting on top of a reservoir of e-liquid. The wicks hang down into the tank and feed the juice to the coil as you are vaping.

RDTA’s are based off the Genesis style of atomizers which were popular for their flavor. Traditionally stainless steel mesh was used for wicking, but since has been replaced primarily with organic cotton. RDTA’s are a throwback, but at the same time, they are also cutting edge.

Another advantage of using RDTA’s is that they are often times easy to fill, despite not holding a ton of liquid. Instead of unscrewing it apart like a tank, most rebuildable dripping tank atomizers pop open like a dripper (by pulling off the top cap) so that you can fill it up or use it as an RDA.

The problem with RTA’s

Many rebuildable tank atomizers, aka RTA’s are great, but you’ll never get the same experience on one versus that of a dripper because of the few extra millimeters that the vapor has to travel through the chimney. This can make a world of difference, believe it or not. Hence the RDTA…

Let’s rewind a few years back to when you could only get this type of performance from a tank. Since then, some impressive RTA’s have come out, but are still outshined by most RDA’s. For years, vapers have strived to attain that seemingly impossible “dripper in a tank” experience.

Rebuildable dripping tank atomizers were the industry’s answer to this desire. On an RDTA, the mouthpiece sits right on top of the coils, just like an RDA. Unlike a tank, the vapor doesn’t travel through a chimney, it’s the same proximity to your mouth as it would be on an average dripper.

The Genny lean?

Many RDTA users have found themselves doing this, and no it isn’t a new hip-hop dance craze. The Genny lean, is tilting your RDTA on an angle when puffing on it, to ensure that the cotton gets saturated, especially when your tank is running low. Back when Genesis atomizers were more popular, this was a common tactic used to combat those dry hits you would otherwise get.

5 Tips for building/wicking RDTA’s:

1. Comb and fluff your wicks before vaping
2. Don’t be cheap, use a good amount of cotton
3. Don’t use too much cotton or dry hit city
4. Experiment with where you like to cut your wicks
5. Don’t build your coils too high or too low

Even the best RDTA tanks require some trial and error to attain the perfect build and wicking. Experiment with different builds and techniques to find out which one is best for you.

Let’s take a look at some of the best RDTA atomizers available on the market today…

Best RDTA’s of 2017

Aromamizer Plus RDTA

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Pros

Great flavor

Spacious deck

Holds 20 mL of juice

Versatile

Airflow intake screen

Cons

Won’t sit right on most mods

Uses a lot of o-rings

Threading could be better

Specifications

Glass tank

10 mL juice capacity

510 threading connection

Two big airflow control slots on the sleeve

New air intake screen design to both improve flavor and reduce the effects of coil spitting

Enhanced juice flow design for more accurate juice supply and ease of assembly 10 mL juice capacity as standard incorporating a modular design for optional 5 mL and 20 mL kits

wide bore chimney and friction fit drip tip

Spacious postless build deck with capacity for coils of over 6mm internal diameter

The uncompromising Aromamizer flavor experience

The Aromamizer was one of the first rebuildable atomizers to take the title of an RDTA and is still one of the best RDTA’s to this day. Today we have the Aromamizer Plus RDTA which is a 30mm beast of a tank that can hold up to 20 mL of juice! It also has a postless deck which can hold coils with an inner diameter of up to 6mm.

One of the main things that has been enhanced from the original Aromamizer RDTA’s is the airflow. Other improvements include added juice flow control, which is becoming standard on most rebuildable tanks, and less condensation than any of the previous Aromamizer RDTA’s.

The Aromamizer Plus RDTA is massive, but can be converted to be either a 5 mL tank, 10 mL tank or a regular RDA, by using the extension kit. Last but not least, the new airflow intake screen helps to not only improve flavor, but also reduces spitback.

Price

~ $28

Wotofo Serpent RDTA (Single-coil)

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Pros

Good flavor/vapor production

For single coil use

Fits larger coils

Drip tip adapter included

Cons

No dual coil option

Not easy to fill with a dropper bottle

Specifications

Available Color: Black

Silver

Material: Glass

Stainless Steel

Tank Capacity: 2.5

Thread: 510

The original Wotofo Serpent make quite a splash by striking the perfect balance between flavor and cloud production. The Serpent RDTA brings that same great flavor in an RDTA-style device. Made of stainless steel, the Wotofo Serpent RDTA uses Goon-esque clamps on your coil build.

Just like the RTA version, the Serpent RDTA is specifically designed for single coil use only. You can fit macro coils with an inner diameter of up to 3.5mm inside. The vapor production is also quite impressive for a single coil atomizer. The Serpent RDTA is for flavor chasing single coilers.

The Wotofo Serpent is a 22mm device, which are becoming extinct these days. The dual fill ports are very easy to use. The side airflow design feeds air straight down to the coils which maximizes flavor. Last but not least, the Wotofo Serpent RDTA is extremely resistant to leaking.

Price

~ $20

Augvape Merlin RDTA

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Pros

Good flavor

Self-sealing design

Comfortable mouthpiece

Supports larger coil builds (3.5mm)

Good machining quality

5 mL capacity

Cons

Condensation (from sealing rod)

Juice flow slots require a lot of cotton

Spare glass and extra screws not included

Not ideal with coils smaller than 3.5 mm

Specifications

304 SS

Diameter:24 mm

Capacity:3.5 mL

Height:48.5 mm

Delrin Top Cap And Drip Tip

Peek Insulator

Borosilicate Glass Tube

Elegant Hollowed-out Logo

Easy to wick and refill

The Augvape Merlin RDTA is a 24mm RDTA that does exceptional in the flavor department. It has a large, two-post deck so it can fit coils with an inner diameter larger than 3.5mm. The Merlin RDTA gives you the option of pulling the top cap off, or unscrewing the whole top portion.

The most unique feature is the Augvape Merlin RDTA’s self-sealing design. It uses a sealing rod which is connected to the top piece, which seals off the device when it is closed. You will get little to no leakage, provided that you use a generous amount of cotton in its large juice wells, despite that it uses a bottom-airflow system.

The Augvape Merlin RDTA is for flavor chasers who want something classy, but built like a tank.

Price

$34.99

Geekvape Medusa RDTA

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Pros

Unique aesthetic

Great flavor

Locking mechanism

Large posts/Solid screws

Well machined

Cons

Short drip tip

Threading on mouthpiece isn’t great

Won’t fit all 510 drip tips

Specifications

Type: Rebuildable Atomizer

Material: Acrylic

Stainless Steel

Tank Capacity: 3.0 mL

Thread: 510

Overall Diameter: 25 mm

The Medusa RDTA by Geekvape is more deceiving than the goddess herself. When you first look at her, she looks like a dripper, but is actually an RDTA. Instead of having a glass tank, the Medusa utilizes a large reservoir, underneath the deck, that can hold up to 3 mL of juice.

The Geekvape Medusa RDTA is 25 mm in diameter and features side airflow control. It’s low profile design gives it a unique aesthetic, and helps to condense the vapor which contributes to its great flavor. Other notable features include a velocity style deck with huge post holes and a locking mechanism that holds your top cap in place.

Think of the GeekVape Medusa RDTA as an RDA on steroids, that can hold a boat load of juice, making it their most innovative and best RDTA since the Avocado…

Price

~ $20

Bombertech Pindad Driptank RDTA

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Pros

Smooth airflow

Great flavor/vapor production

Nice throat hit

Easy to fill

Includes squonking pin

Locking top cap

Single coil option

Gold plated contacts

Cons

Not ideal for MTL vaping

Plastic tank

Specifications

Weight: 80 g

Dimensions: 7 x 7 x 3.5 cm

Color: black

steel

ultemate

The Bombertech Driptank aka the Pindad is a 22 mm RDTA with features that make it stand out from the many other RDTA’s out there. For example, it has a liquid injection fill port that is a breeze to use and comes squonk-ready, so there are two different ways to fill the 2 mL tank.

The gold-plated velocity style deck with large post holes makes for easy building. The top cap is secured by a unique locking mechanism. The Bombertech Driptank is a flavor machine for lovers of rebuildable dripping tank atomizers, whether they want to build single or dual coils.

Price

$55

iJoy RDTA Box Mini

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Pros

Great flavor

Super portable

100W of power

Temp control

Micro-USB charging

6 mL capacity

Can be used with any atomizer

Updated fill port

Cons

Not enough battery life for high-wattage vaping

Pre-built coils may need to be re-wicked

Drip tip may get hot when chain vaping

Specifications

Model: RDTA Box MINI 100W

Material: Stainless Steel

Zinc Alloy

Mod Type: Temperature Control Mod

VV/VW Mod

APV Mod Wattage Range: 51-100W

APV Mod Wattage: 100W

Temperature Control Range: 200 – 600 Deg.F

Battery Capacity: 2600mAh

Connection Threading of Battery: 510

Tank Capacity: 6.0 mL

Atomizer Resistance: 0.25 ohm

The iJoy Limitless RDTA was one of the first to bring RDTA’s to the mainstream. iJoy has taken that a couple steps further with the new RDTA Box Mini in terms of mass appeal. It comes with premade, disposable coil heads, and a separate velocity style deck to build your own coils on.

The iJoy RDTA Box Mini also gives you the option of using your own atomizer with the mod. It has a built in 2600mAh lipo battery and is capable of reaching up to 100W. The RDTA Box Mini is an all-in-one solution for vapers who want an ergonomic, portable device with great flavor.

Note: The atomizer on the RDTA Box Mini is essentially a miniature version of the original iJoy RDTA. Both of them are based on the iJoy Classic and some of the best RDTA vapes around.

Price

~ $60

SMOK Skyhook RDTA Box

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Pros

9 mL capacity

Good flavor

Single coil option

Multiple airflow options

Accurate wattage output

Temperature control

Improved fill port (from original Skyhook RDTA)

Cons

Not compatible with other 510 atomizers

Threading could be better

Tank is made of plastic

Specifications

All-In-One Design

Dimensions: 129 mm by 50 mm by 9 mm

9 mL Built-in Skyhook RDTA Tank

Dual High-Amp 18650 Batteries – Sold Separately

Wattage Output Range: 6-220W

Voltage Output Range: 0.35-8V

Min Atomizer Resistance: 0.06ohm

Temperature Range: 200-600F

Supports Ni200 Nickel / Titanium and Stainless Steel Heating Elements

Premium Stainless Steel Construction

Enlarged 0.96 Inch OLED Display Matrix – Highly Intuitive

Stealth Firing Bar Mechanism – Stunning Colors

Ergonomically Placed Adjustment Buttons

Micro USB Port

Available in Silver / Black / Blue / Red / Gold / White

9 mL Juice Capacity

Superior Stainless Steel Construction

Pyrex Glass Reinforcement

Enlarged 23.2 mm Build Deck

Floating Velocity-Style Design – Two-Post Dual Terminal

2.5 mm Diameter Terminal Posts

Single Coil or Dual Coil Build Configurations

Convenient Side-Fill Port

Multiple Airflow System

Bottom-Middle Slotted Airflow Tube Sleeve

Middle Slotted Airflow Tube Sleeve

Delrin Wide bore Drip Tip

SMOK released their take on the RDTA box in the form of the Skyhook. Aesthetically speaking, it looks like their popular Alien mod, with an atomizer slapped on top. It holds 9 mL of juice and is meant to be used as a powerful duo. The Skyhook mod also has temp control capabilities.

The SMOK Skyhook RDTA has a floating velocity style deck and it is 23 mm in diameter. It also allows for both dual and single coil builds (using a plug), in addition to having multiple airflow options. The Skyhook takes two 18650 batteries and is capable of firing up to 220W.

The “alien’s cloud machine” gives the full-sized iJoy RDTA Box a run for its money, making it one of the best RDTA vapes out there right now.

Price

~ $45

Cthulhu Mods Gaia RDTA

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Pros

Great flavor

Bottom and side airflow

Well machined

No frills design

Velocity-style deck

Squonking pin included

Ultem drip tip

Cons

No single coil option

Harder to fill with dropper

2 mL capacity

Tank may get hot

Specifications

24 mm Diameter

2 mL Juice Reservoir

Superior Stainless Steel Construction

Pyrex Glass Reinforcement

Spacious Flavor-Orientated Chamber

Two-Post

Dual Terminal – Side-Secured

PEEK Insulator

Four Wicking Port

Dual Adjustable Bottom Airslots

Dual Adjustable Side Airslots

Central Filling Port – Exposed via Removing Top Cap

Flavor Widebore Drip Tip

510 Squonk-Ready Pin – Optional

510 Connection

When Cthulu Mods developed the Gaia, their goal was to achieve the best RDTA atomizer that strikes a perfect balance between clouds and flavor. Using both side and bottom airflow, the Gaia RDTA can be adjusted to your vaping style. The kit includes an extra 510 squonking pin.

The Gaia has a velocity-style deck, in addition to a velocity-style side airflow system which you turn to achieve your preferred airflow setting. It’s 24 mm in diameter and holds 2 mL of e-liquid. Last but not least, the Gaia has four large wicking ports, and a fill port right in the center of the deck which is very easy to use.

Price

$34.95

CoilArt Mage Combo RDTA

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Pros

Multiple build deck options

Swappable deck posts

Converts to an RDA

Well machined

Multiple airflow options

Cons

No single coil option

Minor leaking

Performs better as a dripper

Specifications

24 mm Diameter

4 mL Juice Capacity

High-Quality 304 Stainless Steel Construction

Food-Grade Pyrex Glass Reinforcement

24K Gold-Plated Apparatus

Interchangeable Building Posts

Two-Post w/ Clamp Mechanism Deck

Two-Post

Dual Terminals Deck – Velocity-Style

PEEK Insulator

Capable of Transforming into RDA

Removable Threaded Tank Section

Signature Side-Fill Method – Large 9 mm by 3 mm Port

Four Air slots Located on Each Side – Adjustable Knurled Top Cap

Sloped Delrin Drip Tip

Gold-Plated 510 Connection

The Mage RTA is already known as one of the best flavor RTA’s, now CoilArt has set out to create not one of the best RDTA atomizers, but one that can also be used as a dripper. The Coil Art Mage Combo RDTA comes with multiple deck options in addition to swappable deck posts.

This RDTA gives you multiple airflow options, including both bottom and side airflow. The deck has gold plated posts and the overall diameter of the atomizer is 24 mm. The deck has a unique spring loaded clamp system for your builds. Using a side port fill system, the Coil Art Mage Combo can hold up to 4 mL of juice.

Price

$33.95

Conclusion

Now that you have seen some of the best RDTA vapes and have a basic understanding of how they work, we want to know what you think. Do rebuildable dripping tank atomizers really give you the “best of both” worlds? Technically speaking, they do, what was your experience like?

Leave a comment about what you think about RDTA’s. Which one is your favorite right now?

The post Best RDTAs 2017 appeared first on Vaping360.

Best RDTAs 2017 – Vaping360

 


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Medical Study Claims Vaping Far Less Likely To Turn Adolescents Onto Smoking – VAPE Magazine


Medical Study Claims Vaping Far Less Likely To Turn Adolescents Onto Smoking
BY CHRIS MELLIDES

(Justin Sullivan | Getty Images)
Public health researchers find no clear evidence to support the claim that vaping leads teens to smoking, calling battle cries belted out by some lawmakers who suggest otherwise a detriment to preserving public health.

Doctors Lynn Kozlowski and Kenneth Warner, wrote in the Drug and Alcohol Dependence journal that there is little evidence to substantiate the link between vaping and later smoking among adolescents—calling alarmist claims as being harmful towards young people and adults who may feel dissuaded from switching over to vaping.

“The national trends in vaping and cigarette smoking do not support the argument that vaping is leading to smoking,” Kozlowski said in a statement. “From the best evidence to date, e-cigarettes are much less dangerous than cigarettes. The public has become confused about this.”

Read more by clicking here for the Daily Caller article.

Chris Mellides is the Managing Editor of VAPE Magazine. A seasoned journalist, he has worked in all areas of the media industry since first getting his start in newspaper reporting. Contact him at chris@vapemz.com.

Medical Study Claims Vaping Far Less Likely To Turn Adolescents Onto Smoking – VAPE Magazine

 


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Ckemist Original: Smoke Dog – e-liquid-recipes.com


http://e-liquid-recipes.com/recipe/1340118/Ckemist+Original%253A+Smoke+Dog

Ckemist Original: Smoke Dog – e-liquid-recipes.com

1.50% Cinnamon Crunch (Flavorah) * 1.00% Marshmallow (FA) * 1.00% Red USA Mix (Hangsen) * 1.00% RY4 Double (TPA) * 1.00% Sweetener (Sucralose) (TPA) * 2.00% Vanilla Pudding (Flavorah) * 2.00% Vienna Cream (FA) * Get the Hangsen red mix from BCV


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Safety – Flavorah FLV – The Flavoring for eJuice


http://www.flavorah.com/safety/

Safety – Flavorah FLV – The Flavoring for eJuice

Flavor concentrate MSDS and safety instructions for handling of ejuice flavor. Please take note of this important information.


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Should vapers be concerned about vaping diacetyl? – Vaping360


Should vapers be concerned about vaping diacetyl?

Diacetyl is among the favorite topics for authors looking to scare away potential vapers. But the risks of vaping e-liquids that contain diacetyl are hard to pin down. We don’t know for sure that vaping diacetyl is dangerous at all — but it must be taken seriously, because the results of breathing the chemical in powder form can be horrific.

There is a lot written on all of the potential dangers of vaping. But they remain largely theoretical. There just haven’t been any proven negative health outcomes from vaping — aside from minor irritation caused by dehydration or sensitivity to propylene glycol. Is diacetyl really something for vapers to worry about, or is it like ultrafine particles, a non-issue cranked up by Stanton Glantz to frighten the public?

What is diacetyl?

Diacetyl is a chemical used as a flavoring agent in many foods. It’s one of a class of chemicals called diketones that tend to impart a savory buttery taste, or enhance sweet flavors. Many commercially available food flavorings use diacetyl or other diketones, and those are the kinds of flavoring products used to create e-liquid. Diacetyl is also known as 2,3-butanedione.

The other popular diketone used in flavoring is acetyl propionyl (AP), also known as 2,3-pentanedione. While diacetyl gets more bad press, AP is likely just as risky to inhale. Neither diacetyl or AP seem to pose any danger when ingested. The FDA designates both chemicals “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS), meaning there have been no observed negative health outcomes from eating or drinking them. But inhaling them may be a different matter, as we shall see.

Popcorn lung

In 2002, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) documented eight cases of irreversible lung disease that occurred in workers at a Missouri popcorn factory during the previous decade. All eight workers had contracted a nightmarish condition known as Bronchiolitis obliterans, also referred to as obliterative bronchiolitis, or BO. It soon acquired another name: popcorn lung.

The workers had inhaled massive quantities of diacetyl that was applied to microwave popcorn. The chemical was used in powdered form to give the snack its trademark “movie theater popcorn” flavor. As the CDC discovered, inhaling diacetyl scars the smallest airways within the lungs (bronchioles) and reduce their capacity and efficiency. That’s the definition of BO. And there is no cure except a lung transplant.

In fact, cigarettes contain at least 100 times as much diacetyl as e-liquid.

After that initial episode, additional cases of BO were diagnosed at other factories, including some caused by other flavoring agents. Hundreds of lawsuits have since been filed by flavoring factory employees, and most have been settled. At least one consumer won a multi-million dollar suit claiming he had lung damage from making microwave popcorn in his home, although the science on that case is far from settled.

Extensive research following the Missouri incidents led to guidelines for workplace limitations for the chemical. Meanwhile, microwave popcorn manufacturers removed diacetyl from their flavoring compounds entirely. But the popcorn lung name stuck.

Does vaping cause popcorn lung?

Unfortunately, popcorn lung can’t be positively diagnosed without doing a surgical lung biopsy, and sometimes not even then. Reading the accounts of studies done at the flavoring factories where known cases have been isolated, it’s clear that there is a spectrum of lung damage probably caused by diacetyl and other flavoring chemicals. Not every affected employee had severe permanent lung obstruction.

And the symptoms of BO are easily confused with those of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a far more common condition. Many lifelong smokers have COPD, which is a combination of emphysema and chronic bronchitis (most sufferers have both diseases). However, COPD develops slowly over years, while BO can develop rapidly, often within months after the chemical exposure that causes it.

Popcorn lung remains one of the most popular anti-vaping media topics.

The bottom line is that there has never been a diagnosed case of BO in a vaper. More importantly, there has never been a case in a smoker either. Why is that important? Because cigarettes contain diacetyl too, in much greater quantities than in vapor. In fact, cigarettes contain at least 100 times as much diacetyl as e-liquid.

That doesn’t mean it’s impossible that vapers (or smokers) can’t get popcorn lung from inhaling diacetyl. But as far as we know now, it hasn’t happened. And that probably means it isn’t likely. But that doesn’t stop news outlets from jumping on the diacetyl vape issue. Popcorn lung remains one of the most popular anti-vaping media topics.

Scandal!

A couple years ago, the presence of diketones in e-liquid made by industry-leading California manufacturer Five Pawns led to something of a scandal in vaping. Not only were some of Five Pawns’ products shown to contain levels of AP that far exceeded government workplace standards, but the company appeared to mislead customers about the situation.

Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos, in a 2014 study, translated the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) guidelines for occupational diacetyl exposure into vaping terms. Farsalinos determined that the safe limit for AP was 137 micrograms a day. But some of the Five Pawns liquids — in test results they published themselves — far exceeded that number.

One flavor tested at over 600 micrograms per milliliter. For someone vaping just five mL a day, that would mean an intake of over 3,000 micrograms of AP — 22 times the safe daily exposure for AP inhalation, according to Dr. Farsalinos’s scale. Some retailers balked and removed Five Pawns from their shelves, including all members of the Electronic Cigarette Trade Association (ECTA), the Canadian standards group.

Even including the possible risks of vaping diacetyl, vaping has huge advantages over smoking.

And beyond the high levels of the flavoring agent, Five Pawns had apparently lied to retailers about the presence of diketones. There was an outcry from many vapers, including Russ Wishtart, who used his online program Click,Bang! as a platform to crusade against Five Pawns and its apparent deception. Wishtart had been an early opponent of diketones in e-liquid. He had created controversy previously by testing Suicide Bunny e-liquids and finding high levels of AP in that brand too.

After the Five Pawns AP debacle, more retailers began demanding testing from e-liquid manufacturers. But we still don’t know exactly where the theoretical danger of vaping diacetyl and acetyl propionyl becomes a real risk. Until there is a consensus on the standards for testing and consumption, no one really knows how much diacetyl is too much.

Is vaping diacetyl safe?

The question “Is vaping safe?” is probably best avoided. Frankly, it’s the wrong question. We assume when we make the calculation of e-cig safety that we’re addressing smokers, or people who would be smokers if they weren’t vaping. That means we compare the unknown and potential risks of using e-cigarettes to the absolutely known and proven risks of inhaling smoke from combusted plant matter.

Vaping may not be “safe.” But for smokers, or ex-smokers, or would-be-smokers, vaping is most certainly safer. Even including the possible risks of vaping diacetyl, vaping has huge advantages over smoking. Remember, cigarettes have at least 100 times as much diacetyl. If you’re still smoking, there is no evidence anywhere to indicate that you wouldn’t improve your health greatly by switching to vaping. Period.

The post Should vapers be concerned about vaping diacetyl? appeared first on Vaping360.

Should vapers be concerned about vaping diacetyl? – Vaping360

 


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E-juice makers – Chefs Flavours Ltd


One Shot Sale & Tango Mango in stock.

E-juice makers – Chefs Flavours Ltd

The cream base you need in your life. Start with this and add 3-4% of your favorite fruit or tobacco. The popular cream base is now easily available to get you mixing amazing juice quick. 30ml Bottle


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MixLife: Ep. 4 – Kopel, Clayton, and Jennifer get weird


MixLife: Ep. 4 – Kopel, Clayton, and Jennifer get weird

VAPE WEIRD

Kopel and Clayton talk flavor testing and note taking.

If you like MIXLIFE and want to support the show as well as all the other content on DIYorDIE, please sign up for a DIYorDIE Membership, purchase the concentrates, or classes, and share the site and shows to your social media. All the podcasts, information, research, shows, and content provided on this site is completely independent and solely funded by the contributions of its members and donators. Keep Mixing, Independent.

MixLife: Ep. 4 – Kopel, Clayton, and Jennifer get weird

 


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Frustrated with Politics? Facebook Just Made It Easy to Contact Your Rep.


Frustrated with Politics? Facebook Just Made It Easy to Contact Your Rep.

Okay, so maybe Western democracy isn’t crumbling after all.

In a potential sign of renewed civic engagement, Facebook just unveiled a new tool called Town Hall that allows you to easily contact your appropriate representatives is one click. On a desktop, just visit the Town Hall site and enter your address. If using your smartphone, simply click the menu and find the Town Hall logo under apps.

Instead of scoring points with caustic political zingers in an exhaustive comment thread, it may be time to move your opinion outside your echo chamber and sent directly to your elected official.

Building a civically-engaged community means building new tools to help people engage in a thoughtful and informed way. The starting point is knowing who represents you and how you can make your voice heard on the decisions that affect your life.

The more you engage with the political process, the more you can ensure it reflects your values. This is an important part of feeling connected to your community and your democracy, and it’s something we’re increasingly focused on at Facebook.-Mark Zuckerberg, statement through personal Facebook page on March 27, 2017

One-Click Contacting

After entering your address and viewing your respective elected officials, the Town Hall tool allows your to contact your politician of choice with one click. Depending on the settings, your message will either go through as a Facebook message, email or a phone call (calling the phone number listed on the corresponding politician’s Facebook page.

And similar to the contagiousness of “I Voted” stickers and posts, your act of civic engagement will have the option of being shared through your News Feed.

Why is Facebook Getting Involved in Politics?

No matter where you stand politically, it seems we can all agree that the election of Donald Trump has been disruptive. Our frustration as an electorate is palpable. The hope for educators and concerned citizens is that the recent presidential election may have reawoken a need for civic engagement.

Instead of merely creating online campaigns, people are physically attending marches and other events. And it’s not limited to certain generations. The New York Times, for example, recently covered the rise of highly-engaged CSPAN-watching high schoolers nerding out on politics (“The Snapchat Cohort Gets Into Politics, and Civics Is Cool”).

While the hope of social media has long been to create an online public square, recent discussions around echo chambers and the spread of fake news has caused a certain level of soul-searching in Silicon Valley. As the world’s largest social network where Americans spend upwards of 50 minutes a day, Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook play an outsized role in our interactions. By releasing Town Hall, Facebook is recognizing its own potential duty or expectation as a social network to provide tools better enable civic engagement by users.

Back in February 2017, Zuckerberg caused a little bit of head-scratching with his assertion that the well-worn Facebook mission needed a tweak. Instead of just connecting people, Zuckerberg was calling for “social infrastructures.” Town Hall appears to be a step in that direction.

“In times like these, the most important thing we at Facebook can do is develop the social infrastructure to give people the power to build a global community that works for all of us.” -Mark Zuckerberg, February 2017

Friction Lowers Civic Engagement

It is widely understood that friction gets in the way of civic engagement. The more barriers one has to vote (taking off work, waiting in a long line), for example, the less likely they are to vote. While some may argue that it is our civic duty to deal with this comparatively minor hardships, it behooves us to remove friction if we truly desire greater civic engagement.

Contacting government officials can seem downright byzantine in comparison to the ease we have in ordering take-out or an Uber. Why can digital technologies be leveraged to improve the government-constituent relationship? Apps like SeeClickFix, which was launched back in New Haven, Connecticut in 2007 to better report common annoyances like potholes, showcase the great promise for digital technologies to enhance civic engagement.

So when can we start voting through Facebook?

Frustrated with Politics? Facebook Just Made It Easy to Contact Your Rep.

 


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