Thinking about an e-cig

See updates at bottom.
Just so you know, I've never smoked a cigarette in my life. I hate the way they smell and as a pipe and cigar smoker I'm not a fan of inhaling.

That said, my son Seth and I have been researching a new phenomenon called e-cigarettes. Why? Well, first off because we learned that they are available is pipe tobacco flavors, and secondly because North Carolina just enacted a non-smoking law that has made it impossible to smoke most everywhere. Seth and I are both geeks, so the idea of anything that has a battery is cool to us, so we started researching e-cigs on numerous forums and through about a billion Youtube videos.

Our interest was first piqued by a e-pipe, but upon closer examination we learned that the part of the pipe that does all the work is prone to wearing out. Not a good prize. Then we moved on to e-cigars. This was appealing because we both smoke cigars and what we read told us that they had larger batteries than the e-cigs (longer smoking sessions) and held more of the stuff that makes the smoke. But then we read the reviews and found that these units wern't much better than the pipes.

It was around this point that we learned that these units don't produce smoke at all, but rather a water vapor. The vapor is from a liquid which is refereed to as e-juice, and that this e-juice is available in a wide range of flavors that range from tobacco to food and even candy. The e-juice can have no nicotine or a range from low to high levels of nicotine. One more inportant point to get straight is because they don't actually "smoke", regular users of these things refere to using them as "vaping".

Then we had a mental break through. Why are we so anti e-cig? I guess it's because we don't like cigarettes. But these aren't cigarettes. If there was never such a thing as a pipe or a cigar or a cigarette, what would be the best shape for a e-cig? With that we decided that we wanted to accomplish several things:
  • We want to be able to "vape" hands-free while driving. Many of the units require the pressing of a button with each puff; while others are very large and cannot be held in the mouth without additional support from a hand.
  • We don't want to look like we're smoking a cigarette, so the color can't mimic a cigarette and we don't want a red LED on the end. Oh, I forgot to mention, they have an LED on the end to let you know that the battery is working when you puff. This way if you aren't getting vapor at least you know that it's not the battery's fault.
  • We want huge clouds of vapor. While some argue that any vapor that leaves your mouth is simply wasted flavor and nicotine, the way I see it is this is one of the best parts of pipe smoking, so it's a must.
  • Whatever kit we buy has to have at least two batteries.
The e-cig has three parts:
  • The battery
  • The atomizer, which is what vaporizes the e-juice
  • The cartridge, which the plastic bit which contains the e-juice
We've decided to buy a small kit with a workhorse of a e-cig atomizer called the 901. This style is generic and is available from a bunch of sites, but due to forum research we decided to buy it from a site called Totally Wicked (TW).

After making our decision to go with TW I registered to become a affiliate, and as such they are extending a 7 1/2% discount when I (or you) enter this discount code at check-out: 1F782

I'll let you know what I think, and may even do a video or two. Scott

Updated 2/11/10
After everything I said above I actually wound-up purchasing a kit from a company called In addition to changing my mind about the supplier I also went with a push button version. The more we studied the more we learned that the automatic e-cigs require a lot of sucking to get any decent amount of vapor. The push button units are supposed to "charge" with rapers when the button is pressed, and then you don't need to draw so hard. We'll see. Iordered the Joye 510 NoBox with USB Passthru for $62. It includes 2 complete Joye 510 cigarettes (2 atomizers and 2 batteries), 5 prefilled carts, 1 AC Charger, 1 USB passthru, and 2 accessories. This kit was on sale for $62, and shipping was free.

Also last night I ordered a sample kit of e-juice from Johnson Creek for $21.95 + shipping. I'm now $90 into this new hobby and I haven't even tried it yet! More to come.

Update 2/13/10
Got the Johnson Creek e-Juice today. Boy those bottles are TINY! In the photo they look to be about the size of a bottle of finger nail polish, but not so. These little suckers are about a 1/2" in diameter and about 1 3/4" tall. They did come packed in a nice tin and should provide several opportunities to taste test. Hopefully the e-cigs will arrive tomorrow because I'm heading out of town and would like to try them out between cheese steaks. (Can you guess where I'm going?)

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