VapingDaz recently blogged that the recent UK budget resulted in an average price rise of 37 pence on a packet of cigarettes giving UK smokers another reason to look for an alternative nicotine solution. So are electronic cigarettes really a cheaper alternative? Having been vaping for a few months now I would say the simple answer is yes – provided you make considered purchases.
1. Pick your first kit carefully
One of the easiest mistakes to make when starting out is to buy a kit with little background research based on the assumption that they are all alike. The reality is that this is not the case. Battery life, vapour production, loss of flavour from your e-liquid and cost will all vary greatly between models. So, it really is worth taking your time and reading and watching a range of reviews. The key elements to consider are:
- How long does each battery last? – poor battery life is one of the biggest problems with e-cigs that attempt to imitate real cigarettes in appearance. Consider the eGo or Riva style vaporisers.
- Is the atomizer fitting a 510 style? – many of the cig-a-likes have fittings that are different to what is fast becoming the industry standard (510) meaning you have to buy their cartomizers when they need changing. If you opt for something with a 510 fitting you have a much wider range of cartomizers, clearomizers and atomizers available to you, which means you can shop around for the best buy.
- Utilize peoples knowledge – internet forums have members with a wealth of experience and they are happy to provide it for new converts. One of the friendliest I have come across is the AAEC Forum; a great place for UK vapers to find out more.
2. When trialling buy in small amounts.
One of the first things a convert from smoking will do is attempt to find an e-liquid that replicates the taste of their chosen brand of cigarettes. Given everything is bought over the internet most people read Malboro in the e-liquids name and assume it will taste just like it. Unfortunately however, none of these e-liquids truly replicate the taste of your favourite cigarette brand. They may well have elements of the flavor, but often can taste nothing like it! My suggestion would be to buy a small (5ml) bottle of a few flavours as and when you need it. Only then once you have found a flavor you like go for the bigger bottles – unless you want to end up with a shelf full of nearly full dropper bottles like me!
A second important point that many new users do not realize is that cartomizers can be re-filled. Whilst they are designed to be disposable elements of the e-cig pre-filled cartomizers can be refilled a few times before you lose flavour, vapour production and throat-hit. However, don’t try to re-use them forever, as it will mean a loss in performance and an unsatisfactory vape. When that happens it is time to bin them and move on. Different cartomizers all perform differently so again buy a small amount of each type on your first purchase. Then look for bulk savings when you find what you like.
3. Avoid developing shiny syndrome!
One of the easiest ways to start spending huge amounts of money is to develop the vapers affliction known as “shiny syndrome” or obsessive compulsive mod buying. Often users who take very quickly to vaping turn this into an expensive hobby and become drawn to handcrafted mods made in small numbers by fellow enthusiasts. Whilst many of these are beautiful, both aesthetically and from a function point of view, they are not cheap. A case in point is the Golden Greek mods, which have a serious collector following. Getting hold of one will cost you more than a pretty penny
E-cigs are definitely a cheaper alternative to smoking particularly if you avoid some of the costly mistakes early on and particularly if you avoid the dreaded shiny syndrome!