Archie Powell, MD of one of the UK’s leading e-liquid manufacturers, Decadent Vapours, takes time out to chat to us about all things e-liquid and roast beef…
Wholesale Manager – How long have you been vaping, and did it help you stop smoking?
About 5 years, and yes it totally helped me to give up smoking. I had smoked since I was a teenager and tried all sorts of cessation aids but nothing worked permanently – once I had a pint in my hand I was off again. Vaping has been described as the most important medical invention since penicillin, and I agree!
WM – You are the MD of Decadent Vapours. How did you end up there?
I first met Pete, the founder and owner, about 3 years ago when my company Create a Brand re-branded DV. Even then I was an avid vaper and already loved DV’s products, and we really hit it off. One thing led to another, and Pete asked me to take the reins so that he could continue inventing, which is what he loves to do. I knew the products and the brand could go far, so as they say ‘it was a no-brainer’. And here I am several years later, happy as Larry.
WM – So what’s special about Decadent Vapours?
DV was one of the UK’s first eliquids manufacturers and has always led the field in flavour development. Our developers have had years of experience creating and finely tuning flavours. The aim has always been to make some of the most realistic, non-synthetic tasting e-liquids around. This is a craft, just like whisky-distilling and beermaking. DV has long been a supplier to many other leading e-liquid companies, because they like the quality of our flavours.
WM – Is it true that DV have Roast Beef and Smokey Bacon flavour eliquids?
Yes, those were among the first flavours DV ever created, over 7 years ago. It takes real skill to accurately recreate complex flavours like those – the fact that Pete was a highly skilled chef was an advantage. Hundreds of DV flavours have been created since, most of them not as off the wall as those, but tasty, memorable and unique all the same!
WM – Why do you think so many smokers have switched to vaping
Smoking isn’t just about the inhaling of over 4000 carcinogenic additives (by the way, these are what smokers really become addicted to; nicotine is only as addictive as caffeine, something most people find easy to give up). It’s about the experience itself – I mean the holding of something in your hand, the inhaling, and of course the social side of it to – having something in common with people across all walks of life, wherever you are. Vaping still gives you all that, but without the health worries – superb!
WM – Is vaping safe?
Well put it this way: the average cigarette has over 4000 additives, many of which have been proven to be carcinogenic; good quality TPDcompliant e-liquids have four ingredients, if you include nicotine – which is, contrary to popular belief, not very addictive. Numerous studies have concluded that vaping is not harmful, so I leave you to draw your own conclusions… My own view is that vaping is safe, and that it would save the NHS millions if it was to be endorsed as a viable alternative to smoking and permitted in places where smoking isn’t.
WM – Is it true to say that all eliquids are basically the same, and that it’s really just the branding and packaging that’s different?
Absolutely not. Some liquids have substances in them such as diacetyl and acetyl propionyl that help them to taste sweet and buttery. These are thought to be dangerous if ingested, and we don’t allow them anywhere near Decadent Vapours products. Unfortunately this is not the case for a good proportion of other liquids on the market, particularly from the US – although the governing body there, the FDA, is now trying to clamp down on their use. Products coming from China, for example, contain all sorts of additives, but until now with no regulation for the consumer it was pot luck. But people should ask themselves: if it’s considerably cheaper, then why is that?
WM – How important is it to know what is in your e-liquids?
You should always be able to know what you are putting in your body – eliquids are no different. If you buy from a reputable manufacturer such as Decadent Vapours, you get the reassurance that the products are safe. Even some of the more wellknown brands still add substances that are considered not to be safe, such as diacetyl and acetyl propionyl, so we advise that you always check the label to make sure they have not been added.
WM – You claim your e-liquids are all made in the UK – are they actually made here?
Yes, and always have been. Our factory is in sunny Swansea where every single one of our 130 products is devised, manufactured and bottled.
WM – Who buys your products?
We sell all over the world to a very broad range of people as we really do have something for everyone. Apart from our very popular pre-mixed eliquids, we sell flavour concentrates and diluents for vapers who like to mix their own, and we are a large OEM supplier to other manufacturers. It’s a busy and growing market, and things are looking very good for the future – exciting times!
WM – How will the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) affect Decadent Vapours and the vaping industry generally?
(The TPD is a series of regulations relating to the manufacture and sale of tobacco and vaping products, including e-liquids).
It has caused a fair deal of upheaval and inconvenience for the industry, mainly because its formulation was not done as straightforwardly and sensibly as one might hope.
However, at DV we have taken it in our stride. We have always used the highest quality of ingredients and pharmaceutical grade nicotine. We were the first company to have our liquids laboratory tested, and manufacture our products under the most stringent conditions. For us, it’s the changes in bottle sizes and the regulations about advertising and labelling that have been more of a concern. But we’ve successfully resolved those.
WM – This has been a challenging year for the vaping industry – how has Decadent Vapours found it?
Challenging, yes, but pretty exciting too. The e-cigarette /vaping industry is one of the fastest growing sectors in the UK and maybe even the world. In my opinion, bringing in regulations like the TPD is a good thing. It protects consumers from substandard products made in less than ideal conditions and containing goodness knows what. This makes for a more level playing field for those companies such as DV who actually want to offer a safe, high-quality product.
It’s a great time to be involved with this industry. There are lots of really great people involved, and generally a good camaraderie between companies – working towards a common cause has definitely brought us all closer together as an industry.
WM – Has Brexit changed anything for you?
Not as yet – and we are not too concerned. It may well mean the TPD will not be enforced here as stringently as it might have been, though obviously as we sell worldwide we will still have to comply with all relevant product regulations – that’s just business.
WM – Decadent Vapours have won quite a few awards – do you think this is important?
Customer satisfaction, product quality and customer perception are very important to us. We want to please and impress people. So when we receive feedback and acknowledgment of doing a good job, of course we’re pleased. It reinforces what we are doing and makes it feel like it’s all worthwhile.