Shmoke and a Pancake - ECig Style
February 26, 2013 6:44 PM   Subscribe

Hello Hive Mind! A few years ago I quit smoking cigarettes And I have absolutely no desire to smoke them again. But on the other hand, I miss the social aspects of smoking and enjoying it. Enter Ecigs. Mrs. NiumX and I are thinking it might be fun to get an ecig system that offers fun and interesting options with no (or low) nicotine. Flavors, whatever. Older Asks seem a few years old. What is new? So any suggestions would be great. Thanks!
posted by PlutoniumX to Food & Drink (10 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
I would be vary wary of any steps back in the direction of smoking once you've managed to quit for good and all. That's sort of 'addicted mind' stuff. The "social aspects" are overemphasized. What is it you're missing, huddling in a cold doorway in the rain making awkward small talk with someone you'd never otherwise speak to?
posted by Miko at 7:50 PM on February 26, 2013 [3 favorites]

Eh, my husband picked up an e-cig habit during grad school because he missed the act of smoking (5 years post quitting) but didn't want to, you know, smoke. It's been two years now, and he loves it and says he would never, ever smoke a real cigarette again.

He smokes Vapor4life. They have a nice assortment of flavors, though the coffee smells like stale coffee mixed with farts to me.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:09 PM on February 26, 2013 [2 favorites]

A pack-a-day smoker for more than 30 years, I haven't had a cigarette since I got my first "personal vaporizer" six weeks ago. I highly recommend you spend some time at The folks there are exceptionally generous with their experience and advice and will be happy to answer questions and offer recommendations about the latest hardware, favorite e-liquids, where to buy, etc. It's an Internet community that really works.
posted by peakcomm at 8:20 PM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: You want to look for something like this 510 Starter Kit at least for reference. Assuming you just want an occasional use here and there. You can find kits that come with liquid of your choice, or with extra portable chargers/cases (PCC) that look about like a pack of cigarettes. Just don't pay out the nose and expect eventual replacement of batteries and cartomizers (the screwy on the battery bits that hold the liquid) as they will eventually wear out. Batteries can be had for ~$15 or less, a box of 5 cartomizers (refillable quite a few times depending) ~$5-6, charger if it should break ~$6. Just don't go buying one of the $100 kits from fancy brand names.

For liquid, Mt Bakers Vapor is well respected and cheap at ~$4-7 for 15ml. One cartomizer can hold about 1ml of liquid fully filled. Your daily usage may vary, but if you're just occasionally vaping 1ml is a good bit. I vape a couple to three ml a day which is way heavier than you seem to be interested in.

Things to look for:

510 Automatic Battery - auto batteries power up when you suck on them, manual batteries you have to press a button. 510 is the threading and is pretty much the standard nowadays. Don't look at 808,901,etc. stuff which is older sorta niche stuff now.

510 cartomizer low resistance - the screwy on thing. Packed with polyfil (sorta like a sponge). These hold the juice and have the heating element. They can be refilled until they start to taste funky, or you want to change flavors (or you can mix flavors if you like). You can get them prefilled or Blank (empty). In stainless or black or with fancy colored wraps. Get low resistance (~1.7 - 2 ohms), the standard resistance (~3 ohms) are best for bigger variable voltage batteries not the cig-style automatics.

You can move to bigger batteries that last longer, but still use the 510 threading (but look a bit weird since the battery is fatter than the cartomizer) and are almost always manual. Some are variable voltage (more heat in the vapor). In this range the eGo style is pretty much the norm. Look for an eGo-C Twist, or a Vision Spinner. With the eGo style most people use clearomizers (vs cartomizers). Clearomizers are more like tanks that you fill with liquid (most are see through) and the use wicks to get the fluid to a heating element. They look nothing like a cigarete, more like a 6 inch cigar.

Things not to get:

Anything that mentions a tank or has a Blah-T name. At least until you know you want to and what you want. Some of the early tank systems are miserable leaky horrors. Newer tanks are really just clearomizers or cartomizers inside a tank of liquid, these are fine but not what you want. Any sort of 'atomizer', these are basically cartomizers without the polyfil sponge to hold the liquid. You drop a couple drops of liquid on them, vape for a few puffs, then have to drip more liquid. They are useful for sampling flavors or sitting at home, but nothing you would take out for a night on the town.

I prefer Reddit's /r/electronic_cigarette to ECF nowadays. ECF is huge and for serious vapers willing to drudge through a bazillion sub-forums. Plus ECF keeps new members from posting anywhere but the newbie forum.
posted by zengargoyle at 8:40 PM on February 26, 2013 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Nth-ing all the above, with a few more recommendations. I really like the KGo , which is basically the same as the eGO, but has options for more powerful batteries (which means they last longer between charges). I've really liked the hardware I've ordered from Virgin Vapor -- if you want something fun-looking, you could get this or this.

Hoosier E-Cig is a great, inexpensive place to order things like cartomizers and drip tips (recommended).

My favorite liquid is made by Backwoods Brew. Pretty sure you can get zero nicotine juice from them.

None of this may make sense at the moment -- there's a bit of a learning curve to the e-cig thing -- but some trial and error will help you figure out what you want.

It may be more trouble than it's worth, though, if you've already successfully quit and are just looking for something to puff on. I'd recommend a disposable -- but then you don't have the low-to-no nic option.

Speaking personally, as someone still a fan of the effects of nicotine, I've found the whole thing life-changing.
posted by neroli at 9:36 PM on February 26, 2013

There are nicotine-included "oils" and nicotine-free "oils."

Vapourizing nicotine-free oils is pretty much a waste of time; might as well smoke cloves or "herbal" cigarettes or stick your face over an airwick solid. I've not encountered and am skeptical that there exist anything mixed with PEG that's worth vapourizing for the mouthfeel/flavour.

If you want the nicotine, well, you're very likely going to get hooked on it again. I'd suggest a different source (although cigarillos [where the nicotine was absorbed more effectively through the mucosa of the mouth rather than the lungs, unlike modern cigarettes] led me back to cigarettes on one iteration).

Perhaps snus? A few years back, I noticed that Camel (and maybe other American brands) marketed snus-like products, at least in the Chicago market.

"Although used in a manner similar to American dipping tobacco, it does not typically result in the need for spitting." I can attest to that; the sample of Swedish snus that a friend transported for me hit harder and faster than any nicotine gum I've ever tried. *Almost* the same feel as inhaled cigarette smoke. Can't come up with a mechanism to explain the effect. The Camel-brand snus that I tried was weak and didn't taste any good.
posted by porpoise at 11:14 PM on February 26, 2013

Response by poster: I won't be huddled in the cold and rain for this.

I'm not going to smoke regular cigs again or snus. Nicotine free for years now and not planning on changing that.

When having a drink, the thought of a non nicotine ecig with friends is appealing. That is the part I miss.

Thanks for all the suggestions! I'll dig through them and see if I find something to try.
posted by PlutoniumX at 6:55 AM on February 27, 2013

My girlfriend LOVES her ecigs, and this is a chain smoker. She's doing no flavor with nicotine to quit, but she's excited to try some flavors.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:59 AM on February 27, 2013

If you want to combine smoke, drink, and friends, I think you should get a hookah.
posted by WeekendJen at 9:30 AM on February 27, 2013

porpoise, you're all mixed up. Vape liquid is Propylene glycol and Glycerine not Polyethylene glycol. Flavorless PG/VG mix is a pleasant enough vape on its own with or without nicotine. And flavorings wise, there are plenty of pretty awesome flavors out there, and if you get right down to it, the pure nicotine is pretty much flavorless... at least the better nicotine bases have less of the slightly pepperish flavor. I should know, I've been mixing up my own liquid for the past 5 months or so. There are some flavors that are "oil" based, but just a few. The majority are are not and are just flavoring compounds in a PG/VG/Alcohol carrier. I'm vaping a green tea/granny smith/sweet tarts mix ATM and it's quite tasty, watermelon/absinthe is pretty good as well and there's always Menthol which is like a bazillion times better than menthol cigarettes. Maybe you were vaping the rockgut Dekang China juice.
posted by zengargoyle at 10:46 AM on February 27, 2013

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