20.Jan.2010 Review: Health – E Cigarette

While trolling the World Wide Web for critique fodder, I stumbled upon jennyreviews.com, a self-proclaimed authority for “reliable” and “unbiased” reviews. Based on their glowing evaluation of the Loud N’ Clear, the site just has to be legit.

One stand out article sang the praises of something called Blu. This was the first I’d ever heard of electronic cigarettes. Though I couldn’t find an actual TV commercial for Blu, I did happen upon an ad for EZ Smoker, a rival in the electronic cigarette field.

Because I avoid the mall like it has visible coldsores, I wasn’t aware that the lithium ion battery-powered “smoking’ gadgets were sold at two separate kiosks there.

I asked my buddy behind the counter of the Tobacco City Cigarette Outlet about electronic cigarettes. He pulled one out of a display case and handed it to me so I could get a better look. Health – E Cigarette. Hmmmm…. intriguing.

I remember the day well. December 22nd. The Tuesday before Christmas.

I bought two packs of cigarettes. As I walked back to my car from the shop, I promised myself that if Santa Claus didn’t bring me one of these new-fangled smoking cessation mechanisms, I’d get one myself the morning of the 26th. I also swore that the two packs I held in my hand would be the last I’d purchase evermore.

It wasn’t the first time I’d made that vow to myself. I’ve been a smoker for my entire adult life. For at least the past decade, I have tried quitting on too many occasions to count. Nicotine inhaler? Used one in college, thanks to my older sister. Nicotine gum? Yup. Tried that. Once. Cold turkey? Check. The step-down method with low nicotine and nicotine-free cigarettes? Attempted that, also. No success with any of these methods.

I fulfilled half of the pledge the morning of December 26th. I burned the last cancer stick in the box while en route to Tobacco City. Upon my arrival, I bought the Health – E Cig and a ten pack of flavor cartridges. I went back home and plugged the device into the wall outlet….

***************************************************************

First, the positives.

The Health – E Cigarette is the same general length of a normal cigarette. It’s a tiny bit wider, but not off by a significant degree. When the “filter” is inhaled, the tip glows red. And, upon exhaling, a fairly sizable vapor cloud is released.

Some of these points may seem dumb. I’d argue that they’re necessary. I can’t pinpoint what it is, psychologically speaking, that makes cigarettes so appealing. The plume of smoke may be what makes it alluring. Maybe it’s the feel of the tube between the thumb and index finger. Maybe, just maybe, it’s the reassuring glow of the tip. I think it’s commendable that the Health – E Cigarette pays so much attention to detail in its reproduction of a tobacco cigarette. These close similarities make it more gratifying than an inhaler, gum, or (I’m assuming) the nicotine patch.

Another positive aspect is that the flavor and nicotine level can be regulated. If I’m looking for full flavor with little or no nicotine, this contraption makes that possible. This distinguishes it from Quest cigarettes…. which actually DID help tremendously in efforts to curtail smoking. However, the nicotine-free cigarette that they manufactured came in only one flavor… which was similar to sawdust-encrusted buttholes. When given the choice between rich tobacco flavor and sawdusty sphincter flavor, the normal cigarette won out. Every time. Without fail.

Speaking of flavors, the disposable E Cigarette cartridges come in a wide variety to appeal to most tastes. So far, I’ve tried only the cartridges that were supplied with the charging unit, which are of undiscernable type, and strawberry-flavored cylinders. Today I received a shipment of four additional cartons — cherry, vanilla, coffee, and chocolate.

My guess is that the chocolate cartridges are passable for chocolate. Not a perfect substitute, but an ample one. Otherwise, I could use the E Cig as a cessation device for both smoking and fudge.

Oh, how I love fudge.

Each year, I request the same Christmas gift from my Mother-in-law. She makes a fudge ring decorated like a wreath. Here’s a picture of this year’s cocoa wreath taken two days after I received it:

Notice how there's not much left

Notice how there's not much left

I amend my previous statement.

Most years I ask my Mother-in-law for a fudge ring. This year I told her I wanted five fudge rings arranged like the Olympics emblem. I got a single fudge ring. My guess is that she’s waiting until the games start in a couple of weeks to present me with the choco-licious Olympic rings, so that I’ll have freshly baked fudge to eat while watching rebroadcasts of hockey games between Sweden and Slovakia. That’s so very thoughtful of her.

But, yes, variety of flavors is a definite plus.

Benefit three : My sources tell me that it’s currently 34 degrees outside. The thermostat indicates that it’s thirty degrees warmer in here. I like that better. Think I’ll stay in and puff on a pseudo-cig. Another benefit to staying inside is that the front door doesn’t open and slam shut ten times a night anymore, which I’m sure cuts into the number of times that Jess wakes up during the wee hours.

The fourth reason I love this thing — While smoking a conventional cigarette, if you’re only wanting a quick puff or two, you have a few options: You could smoke the whole cigarette, anyhow. Or, you could smoke the two puffs that you wanted, and throw the rest of the cigarette away. Or, you could take a couple of drags, crush it out, and put the nasty-smelling charred cigarette back in the pack for consumption at a later time. With the E Cig, you want one puff? You’ve got it.

I have a “sparkling snow” scented air freshener in my car. For the past few weeks, my car has smelled like sparkling snow. Many would say this is an upgrade from my ride’s usual fragrance — Denis Leary’s Jacket.

Denis

It’s a small perk, sure, but there’s no longer any need to root around in pockets or under couch cushions or inside end table drawers looking for a lighter or matches or two sticks to rub together. The E Cig is already “lit.”

This detail may be too soon to call, but I no longer cough when I wake up in the morning. I can run — literally run — up the stairs at work without getting winded. On most days I have more energy. I remember more of my dreams. Is there a correlation? I’d say yes… though I’m no doctor and it’s a small time frame we’re looking at. I’m still leaning toward yes.

Finally, as of this writing, I’ve spent a little less than 125 dollars on the Health – E Cigarette and cartridges. Of the 57 cartridges I have bought, ten have been used. So, I go through a single cartridge every two to three days. By my calculations, my remaining cartridges will last three months on the low end, four months on the high end. The cheapest pack of cigarettes in the area costs $4.40. Over the past few years, I greatly decreased my daily cigarette intake. When I purchased the E Cig, I was down to roughly half a pack a day.

At approximately $2.20 per day for cigarette consumption, had I continued using normal cigarettes, over the same period I would spend anywhere from 250 to 376 dollars. So, I’m looking at saving somewhere between 750 and 1000 dollars each year by switching to the Health – E Cigarette, right?

Wrong.

Come October, for the first time since I’ve been employed…. or even employable…. I’ll be able to check the box reading “non-smoker” on my insurance premiums. That alone will save me an additional thousand or so dollars each year.

Awesome.

This E Cig is perfect, right?

Well, no.

Here are the few problems that I found with it.

First, there’s no guarantee that everyone who uses the E Cigarette will have the same result. For that reason, the 50 dollar start up cost may be on the intimidating side. If you were considering this investment, I’d suggest adding on a carton of flavor cartridges with your starter kit, because the cartridges that come with it? Eh…. not the most appealing.

Better than wood particle and anus flavor, but still pretty bad

Better than wood particle and anus flavor, but still pretty bad

I have seen the exact starter kit I paid $49.99 for sold online for about half of that price, and cartridges for half of the retail value. Still, after factoring in shipping, you’d still be looking at a forty dollar gamble. I’m glad that I took a chance on it, but cannot assure the same experience.

Another downside is that the cigarette needs to be disassembled in order to recharge, which is inconvenient if you’re jonesing for a cigarette when the battery dies. So far this has been a non-issue for me. It may not be a bad idea to purchase two or three additional units to charge at different intervals or keep for spare parts. This would raise the already high initial expenditures, though.

Another minus is the oversaturation of electronic cigarette brands. There are at least ten different e-cigarette vendors peddling their wares via the internet or in shopping malls. Each brand is likely just different enough from a competing make to render the parts incompatible with one another. I’d have to hope that the Health – E Cigarette is one of the fittest in the Natural Selection of E Cig brands, because… well… have you ever tried finding a spare battery for a 1997 Daewoo Leganza?

It ain't easy

It ain't easy

Though it doesn’t affect functionality, I’m not pleased that the filters aren’t equipped with a gauge to inform the user how much fluid is left in the cartridge. I’m sure a lot of fluid has been wasted by removing a filter prematurely. Cars come equipped with gas gauges

Except, possibly, the 1997 Daewoo Leganza

Except, possibly, the 1997 Daewoo Leganza

The E Cig would benefit from a gas gauge as well.

One humungoid problem with the Health – E Cigarette is that tobacco companies have found it unhealthy for their profit margins. So, of course, the government is attempting to poke its inefficient nose in, lobbying for the suspension of E Cig sales until further “testing” can be done. Meanwhile, they’ll allow the carcinogenic tobacco cigarettes to be sold as usual to keep that tax revenue flowing in.

Here’s what tests would reveal: Though admittedly not as healthy as breathing the actual air (even that’s debatable, actually, with all of the smokestacks in our back yards…), the E Cigarette, depending on the strength of the cartridge, contains anywhere from roughly 1/2 down to 1/8 the amount of nicotine in typical cigarettes. They also contain propylene glycol. Though not wonderful for the lungs, propylene glycol can’t be too harsh on the respiratory system, or I would have accidently poisoned about twenty classmates when I was manning the fog machine for a high school presentation of “Brigadoon.”

Oops.

Oops.

Last negative point — I kind of miss my friends at Tobacco City. I’ll have to stop in and say hello in a few months.

Where to Buy: I don’t think this is the official site, but it’s the closest I could find — Electronic Health E Cigarette Refills — Stop Quit Smoking Today!

Price: $49.95 at the above site, $49.99 in retail stores.

Could you throw up that picture of the 1997 Daewoo Leganza again? That car’s really sharp. : You’ve got it!

180px-1999_Daewoo_Leganza

(Photo sources: http://www.time.com;http://www.tobaccoonline.co.uk;http://www.commons.wikimedia.org;http://www.jeremycrittenden.net)

Comment Pages

There are 16 Comments to "Review: Health – E Cigarette"

  • Julie says:

    I think 50% of it for me is the action of smoking..the physical action of smoking and the other half was the actual nicotine. I quit after 5 years of smoking and my mother in law after 30 years with e-cigarettes.

    To answer the safety question…common logic suggest they are MUCH MUCH safer than traditional cigarettes. 4000 chemicals vs a few and no tar, smoke or carcinogens. There hasnt been many studies done yet so most companies dont make health claims due to FDA regulations. THey are also much cheaper in the long run vs treaditional cigarettes.

    I tried a few different brands before I found one that I like with the ProSmoke electronic cigarette. Their site is http://www.ProSmokeStore.com. Not spam, just offering you a choice since I had to buya few brands before I found one that tastes great and produced the same amount of vapor or more than a real cigarette. No reason to switch if it doesnt feel the same right?!!?

    They also dont charge you every month for refills like other companies, you buy them as you need.

    Good luck!

  • Tonya says:

    I’ve seen the kiosks in the mall and wondered about them.

    As always: funny AND informative 🙂

  • Jeremy says:

    Hey, Julie! Thanks for reading, and congrats on quitting! I will definitely check out the website you suggested. I’m really satisfied with the contraption that I bought, but from my understanding it’s lower -end. Depending on the price of ProSmoke’s model and the refills, it may be worth it to upgrade.

  • Jeremy says:

    Thanks, Tonya! If you were curious, I’d actually leave the malls as a last resort. The E-Cigs that they sell have prices that pass the 100 dollar mark. Not sure how much refills are. I’d suggest going the starter route, so if you aren’t a fan, you aren’t out nearly as much money.

  • I’ve always wondered about these… For the savings alone, I’d say they’re a step in the right direction. How long have you been using them?

  • Jeremy says:

    Hey, Kasey!

    Started on December 26th. Almost a month. And, yes, even after the purchase of the electronic cigarette at retail store asking prices, there’s already been a noticeable increase in savings.

  • darrin says:

    I started vaping a couple weeks ago and love it.

    didnt go the route of one of the mall kiosks but did some research online and decided to order a joye 510.

    it has been great so far, especially with various flavors of juice to fill the empty carts.
    lots of good info here
    http:www.vaportalk.com
    http://www.e-cigarette-forum.com

    Darrin

  • Jeremy says:

    Hey, Darrin!

    Thanks for stopping by!

    I’ll definitely check out the forums more often.

    From my extremely limited experience, and from what I’ve read, the Health E Cigarette is low-end as far as vaping goes.

    It’s definitely worked for me… though I’m sure there are devices with longer battery life, heavier vapor concentration, less expensive refills, and so on.

    I’ve heard great things about the model you chose. That’ll probably be the next one I look into.

  • Excellent, excellent article and info. Appreciate that you shared both your positive and negative thoughts, as well as things you would like/don’t like, etc. Most e-cigs are slightly different from one another so it’s always a good idea to shop around, compare even the smallest details and then decide. It’s not much different than shopping for a lot of other gadgets; there are a number of makes and models and you have to find ‘your fit’. But they are a great alternative to traditional cigs so definitely something to look into!

  • Chase says:

    WOW Jeremy thanks for the post, very good info, I may try these….I really need to stop smoking…BAD.

  • Jeremy says:

    Hey, Chase!

    If ever you wanted to borrow mine, let me know!

    About a month into using the cigarette, the battery died. It was late on a Saturday night when it did. I was concerned that I had to either pay 50 bucks for a replacement or order one online, wait for the shipping, and it would be about a week before I got the new. A week without a cigarette was unthinkable a few weeks prior. Hell, a few hours without a cigarette was unthinkable.

    I took the online ordering option. During that week, I didn’t smoke a single cigarette. Really didn’t think about smoking one.

    It’s been nearly three months since my last regular cigarette.

    Don’t miss them a bit.

    And now, don’t really need the e-cigarette, but I have nearly 4 cartons worth of filters, and don’t want them going to waste.

    So, definitely hit me up if you wanted to take mine for a test drive!

    (or, anyone who wants to give it a go.)

  • Paula Miller says:

    Great job on this Jeremy. Unfortunately you like many others overpaid for you ecig but who cares if it works and saves you money in the end. There are hundreds of vendors now and some great choices. Almost all kits come with 2 batteries, too. I have several different kinds and tons of flavored juice.

  • Jeremy says:

    Hey, Paula!

    Thanks for stopping by!

    I’m on a temporary hiatus from the electronic cigarette… I think a major reason is that I would NEED to get them cheaper, as I’ve had two run through the laundry since last winter. (for those using the e-cig: don’t put one in a washing machine. Bad idea.)

    But, even with falling off of the wagon, I’m down from between one and two packs a day to two packs on a bad week (usually much closer to a pack a week).

    And, after the New Year, went a week without smoking using the e-cig… so I know when I’m good and ready, it’ll be possible to quit using one.

  • AV says:

    Thanks Jeremy,

    That was really helpful…I live in india and i saw the first E Cig literally after watching Johny Depp using it in the TOURIST.

    I like the idea of it and it is comparatively very cheap here then what you mention. One Cig with a pack of 10 butts come for Rs. 500 / – roughly 12 $….I was just not sure yesterday and had a fresh pack in my hand with 20 mouth watering tobacco sticks.

    I would like to know if you or anyone acessing your blog can help….

    1. Does it matter if i buy a manual or automatic (i didn’t know there were 2 types before i researched)
    2. Is it more addictive than the actual cig?
    3. Shd i just pick up a pack or order for some higly voted one online.

    Would like your help

  • Katt says:

    I was searching for some info regarding this info, E- cig’s, your website came up and looking at the dates on here 2010 &2011, (it’s now 7/2013) I was wondering, are you still smoking these or did they help you quit? Actually what I was looking for was any updATES ON HEALTH ISSUES regarding e-cig’s . I know it sounds stupid cuz I’ve been smoking for 40+ yeARS and my 13 year old son wants me to quit so that’s why I’m here. By the way thank you for the info on here it does help. {:>

  • Jeremy says:

    Hi, Katt!

    I started using the eCig again on the first of January this year. Here it is, early August, and I haven’t had a cigarette yet.

    Though I’m not a doctor, I did have a physical recently, and my lungs, heart, blood pressure, etc. are in fine shape.

    I smoked for nearly 20 years. This was the only method that helped me quit.

    Am I using the Ecig today? Sort of.

    Truthfully, I can go weeks without taking a single puff from it. I mainly use it on nights where I have a few beers (as beer and cigarettes go hand in hand).

    If you wanted to find out if the ECig is right for you, 7-11 stores carry disposable cigarettes for about 8 dollars. If you smoke regular as opposed to menthol, the gold pack is pretty spot on in terms of flavor vs. an actual cigarette. I’m sure their menthol would be on point as well, but… Can’t vouch, as I haven’t tried it.

    Best of luck in trying to quit! And, sorry it took so long to respond!

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