Vaping News

Farewell UK Vapers

The UK Vapers online forum played a key role in the lives of ecig users in the early days of vaping. Due to a legal issue, we are having to wave goodbye and congratulate all of those involved on the amazing things they achieved

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The UK Vapers online forum played a key role in the lives of ecig users in the early days of vaping. It provided a steppingstone for smokers switching and a key role in encouraging vapers to set up independent juice and mod making businesses. Due to an undisclosed legal issue, British vapers have sadly waved goodbye to it.

Planet of the Vapes’ owner Toby Kilroy said: “I was extremely saddened to hear the news of the UKV shutdown, which was a great source of support and advice for many members of the vaping community – including me when I first came to vaping over 10 years ago.

It was their forum that encouraged me to move from the early cig-a-likes to mods, and it was their forum that prompted the start of what would eventually become Planet of the Vapes.

“When UKV temporarily closed in 2012, I did my bit to help keep it going by starting the forum. Once it was back up and running again, those members who had moved campaigned for me to keep the new site running and POTV was born.

“Without UKV there would have been no Planet of the Vapes. I owe them a debt of gratitude and wish them every luck in whatever new ventures they now choose to embark upon.”

UK Vapers was set up in July 2012 by Professor Mark Stiles. Mark Styles became known to the close community of vapers as “Prof Beard”, his forum identity.

It opened with the words, “UK Vapers is a completely non-commercial forum and we do not carry advertising or charge anyone for the use of this forum”, and asked members to follow a simple rule: “treat others the way you'd like to be treated yourself”.

With the full database removed, anyone hoping to go through old threads is now going to struggle. The earliest record that still remains from shortly after it began shows shows notable people online:

  • PotV’s Toby Kilroy
  • StiG (Dave, mod creator par excellence)
  • Liberty Flights
  • Doodlebug aka Katherine Devlin who helped run ECITA, an early trade body
  • eBaron (still producing outstanding e-liquids)

Prof Beard

From this record, the mini Nutz 18350 was being advertised in the Mod Maker section, ‘sicknote’ was detailing their homemade rebuildable atty in the Modifications & DIY section, and 2012’s Vapefest was being promoted – taking place at The Moat House in Shrewsbury with a brand new expanded capacity of up to 800 people for the one day event. This would be the third time Vapefest took place and the community had taken to it with a fervour.

Michelle, one of PotV’s admins, commented: “UKV was where it all started to me. Back in 2012 I decided to make the switch, but I had no idea really how. After a bit of searching online for help and advice, I came across UKV and it opened up a whole new world of choices.

“I made some great friends and always got loads of help and advice, especially from Prof Beard who was always on hand to guide newbies along the path to a smoke free future. Without UKV, I am sure I would have spent many more years trying to quit and failing miserably. It really is an end of an era.

The E-Cigarette Consumer Association of the UK (a forerunner to the New Nicotine Alliance) had just had its own section on the forum created. The Mod Vendor section was empty because no large-scale operators existed in the UK marketplace - this was at the cusp of a consumer-driven grassroots harm reduction revolution.

UK Vapers played an important role politically. Members discussed VapourtrailsTV, took part in calls to action, and ultimately succeeded in helping to knock back the worst aspects of the TPD

One of the leading lights behind the Vapers In Power political party and longstanding vape advocate Jess Harding said: “I came to UKV in 2012 as a new vaper who had no idea about vaping. I had started on cigalikes because they were the only products I was aware of and didn't have enough money to continue buying those.

“In UKV I found a community of really supportive people, who gave excellent and thoughtful advice to newbies like me. Advocacy was a key element of the forum, and UKV was one of the places where our campaigns were organised - writing letters to the MHRA and MEPs, organising the UK's contribution to the EFVI intiative, etc.

“Most of the posts though were about our products – ‘What did your postie bring you today?’, as well as on products which people were developing or tweaking themselves. UKV could be a very feisty place and also hugely entertaining. Before vape shops were everywhere and before Facebook became popular the forums were the vaping community. It is very sad to see the demise of UKV.”

From discussing how to get the best out of your carto tank in General Chat, the forum grew to a total of 1,715,601 posts in 120,871 threads from 38,566 registered members. It directed members to StiG’s res/no-res wire welder, Garry Dibley’s 18350 oak mod and drip tips, and Marshall’s homemade e-cig lanyards.

UK Vapers saw the birth, growth and demise of so many great UK manufacturers: AR Mods, Atmomixani, Chameleon Mods, Chels Mods, Continental Mods, Diablo Mods, Eden Mods, foggatti , Gizmo, G-Prov GUS-MOD, Hellfire, Holy Land Mods, iVaper, Forum JonBoyUSMC's Lava Tanks, Kir Fanis, Limelight Mechanics, Luxe Mods, Metal Madness Vapors, Mikro Engineering, Perseas, Titanium mods from Ukraine, and VapourArt among many others.

Wayne works in Adult Education. He sums up the worth of UKV: “First forum I ever joined, was then on the pen type vapes. That forum changed the way I vaped. I learned about RTAs, mech mods and variable voltage mods. I learned how to build a coil safety, how to wick, what products were being released, read members reviews and asked loads of questions and learned about vaping. The prof introduced me to genesis RTAs and net liquids. I loved the banter after hours and miss those days - Without that forum i don't think I would have given up the smokes.”

Ultimately, UK Vapers did what Planet of the Vapes continues to do – it helped tens of thousands of smokers like Wayne, Toby, Michelle, and Jess quit smoking in a time before vaping had been accepted by the NHS or quit services.

Thank you, UK Vapers team.

Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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