I’ve been pro-e-cigarettes since 2009 when a friend turned them on to me. Since that epic day, I have been smoking e-cigs, testing various brands, and composing reviews for forums that document experiences I’ve had with different battery types and cartridge flavors.
With the help of a friend, I finally have my own platform to discuss these amazing devices. I’m here to help separate rumors from truths, and really be honest about how e-cigs work.
Everyone asks me “John, what is the best electronic cigarette brand?”
That answer varies from person to person as we all have different tastes, financial limitations, and desires. So, this e-cigarette review blog is my attempt at providing an education.
All opinions are 100% mine, and your taste may vary. I’m always supportive of questions and inquiries from the audience, so please leave comments where applicable and I’m happy to help point you in the right direction.
Electronic Cigarette Reviews & How to Decipher Them
Are you new to the world of electronic cigarettes? Do you intend to use them to help you quit smoking cigarettes but you do not know where to begin? We have put together this FAQ to help answer all the questions a newbie could possibly ask.
We believe a FAQ is an excellent place to begin when you are unsure about a product or anything in general. We intend to help you understand the origins of electronic cigarette, how it works and whether you should adapt to this device or not.
What is an Electric Cigarette?
The electric cigarette is a revolutionary new device aimed at smokers to help them feel the same sensations by eliminating the combustion process of a paper cigarette.
This device aims to give the user the same experience they would otherwise have through a paper cigarette. Instead of smoke, however, these cigs produce vapor. This vapor is harmless and odorless.
Where and how this device came into being?
The history of these smokeless products goes as far back as 1963. Herbert Gilbert came with the design of a battery-powered e-cigarette that eliminated the use and burning of tobacco to produce smoke.
This design, however, was not tailored to produce vapor. The electronic cigarette we see today is a contribution made by Hon Lik, a pharmaceutical engineer from China.
Hon Lik, like many others around him, especially his father, was a heavy smoker. After the death of his father due to lung cancer, Hon Lik was afraid he would end up the same. He did not want to quit smoking, so he designed a device that would use vapor and eliminate the use of tobacco.
What are the different types of E-Cigs?
E-cigs are available today as a disposable, two-part and three-part design. Disposables come with factory charged batteries that are supposed to be thrown away after it finishes. Read our e-cig reviews as we cover this extensively.
The two-piece design consists of a battery and a cartomizer (a combination of cartridge and atomizer). This design is the industry standard today because it is easy to use and effective in every way.
The two-piece design (Bull Smoke uses this popular style, as does V2 Cigs) only requires the user to screw the battery with the cartomizer (a.k.a the mouthpiece) and start vaping.
When the individual runs out of the cartridge, he/she must obtain a new cartomizer from their brand. Cartomizers usually come in a 5 pack and one cartomizer lasts equal to a 20 pack of paper cigarettes.
The three-piece design consists of a battery, an atomizer, and a refillable cartridge. The design allows the refilling of the cartridge instead of getting a new one as soon as you run out. The benefit of this design is that it allows you to customize your experience.
You can purchase different refill bottles and atomizers or even batteries to combine and change your experience on the go. The disadvantage is that it requires a lot of ‘DIY’ and maintenance. E-liquid leakage is also possible due to the design.
How do these devices work?
The mechanism behind the smoke-free cigarette is very simple and straight forward. To understand how it works, you must first know the core parts of the device.
1. The battery. This is the 2-3 inch long part that “powers” the device.
2. The cartridge. This is screwed into the end (tip) of the e-cig, and it houses the liquid nicotine (e-liquid, e-juice.)
The battery is the core component. Most batteries are rechargeable. The battery consists of some circuitry and holds the lithium ion or other battery technologies inside it. Most batteries also come with a glowing tip which lights up when a user puffs on the cigarette.
Batteries can be both automatic and manual. A manual battery consists of a switch that a user must press in order for the vapor to be produced; the automatic battery does this automatically when the user puffs.
The cartridge is the part where the flavor and nicotine is. The mixture inside the cartridge is made up of water and propylene glycol. Depending on the style and brand you are using, the cartridge can either be replaced or refilled.
The atomizer is the part where the heating takes place. The atomizer is basically near to the cartridge so whenever it heats up, it turns the liquid inside the cartridge into a vapor.
What are the known Health Risks of e-cigarette Smoking?
This is a very controversial question. The health standards have still not accepted electric cigs as a 100% health safe product. This is because the device has only been available in the market for less than 10 years and there aren’t any long term studies.
Many researchers and scientists refuse to study the health implications of the product because of its immaturity. There are debates everywhere, but when you break down the carcinogen count versus tobacco cigarettes, there is a very strong argument that e-cigs could be much, much safer.
As a general understanding, an electric cigarette does not produce smoke as a result of combustion. So typically saying, it is safer than tobacco burning in all aspects. The main ingredients inside are propylene glycol and water. Both of these are sold inside other products too which are guaranteed safe.
Why is an electronic cigarette preferred over tobacco cigarettes?
Because of its unique mechanism, the vapor produced does not smell or harm others. This is why smokers who have been often criticized for being smelly or harming others, have chosen to use the device.
Additionally, smoking causes many serious health issues that are life-threatening, but some other health issues like the changing of teeth color and hard lips have become a popular reason for many people to quit paper cigarettes and use vapor cigarettes.
Can Vapor Cigarettes be used in smoke-free establishments?
Yes, because they only produce odorless and harmless vapor. This enables the user to use the device anywhere they please. Because no combustion is involved, you do not need to light the e-cigarette before you smoke. So in places where highly flammable products are available, you could still use an electronic cigarette without worry.
Some e-cig brands try to replicate the style of the paper cigarette. It is advised that if you plan to puff on an e-cig in places where the paper cigarette is banned, you should consider getting a branded e-cig that does not replicate the look of the paper cigarette in order to avoid confusion.
There are so many brands – are they all compatible?
No. You may have come across hundreds of different e-cigs but not all of them are identical to each other. As discussed earlier, they are sold in different designs and styles. The core mechanism of the e-cig battery, however, remains the same.
I explain all of the types of e-cigs that are similar, compatible, and different on this blog. However, I also found another site that keys in on finding the best electronic cigarette, and you may want to check out for more information. It’s been around a while and seems to have a nice presentation.
What about Nicotine – do they have Nicotine?
No, and yes. This s YOUR choice. E-cigs are sold without nicotine, but the most popular brands boast most of their sales contain 1.8% nicotine. (Full flavor.)
What are the different nicotine strengths?
Nicotine strengths are usually available in four variants:
- 0mg, (nicotine free.)
- 4-8mg, lights. Ideal for casual or social smokers. This strength gives the identical sensation of ‘Ultralights’ paper cigarette.
- 10-14mg, medium. Satisfies the need for ‘Lights’ paper cigarette.
- 16-24mg, full. This is the complete and full nicotine option intended for heavy or chain smokers. Satisfies the needs of ‘Full flavor and hard’ paper cigarettes.
How long does a single cartridge last?
The cartridge life depends on how much you smoke. Typically, a cartridge can last up to 60-80 puffs before it goes completely out of the liquid. Using a manual battery can change the number of puffs significantly because you can then control the amount of vapor produced. The more vapor you allow the cigarette to produce, the more liquid will be used.
A single cartridge is aimed to give you several sessions of vaping. For example, a single cartridge is equal to 20 cigarettes. This is general and depends on how much a strong session you go through.
For example, if you are using a manual cigarette and your sessions include long and hard puffs, your cartridge will run out before the intended life. Similarly, if you puff lightly and don’t enjoy strong intake, you will see that your cartridge may even outlast the intended sessions.
It is really important for you to choose the right strength level before you buy your cartridges. If for example, you get an ultralight equivalent cartridge but find yourself smoking more, it is advised that you settle for a stronger cartridge.
What to look for when buying a starter kit?
When selecting the right brand for you, the above information will come in quite handy. But for those who do not want to go through this information, let us just briefly put it up for you:
You should look for:
- Battery type (manual, auto, small, big)
- Cartomizer (the flavor and the nicotine strengths offered)
- Price (some cigarette models are very expensive compared to others)
- Money back guarantee
- Lifetime warranty
How much can you expect to pay?
There are several brands available today that I have tried and recommend. But for some people, it all comes down to value. In order to score a great deal, look for brands that offer great starting kits.
If you are an advanced electronic cigarette user, you can also consider getting the parts individually. Every manufacturer sells the parts necessary to operate the cigarette separately. These parts are usually available in the ‘accessories’ section of their sales website.
Right now, the most effective, cost-friendly starter kit is the V2 Cigs Starter Kit. It sells for a starting price of $34.95 to $149.95, marked down from $74. That’s a HUGE deal.
What to avoid when buying a starter kit?
There are several brands who excel in quality, but that does not mean everyone uses the same quality standards. Make sure that the brand you are choosing from is using state of the art technology.
Don’t just go on the presentation of the brand; dig in the reviews and what people are saying about a certain brand before you buy from them.
Is there a specific age you must be in order to use an e-cig?
Yes. You must be 18 years or older in order to purchase and use any electric cigarette device.