Sound engineer, vejpare and aspiring smoke machine

Music stage smoke machines and traditional e-cigarettes actually work the same way. It involves heating a water-soluble liquid, consisting of glycerine and water, and mixing it with air.
But sound engineer and vejpar Micke Thenor, who travels around the country behind the mixing tables of all kinds of artists, has discovered that you can't really replace one with the other - the hard way...

Like many others, Micke gave up cigarettes a few years ago and switched to vejpning instead. He has fallen in love with the larger models - "DTL" - meaning "direct to lung" - and likes to blow out big clouds of vapour around him. Like a smaller kite, actually. But he hasn't smoked since 2017.

How did you come to start vejpa?

- It was through a good friend who I knew was doing that. He had started working in a vejp shop. I had heard a bit about it, but it's always like that with new things, that it can be quite nerdy and you don't want to look stupid not knowing anything. So I was a little hesitant at first.

It doesn't seem like a sound engineer would shy away from technical nerdiness?   

- Haha, no, that's true. But I have more than enough other technology, so I buy as ready-made stuff as I can and do not make my own coils or so. I trusted my friend's judgement and got a starter kit. Since then I have continued. It was probably around 2017, I think.

Smoky clubs

Micke Thenor has been travelling the world as a professional sound engineer for about 21 years. The number of hours he has spent in various clubs and concert halls is hard to count, he says. But 21 years ago puts us before the smoking ban in pubs introduced in 2005. Things were really different then," Micke Thenor recalls.

- It was completely hopeless to stand in that environment, even if you smoked yourself back then. The clubs were foggy with smoke. But on the other hand, you didn't really need as much "haze" as you do now, because it was so smoky anyway. But it smelled like hell," says Micke Thenor.

Same as a smoke machine

The mist created in club smoke machines is usually made up of glycerol and a little water. And as vejp aficionados know, a vejp juice contains the same ingredients glycerol and water but propylene glycol. However, despite the fact that a vejp produces similar vapour to a smoking machine, the use of e-cigarettes is strictly forbidden in public places, while smoking machines are used every so often.

- During the last tour I was on, with Albin Lee Meldau, I used to check with the house engineers during soundcheck if they had switched off the fire alarm - so we could use the smoke machine for the light. When I got a "yes" I started vejpa. But then they always came running and said "no, no, no you can't do that in here". Then I used to explain that a vejp emits basically the same vapour as the smoke machine. Sometimes they buy it and sometimes they don't," laughs Micke.

But during the concerts themselves, can you vejpa?

- Yes, when I run a monitor I can do that. Because there's so much smoke on stage anyway, so it's not visible. But if I'm front of house, in the middle of the audience, it's more difficult."

"Almost made a mess"

Running a monitor means simply managing the sound of the musicians on stage, and "front of house" is sound engineer lingo for the usual mixer position. Now, of course, Micke's job is to just run the sound. The lights on stage - including the smoke machine - are actually run by a lighting technician. But that doesn't mean he can't make himself useful when needed anyway. 

- At some point during that tour, the smoke machine stopped working, so I puffed and puffed and tried to compensate with my vejp from one side of the stage - but it went like that. After a few minutes I almost passed out from the nicotine intake," Micke says with a laugh.

"Do not breathe smoke"

But he knows others who have taken it one step further.  

- I have actually had a colleague who tried running smoke fluid in his vejp. I do not want to try it myself as I think it does not taste so good. Then there are different fluids and such for different machines of course - so it's really not something I recommend anyone to try. (No, No! NO! Jeez! ed. note)

Tip Vejpkollen!

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3 Comments on “Ljudtekniker, vejpare och aspirerande rökmaskin

  1. I started vejpa on a trial basis a year and a half ago because my cigar smoking simply became too expensive. I have smoked cigars for over 30 years and have never felt like quitting. The goal with the e-cig was to remove the everyday smoking of cigars but still take an occasional, slightly better cigar on the weekend. After some wandering around the vejp world, I have found both e-cigs and liquids that suit me. I save around SEK 3,000/month by skipping the everyday cigar and instead vejpa and it is probably less unhealthy even if I would like to see more research in the future, not least how we are affected by the vapours from the propylene glycol (approved in food but then you do not evaporate it).
    As a 66-year-old, I can feel a bit lost in the vejp stores that are more like candy stores and I understand critics who say that young people/children are a focus group for e-juice manufacturers. It's a shame because it will mean regulations and possible bans in the future. For me, the vejp is a great substitute for the everyday gadgets. I vejp like I smoke cigars, i.e. I light my mouth without puffing and I enjoy it.

    1. (Propylene glycol) Has been included in asthma/carbon inhalers for 50 years.
      It is used to dissolve the active substance so that it can be sprayed into the airways.
      When the government was about to vote on an ANDTS legislation, last time. The one that was voted down because it wanted to ban vejp, there were some interesting consultation responses.
      The FHM dissected vejp and found that apart from nicotine, the only concern was the flavouring, but as they said, it is in small quantities that it can be considered negligible.

  2. As K-Å Johansson says, (PG) propylene glycol has been in various medicines for a long time and acts as a carrier for other medicinal or aromatic substances. PG works well for our mucous membranes in the oral cavity and throat and also has an anti-bacterial effect.
    We learnt this information during a conference in London in 2013. At the same time, authorities in Sweden have and are still discussing what 1TP8Vapour contains.
    This was confirmed on 25 March 2015 in an interesting study published by Konstantinos Farsalinos. The study shows a surprising result about heavy metals. About 665 - 77500 times higher in an asthma inhaler vs. an e-cigarette of about 9 - 13 watts. Read more.
    "For example, we don't think about our air in urban traffic when we take our children to buy ice cream".
    It's about limit values for what our bodies can handle. So if an asthma inhaler contains so much more heavy metals that is also approved by the Medical Products Agency and FHM, we can with good conscience vejpake it easy, I think!

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