A few electronic cigarette myths (and marketing strategies) dispelled

Electronic cigarettes are gaining in popularity as more and more people discover this healthier alternative to smoking cigarettes. An ever-increasing number of smokers are giving up their deadly smoking habit in favor of the safer habit of what has become referred to as “vaping.” Quite a number of small businesses have sprouted up to cater to the needs of “vapers” and the majority of these are run by entrepreneurs who have seen first hand the benefits of making the switch to the electronic cigarette. Most offer quality goods at reasonable prices and are dedicated to making the vaping experience as enjoyable as possible for their customers.

The unfortunate fact remains, however, that it takes a company larger than the average startup to effectively reach the masses. There are a number of large players in the electronic cigarette industry that have attempted to do just that through radio and Internet advertising and by establishing retail kiosks. In theory, this is a great idea, as it heightens the awareness of a technology that would otherwise remain unknown to all but well informed early adopters.

The problem arises when companies like Blu, Smoking Everywhere, NJOY and a number of others sell an average or inferior electronic cigarette at inflated prices or make outrageous claims about the product. While these electronic cigarettes may otherwise be a fine point of entry for a lot of people, the high price and deceptive advertising either immediately turn prospective electronic cigarette buyers off or result in a high level of post-purchase dissatisfaction. The media is of no help either, because research for their stories is often limited to regurgitating the information given to them by the first big electronic cigarette company they call.

Here a few of the most often repeated myths associated with electronic cigarettes.

“Electronic cigarettes cost $100 to $150” – there are dozens of retailers on the Internet who will gladly sell you a great electronic cigarette starter kit for less than $50 and some of the best kits can be had for less than $80

“They cost $150 because they are the best” – Let’s face it, you don’t sell many $150 products by proclaiming them below average. The reality is that the exact same electronic cigarette models (sans the brand name) are often available at bargain prices elsewhere simply because they have been left behind by better cheaper technology.

“One electronic cigarette cartridge equals a pack of cigarettes” – How else are you going to sell them for a few dollars apiece? Most cartridges last the equivalent of 3-6 cigarettes. Some cartomizers, however, could come pretty close to equaling a pack.

“One electronic cigarette cartridge contains 18mg of nicotine” – More math. The strength level of nicotine liquid is measured in milligrams per milliliter. Most electronic cigarette cartridges hold less than a quarter of a milliliter. Another one that doesn’t add up.

“You have to buy our cartridges” – I don’t think there is an electronic cigarette cartridge or cartomizer available that someone hasn’t figured out how to refill. Some are easier than others, but refilling is worth it no matter what. Cost savings achieved through refilling are one thing, but the tantalizing array of liquid flavors available for refilling the electronic cigarette cartridge is the real payoff.

“The SuperSmoke Deluxe is better than a KR808D-1, 510 or M401” – SuperSmoke Deluxe is a name I made up. Watch out for big retailers who have done exactly the same thing. Most retail kits consist of fancy labels slapped on one of a finite number of e-cig styles available from Chinese manufacturers. Brand marketing is not necessarily a bad thing, but a retailer unwilling to admit that their electronic cigarette is compatible with a generic model is being deceptive.

Avoid sellers who make the statements above and you will find quite a number of reasonably priced and performance oriented electronic cigarette options on the market. Look for models like 510, eGo, KR808D-1, 901, M401, etc. that are carried by a number of different vendors. Comparison-shop and chose the one that suits your needs. You’ll be glad you did.


  1. Robert says:

    Whats the difference between clearomizer, cartomizer and atomizer. I dont get it

    • Eric says:

      Let’s start with what they have in common. Clearomizers, atomizers and cartomizers all have a coil that heats the eliquid, making vapor. That coil is typically wrapped around a wick that holds the juice as it’s being heated.

      In an atomizer, that’s all there is. Eliquid is either dripped directly onto the coil assembly or seeps in from a cartridge.

      In a cartomizer, the coil and wick are wrapped in a center tube and then surrounded by porous filler material that holds the reservoir of e-liquid. It’s like having the atomizer and cartridge all in one unit.

      A clearomizer does away with the filler material and simply has a tank full of juice. Longer wicks protrude into the tank and then transfer the juice to the coil.

      Hope this helps!

  2. I just got my first shipment of refill liquid for my electronic cigarette. I chose the blueberry flavored liquid from http://www.vapornine.com. I havn’t bought refill liquid from this company before but I was impressed. The flavor was delicious, the shipping was quick, and the cost was reasonable.

  3. Are there any sites that offer electronic cigarette refill liquid flavor sampler packs? I’m looking for somewhere I can get a pack with a couple different flavors I can sample and pick my favorites. Can anyone point me in the right direction?

  4. John McmMullen says:

    Is there ANY way to fight the senseless banning of e-cigs? I live in Oregon. They aren’t advertised here. Selling them here is banned. Even “free sample packs” don’t include “Oregon” in the list of states in the drop-down for addresses. Come spring, Portland’s mass transit is oficially banning their use on their trains and busses. Somehow, in spite of the facts, e-cigs are more and more being faced with restrictions similar to those placed on cigarettes! Nicotine patches aren’t, sucking on a lollipop isn’t, what’s with e-cigs?! Is it cigarette company lobbies? Is it just legislators ignorant of the facts?

    • Don says:

      Your comment appears on the page of my partner, Eric’s, article. But I don’t think he’ll mind if I reply.

      We (and all vapers) share your frustration. Even if you can’t vape on trains and buses, are you able to order vaping products over the Internet? There are very few brick and mortar stores (in any state). Don’t regret not being able to order “free trials”: they are a scam.

      Perhaps the best way to fight the banning is to join organizations like CASAA and National Vapers Club. They and others fighting the good fight are described briefly and linked in the “Vaping Organizations” section of our Links to Resources page.

      As for why the banning, I think your speculations are right on, i.e., a combination of ignorance … a virulent anti-smoking mentality (much of which is not open to reason) in today’s culture … and a powerful tobacco industry.

      The good news is that the courts seem to be on our side (or, at least, the side of protecting individual rights) … and the media is paying greater attention. And celebrity vaping (e.g., Katherine Heigl on Letterman) is great for raising public awareness.

      Hang in there, John!

  5. Don says:

    As always, my partner has provided great observations and advice!

    I’d just like to clarify that there are real differences among cartomizers, even within the same model: both in the construction and the prefilled e-liquid. The same applies to some atomizers (e.g., 501 and 801) and batteries (e.g., KR808D-1).

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