e-cigs ;-)

So, as many of you who know me are aware, I am a big fan of e-cigarettes. I’m not sure I understand how I managed without them. I’m one of the people who likes the mildly psychoactive effects of nicotine, especially when combined with caffeine, but I don’t like conventional delivery systems of it very much – I’ve never tried chewing tobacco, but just looking at it makes my stomach do a slow roll to the left. I like the taste of clove cigarettes, but smoking more than a few a week makes my lungs feel like they’re being used for target practice. Regular cigarettes have a whole long list of down sides, including that they smell awful and that repeated use of them makes me feel even more like death when I wake up than I already do.

Enter the e-cig. Repeated use doesn’t make me feel sick, they don’t smell awful, and with my newest vendor they’re even available in lots of fun flavors. And they’re about 1/4th the operating cost.

Technologically, they’re very simple devices. A lithium battery, a pressure-sensing membrane, a small microcontroller that does battery and thermal management, and a cartridge with some liquid and a small heating element. You still get the same gesturing-and-oral-fixation fun of a regular cigarette, and the sense of something moving into and out of your mouth, but they taste good. No, really. And you never have to light them, a big safety plus when you’re smoking while driving. They’re instant-on-instant-off, so you can just drop ’em in your pocket when you step indoors.

For a long time, I used Mistics, but they have been having serious supply chain management issues lately – first they were no longer available on the web, and then you couldn’t buy them at any of their listed local retailers. So I’ve switched to South beach smoke. I have to say, their product is a big step up. It’s somewhat more expensive, especially for the battery packs, but it’s better designed – the air doesn’t draw all the way through the battery, making a much easier drag, and the end cap is captive instead of plastic that can come off. (I assume in case of a battery runaway it would still pop off to vent). Their chargers are better designed – with mistic, you must plug the charger into power first and then screw the cig in, with south beach, the charger repeatedly drops the charge current in order to ‘poll’ the battery to see it’s stage of charge. Way safer, too, if you think about it. And they have flavors. Lots of them, and they never seem to be backordered. My favorites are Chocolate, Cherry, Pina Colada (even though it keeps getting that song stuck in my head), and Peach. So far I’ve only found one flavor (Tobacco Gold) that I didn’t like.. it’s awful in a chemically, artificial sweetener sort of way. But their blue and traditional flavors are quite nice.

I’ve also found the folks at South Beach to be very helpful – while I did have one battery arrive DOA (it would trip the overcurrent limit on the USB charger, and on a AC charger would just sit at ‘charging’ forever), they sent me *two* replacements for it, no questions asked.

So, if you’re a smoker (if there’s anyone left in the world that will admit they are), you ought to try ’em out. All of the nicotine, none of the cancer. 😉

I do have to wonder, with WA’s new marajuana legalization, is a THC e-cig in the works? 😉 I wouldn’t use one if it did exist – I already have enough trouble with paranoia without adding chemical help – but it would be a neat product to see.

2 Responses to “e-cigs ;-)”

  1. Clint Says:

    You really should look into dripping your own. Not only does it save money, but it’s fun mad scientist stuff, and you get more say in your product.

    Blank cartridges are $0.25…. And I often leave the same one in for weeks because I just re-drip on it.

    And 76mg/ml ejuice can be gotten in a huge bottles:

    $59.99 = 100mL * 76mg/mL
    = 7,600mg nicotine
    = 126mg/$1.00 or 1.27c/mg –

    Throw in some Lorann flavorings ($1 in-person at Wal-Mart, $1.50-$3 online) and you can pick ANY flavor you want. Hundreds of choices.

    Also the prices at your sites seem high. I never pay more than $10 for a battery, and never more than $7 for an atomizer.

    And if you don’t have a USB passthrough ($9-10)… It’s an order of magnitude better, but of course it’s not portabe.

    ArloECig has cheap atomizers
    e-smokeytreats has cheap batteries, cheap blanks (cheaper if you get ’em from China but i do’nt want to do that)

    Also I think the batteries where you have to push a button to use it are actually better, as you can hold the button down for a second first, so it’s warmed up BEFORE you puff.


  2. Sheer Says:

    Good input there, Clint. I can’t really make rolling my own carts at my hourly rate make a lot of sense (and leftover time is not something I find myself with a lot of), although there is something to be said for it from a not-wasting-resources standpoint and the whole idea of trying to cobble up my own flavors or trying some of the hundreds you describe does have some appeal.

    I know the SBS batteries are more expensive, but I do think they are higher quality batteries in there. (Not all lithium cells are created equal). Certainly they have a lower internal resistance, which means they charge faster, run longer, and run cooler than the Mistic (and I assume your batteries).

    But it’s good to know where I can get the parts to roll my own if I ever decide to. And I will buy one of the manual firing batteries to see how I like it. It would be neat to have the mist start immediately on inhale, although I also love the no-worries-hands-free operation of the automatic flavor.

    USB ports are not something I’m short of 😉 I have seven easily reachable ones from where I’m sitting, not counting all the ones on the backs of things.

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