Buying the right eCig can be a difficult choice. The confusion starts with the "convenience store" starter kits. These usually appear inexpensive, costing around $9 - $10. At our local convenience store, the clerk explained this one eCig was equivalent to a pack of cigarettes. It sure looked like a real cigarette. It had the familiar looking "filter" area (cork colored) and white tube where the tobacco would usually go.
This kit also included a few extra "filters" and a charger. Turns out the white tube was a re-chargeable battery.
The kit cost $24.79. Not bad, but not great either. The equivalent of about three packs of cigarettes, she told me. Well, if that's true, the kit is about the same cost as three packs of cigarettes, then I only have to replace the "filter".
She also showed me some disposable eCigs. These ranged in flavors from a "Canadian" tobacco to various fruit flavors like Grape, Peach, Blueberry and Apple. These were $9.99, a bit more than one pack of cigarettes and she said it lasted about as long as one pack. But, it is not rechargeable making it a not-so-wise choice.
I was ready to buy the kit and started to read the labels a bit more closely. Hey, wait, these have 0% nicotine. All convenience stores and gas stations (in Canada at least) sell eCigs with no nicotine. When I pointed out that smoking cigarettes had more to do with the nicotine content, she went into sales mode. She had been trained, she eventually told me, to point out that eCigs were not a tobacco replacement, but rather a strategy to cut down. Have one cigarette, followed by an eCig, and keep rotating. That should help you cut down on half your cigarette consumption according to her.
I passed on the convenience eCigs, and glad I did. It turns out the convenience store eCig kit is based on an older technology that has a higher capacity battery. As an older technology, there are no accessories or options available for it and you are limited to buying only from that one company through an online site. Even the convenience store doesn't carry the accessories.
I visited a local eCig supplier, NYX E-Cigs based in Markham Ontario. Tony, one of the owners of NYX E-Cigs, was pleasant and extremely helpful. I explained that I wanted to stop smoking and he patiently answered every question I threw at him. I explained I wanted a familiar look, a "ciga-like", with a cork colored filter and white tube. I explained I wanted a tobacco flavor that was close to what I was smoking now. He took the time to guide me through all the starter kits they offered. He must have let me taste 20 different eLiquid flavors before I picked one I thought was closest to my tobacco cigarettes. I ended up picking out a starter kit that contained two batteries and an easy eLiquid refill system. The advantages to this kit is that it included a battery powered charger as well so that I would never run out of battery power and risk going back to regular tobacco. The eCig starter kit he suggested was perfect. A fully assembled eCig weighed about the same as a regular cigarette, was balanced about the same ... but the color wasn't the same. After he spent the time explaining everything, the color didn't seem to matter much any more. The starter kit was priced a bit higher than the convenience store starter kit, but this had everything I needed and then some. I paid and started "vaping" within minutes ... and have not had a tobacco stick since. Thanks Tony!
I ended up going back to the store before the week was out. The tobacco flavor eLiquid I had bought no longer had any taste appeal to me. Tony was helpful again (with none of the "I told you so" attitude either). He had warned me about this. Had I paid attention to his advice, I would have bought a second flavor at the start. However, it turned out this was just as well. I got to taste all those eLiquid flavors again, this time with a sense of smell and taste that was "normal". I ended up picking out Menthol Ice and Blueberry from their excellent choices. It was a difficult choice, their eLiquid flavors are so real that it was like being in a grocery store tasking some fresh fruits, candies, deserts, and drinks.
My advice to everyone considering a switch from tobacco and new eCig users is to find a supplier like NYX E-Cigs with staff that are former smokers. They already know the ins and outs and can guide you through your decision. They will help you make the wisest choice for you and you will end up saving money overall. Plus, you want someone to stand behind your product with a reasonable warranty and accessories/options compatible with your initial purchase. You don't want to end up buying an eCig that you have to replace every few days or weeks.
By the way, NYX E-Cigs also has a website where you can look through their product range before you go to the store. It's worth visiting the website and become a bit familiar with the different types of eCigs available and the different eLiquid choices they carry.