In late 2006 Oliver (SmokeyJoe), gave me my first cigalike, it was really bad if I'm honest, I thought at the time "I'd rather be smoking" - but he convinced me it was a promise of something truly special and a radically new approach to nicotine consumption. A few months later he set up e-cigarette-forum.com.
As much as we have Hon Lik to thank for inventing the modern day e-cigarette, we have the community of ECF to thank for inventing vaping. They demanded flavors when there were none, demanded eliquid & refills when there were only sealed cartos and they invented the first mods.
Very quickly the vaping products available to the public improved and the number of people switching from tobacco grew beyond our wildest dreams, but we'd still only scratched the surface of the potential.
It's truly remarkable how many lives have been touched by those early pioneers, and how the fledgling industry has grown, in spite of everything that's been thrown against us.
Then, in 2012 we co-founded the world's first scientific vaping conference, www.e-cigarette-summit.com. It has since taken place every year and has had huge global impact on the vaping debate, and part of the reason why the UK is the world leader when it comes to responsible regulation.
Since then we have been featured across a large number of media outlets, including CNN, BBC, Vice, Fox, Wall St. Journal, Sky News & Forbes. E-Cigarette-Forum.com has grown to become the world's busiest vaping website and the community are some of the most passionate and effective vaping advocates in the world.
Vaping.com 2.0 is a cross between the old vaping.com and the old ECF store, but a huge improvement on both.
It's not about big clouds (even though we like them), it's about providing a space for people new to vaping to learn what vaping is, and to be confident that the products they purchase are going to work. For everyone else, it's about knowing that the people you're putting your faith in are invested in the future of the industry.
For us, vaping.com is an extension of the community, it's your site and it's going to be built based around trust, transparency, strict product standards and creating an environment where any smoker can find the answer.
Vaping itself is still not there, but now we need to take it to the mainstream more than ever, and reduce the number of smokers to levels previously unimaginable.
With vaping.com that's what we're going to do, with this platform we can do more; more advocacy, more research, and convert more smokers to vaping.
To all of you, from all of us at vaping.com - thank you and vape on!