We love a good spin down south with the Vapouround Bus, and it’s even better when our smoking cessation service on wheels has had a total makeover. We kicked off the new year by hitting the road and set our course for Bournemouth for a weekend of starter kits, games and shenanigans.
BHVape, Bournemouth. January 18, 2019
Johnnie Lovell — known to most as a host of the Vaper Expo and Vapouround Awards — was his usual jovial self and pulled out all the stops inviting members of the local community to BHVape and the Vapouround Bus on what was a freezing cold Friday.
Despite the cold climes, there was an impressive turnout of dedicated vapers and curious smokers trying their first kit aboard the bus. Everyone commented positively on the new wrap, which stood out more than ever with a special helping of pink.
In-keeping with the theme of newness and bold fashion statements, the bus also featured a line of “Vee-Shirts” from Ohm Made Apparel. These brightly-coloured t-shirts are made by vapers, for vapers and were designed by Ohmbré, a close friend of everyone at BHVape, who joined us for the day.
Paradox & Vapourtrade, Bournemouth. Saturday, January 19
On Saturday, the Vapouround team went all out, completing three stops.
We rolled up at Paradox on Old Christchurch Road at 10.30am. We received a very warm welcome from both Eddie and Cissa, who introduced us to all the staff. Paradox is a unique place that has not only reached out to one subculture, but two. One half of the shop provides tattoos and piercings, the other provides all your vaping needs. Both the shop and its visitors were so pleased with their Vapouround Bus visit, they booked another one. We hope to return for a special evening on Friday, June 28, and warmer temperatures we hope!
Next up was Vapourtrade on Alder Road where we met Charlie, before heading to another Vapourtrade stop, this time on Wimborne Road where we were greeted by Harry. Our pit-stops at both Vapourtrade sites were introductory, familiarising staff with the purpose and functions of the Vapouround Bus. Everyone at both Vapourtrade stores were thrilled with its new look and layout, eager to take pictures and videos both inside and out. We hope to return soon and give them a full outing!
The British Vape Company, Bournemouth. Sunday, January 20
On Sunday, we were greeted by sisters Tatiana and Alex. An eventful day saw us doing our duty for the local smokers by hooking them up with starter kits. Staff and vapers at The British Vape Company were very excited about the arrival of CBD in the vape trade, and look forward to seeing what it can do for those who need it. We were later joined by co-owner Matt, another pillar in the local vape community, who helped fill us in on The British Vape Company’s own brands and unique liquid ranges.
Blue skies, floral headpieces, foot-long hot dogs and fifteen thousand people surrounding the Vapouround Bus made for the perfect summer weekend in the Derbyshire countryside.
We set off on Friday afternoon to Walton-Upon-Trent to see where the Vapouround Bus was going to be in position at the festival and boy did we get a good spot. Parked front and centre between the main stage and the prosecco and cocktail bar, the bus basked in the 30C heat, the colours and wrap fitting in perfectly with the festival vibe.
On arrival at the festival, the Vapouround Bus stood out as the first thing people saw on entry.
Despite the heat, more and more festival goers made headway for the bus each day, as word spread of the test stations on board. It also worked in our favour that the bus provided welcome breaks in the shade while party folk kept in view and earshot of the stage for fear of missing out.
Friday evening, an estimated four thousand people blew off some steam as the work week came to an end. From the top deck of the bus we could see the boho boutique tipis set up in the back field. The mood was mellow and the vibe relaxed as a George Michael tribute act officially opened the weekend.
By the next morning, the festival crowd had multiplied like we had never anticipated – the tips of the tipis could hardly be seen. It grew so busy on Saturday afternoon as an estimated eight thousand people arrived on the scene to soak up the sun. The Vapouround Bus hosted a hen party of smokers and former smokers on Saturday afternoon who were desperate not to smoke over the weekend, so we introduced them to e-cigarettes for the first time. The next day, the bride returned looking for more juice.
We met a group of friends in their 20s donning their finest Hawaiian shirts who had tried vaping and a couple of them said they dual use mixing smoking and vaping. After a quick penalty shootout by the side of the bus, several members of the group said they were curious and wanted to know more. With starter kits on offer and friendly advice from the team about what would suit their specific needs, they were much more open to trying every flavour and complimented the bus team for being there when needed, before leaving with their weekend vape supply.
On Sunday, there was a sense of it being the morning after the night before as tired-looking revellers were slow to rise. An older crowd descended on Catton Hall with deck chairs and picnic blankets in tow by the afternoon and this crowd, although smaller at roughly three thousand people, seemed quite familiar with vaping and made for the bus throughout the day.
Due to there not being anywhere on site where cigarettes could be purchased, more and more full-time and social smokers were glad to try vaping over the weekend. With such a vast array of flavours to try on board, there was something for everyone and we left happy knowing we might have just helped someone quit smoking for good.
The Vapouround Bus is excited for its next summer festival already! Keep an eye on the website for dates and details.
We’ve spent so much time in the West Midlands of late that the locals could be forgiven for thinking that the region has its own dedicated Vapouround Bus. This time around we were in Halesowen on May 11, a stone’s throw from Dudley where we’d been the week before Vaper Expo.
The primary role of the Vapouround Bus is to provide information and advice for vapers and smokers looking to make the switch to e-cigarettes. But increasingly, visitors are seeking advice on vaping CBD and are sharing their stories about how it has helped them. Such was the case with our first visitor of the day.
“A friend of mine switched from anti-depressants to CBD and never looked back,” he said. “He’s happier and calmer than he’s been in years.”
Shortly afterwards, we had our first cigarette – starter kit switch. A local called William had already made the decision to take up vaping and had been trying different e-liquid flavours here and there.
“I’ve been thinking about doing this for a while now but haven’t pulled the trigger. You know how it is. But you’re here now so what better time to take the leap?”
Next up was Matt. Like William, it took a while for Matt to fully convert after his first few puffs on an Innokin device in a pub a few years ago. But he eventually succeeded and vaping soon evolved into something of a hobby. He recently started making his own juices and planned to get into coil-building. But most importantly, ditching cigarettes has significantly improved his health.
“My doctor knows all about my vaping and fully supports it,” he said. “Over the past two years my lung capacity has increased by 18 percent.”
Our starter kit offer was proving to be to be too good to resist, though some smokers needed a little more encouragement than others.
Collette had just one cigarette to see her through her work day and was understandably reluctant to give it up. But after some encouragement and guidance from Vapouround’s Ned Jones, she finally relented, dropping the cigarette in the ‘sin bin’ in exchange for a pod device.
A steady flow of vapers and smokers kept us busy through the rest of the day. Shortly before we packed up, Jason dropped in to see what we were all about. As well as improving his health, he was keen to find out what impact vaping could have on his wallet.
“I started smoking when I was nine years old and have been smoking 20 a day for as long as I can remember,” he said. “Hopefully a vape will be a big saving for me.” A free starter kit was a good place to start.
A trip to the West Midlands town of Stourbridge at the height of summer weather on May 18 is an opportunity few would turn down.
We set up in the bustling Crown Square and within seconds of opening the doors we welcomed our first curious visitor aboard: an elderly gentleman smoking a pipe. Throughout the day we had a mixture of smokers, vapers and dual-users all keen to find out what the bus was all about. Interest peaked at lunch, as visitors socialised with each other and even called friends to come and join them.
We handed out several e-cigarette starter kits including to a group of university students who had already been smoking for several years. The oldest recipient was a 70-year-old man who had been on 20-a-day from the age of 18, proving that it is never too early or too late to quit.
We had given away starter kits, juice samples and all our media packs, a testament to the quality of the liquids available in our testing stations and advertised on board. It’s difficult to imagine how this tour date could have gone any better because the reception we received from the people of Stourbridge was simply amazing.
True to our promise, the Vapouround Bus pulled into the Birmingham expo in May in a shining new wrap, filled out with a comfortable seating area, some fantastic new juices, a fresh internal layout and even a gaming system. Visitors took every opportunity to catch a break from the sounds and speed of the show floor to socialise, swap tips, top up on and indulge their competitive side.
The Vapouround Bus had never held more juices, never provided more unique features and never seen so many visitors in a single weekend. Even the comparatively calm B2B day had the team going all hands on deck. At peak B2C hours, we saw queues of eager vapers waiting to see what we had added or experience the Vapouround Bus for the first time.
Just as the Vaper Expo brings a perfect cross-section of British and global vapers to its halls, the Vapouround Bus is the perfect stop for a diverse snapshot. The reinvigorated upstairs area bore new evidence of Vapouround as a global brand and the expo as representing a worldwide family: Vape Duty Free had hired the space to display a special range of cosmopolitan concoctions inviting all aboard to “Vape the flavours of the world” from some quality mods placed on a printed map. Vape Duty Free also provided the first six instalments of the already acclaimed Fifty Shades of Flava collection, an ambitious project combining fruit, dessert and spice flavours.
But, as always, all this is nothing without our guests, who are our main motivation to improve with every outing.
Jonathan, an ex-smoker and vaper of three years, was one of many who got to see the bus for the first time. “You’ve definitely got to come to the bus, it’s a must-see stop. The testing stations are a great way to sample everything.”
Carl, a vaper of nine years, thought he had seen it all in the industry until he found the Vapouround Bus last October. He was one of many returning to see what else we had for May.
“I started way back on the cig-a-likes and I haven’t smoked since switching to a mod. Everyone here is really inviting, really friendly and very informative about the liquids and stations.”
Tony first came to the Vapouround Bus in October with his nephew and was particularly impressed with the Vapouround staff. He also had his eye on a certain liquid brand.
“We came here all the way from Maidstone in Kent. It is different this time, there’s more people around to help and offer advice, and more to do. It’s good to see the return of Naked Fish liquids.”
Whether on the road taking starter kits and testing stations to dual users, relapsed vapers and smokers, or giving dedicated vapers a place to relax and try something special, the Vapouround Bus can do it all.