IMPORTANT THINGS/LINGO TO KNOW BEFORE READING
The parts of E-Cigarette
- A cartridge – holds the nicotine or juice/liquid
- An Atomizer – heats up the liquid to produce the vapor
- A battery – usually the longer part of the e-cigarette to make the atomizer heat up
- LED – lights up when you inhale, usually blue or red, but comes in other colors such as pink
Types of E-Cigarettes
- Super Mini
- Pipe (not shown in picture)
Terms used by E-smokers:
Vape, Vaping – This is the use of an e-cigarette. To take a drag or inhale the vaporized liquid.
Vapor – The vapor emitted from the e-cigarette when inhaled. This would be “smoke” for a regular cigarette.
E-Juice – The Liqiud Nicotine used to refill your e-cigarette cartridge.
Throat Hit – This is often said for the tingling sensation at the back of your throat when you inhale an e-ciagrette. This would be overlooked with a normal cigarette because it is normal for every brand, but with different brands of e-cigarettes this experience will differ.
Pull – The act of sucking on the mouthpiece of pull the vapor into your mouth.
Fogger – Another name for the E-Cigarette.
Analog – A cute name for traditional cigarettes like Marlboro.
This will hopefully give you a good vernacular for E-cigarettes as we continue with this guide. Feel free to refer to anything above or ask questions if the things below still do not make sense to you.
WHAT DO I NEED TO START?
After reading up on the idea of an E-cigarette and what it was, I was very interested in buying one. But how do you buy an E-cigarette and make sure you have the right things to replace your current cigarette addiction!? Any smoker will tell you, a day without cigarettes is a very difficult day indeed.
When I switched I was on the patch, so I definately didn’t want to be put in the situation where I would have to buy a pack of cigarettes if my supplies ran out or I had a hardware malfunction. I enjoyed smelling again!
Most sites offer “Starter Kits”. A Starter Kit usually consists of:
2 x Batteries (sometimes one, sometimes 3)
2 x Atomizers (if it is a 3-piece model)
1 x charger and plug
5 x cartridges (or cartomizers for the 2-piece model)
This is a great place to start, especially if you want to give one to a friend or split the price. Essentially you are getting two e-cigarettes in a kit with two batterys and 2 atomizers. Remember though, as with all electronics, there is a failure rate, so I recommend keeping both for yourself incase something breaks. This way you are never in a situation where you have to buy regular cigarettes because your e-cigarette is broken.
So what else do you need?
If you are using the 3-piece design, you should grab a 10 ml bottle of E-Juice. This is enough to refill a cartridge (depending on how heavy a smoker you are) for about 100-160 cigarettes worth! They usually retail for about 10$. Now imagine the money you are saving on costs per month with that!
So to summarize: With a starter kit and a bottle of E-Juice you will be good to go for about 1 and a half to 2 weeks respectively. Your batterys recharge and you have two of them, so when using one you have another on backup, if an atomizer dies you have two so you can replace it while you send in the other for repairs or you wait on a shipment of a new one, and you have liquid to refill your cartridges!
HOW MUCH SHOULD I SPEND?
The # 1 thing I noticed was price differences. Why were some sites $150 and some $50? The real reason is because some sites take advantage of those who have not seen anything other than word of mouth or a news broadcast about these things and think, hell $150 must be a good price and it is on sale. The truth is these ALL come from China and are resold in the states. The Manufacturers usually sell these for 17-22 dollars per in bulk. I wouldn’t recommend buying from China though, with the FDA and customs snooping, this can be more trouble than a few extra bucks, and hey, that is how our economy works, the supplier gets a deal to give it to you.
But regardless don’t get fooled!
With the 3-piece models, anything above $80 is usually a rip off (but like any good buyer check your options, what the starter kits include and warranty options). You can usually get them shipped for below $80 with some refills of E-Liquid to boot!
2-piece e cig starter kits are usually from $70 to $130. For $70 you can get a decent V2 Cigs. But if you want superior quality and taste, you should pay $130 for Green Smoke’s Pro Kit.
Expect to spend a little more money upfront than you will in the long run. You are paying for the original parts first, but after you own the e-cigarette you only need replacement parts and refills of the E-Liquid, keeping your prices down respectivly below 30$ a month! You save a lot of money compared to smoking traditional cigarettes!
***Some products are name brands and some are generic. Most people have found generic to be JUST AS GOOD if not the same as NAME BRANDS. So the price diff is up to you! ***
WHICH ONE DO I WANT?
If you are like me, an ex smoker, then you probably are looking at an e-cigarette that is as close to the real thing as possible, in looks and size. However keep this in mind that the smaller it is the more you need to refill and charge the batteries. Since first trying e-ciagrettes I have changed over to a mini style e-cigarette over a super mini.
It is inbetween the Mini DSE901 size and the super mini NJOY NPRO style. That doesn’t bother me, plus it is lighter than the NJOY NPRO super mini. You realize as you go along that you don’t need it to look like a cigarette. I think my biggest worry was fitting in on smoke breaks and not looking weird, well you will still be asked questions about what it is regardless of size and color, so might as well have the one that lasts longer with better battery/cartridge life. Plus I find my Janty Dura to be lighter and feel better in my hand than the super mini NJOY NPRO. Many people on forums etc tell you ex smokers will have to get the one closest to a cigarette first and this is true, but we all switch.I still have my super mini for special occasions when I want to blend more.
So if you still want the smaller, lookalike you have two viable options here! (keep this in mind, none of these are the same size as a cigarette and are all closer to a WIDE cigarette at a 100 length. Their weight is also variable).
I will now give youa break down of the Minis and Super Minis I would recommend!
1. Cigarette Look Alike
This is certainly the best 2-piece model you can find. Greate taste, lots of vapor, cartomizers and batteries last for a long time. But the price is quite high as well.
If you are a bit tight on budget, get yourself V2 Cigs. Vapor production and taste is great. Just that the quality is not that high as compared to Green Smoke. Also the cartomizers run out much more quickly.
Specific Details for these Models:
The battery life with two batteries will last you a day if you were a pack a day smoker. You will just need to keep on charging while the other is in use. They do last about 3 hours with smoke breaks every 30 min.
The nicotine cartridges last for about a pack of cigarettes at best from what I have seen. Well, Green Smoke is more than a pack, V2 is less than a pack. Most sites say they last more, but I am a pretty wussy smoker and do not pull hard and by the 4th or 5th cigarette equivalent I am not getting the hit I need off them and need to replace them.
The extra cartridges can be bought prefilled from the producers later on.
The great part about these smaller cigarettes is they are easy to carry around in your pocket and they do not draw as much attention in the smoker crowd, although personally I have yet to NOT be asked a million questions while smoking an e-cigarette in general. So if you do not mind spending a little extra to be free from hassle, then this will work out well for you!
2. Mini (Janty Dura, DSE901, RN)
- Heats lots of vapor. This feels more like a real cigarette when inhaling.
- Well balanced in your hand
- Comes with a portable charger that can replace the need for a case and pack of smokes in your pocket. Also keeps my battery charged all day
- Easy to refill.
- It does seem to have some problems with liquid dripping out easier than other models. Janty has said they are working on resolving this and have new cartridges being made.
- Batterys seem to be iffy on holding a charge. Also something Janty is looking into.
Janty Dura – Jantyusa.com
The Janty DURA holds about 8-12 Cigarettes worth easy with its larger cartridge. It also has a rounded mouth piece instead of a rectangular one. It only comes in black with a blue LED and a gold seal in the middle. It actually fits in the hand very nicely with a wonderful balance. The size difference doesn’t bother me as much as I thought it would after getting the super mini.
I have to say this is my favorite 3-piece so far, it is lighter than my super mini, and it looks smaller because of the black and design. I love the way the vapor comes out of this thing. It isn’t harsh and it heats it more than my super mini. I would have to say until further notice this is my main e-smoke.
WHERE TO BUY:
Just head over to the web sites. It’s easy to buy online, and the delivery is usually fast.
Ok so now you know where to buy them!
UPKEEP and ACCESSORIES
As you can see the e-cigarettes are a little complex to start out. They require refills, part replacement, and maintenance. However if you think of the time you spend going to the store for smokes or activities related, you spend about the same amount of time with either. The difference is you need to learn how to do it all unlike a cigarette and a lighter. So read over this document and I think you will be good to go. It is really quite simple. Liquid, Battery, Cartridge, Atomizer, Charger, and you are good to go.
E-Cigarette liquids are composed of:
“PG or propylene glycol is an organic compound (a diol alcohol), usually a faintly sweet, odorless, and colorless clear viscous liquid that is hygroscopic and miscible with water and acetone. Propylene glycol is recognized as generally safe by the Food and Drug Administration. It is used in food coloring, and flavoring, as an additive to keep food, medicines and cosmetics moist, and in machines that simulate smoke. Propylene glycol functions to provide the vapor mist that looks like smoke and to suspend flavor”
“An alkaloid found in the nightshade family of plants (Solanaceae) which constitutes approximately 0.6-3.0% of dry weight of tobacco, with biosynthesis taking place in the roots, and accumulating in the leaves. It functions as an antiherbivore chemical with particular specificity to insects; therefore nicotine was widely used as an insecticide in the past, and currently nicotine analogs such as imidacloprid continue to be widely used.”
How do I know my MG count of Nicotine?
This is a very common question, especially for smokers who want to replace their intake of nicotine with these.I smoked a pack a day and find that 11-16 mg (usually the medium or high amount on websites) works great. For people who smoke half a pack a day I would suggest 6-11 mgs max For people who occasionally smoke you may want 0 mgs or the lower 6mg content.? If these do not work you can always go higher, but I suggest starting lower and moving to a higher dose if need be, that way you don’t become even more addicted to it. You can ALWAYS smoker for longer.
Another way to gauge is look at the nicotine patch doses.Nicotine patches come in several dosages, for example, 21, 14, and 7 mg, so that users can phase out nicotine use. A cigarette delivers roughly 1 mg of nicotine, so someone who used to smoke a pack (20 cigarettes) per day or more could start with the “Step I” 21 mg patch, while someone who smoked less could start with “Step II”. I was on the patch for ahwile after being a pack a day smoker and step 1 MESSED ME UP, I had to start on step 2 and I was fine, even then I was jittery.
Are you nervous about buying liquid nicotine? Think perhaps the ones that are prefilled are better because you may over fill your own and possibly give yourself nicotine poisoning?
Well, refilling is actually quite easy. Sure it is a routine and something you will need to do if you choose this path, but it is the same as scrounging for change or looking for the lighter for your regular cigarette. It probably takes less time too. Not to mention the money saved.
You have two options, you can buy empty cartridges for your e-cigarette and fill them with a Liquid of your choice or you can use your prefilled cartridges and top them off when needed. Either way you need the Liquid. Some people like to buy syringes to break up the cotton like swab a bit to hold more liquid and fill it from the bottom up. This is not a bad method but you do not need to do this if you just drip the liquid into the cotton until it doesn’t seem like it is absorbing anymore. Worst case scenarios is if you fill it too much it will drip a little and can get in your mouth for the first few pulls, but nothing fatal.
There are a bunch of youtube videos that will show you how to refill using a syringe and just using the bottle itself if you still have questions.
Where to buy liquids:
The best place I have found for liquids is JantyUSA.com they have a very wide selection of flavors and helpful descriptions. They also come in nice dropper bottles that you can use to fill the cartridges without the need for a syringe.
I have also heard that johnsoncreeksmokejuice.com is a good place for liquids and they have all the materials you would need, such as liquid, syringes, and tweezers. I have not tried it yet so I cannot speak first hand but something to note is their liquid comes in two types, one WITH the polyglycol and one without. So if that chemical doesn’t float your boat there is an alternative. Also just keep in mind some people find their liquids to be a little thinner.
These are the holders for the liquid nicotine. On smaller models they are usually the mouthpiece as well, which is nice because it can be replaced easily. Some sites sell these for about 75cents each and depending on the e-cigarette you buy can last from 5 cigarettes to a pack and a half.
These can also be bought without liquid in them and refilled manually and re-used.
You can also clean these by pulling out the cotton, rinsing, and then drying.
The internal of a cartridge is made of Polyester Batting! This means you can go to a fabric store or local walmart and pick up a roll of it for about 7$’s for a 5 foot roll. This could last you a year! (It is the exact same thing as the cores in what you buy, 100% polyester batting, there is no difference, it is the same stuff by all accounts. You just cut a piece and stick it in your cartridge and there is no need to ever buy blanks.)
Pretty self explanatory. Battery life differs depending on cigarette brand. The super minis usually last for about 3 hours use and the larger the e-cigarette usually the longer the battery. These batteries do degrade over time so you will eventually have to replace them, some say they can be charged about 300 times before they are dead.
This is the heart of the e-cigarette. This part heats up and converts the liquid into vaporizes nicotine. These can be cleaned and/or replaced. They have a tendency to degrade and die over time. So they will eventually have to be cleaned.? Some side effects of a dirty atomizer or one that needs replacement is a burnt smell/taste when smoked with, less vapor being created, or not producing enough heat to make any vapor.
HOW TO CLEAN:
Do not use boiling water, it can damage the atomizer.
The quick change in temperature of the different parts van give in some brands problems of fitting.
The chrome ring at the end of the tube can come lose with risk of broken wires and a dead atomizer. For the cigarette models only clean the atomizer part in this way.
1 – Let the warm water flow in the atomizer an turn it upside down. repeat this several times.
2 – In the meanwhile fill a cup with the warm water and drop the atomizer in the cup. leave it there for half an hour
3 – then go to step 1 again. do this cycle 3 times.
4 – if it is OK the water stays clean with no smell.
5 – then shake the water out the atomizer en put the atomizer on a warm place to dry. (very gentle blow excess water out can help a little)
6 – only when you are really sure it is dry put some drops (6 -8) of Liquid in the atomizer.
You Must do this, before placing battery or trying to smoke!!!? If you start smoking a really clean and dry atomizer, the heating wire inside will overheat and the atomizer will die! SO after putting the drops of Liquid on the atomizer wait for a few minutes for the atomizer mesh to soak the Liquid. Now enjoy you’re NEW atomizer.
Remark: Every atomizer is filled with some Liquid before leaving the factory to prevent overheating a dry atomizer.
Remark 2: If You really want to clean a Cigar, Cigarillo or Pipe atomizer you can dot it in the same way, BUT in this atomizers is some electronics and a microchip. So for this types leaving it to dry before placing the battery is even more important.
Also always start these types with some drops of liquid, and wait a while before you start smoking.
If you do not have a bottle of Liquid, you can extract some from a cartridge. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVJ2XJp-EX4
E-Cigarettes are still not completely tested for safety but just looking at the way they work versus smoking, they seem like a hell of a better option if you were to continue smoking. They may also be a great way to quit, but that depends on you just as it would if you went on the patch or took medication. For me I wanted the social part back without the cancer. This provides that for the time being. The clinical results are still awaiting release. It is interesting to note the results will be from New Zealand and they just allowed the e-cig for use there. So maybe they know something we don’t? Hope this was helpful! Good luck!