Several weeks ago I grabbed an eCigarette to give it a try. It was the second such attempt. The first one was so awful and pointless I gave up on the idea. The second one was better.
My problems with the first one, which was purchased at a cigarette shop, was basically it was weak, almost to the point of being pointless. It tasted awful, it made me cough. The second one was all those things again, but a little better, so I started doing some internet research and settled here with a small purchase of a manual Vapor King battery and recharger, and a sampler pack. Night and Day.
Now for the background. I'm a pretty dedicated smoker. I'm not a crazy heavy smoker, but I enjoy it a lot, and it's part of my routine, and I am only interested in perhaps finding an alternative because I am approaching middle age and starting to recognize things like mortality and the effect some risks I've taken, such as starting smoking, may have on my prospects for continued health. My experience so far with the Vapor4Life products has been good enough to shake my assumptions about my smoking habit, and I'm thinking its possible I may be able to wean myself from tobacco in favor of vapor. I didn't think that was possible, but turns out I'm at least investigating.
In order to make that happen, vaping needs to be more appealing to me than smoking. I found the secret to that possibility lies in the juice strength. I don't mess around with light cigarettes and consider them a waste of time. I trade full flavor for numbers, and smoke fewer full strengths but enjoy them more. I feel like I'm really smoking.
So, I went for 36mg carts all the way, and because of some clerical error, my initial order disappointingly included 24s, but happily and without incident the Vapor4Life guy who took my call about it sent me what I asked for and let me keep the ones I already had.
So I started with the 24s and noticed the nicotine hit almost immediately. After some reasonably stupid mistakes, like drawing too hard and getting little juice drips on my tongue, and perhaps even swallowing some of it which was not pleasant, I've finally learned how to draw properly. I'm getting nice thick pulls for about the first half of my cartomizer, then it gets frustratingly weak and burnt marshmallowy tasting as I get close to the end. That's probably to be expected I would think. But, what surprised me is I understood the puff count on a cartomizer to be like 150 or so, and I estimated the first one was more like 60 or 70, so I actually counted the next one, and found it was about 90-100. So I suspect I am drawing about twice as much vape as Vapor4Life expects in an average puff.
But, it got my attention. It was very much like smoking while it was good. In fact, even with the 24mg juices I could tell I was getting more nic than usual, so I pressed on, alternating between "oh this is awful," and "whoa this might just work..." The "Oh this is awful" parts happen the first time I vape in a given day. It causes me to cough for about the first 4 drags, then it settles down and gets comfortable. But it wasn't enough to shake my interest in real smoke.
The 36mg carts arrived, finally. Well that got my attention too. In fact, so much so that it actually did shake my interest in real smoke. The vape was noticeably thicker, the nicotine was very pleasant if almost overwhelming, and even more importantly... While the 24mgs barely a dent was made in my habit (I still smoked pretty much the same number of cigarettes on those days), the 36s actually led to a real reduction in cigarettes smoked. I was actually less interested in smoking, almost looking forward to vaping more. That until I got about 70 puffs in, then the weak, burnt vapor started happening again...
So the big problem right now is consistency. For the cartomizers, the first half of them are good enough that I could probably convert all together if all the puffs were like those. The last half though they start getting weaker and not as tasty, and then I start looking forward to smoking for real again.
So, bottom line, if I can nail down some consistency with vapor thickness and throat hit, I may be able to switch all together and leave cigarettes behind. I think I've already graduated past the starter kit to perhaps a dual coil tank and bottled juices. I'm definitely interested in trying VG because of the vapor thickness and possibility that its the PG that's causing me to cough at first. But, really, I don't actually know what I am doing.
So here I am asking the vets for advice. I'd like to give this a real shot but I need more education. Here I am. Teach me!
Try a tank. They are easier to fill, last much longer, and consistent from start to finish.
Hello Ben, and welcome to the forums! When first switching from analogs to vaping, my wife had much the same problems as you. I recommend you try a variable volt battery like the dial-a-volt, with a tank. order several different cartos in different ohms, and try different combinations of ohms vs. voltage settings. I think you will find that with a tank and VV system, you can find the flavor/vapor-thickness/throat hit combo that will keep you coming back for more!!
Check out the "important links" section in the forums for more info...
Best of luck to you, and please, stick with it. You will find that vaping is soooo much better than smoking (this from an avid cigar and pipe collector/smoker)
Welcome to the forum and to vaping Ben!! I'm glad you decided to give it another chance and found Vapor4Life! They are definitely one of a kind!!
+1 to what Darin said!!
The cartos last different amounts of time/puffs for different users. It all depends on your vaping habits. For example, if you are chain vaping then they won't last as long because if you keep them hot then they will melt/burn quicker. Also, if person A holds the button on a manual battery down for 5 seconds while inhaling, but person B holds it down for 8 seconds then the A carto will last longer. So I'm thinking that their puff amount is more of an estimated count based on the average vaper, for some it will be more for others it will be less. This principle is the same for many things vaping related. Like battery charge life, it all depends on how you use it and how often.
As for recommendations I am mostly going to repeat what has already been said. If you are unsatisfied with the amount of time your cartos are lasting I would highly recommend the tanks. However...if you want to use the VG juice then that might be a problem. The VG juice is very thick and doesn't flow in the tanks very well, if you aren't vigilant about keeping the juice flowing then you will burn cartos very quickly. If you want more vapor and hit then the VV devices are excellent at making those happen. So if you are ready to make that jump then I recommend looking into those. If you aren't ready to make any of these changes, then I think your problems will be solved by buying juice and blank cartos. When you notice the vapor or flavor dropping off, juice them up and you are back to vaping bliss. It takes a little trial and error to figure out when to add juice and how much juice to add, but it all becomes second nature eventually. IMO vaping is much more fun than smoking! More fuss and dedication, yes, but overall better than the alternative.
Wow, thanks for the quick responses!
Harmony: When you say "chain vaping" what exactly does that mean? I've been doing 7-10 puffs per session. Is chain vaping like going on for hours on end or something, like chain smoking?
There are different degrees of chain vaping and it is of course subject to personal interpretation. I am talking about vaping so much at once that the coil gets hot enough to melt the wick tube. This will result in a burnt taste as well as rendering the carto useless, don't even try to refill it. Or vaping so quickly that enough juice isn't reaching the area of the polyfill near the coil which will cause the polyfill near the coil to burn even though there is still juice in the carto. Some people have this problem and have found that having two identical devices set up and alternating them works best to avoid this.
Just wanted to say welcome to the forum BenV sir. :)
What they said! :thumbs::thumbs:and :thumbs:
I think you'll really enjoy the tanks and pass through that learning curve easily. You'll find great videos in the "important links" in this section for filling, using and maintaining the carts and tanks. Also, you'll find a lot of juice reviews; one of the things to look for might be relative vapor and throat hit... I don't care for the VG's, but you might try one anyway, because it may relate to your cough. I know 2 people who relate their occasional cough reaction to the flavors more than the nic strength. It's most notable to them in the tobacco flavors. One can't handle Traditional Tobacco, but can handle Parliament; to me they are equally strong flavors and even 18 mg is enough for me. But in sweet flavors I need at least 24 mg..
I checked out the some of the links last night. Very helpful, and thanks for passing that tip along. I'm planning a tank and new VV battery so I'm looking forward to seeing how that goes.
I still have some lingering doubts that have little to do with actual vaping but more to do with the lifestyle change. Vaping is so easy and it doesn't require the effort smoking does because I can vape in the house, in the car, etc. For smoking I've been relegated to the garage, which is no fun when it's cold but it did make smoking more of an effort.I can see where vaping without restrictions could get to be a more persistent habit. At the same time that might be okay for all the reasons everyone here knows intimately.
The other thing I worry about is this business of the FDA getting involved. I can see their point to a small extent, butI am concerned if they treat eCigs like analogs they'll restrict them to the point that they become less appealing. That seems like a bad deal, and it would be disappointing to find a real alternative to smoking that has already had some benefit then have the gov't come in and stop it. Are we really worried about that?
Thanks again all for your responses. This community seems very helpful and friendly. Hopefully you'll see more of me around here.
That is exactly what I'm worried about! I used to smoke cloves until they were banned :( It would really suck if the FDA decided that we should only vape tobacco flavors (no offense to the bakky flavor lovers out there, it's just not for me). Or that we are only allowed to buy prefilled cartos from BT. I'm just stocking up and watching closely to see what happens. Did you (or are you interested in) sign the petition?
Originally Posted by BenV
I hope to see you around Ben! Let us know if you need help with anything else :)