« F%$k Off, Hosers! (The Post Where Russ from Winterset Declares War on Canada and Proposes a New National Holiday) | Main | Overnight Open Thread – The Annual Spring Summer Cleaning out of the Bookmarks – (genghis) »
June 29, 2009

Review, Kinda: The E-Cigarette

It's a kinda-sorta review because I've only had this thing three days and I barely even know how to smoke it yet.

But here are my first reactions.

First of all, if you smoke, you want this, ASAP. 1, Smoking is a killer, 2, our government is (of course) revving up the machinery to outlaw them to keep cigarette makers happy and the huge federal taxes on cigarettes flowing. So if you're going to get one, you should probably get one before prohibition and the black market mark-up.

I don't even think it really matters how "good" the e-cigarette is It's gotta be better than death.


If you don't know what these things are, they're electronic cigarettes. They're fake cigarettes -- a battery, an atomizer, and a cartridge containing liquid nicotine in a water solution. When you drag on the tip of the "cigarette," a tiny computer registers that, turns on the atomizer, which heats the liquid, turning it into a vapor, and then you draw that into your mouth and lungs.

Kinda like smoking a real cigarette, except there is no actual smoking or smoke. The process does not involve burning. It's heating the liquid into a vapor, but not burning anything. Critically, then, there is no smoke and no carcinogens (from what I understand) going into your lungs at all.

There's also no smoke smell. The vapor can have a tobacco flavor, but that flavor is artificial and added to the liquid to make it taste more like a cigarette. Nicotine itself has no smell or taste.

Supposedly you can take these into restaurants and into stores and even on airplanes and it's not illegal to "smoke" them because, again, you're not smoking anything. I tried doing it in a restaurant and store and didn't get anyone yelling at me, but maybe they just didn't notice.

So, are they really just like real cigarettes? So far, no, but that is partly because I haven't learned yet to correctly drag on the cigarette. It's actually a different mechanical process than dragging on a real one, and you have to condition yourself to draw slowly, smoothly, and for two or three seconds rather than sucking in in a quick intake, as with a cigarette. If you do that with an e-cigarette, you wind up either not getting any vapor at all, or getting a lot of vapor that doesn't actually make it into your mouth or lungs.

As I've consciously trained myself to draw on the e-cigarette properly, it's gotten more like a real cigarette, but I'm not going to lie to you: At best, it's a close substitute for a cigarette, but there is no getting around that word "substitute." It is an alternate nicotine delivery system which mimics some of the mechanics of cigarette-based nicotine delivery, but which remains stubbornly ersatz. (BTW: Maybe that will change: A lot of people seem to love the things, based on message board praises.)

On the other hand, it doesn't deliver the drawbacks of smoking, either, such as ever-escalating price and yellowed teeth and stinky clothes. And, oh, cancer. It's not as cheap as the makers claim -- they claim that a filled nicotine cartridge, costing around $1 or $2, equals a whole pack of cigarettes; in fact, it's more like half a pack, and maybe less for a beginning e-smoker. Still cheaper, but not as cheap as advertised.

Most manufacturers keep the nicotine content of their cartridges pretty low, and thus make it hard to get a real nicotine buzz going; but some manufacturers offer nicotine replacement fluid with a lot more kick. (150% or 200% the "High" nicotine content of most cartridges -- I'm about to buy the 150% one. I heard the 200% is way too strong.) That also means you tend to get less use out of each cartridge, as you puff more, trying to get more nicotine out of your fake Star Trek cigarette.

So far the thing is working okay for me. It's not so much a perfect cigarette replacement as advertised -- if I only cared about smoking, I'd stick with cigarettes. But it is a very good smoking-cessation product. I've had it three days and have had about four actual cigarettes per day since then. I haven't completely given up real cigarettes yet, but going from a pack and a half to two packs a day down to four cigarettes a day is pretty good. (Tomorrow, I'm going to do one. Just the morning cigarette, and no more.) Because it's so damn hard to to get a decent draw of nicotine out of the thing if you're 1) a novice and 2) using the low-nicotine cartridges that most manufacturers offer, I do have withdraw symptoms including patches of irritability and some occasional nicotine craving.

On the other hand, I'm not coughing and not waking up with nicotine-withdrawal headaches. (The latter because the device weans you off nicotine, just because it's hard to get a full dose of the stuff.)

Anyway, if you've heard of this and have been interested: I do have to recommend it. I have to let you down gently and tell you no, it's not as if you'll never miss a real cigarette or anything, but, again, it's much cheaper (excepting the $70-120 initial cost, which, really, is just two or three or four cartons of cigarettes at this point anyway).

The one I have, by the way, is the Smoking Everywhere basic model, the one they sell at malls. I don't know if I'd buy this particular model again -- as a heavier smoker, I think I'd've gone with the Titan model this woman recommends, for a big blast of vapor that might be able to pass for a real drag on a cigarette. Plus the Extra High Strength replacement nicotine fluid.

digg this
posted by Ace at 06:54 PM

| Access Comments




Recent Comments
Imperfect Logic: "That sick Muslim guy looks like the guy on the Tru ..."

Ladylibertarian: "WD--for a sucky ONT, this one is fantastic! ..."

lindameh now flinging poo: "If anyone has a few spare shekels to help out this ..."

josephistan: "In the blue-haired twit's defense, she probably is ..."

yankeefifth: "Eating nuts with table spoons of sugar, SUCKS. ..."

Ben Had: "Handel needs to have her ass on every stump in Geo ..."

Tammy al-Thor [/i][/u][/s]: "I think it's tongue in cheek... Posted by: bebe's ..."

Paolo: ">>>Mothers Don't Suck<<<Oh, beli ..."

Aetius451AD Work Laptop: "30 Okay.. I would love some feedback. Everyone kee ..."

Fritz: ">>>The guy with herpes who likes hanging ..."

Mr. Peebles: "[i]Democratic activists are trained to get their t ..."

Hadrian the Seventh: "[i]103K votes in 9% of districts? In a state of 1M ..."

Recent Entries
Search


MuNuvians
Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
News/Chat
Archives
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64