Tuesday, 14 October 2008
E-Cigarette - quick review
Bigger and a lot heavier than a real ciggie, the e-fag has three parts; the 'tobacco tube' is a rechargable battery, the 'filter' holds the nicotine charge and between them is an electronic atomiser. A red LED in the tip lights when you suck at the thing. So how well does it work?
Pretty well. I used it to good effect during two lengthy phone calls in the office yesterday of a kind that demanded a nicotine boost, on the train and yesterday evening in a test-smoke in two pubs and a bar on the way home. I also used it frequently on short walks between buildings and whenever I fancied a couple of drags. The first cartridge is still working (each cartridge is supposed to be about equivalent to a packet of 20) and I reckon I've smoked at least 20 fewer real ciggies than I would otherwise have done.
I did ask before I used it in the pubs and bar, but in each case they were quite OK about it. This is the most brilliant thing about it; sitting back inside and being able to smoke again. Bliss. The 'smoke' has a slightly odd taste and of course none of the complexity of flavour of the real stuff, but delivers an authentic throat-feel and a decent shot of nicotine.
The cartridges are actually around 37p each - and given that a single normal ciggie bought in the UK costs in excess of 20p, this represents the greatest attraction of the thing. Unless the government outlaws these or taxes the cartridges in the near future, I can see UK tobacco excise duties halving in the next year.
It won't replace the first Gauloises of the day with the first cafetiere of coffee of the day - that pleasure is too intense and too important - but I reckon as a supplement for daily use outside of home it will be indispensable.
As more manufacturers get in on the game and the price of the e-cigs (about £20 for the hardware) is competed down, and more importantly as the manufacturers agree on a common cartridge (as far as I can make out, the three most available e-cigs all have unique cartridges) these will become ubiquitous during the coming recession. Now all it needs is for some enterprising bod to substitute THC for nicotine (not for me - my spliffy days are long gone) and a whole new market will open up.