If you’re considering purchasing your first electronic cigarette, it can be hard to decide which brand to go with because there are quite a few out there and so many options available.
Consider some of these things before you decide to purchase electronic cigarettes:
Price is always one of the biggest concerns for everyone. The good news is that nearly every brand of electronic cigarette offers savings over traditional tobacco cigarettes. Since you’re already spending a good chunk of change on tobacco cigarettes, and you’ll save a significant amount of money switching to nearly any brand of e-cig, I usually recommend purchasing whatever brand is easiest to use and that you’re most likely to stick with and not go back to smoking real cigarettes.
That said, the first thing you’ll need to purchase is a starter kit. Most starter kits range from $40 – $80, although some are still charging over $100. I haven’t tried any brands that I’d recommend over $100…to me, they’re all just overpriced versions of what you can get at $70, and in most cases, the brands charging over $100 for a starter kit are just relying on huge distribution channels to drive their sales and actually have a worse product than the less expensive brands sold exclusively online.
It takes a lot of math to figure out which brand will be the most cost-effective over time, but you can read this article where I reviewed the cost of BluCigs over 1 year in comparison to tobacco cigarettes. In that article, BluCigs ended up coming in about $400 cheaper than traditional smokes.
In summary, price is a bit subjective, because you’ll save a significant amount of money with almost any brand, so it’s perhaps better to pick a brand that you’ll be more likely to stick with, which leads us to our next point.
Ease of use
One of the biggest issues with electronic cigarettes is that they require batteries to operate. At first glance, this isn’t a big deal…a lot of us have an iPod and that requires batteries and it works just fine. True, and while the battery-powered mobility of electronic cigarettes are exactly why they’re such a great smoking alternative, the batteries can also be sticking point and something you should consider when buying your first e-cig.
What most people don’t consider is what happens when you get stuck outside of the house or office and your batteries run out? Well, for me it meant I was going to bum a traditional smoke from a friend, or perhaps several until I could get back to base and recharge my e-cig batteries. What I found out was that 2 batteries (which is what most e-cig starter kits come with) won’t last an entire day of heavy smoking, so you either need extra batteries, a charger for your car, or some way to charge those batteries on the go.
And this brings us to the reason I ended up choosing BluCigs as my brand of choice. Unlike every other e-cig brand I’ve tried, BluCigs comes with a carrying case, built like a pack of smokes, that will actually charge your batteries on the go up to 6 full charges. That means no matter how forgetful I was in charging my batteries the night before I almost always have enough charge in my “pack” to last me the rest of the day. Running out of batteries is a major issue…the last thing you need when you’re trying to satisfy your nicotine habit is anything that will get in the way, and dead batteries for most people means they’re going to smoke a tobacco cig. So, BluCigs made an excellent decision in offering the carrying case that also functions as a battery charger.
The other factor to consider is how easy your electronic cigarette will be to smoke and how easy the cartridges are to refill. There are two aspects of this to consider.
First, there are two battery types out there…automatic and manual. Manual batteries require you press a button while inhaling in order to smoke. Automatic batteries on the other hand are designed to sense small pressure changes and activate the device automatically when you inhale, so no button to press. I went into automatic vs manual electronic cigarette batteries in the past, so I won’t go into that in detail here, but I will say that the vast majority of people are going to be better off with automatic batteries.
Second, you have to ask, how easy is it to replace cartridges when they run dry? Most cartridges are pretty much the same, the only real difference is that some are sold prefilled and some are sold empty and meant to be refilled manually by you. The thing is though, since cartridges are all pretty much the same, you can manually refill even the prefilled cartridges when they run dry. So, that said, for your first foray into electronic cigarettes I’d recommend a brand that offers prefilled cartridges just because you can refill them manually if you decide that’s something you want to do. Otherwise, you can just reorder prefilled cartridges if you don’t want to bother with the hassle of squirting the nicotine solution into the empty cartridges yourself. If, on the other hand, you order a brand that only offers manual refill cartridges and you decide later you don’t want to deal with the hassle of manual refills, you’re out of luck.
That’s about it for this article, I’ll follow this one up with a few more considerations for your e-cig buyers out there.