Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Interview with First City Vape

831 Promotions Interview with First City Vape

In this Interview with Steb Montez, Owner/Operator of First City Vape, you will learn about Vaping.   What it is, what it isn't, and why its becoming popular and people are standing behind it.  This interview will address popular myths and misconceptions as well as stating facts regarding vaping in its entirety from health to function and the difference between the common misconception of narcotic use, drug use, or a smoke shop and a vaporizor, which needs to be made clear.  This interview contains relevant facts and helpful information for anyone curious or interested in learning more about the culture of vaping, which has become a strong topic in our current social climate.

We chose to interview First City Vape because after doing our own research, we found that Steb was a wealth of information in regards to vaping and its benefits.  The most important thing to Steb regarding his clients is that he  would like to see you off cigarettes, and that is first and foremost why he has set up shop.  Secondly, his passion for this is unmatched.  We have yet to find anyone as knowledgeable or passionate in the vaping community.  This genuine passion has translated into an amazing amount of product knowledge which is only equalled by his customer care and support.

We hope you will find this interview informative and able to answer your questions.  For more information, you can speak with Steb directly at the Shop or via Facebook at the links below.

Tell us what Vaping is and how it is different from everything else on the market?

Vaping is what vapers call the act of vaporizing e-liquid or e-juice. It is the result of an atomizer and battery combination. The liquid is fed into the atomizer, the battery heats the liquid turning it to vapor. The vapor is inhaled into your lungs much like smoking but without the dangerous side effects!

What is the difference between a Vape Shop and a Head Shop?

A Vape shop specializes in only vaping related supplies.  We don't carry bongs, rolling papers or enough incense to smoke out a small village. But we do carry mods, atomizers, wick, wire, batteries, e-liquid and a cheerful disposition.

Why can you smoke them indoors?

I first want to dispel the idea that it is smoke.  Smoke is the result of the combustion of a solid, such as tobacco leaves. Vapor is the result of high heat in contact with liquid. Hence smokers smoke cigarettes and vapers vape e-liquid.

As for why people feel free to vape indoors…well that's a bit more complicated and a matter of choice. Currently there is no law against vaping indoors. There is legislation being proposed that will treat vaping much like smoking; requiring users to abide by the same rules smokers do. I don't have a problem with that fundamentally.I do think that putting vapers outside with smokers, something we are trying to distance ourselves from, is a bad thing. I will usually ask if I can vape when at a bar,  but I generally don't vape in restaurants or enclosed areas. Nothing screams "asshole" like someone blowing a big ol cloud of bubble gum flavored vape in your face!  Don't do it vapers!

Is the vapor harmful?

Here's what we know. Vaping is without question safer than smoking a cigarette. 4000 times safer based on the chemicals, carcinogens  and compounds that aren't present in e-liquids. The liquids consist of fewer chemicals than both the patch and nicorette. E-liquids contain USP grade vegetable glycerin, propylene glycol, nicotine and food grade flavoring...that's it. Those concerned about the use of propylene glycol should know it's in everything from soap to salad dressing. Here's what we don't know — the long term effects. The FDA last ran a study on electronic cigarettes in 2009. Anti-vaping groups still use these older studies. These studies are limited and are often not thorough.The liquids and delivery methods have changed considerably since that time. We also know nicotine itself does not cause cancer. It is the delivery system, the cigarette, that is known to do so. We want our nicotine! (For recent studies and information visit My favorite argument is "we don't know the long term effects." My response is simply; We do know the long term effects of cigarettes and chewing tobacco. They will without question kill you. We have empirical, definitive data that shows this..yet we still allow them to be sold 24 hours a day just about everywhere in the world.

How do you use a Vape to quit smoking cigarettes?

The great thing about e-liquids is two-fold. The liquid comes in so many flavors; users are sure to find something they enjoy.  Most importantly, they are available in different strengths. This gives the user the ability to "step down" the nicotine content and hopefully give them the advantage when trying to quit.  Personally, I vape 6 milligrams per milliliter and often 0 milligram or zero nic for short. I'm a bit of a hobbyist, but I really do love my nic. I see vaping as an alternative to smoking. A much healthier one.

Are there any harmful side effects to Vaping?

To date there is no scientific evidence which identifies harmful side effects.  My collection of mods, liquids and accessories have so far harmed only my wallet. Aside from that, I'm breathing better, my sense of smell has improved, and I find cardio easier. It's changed my life for the better,  and my kid doesn't have to grow up with a dad that smells like an ashtray. One could argue that the side effects of nicotine can be dangerous. But like caffeine; in moderation it's fine.

How old do you need to be to Vape?

There is currently no law in regard to age. I personally will not sell to anyone under the age of 18. Many anit-vaping groups claim that due to the lack of laws young children will begin the perilous descent into smoking cigarettes; stating the flavors attract young children. But as we know cigarettes and cigarillos are available in a variety of flavors as well. If people want something,  they will find a way to get it;  it just won't be coming from me kids! I started smoking cigarettes when I was 15!

What is the cost of vaping vs smoking?

That gets tricky. For a collector like myself, vaping is no question a more expensive venture. But it doesn't have to be. The average pack of cigarettes in California runs $6.45.   Suppose a person smokes a pack a day…that's $45 a week, $180 a month, and over $2,300 a year! An excellent vaping device costs around $100-$120 not including liquids. In the first month alone one is likely to save moneyversus "analog" cigarettes, and by month 3 one could be in the black, so to speak. Liquids run around $.30-$.75 per milliliter.   30 ml could last me a week often two to three!  As you vape less and less (if that's your goal) your usage will go down even further. Vapenomics!

Why do you Vape?

I really struggled with cigarettes. I had been smoking since I was around 15 years old - I'm 37 now. Over half my life I was destroying my lungs and leaving myself wide open to a bevy of awful diseases. In 2009 I started vaping to help me cut back. By the time I was 35 I had a baby on the way,  I couldn't imagine smoking anymore because I wanted to be around to see the little man grow up. I finally made the decision to stop cigarettes and start vaping. It's been almost a year and a half since I've had a cigarette,  I feel better than I have in years. Over the course of my journey I discovered I really enjoyed vaping and began seeing it as a hobby as well. The world of vaping is so immense and multi-faceted. We truly are a community. Seeing what it did for me I decided it was time to open a place where people could experience the same relief I have.  I can't wait to share all my experience and know how with people who are in the same situation I was in.   When I started I didn't have a lot of resources available because it was so new. Now you can look up youtube tutorials, search the web for helpful hints, and really accelerate the process, and the products have gotten so much better. Some people prefer to have someone show them everything they need to know. I'm happy to be that person!

What do you need to get started and how much does it cost?

Like I stated earlier. You need an atomizer, battery and liquid. This can all be procured for around $50.00. But it really depends on your needs.   I have devices that run as high as $400.00 but not everyone needs that to stop smoking. There's a middle ground that I find to be the sweet spot. I've had the best results with packages that run around the $100.00 mark. They are easy to use and last a long time as long as the unit is maintained.  I'm big on safety.   I won't push a product on you that I don't feel you're ready for just to make a buck. I started with cigalikes, devices that resemble a cigarette, and have since moved on to high quality machined devices often referred to as Mods or PV's (personal vaporizers).

Where can we find First CIty Vape?

We are located at 742 Neeson Rd Ste. A in Marina. Right near the airport. Open Tue-Fri 10-6 and Sat 11-7. Stop by for a chat, taste some of the liquids we offer, and let us help you stop smoking and start vaping!

Stop by and LIKE us on Facebook at and on Instagram at @firstcityvape  and leqrn more about the products we carry on our website at

First City Vape is also hosting the 'Vape Out Hunger Food Drive' on May 31st at 9pm at Cannery Row Brewing Company.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

THRIVEing in the 831


Today were doing a very special writeup for the folks in Thrive.  Thrive is a quickly up and coming Reggae Band out of Santa Cruz. this last December they lost a member of their family, saxophonist Scott Schipper, to his 3 year battle with Cancer. Today their latest single ‘Broken’ which features the vocal stylings of the talented Hirie, is released on iTunes.  ‘Broken’ was the last song the band recorded with Scott at E.N. Youngs Imperial Sounds Studio.  Needless to say, this is a very special song release for the band.

Aaron Borowitz, guitarist for Thrive, says on their Blog This new song was inspired by a heartbreak I watched my close friend go through. I never knew how much it would resonate with me given the situation with Scott, but I know he would want us to continue this musical crusade of peace and love.”  Scott Schipper has left behind  legacy that his band mates and family carry on.  Not only did Scott love positive music, but he created Unify To Thrive (A Movement to Stop Cancer), a non profit which raises funds and awareness to help other young people with cancer.

Today we want to support this 831 band and the wonderful music and programs which they have created, and lend our support to them and ask the community to help them continue to Thrive!

You can find the new single ‘Broken’ on iTunes at:

You can learn more about Thrive at:

You can learn more about Unify to Thrive and how you can make a difference at:

Thrive is:

Aaron Borowitz- guitar and vocals
Kenneth Rogers- drums and vocals
Andrew Forgy - bass
Matt Masih - keyboards and vocals
Scott Schipper - Saxophone
Dan Herrera - Trumpet

Monday, April 14, 2014

New Music Monday meet Arden Park Roots

New Music Monday meet Arden Park Roots

As any of you who know me already know, I've been repping Arden Park Roots for a while now.  Not only do I love the music these boys make, I love these boys as well.  APR was one of the first bands I worked with and they have a special place in my heart.  Ty, Nick, Murf and Junior live hard, work hard and play even harder.  The APR boys are some of the most humble guys and I have much respect for that.  To me, a great band is not only the music but their character as well, and these guys have character in droves.  Were here to talk about the music though aren't we….so lets do that.

Tylers got a captivating voice.  It grabs you and pulls you in with real, relatable lyrics and a subtle sensuality that melts all the girls.  He has a stage presence that brings you along for the ride, involving the crowd and playing with his band mates. Tyler is a true entertainer.  Hats off to you Ty for that.  Nick sneaks up on you with a quickness as one of the best, most talented guitar players in the biz, always showing off and playing his ax over his head and tearing it up the whole show.  Spencer….always makes me smile and I dance because of him.  He rocks the bass line hard and steady on ol’ Mourning Wood (his bass) and has a smile that is beyond contagious as he rocks out on the stage.  Jason kills the drum set, every time.  Keeping the rhythm rocking and the beat moving.  Lastly, Matt….friend, driver, all around go to guy and an integral part of what happens in the APR world.  Gotta love Matty. No one could take better care of these guys, getting them from point A to point B swiftly, safely and with a vengeance.  Tearing up roads I didn't know he had it in him to drive and getting the band to some insane venues all across the country. He even does some vocals on the. new album

Tour Life.  Spring Tour for 'Burning the Midnight Oil' with James Cavern

Private Party.  Photo by: Patrice Ward

Livermore Regae Nights.  Photo by: Stage Media

As you can see, APR is a special band to me, and I hope they will be a special band for you...favorite songs…?  Green Anthem, When the Bulls Come Running, Under the Sun, What You Got To Lose and Contemplate to name a few…..Their 4th studio album is set to release this month. ‘Burning the Midnight Oil’  is highly anticipated and from what I have heard so far, the bands sound has progressed even further.  I am eagerly anticipating this one.  Turning it up loud on a long car adventure is the only way to listen to a new album.

To learn more about Arden Park Roots, you can follow them on their Social Media sites and Websites which I have listed below. Want to catch them in person?  They hit the 831 THIS SUNDAY (Easter) for their 4/20 show at Moes Alley in Santa Cruz with Zuhg and Animo.  Tickets are going fast for this one, so be sure to get them NOW while you can!

Arden Park Roots is:

Tyler Campbell - Lead Vox/Rhythm Guitar
Nick Ledoux "El Guapo" - Guitar
Spencer Murphy "Murf" - Bass
Jason Duvall - Drums

IG: @ardenparkroots
• Private BDay Party in Big Sur.  Photo by Patrice Ward •
Thank you to our friends at SkyHaus Studios for making New Music Monday possible.

Monday, April 7, 2014

New Music Monday meet Project: Out of Bounds

New Music Monday meet Project: Out of Bounds

Project: Out of Bound s (POB)is a hard hitting reggae fusion band out of San Diego.  As their name suggests, they are pushing the limits and boundaries of today's Reggae scene, and world perspective in general.  A self proclaimed “progressive reggae fusion” band, they are an eclectic bunch with musical influences ranging with everything from Bad Brains, Deftones, Buju Banton, Bob Marley, Eek-A-Mouse, Rage Against the Machine, Sublime, Cypress Hill, Slightly Stoopid, Ice Cube, Jimi Hendrix, Nirvana, Pink Floyd, Led Zepplin, Miles Davis...and the list goes on.

For the members of POB, being “Out of Bounds” means being free.  Having no rules, no boundaries.  Being outside of “the game” (“the game” being life).  Truly living, means playing music, and you can hear it in every song they play.

I have been listening to POB’s new album “Love Tone” pretty much non stop since we received it at the end of Feb.   The “Love Tone” intro, “Darlin’” and “Boom Bye Bye” are always in my head and my favorite songs on the album. I cant help but sing and shake my booty, even sitting down.  I can definfitly hear the myriad of musical influences that went into this album (as illustrated by the awesome graphic below).

Project: Out of Bounds has “a desire to inspire”, and they have definitely inspired me.  As i sit here writing this, I have “Love Tone” blasting in my speakers, my kids are dancing, and I am singing. If that doesn't qualify as inspiration, I don't know what does.

Project: Out of Bounds is playing in the 831 twice this week.  Weds night (4/9) you can find them at The Reef Bar and Restaurant in Santa Cruz, and Thurs(4/10) you can catch them at our very own 831 presents show here in Monterey at Cannery Row Brewing Co.  Show starts at 9 and is 21+.

POB is:

Kris Asgharzadeh - Vocals/Guitar
Austin Lorber - Guitar/Synth
Ryan Rutherford - Drums
Nate Jones - Bass
Evan Jones - Keys/Guitar
Jeff Hodson - Trombone/Vocals
Jack Taylor - Trumpet/Aux Percussion
Blaise Garza - Sax/Flute

You can find POB:

As always, thank you to our NMM Sponsors SkyHaus Studios in sunny Carmel Valley.