Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The "E-Juice Flavor Experiment" Never Ends

After several years of vaping and experimenting with an endless array of e-juice flavors, you'd think that I'd have a clear list of favorites and a rock solid lineup of go-to flavors. Although I certainly know what I like and have a few types of flavors that I prefer, it seems like experimentation process never ends! Just when you think you've got it all figured out and have your starting lineup in-place, a new flavor crosses your path and you're off on a new adventure. Suddenly the old flavors don't seem so appealing anymore, they're shoved to the side and you focus on a new set of winners. It can be a little bit daunting at times, never being fully complacent, but I think a big part of the appeal for me, and other vapers, is the ongoing evolution and the constant ability to alter your experience.

The First Step: Transitioning From Smoking


When I first started out, I was obsessed with finding an e-juice that tasted just like my trusty cancer sticks; afterall, the goal was quit smoking. I shopped around, experimented and settled with Halo Torque 56, which was an excellent transition product that helped me quit. I discovered a few other tobacco flavors that I enjoyed, but they were slowly becoming sweeter and less cigarette-like, not uncommon for transitioning smokers.

Not too long afterwards, curiosity got the best of me and I picked up a few e-liquid samplers from other companies. Suddenly, fruit flavors were in and tobacco flavors were out! I'm not sure I ever liked the taste of tobacco, but as a smoker I didn't have a choice, and vaping gave me the opportunity to experience sweet and fruity alternatives - something that I thoroughly enjoyed and wanted to take full advantage of.

I was obsessed with fruit flavors for at least a year, and continue to vape a few fruit-flavored varieties, but over time my tastes transitioned in to rich, dessert-flavored options. Instead of crisp, refreshing fruit flavors, creamy desserts became my preference, and continue to be my favorite e-liquid category. MBV's Cinnamon Roll, Five Pawns' Gambit, Suicide Bunny's Mother's Milk and Cosmic Fog Milk and Honey, just to name a few.

Too Many Options To Be Complacent


I'm sure many vapers follow a similar path through the e-juice experimentation process, but even after you've chosen a category and have some favorites picked out, it's tough to settle in with just a couple of flavors. Not only are there hundreds of different options to choose from, but there are different base ingredients to consider, and if you're anything like me, you get sick of vaping the same old flavors, day after day. In some cases, I can't go for more than just a few hours without switching it up!

Although each e-cig user is different, research shows a connection between flavor variety and smokers ability to quit. Apparently, having a wide range of flavors is a huge benefit and I'm not the only one who's constantly experimenting! A recent survey of  nearly 5,000 electronic cigarette users published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health had some interesting findings:

  • The most commonly used flavors reported by participants were fruits, followed by sweets and tobacco
  • Current smokers tended to prefer tobacco and menthol flavors, while former smokers preferred fruits and sweets
  • Most participants (68.3%) were switching between flavors daily
  • About 15% of respondents switched weekly
  • Almost 70% of respondents said that vaping would be "less enjoyable" with less flavor variability

Vaper's Tongue - Another Reason To Experiment


Another factor that may come into play is the strange phenomenon known as "vaper's tongue" - what I prefer to call flavor fatigue. It's not actually a problem with your tongue, since the flavors we sense are primarily triggered by the olfactory glands in our nasal passages. Almost every vaper will experience it at one time or another, a situation where the senses become fatigued, resulting in a full loss of flavor.

There are a few different remedies for vapers tongue, with one of the most obvious options being a switch in flavors. Often times vaping on a strong new variety, such as a menthol or cinnamon, can kick start your olfactory senses back into gear. Drink a bunch of water, give it some time, and eventually your old favorites will gain back some of their lost appeal.
Freedom To Customize & Control Your Experience
Even if you're not suffering from vaper's tongue or a debilitating mouth disease, e-juice flavors can become stale and loose their appeal over time, depending on your mood. It's easy to get bored by vaping the same old varieties, and I often find that certain flavors taste different throughout the day. In some cases I can get stuck on an e-juice flavor for weeks, and other times I'm craving a different option each hour. One of the beautiful things about vaping, which differentiates it from smoking, is the amazing ability to customize and control your experience. If you're craving a particular flavor, all you have to do is load it up and vape away! With this much flexibility, it's obvious why so many of us love to experiment. Why settle for a few flavors when you can have dozens... or even hundreds!!! The e-juice experiment never ends... at least not for me.

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