What Maplin and Toys R Us Need to Do

It’s not a good time for physical retail in the UK at the moment. On top of business rate rises, the uncertainty of Brexit and dropping consumer spending, most potential customers are currently snowed in due to the weather. And if they do venture out, they’re panic buying bread and firewood. And then this week saw the news that Prezzo is closing 100 restaurants, and both Maplin and Toys R Us UK are heading into administration. While I don’t know how to help a restaurant chain, I do have ideas as to what Maplin and Toys R Us need to do if they want to survive.

What Maplin and Toys R Us Need to Do


What Can Toys R Us Do?

I’m old enough to remember when the first Toys R Us stores began appearing in the UK. And it was pretty special. It wasn’t magical in the same way as a pre-Christmas trip to Hamleys. That was always an outing similar to Harry Potter visiting Diagon Alley, with demonstrators throwing toys around the ground floor. Toys R Us was always about the overwhelming experience of a massive warehouse piled high with boxes, which worked well  30 years ago.

But it doesn’t work now.

Just as the inventory of Toys R Us gave it a big advantage over smaller, local toy shops which disappeared for a long time, so the almost infinite inventory online makes even a warehouse seem small. And a new generation of competitors has appeared with a slightly more diverse and interesting focus. After a pre-Christmas shopping trip or two, I found almost everything either online or in the likes of Smyths and the Entertainer which stocked slightly more niche toys. Meanwhile a lot of what was in Toys R Us isn’t just cheaper online, but it’s also found in the big supermarkets at a similar price or less. One recently closed seasonal Toys R Us in a Peterborough shopping centre not only had one toy missing from a set, but the missing figure was cheaper in the Tescos 300 yards away.

I’m not the only one that has the impression Toys R Us has stagnated, as articles on the BBC and the Guardian websites show. And the solution is pretty obvious. Put all that space to better use.

Smyths has capitalised better on current trends by monitoring the likes of Youtube. It isn’t hard, when for example, the Dude Perfect channel above has 27 million subscribers keen to see them do things with Nerf weapons, for example. So why does Toys R Us insist on having shelves filled with hundred of boxes of the same Nerf guns and bows I can also buy at Tescos, B&M and a million online retailers.

Stick the boxes out the back, or just offer next day delivery. And instead, set up a Nerf range in every store, with someone potentially able to demo and teach trick shots. Suddenly I not only have a reason to visit with my son, but also some free entertainment which keeps him busy, and means I’ll end up picking up some spare darts on each visit, if not a new gun, bow, targets, or other stuff to renact the trick shots at home. As the owner of a ridiculous amount of Nerf weapons, and still buying more, the idea of being able to use them without spending 30 minutes running around to pick up darts is an incentive in itself.

And why have bikes that can’t be ridden around enough to test properly? Or have Lego that you can’t actually play with? Or radio control vehicles and drones that can’t be tested before buying?

I don’t want to see 100 boxes on a shelf. I want to know that if I visit, I can find either the best toy, the cheapest toy, or something particularly cool, unusual or interesting.

Yes, there will be a cost in demo equipment and staffing. But it can still be profitable and sustainable. And it doesn’t all have to be the latest in high-end toys. Look at how many interesting channels are inspiring kids to play with toy cars again, for example.



What Can Maplin Do?

The demise of Maplin makes less sense than Toys R Us. Yes, it’s almost as easy to set up direct shipping from Shenzhen for a new tech device as it is to find a place to park in the local town centre. But although you can get lots of supplies, advice and tips online, sometimes it’s still helpful to get hands-on tuition and advice.

And the problems haven’t been attributed to the threat from online retailers, as the Maplin CEO has said in a statement quoted in this Wired article.

“The business has worked hard over recent months to mitigate a combination of impacts from sterling devaluation post Brexit, a weak consumer environment and the withdrawal of credit insurance,”

But again, there was a great opportunity here. The author on Wired talks about the advice for the older generation, but it’s as true for those younger as well. It’s not simply about being able to get the knowledge you need to make a purchase, but having a space to connect with other people interested in the same things.

And there are plenty of examples to prove this.

I’m involved with both Digital People in Peterborough, and Peterborough STEM Festival. Two incredibly successful non-profit events which bring together people around technology, digital, science etc. All things which could be done purely online perhaps. But which would then lose the chance to also make human connections, build offline friendships and be able to touch, play, and break things in person.

But what about retail? I’m mentioned the demos at the likes of Hamleys or the big Lego stores. But what about Games Workshop, which always has a group of tabletop and role-playing enthusiasts grouped around a table at the front of the store. It invites more people to come in and try gaming, and potentially become frequent customers.

Or my fairly recent investment and interest in vaping. Over the last 8 months, I’ve checked out reviews and tips online. And had advice from existing friends. But it’s still nice to pop into one of my friendly local shops to check out new products, chat, and occasionally get them to help me out with a problem or question. And it’s also just nice to be able to connect with the enthusiasts that tend to run the better vaping shops and find out what they’re up to. I can possibly save a couple of pounds each month ordering online, but it’s actually nice to catch up with the people who own and work in the shops.

Why isn’t Maplin supporting the likes of DPiP and Peterborough STEM Festival? Or running workshops on how to update your phone, use a 3D printer, or repair your hifi speaker cables? Where’s the weekend introduction to setting up a Raspberry Pi, or helping you out if you’ve struggled with one of the many cool circuit-board based projects you can order online? I recently had a go at building an electronic synth via Tech Will Save Us, and it was great fun. Right up to the point that it didn’t work when we’d finished. Fortunately, the lovely and thoughtful lady who bought the kit for my son and I as a present also happens to be a methodical and careful electronics hobbyist. So she went back through and remedied the wires I’d not connected quite far enough, and a capacitor I may have put around the wrong way. But in the absence of dating a patient and kind electronics geek, being able to actually pop into a local place for help would have been great in the gap until the next monthly DPiP meetup.

And it wouldn’t be too tough for Maplin to have a big trestle table at the front of the store and get an organisation like DPiP or similar to volunteer some people to come along. Or to hook up with local Coding Clubs, colleges, and other tech organisations.


The TL:DR for What Maplin and Toys R Us Need to Do:

It’s simple. Any retail business with physical stores needs to give people a good reason to pick them over ordering online.

And that means having a real, justifiable USP for the hassle of leaving the house and journeying into town. In the case of both Toys R Us and Maplin, that can’t be just having physical products available.

It has to be about offering something tangible that isn’t easily replicated online. And that’s always going to end up being about the human experience.

The saddest thing is that I’m not alone in talking about this years ago. For example, Becky Naylor back in 2013. In fact, if I can cope with the fairly wanky description I used back in 2009, the ‘bankruptcy of the non-descript‘, it’s something that’s been growing for 10+ years. If you haven’t got a clear proposition and a clear justification, then you probably won’t have a business fairly soon…



Photo by Marcela R on Unsplash

8 Months With Vaping, Not Smoking

It’s just about 8 months since I switched from smoking to vaping. I changed to stop my health declining, to avoid harming those around me, and to be able to lose the smell of old tobacco whereever I went after two decades of Marlboro abuse.

Last time I updated was just after my 40th birthday. Since then a few things have changed. I’ve moved house to be closer to my son, which meant packing up everything I owned and renting a property for the first time in years. It’s also meaned relocating my business, and starting to build up a new client base in Peterborough for the first time since I left about 7 years ago. I’ve got back involved with both Digital People in Peterborough and Peterborough STEM Festival. And most unexpected – I’ve been lucky enough to start a new relationship with a wonderful lady who is understanding, supportive and just all-around lovely. As a bonus, not only do we have similar interests, but we also both run similar businesses, so there’s a good understanding when one or both of us is sat at a laptop at 11.59pm on a Saturday night working on something important.

I’ve also learned and reinforced a few things about vaping.

  • Finding good local shops for advice is always handy. Big thanks to the friendly staff at The Vape Project in Werrington Centre, Peterborough, and the Central Vape Shop in Peterborough city centre.
  • Switching brands means experimenting with new flavours. I’d been using Ultimate for ages, and switching to different brands means that some flavours, like Blackcurrant, just didn’t work at all from a different company. In fact, it was pretty awful. Fortunately, I’ve now discovered a new selection that works – current favourites include Zeus Juice ‘The Black’ blackcurrant and menthol (despite hating menthol flavours usually), Nasty Juice Green Mango, and Dream Mist Peach and Pineapple Coconut Rum….
  • Check before buying and fitting the wrong ohm coils. I wondered why one vape kit seemed utterly clogged and useless before finally spotting I’d bought 1.6 coils, not the usual 1.8 or 0.7. After adjusting the wattage on the kit, they were usable again, if not as nice as the others…
  • Don’t fit an old, loose 1.8 coil you have laying around at the bottom of an old box, because it turns out you probably swapped it out a while ago because it was worn out…
  • Expect that sons and girlfriends will take an increasinly active role in dictating what flavours you are allowed to vape around them – even if you don’t vape near them.
  • And try not to get annoyed at all of the misinformation about vaping. Cancer Research in the UK has been sharing advice about using vaping to quit smoking, and every post gets endless Facebook comments about myths and half-truths. I’m not a doctor or health expert, but I’ve put in substantial time to read as much of the available medical research online etc, and there’s a wide and well supported body of evidence for the benefits when compared to smoking. And nothing that suggests any short or medium term issues unrelated to nicotine – which is the main active ingredient in vaping for obvious reasons.

Incidentally, if any vaping brands etc need any help with marketing, do get in touch. My business website is still TheWayoftheWeb.

8 Months Vaping and Not Smoking




8 Months Vaping Stats:

  • 244 days since my last cigarette
  • 3,660 cigarettes not smoked (average of 15 per day)
  • £1,830 cigarettes not bought (average of £10 per pack of Marlboro)
  • Total cost of vaping so far: Kit (inc 2 tanks) £92. Liquids and coils: £314.98. Total: £406.98.
  • Savings after 8 months: £1,423.02
  • At 10 minutes per cigarette, I’ve now potentially regained: 610 hours of life. Which is 25.41 days. Or 2-3 weeks of potential life expectancy.
  • Exercise: Still not ideal, but by hitting 50 push-ups and squats when I have been committed, I can still just about claim a 30 per day average despite some unrelated injuries. Which is 5,970 push-ups and squats. The aim is to manage somewhere around 75-100 every day in future.

Turning 40 and Reaching 5 Months of Vaping

I recently turned 40. Which means my thoughts have oscillated between deciding it’s just an arbitrary number and cataloguing the achievements I hoped to accomplish by now. Should I see it as a major turning point at which life begins, or a sad realisation that I can no longer aspire to be listed as a ‘top 30 under 30’ or ‘top 40 under 40’ in anything? And that’s not helped by by dreaming subconscious apparently reliving my teenage and student years through the lens of John Hughes in the sleeping adventures I can remember when I wake up.

But there are positives I can focus on. If I had to pick a time when my life began, it would be when my son was born – rather than an arbitrary round number of years since my mother began years of hard work to support alongside my dad. My business adventures are not the most wildly successful in history, but they continue, and they’ve helped others achieve impressive success with contributions both large and small. I haven’t managed my childhood dream of creating an amazing novel or screenplay. But I did appear for a few seconds in a British film with featured names you might actually recognise, and have got to know some very talented writers who have inspired me to improve my fiction. And having played a small part in getting some geeks to meet up at a local pub, it’s now a thriving monthly gathering and an annual STEM festival attracting hundreds of children and their families.

Most of all my son is growing from a very cute child (I’m biased, I know), into a very intelligent, sociable and confident young man.

And I’ve got a growing awareness of the things I can control and work on, and what I need to accept and adapt to. I can’t control the events of life, only how I react and deal with them. And that has meant building up my persistance and determination even as I’ve encountered the loss of family members or friends.

That includes celebrating the smaller victories. To write a novel, or build a business, means maintaining momentum over a long period by gaining fuel from the small accomplishments each day. Enjoying each step on the journey, whether it’s completing a page, finishing a task, or even managing client communication and billing.

A shared pre-40 celebration with 4 of my oldest friends earlier this year

A shared pre-40 celebration with 4 of my oldest friends earlier this year

One of those things that I’ve been tracking and celebrating to keep up my enthusiasm has been my switch from smoking to vaping. And I can take some pride in the fact that not only have my ex and her partner also switched – meaning my son no longer has any smokers in his immediate family circle, but I’ve even had a few people contact me via Facebook etc to say they’ve been following what I’ve been doing and it’s helped or inspired them to either quit smoking, quit any nicotine delivery, or to share it with friends they’d like to encourage to stop smoking.

With that in mind, here’s the latest progress….

Turning 40 and Reaching 5 Months of Vaping

  • 152 days since my last cigarette.
  • 2,280 cigarettes not smoked. (Average of 15 per day)
  • £1,140 cigarettes not bought (Average of £10 per pack of Marlboro)
  • Total cost of vaping so far: Kit (inc 2 tanks) £92. Liquids and coils: £222.48. Total: £314.48.
  • Savings after 5 months: £825.52
  • At 10 minutes per cigarette, I’ve now potentially regained: 380 hours of life. Which is 15.83 days. Or just over 2 weeks of potential life expectancy.
  • Exercise: I’ve had to take more pauses than I’d like due to some joint/muscle issues. But 107 days of exercise in total still means I’ve managed roughly 3,000 push-ups and squats. And I’m glad to have pushed towards 50 every day to allow me to have the odd recovery period and still achieve an overall 30 per day average…

4 Months of Vaping

Today marks 4 months since I switched from smoking to vaping. Or 122 days exactly. And I’m still sticking with it pretty easily after 4 months of vaping.

Occasionally I still get an occasional hankering for a cigarette, but it’s easily dismissed. And I don’t get the cravings I associated with previous attempts to go cold turkey. Or even from nicotine replacement like lozenges or patches. Because while they supplied the nicotine, they didn’t give me a reason to get away from my desk, go outside and do some deep breathing to collect my thoughts.

4 Months of Vaping

Or to occasionally amuse my son by blowing smoke out of my nostrils ‘like a dragon’.

So how does that translate into progress?

4 Months of Vaping Totals:

  • Roughly 1,830 cigarettes not smoked (I was on around 15 a day)
  • And £915 cigarettes not bought (At £10 for a pack of Marlboro)
  • Total cost of vaping so far: Kit (inc 2 tanks) £92. Liquids and coils: £198.48. Total: £290.48.
  • Savings by switching after 4 months: £624.52
  • At 10 minutes per cigarettes, I’ve regained 305 hours. Or 12.7 days
  • And my exercise regime is now regularly over 50 push-ups and squats per day. Not quite enough for me to bump up my average yet (and I can’t be bothered to track every single day). So roughly in 77 days, 2,482 push-ups and 2,482 squats. And I’ve started doing some hamstring raises while I’m out vaping anyway…

So pretty good.

Having experimented with some other flavours, I’ve not found anything yet to justify the extra price and shorter coil life. And I’m still not switching to Direct to Lung (DTL) and chasing huge clouds of vapour yet. So I’d imagine I’ll stick with 6mg nicotine eliquid until after Christmas. Still half of what I was on for the first couple of months.

And I’m still happy with my vaping kit. Which, for the record is:

And so far, the only consumables have been some replacement coils, despite constant use.

I’ve mentioned the health improvements I’ve noticed before. One thing I’ve also started to notice is that I’m not waking up craving nicotine and caffeine as I did in the past. After 8 hours of sleep following my last cigarette, it would generally be the first thing I’d do as soon as my eyes opened.

I still tend to have an early morning vape. But that can be within an hour or two of waking up. And I don’t feel the need for caffeine until the afternoon, as opposed to requiring it early in the day to function.

And the good news is also that one of the main concerns regarding vaping is being slowly addressed. The issue tends to be that normal ingredients can take on different properties when heated, leading to undesirable compounds which could be harmful. So alongside any retailer/producer testing, the recent EU TPD regulations now require some emissions testing for products to comply.

A lot of companies make this available via their websites etc, which makes sense to promote themselves as legitimate and safe. Plus it’s also available via the MHRA website.


Vape Update: 101 Inhalations

It’s now 101 days since my last cigarette. And vaping is being backed as part of the annual Stopober campaign. Along with Public Health England, NHS Scotland has also stated that e-cigarettes are less harmful than tobacco, and around 53% of people quitting smoking last October used them. Despite the fact that some newspapers claimed health advisors were at odds, what the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence actually said is that there’s still little evidence relating to long term ecigarette use, but that advice should be offered on them for people wanting to stop smoking.

So basically, there’s still not a huge amount of information on the potential longterm effects of vaping. But all studies into their immediate effects show that they’re much better than smoking. Although obviously it’s safest not to be inhaling anything.

Which all means I’m still chuffed to be happily vaping away on 6mg liquid 101 days after starting out with 12mg and no more Marlboro.

AspireZelos With Nautilus 2 and Eleaf iStick with Nautilus 2

My Aspire Zelos (right) and Eleaf iStick 40W (left), both fitted with Aspire Nautilus 2 tanks

So what are my latest totals?

  • Around 1,515 cigarettes not smoked.
  • And £757.50 cigarettes not bought.
  • Total cost of vaping kit: Kit (inc 2 tanks) £92. Liquids and coils: £162.48. Total: £254.48.
  • Savings now at £503.02
  • At 10 minutes per cigarette, I’ve regained 252.50 hours. Or 10.5 days.
  • And continuing with a little over 40 push-ups and squats to mean I can take an occasional rest day and still average out on target – 1,602 push-ups and 1,602 squats in 55 days.

So far, the only times I’ve had any issues have been learning to make sure the chimney of the e-cigarette coil is dried out with a bit of tissue if there’s too much liquid in it. And the occasional taste of burning when coils are due to be replaced – I think I’ve now replaced each tank twice in over 3 months. Trying a ‘premium’ liquid which I didn’t enjoy did result in burning through the coil a little more quickly, but even so, another pack of coils for £10 or so should last me until after Christmas.

Being healthier and essentially giving myself a £2,000 payrise for minimum hassle seems to have worked out pretty well!

Looking at prices, it’s getting cheaper and cheaper to try vaping. The Aspire Zelos feels like a marginally better piece of kit, but at under £30 for the Eleaf, you can be up and running for under £50 including a tank. Even if you’re stocked up on duty free cigarettes, it’ll still save you cash fairly quickly.




Vaping at 90 Days

Bit of a check-in, as today I have now been vaping for 90 days. Which means it’s 3 months since my last ever cigarette, and it’s still going well. I get the very occasional temptation for an ‘analogue’ cigarette every few days, and it’s always late at night when I’m low on nicotine. My brain obviously still psychologically associates nicotine cravings with the final cigarette of the night, but as soon as I vape that goes.

And I’m now converted to 6mg liquid rather than the original 12mg recommended for regular smokers just under a pack a day. I’m still vaping a bit more than previously, but nowhere near the double required to match the nicotine previously – I’m probably vaping somewhere between 20-40% more. But it’s slowly easing off, and I’m enjoying being able to find a slightly wider range of flavours available in 6mg.

And I’m still enjoying improved circulation, particularly in my fingers and toes. Plus I no longer have any kind of cough, or the feeling like I need to hack up a lung in the mornings. No waking up with sleep apnea during the night. And doing daily exercise appears to be working as my recovery time afterwards seems to be slowly coming down. I’m not exactly turning into some kind of athlete, but I’m slowly rediscovering arm and leg muscles. And although I’m way off a beach body, I’ve found that not only are the arms of my T-shirts not quite reaching as far as they used to (spot the tan line), but I did take off my shirt and go swimming in the sea with my son recently… I’ve never been confident or happy with taking my shirt off in public, so that was quite a victory.


So the totals?

Vaping at 90 Days:

  • Around 1,350 cigarettes not smoked.
  • £675 of cigarettes not bought.
  • Total cost of vaping: Kit (inc 2 tanks) £92. Liquids and coils: £162.48. Total: £254.48. (I’ve just bought 8 more bottles of liquid, which should take me to another 2 weeks+.
  • Savings £420.52.
  • Potentially at 10 minutes per cigarette, that’s 225 hours, or 9.375 days of life regained.
  • And on the exercise front, I’m now just under 40 push-ups and squats per day. Which means I’ve managed around 1,162 push-ups and squats across 44 days. And will now be doing 1,200 per month.

So not bad. Add another 2 weeks of smoking, and the savings will be more than £500, which is a pretty decent saving for something which has made me feel healthier, stopped me stinking of cigarette smoke, and saves me from having to drive to buy cigarettes at 1am in the morning when I’ve run out and most shops are closed.

The worst temptation I’ve got is potentially buying a Direct To Lung kit to produce more smoke and make it easier to switch to 3mg liquid in the future. Mainly for entertaining myself at home by impersonating a choo-choo train, and keeping the more discrete kits (like my go to Aspire Zelos) for when I’m out in public…


Patagonia ad shows a company taking a stand…

There’s lots of debates about corporate social responsibility, mission statements, and building a business around beliefs etc.

But this advert by Patagonia is pretty clear.

It’s increasingly clear that a company either has an obvious purpose beyond simply existing, or it will forever have to compete on attributes (price, convenience etc) that will be increasingly harder and less profitable due to competition.

The first supermarket had it relatively easy and profitable for a while. Now the margins are slim and there are rivals everywhere, from the low-end to the high.  But it’s much harder to compete with a company that has a clear and evident purpose. Is your outdoor clothing company going to go further in protecting the environment that Patagonia, for example? It’s possible, but it’ll be harder than cloning a jacket and charging 10% less.


78 Days of Vape

Bit of an odd number, but I haven’t updated on my vaping/exercise progress in a while. Mainly because I took time away from work and the internet while my son visited. So my push up and squat routine continued, but supplemented by visits to the countryside, and massive ice cream desserts.

So it’s 18 more days since my last cigarette. And it’s now 2 days since switching permanently to 6mg nicotine eliquid from 12mg. I’d mixed the two a bit to try and wean myself down in preparation. And then used the wrong strength liquid for a day out with my son and didn’t really notice. Having spent the weekend at the lower strength, I have vaped more, but not double the amount. Halving the nicotine means I’m probably vaping 3ml per day compared to 2ml usually. And that will probably come down soon.

So the totals to date:

  • 1,170 cigarettes not smoked. (Quite a nice big number to encourage me further)
  • £585 of cigarettes not bought.
  • Total cost of vaping so far: Kit £92. Liquids and coils £124.50. Total £216.50
  • Savings: £368.50.
  • Potentially at 10 minutes per cigarette, 195 hours, or just over 8 days of live regained.
  • Plus I’ve moved up to 30 push-ups and 30 squats every day, which works out at about 730 push-ups and 730 squats over 32 days.

And having bought 60 ml of liquid (6 x 10ml bottles for £24 total), that should last me 2-3 weeks. So no need to spend anything else for a bit. That should take my savings towards £500, since stopping smoking under 3 months ago (Based on buying Marlboro at UK supermarket prices).

I’m hoping some studies on the relative nicotine inhalation/absorption will be released between cigarettes and vaping, and also more detailed information on what conditions were actually set. For instance, the newspapers reported a while ago that vaping was apparently as bad for you as smoking, based on the idea that you got as much nicotine from vaping as smoking. Except it was based on 30 minutes vaping vs 5 minutes smoking, and nowhere seemed to actually have info on which strength liquid was used, what strength cigarettes, what wattage, or the average inhalations per minute etc. As someone who could smoke a Marlboro Red in under 3 minutes, and also only ever vapes for 5-10 minutes at a time, it’s a pretty meaningless bit of information portrayed in a pretty sketchy manner.

The actual scientific reviews all suggest that vaping is much more preferable to smoking as a cessation aid or as an alternative. For instance, the Cochrane Review or e-Cigarettes.



60 Days of Vaping

Another update as I’ve now hit the two month mark since smoking my last cigarette. For the last 60 days, I’ve been happily vaping and I’m not even tempted when standing next to someone smoking tobacco.

Which is nice.

I’m still mainly on 12mg liquid, but have been starting to experiment with 6mg during the day, and it’s slowly becoming normal. At some point I’ll need to just make the switch permanently…

60 Days of Vaping Totals:

  • 900 cigarettes not smoked.
  • £450 of cigarettes not bought.
  • Total cost of vaping so far: Kit £92. Liquids and coils £100.50. Total £192.50.
  • Savings: £257.50
  • Potentially: 150 hours of life, or 6.25 days regained.
  • And I’ve also managed 280+ push-ups and 280+ squats over the last 14 days.

So I’m healthier and £250 better off after two months. I’m pretty happy with that!


50 Vapes of Days

There are a variety of different studies and opinions which try to define how long it takes to form a new habit. From 21 days to 66 or 90, the answer varies. Probably because people do.

So I don’t know how long you’ve stuck with something before it became a natural habit. But I’d be interested to find out. Certainly I’ve found that writing regularly about progress has been helpful, as I’m not someone who finds updating a spreadsheet on daily ‘quantified self metrics’ particularly enjoyable. But weekly updates on here remind me to keep going – even if I might be starting to bore friends on Facebook and Twitter.

So 50 days of vaping today:

  • 750 cigarettes not smoked.
  • £375 of cigarettes not bought.
  • Total cost of vaping so far: Kit £92. Liquids and coils: £88.50. Total: £180.50
  • Savings: £194.50
  • Potentially 125 hours of life, or 5.2 days re-gained.
  • And coincidentally, since getting the inclination to exercise again: 160+ push-ups, and 160+ squats. I can’t be exact as I’ve set my minimum at 20 per day, and anything over that is a bonus.

The savings weren’t as big as they might have been, as I stocked up with a new pack of coils (the first tank I bought finally needed a replacement), and 2 weeks of liquid (but with half at 6mg nicotine as opposed to 12mg). Bit annoying, as my savings would have been over £200 otherwise, but I’ll hit that in the next day. And that’s not counting lighters, or the petrol for late night trips to the corner shop.

I’m still very happy with the Apsire Zelos and Nautilus tank. For reference, I’m using it for Mouth-to-Lung (MTL) vaping and generally around 13-13.5 watts depending on the thickness of the liquid.

Might need to experiment with some new flavours though. It seems that a lot of people like a sweeter taste than me, and I definitely like more fruit and citrus flavours. So any recommendations are much appreciated…