Willo3092 told us: “I remember starting with an eGo pen and some godawful flavours and the threads constantly wearing out on the USB chargers. Then I worked my way up to an Aspire kit with removeable 18650 and Atlantis atty with 5ml tank and some better flavours from Hangsen. (You could buy 100ml tubs of 24mg).
“I never even thought about looking for vaping forums on the net back then. After 7 or 8 years of being lured back to the stinkies I came back and found this wonderful site and a whole new world of rebuildables and AIO's and more vape flavours than you can shake a stick at!
“I still favour a higher nic content 20-24mg and would like to still be able to buy larger bottles of it rather than having to make my own from shortfills and stuff that I have to keep in the freezer. I would also like to see the back of the 2ml limit on tanks in the UK. That's the beauty of squonking though with a built in 9 or 10ml tank.”
Incredibly, the writer of this article managed to remember some of the things that took place. The sense of Community was really tight. We had regular meetups, we had people hook up from the forum with a number getting married.
“Vaping was exciting. It seemed like every week something new and almost unobtainable was being released. Moreover, new stuff tended to be different from everything else. It was British, American, Pinoy, Polish, Russian – e-cig users united across the globe.”
Whirlybird started vaping back in 2012/13 but fell off the wagon pretty quickly and have only just climbed back on, and so much has changed!
“I don't miss pretty much every tank leaking no matter how careful you were, cartomisers, tank cracking eliquids, people looking at you askance when you vaped in public, or how relatively hard it was to find vaping kit.
“Now it's available on pretty much every high street. Not saying it's necessarily the best quality, but in an emergency that availability could make the difference between sticking with vaping or going back on the stinkies.”
Whirlybird does miss the range and diversity of e-liquid sellers: “There were so many ‘kitchen table’ makers back then, all creating original liquids. Sure, many of them were rubbish, but some managed to create exceptionally delicious liquids, even in the crap kit we had back then. Nowadays there doesn't seem to be much space for the small makers.
“Thankfully though, many of the best bits of vaping 10 years ago still exist. Top of that list has to be POTV, and all the friendly people who are here! But it's also encouraging to see how much more acceptable vaping now seems to be, both publicly and in the medical profession.”
Misfit remembers the lively community, “loads of characters both good and bad [and] lots of different people making mods and attys in their sheds.”
Samwich recalls “the tight lively community” she first encountered on Planet of the Vapes. “Always someone to chat with for advice or just for fun, when the chat room was at the bottom, we used to get people asking questions and one of us would go and tag them on the thread they needed xx good times xxx.”
Samwich doesn’t miss the tanks cracking leaking and those massive mouth bits on the old eVods or the waiting for slow boat from China to arrive with new kit now you can get everything in UK.
“I think there is a flooded market now of vape gear and liquid so it’s hard to know what to try but don’t like all the overly sweet juices I feel that too much is aimed at kids. Stock coils are much better now! Them mesh coils with cotton compared with old silicone wicks are worlds apart. And sub ohms used to be just for us that had the knowledge and mods to run it, now you can just buy it!”
Some would say that it’s incredible that POTV’s massive member u8myufo is able to remember his own name, but he can recall “Vapefest without a doubt, a great bunch of people to hang out with all sharing the same passion. With regards to liquids there seems to be twice as much if not more out there today as there ever was. Tanks and atties never seem to change.”
Andipandi says that apart from when he was visiting The Vapour Room in Eastbourne in August 2012, he never saw anyone else vape.
Things have changed: “Not spending much money on it these days, I have 2 year’s supply of VG and PG and enough nic, not even buying many flavour concentrates because the Flavorah baccy ones go a long way.”
Andi does miss going into a vape shop and “getting it on with people making coils and wicking perverted tanks and drippers.”
ZT was one of those members who turned a pastime into a business as demand for his Manabush e-liquids grew. He recollects “the sheer creativity, both in hardware and e-liquids.
“I miss the hunt for the next best atty, although gear has come on. E-liquids, I miss the Wild West of it and I miss the small independents - each with their own style and take on it, the craft e-liquid brewers who took time and effort to create liquids. I miss the characters - my god there were some nutters.”
The GP Heron v1.5 and Paps still hold a place in ZT’s heart, a man who embarked on a mission to get everyone he met to buy a Kayfun Lite at the 2013 Vapefest.
As a business owner, ZT would like to see “an end to the 2ml tank limit, the 10ml bottle limit, re-allow glass bottles, and stop the ridiculous situation we have where we have a ban on advertising - while at the same time the scientists are telling everyone how positive a step vaping is.”
Mr Ripple harks back to his earliest encounter: “Volish. That's what the Polish guy said (in December 2011) he was vaping when I asked him what his vape pen was called. The spark ignited and after a little research the first eGo pen was bought along with some vegetable juice. Strange to look back at how it seemed to the complete novice I and all the rest of us were back then.
“I've been vaping through all the changes from eGo-t and Vision Twist batteries through Joyetech easy heads and prototype mods, through the TPD and round and round in circles. If I could go back I'd have got into the hobby side of vaping much earlier as I spent over four years just seeing it as a stop smoking aid so feel I missed out on a lot of the earlier product developments.”
iVapour’s Toby recollects “going with my partner to a GP back in 2008, and he said ‘Congratulations - you don't smoke anymore!’- and he had never seen or heard of an e-cig before. In 2012, it was much like it is now, but with no VW mods or cloud chasing. Even disposables existed back then but they were so poor, they didn't really catch on.
“I'm still using an Evod (although actually came out beginning of 2013) amongst other things. The main game changer in vaping since then was compact VW mods, revolutionised by the iStick in 2014. Also, stock coil cloud chasing tanks (Subtank & Atlantis).”
So, how has vaping changed for you and how would you like to see it change? Why not share your thoughts on the forum: https://www.planetofthevapes.co.uk/forums/