What to buy
First generation models (cigalikes)
Some people start with a first generation model ('cigalike') which look like cigarettes and can mimic smoking more closely. They satisfy the hand-to-mouth ritual that is important to many smokers.
Cigalikes are easy to use. They are prefilled and do not require a separate purchase of e-liquid. Cigalikes are available in a range of nicotine strengths (0-50mg/ml) and flavours.
There are 3 brands that I recommend, none of which are made by tobacco companies. All need to be imported from overseas.
Each Kikit ecig consists of a prefilled replaceable cartridge and a rechargeable battery. Available in 18mg/ml nicotine (light) and 24 mg/ml nicotine (medium) and 2 tobacco flavours. Each cartridge delivers about 250 puffs, which is the equivalent of 1 packet of cigarettes.
You can purchase individual batteries and cartridges separately, along a USB charger and/or wall charger.
According to my calculations, the cost for an average user is about $130 AUD per month.
To order: www.kikit.co.nz (imported from New Zealand)
A similar product from the UK is gamucci: www.gamucci.com
NJoy Daily (strong)
NJoy Daily is a disposable e-cigarette with a high nicotine concentration of 45mg/ml. Each stick delivers 300 puffs and is then discarded. No battery charging or replacement cartidges are required. NJoy Daily comes in a range of flavours (tobacco, menthol, berry, tropical, apple, apple-melon. Cost is about $6 AUD each when ordering 20 or more.
To order: www.njoy.com/daily (imported from US via a shipping agent. Currently won't ship directly to Australia)
Juul consists of a rechargeable battery and prefilled disposable 'pods' containing 50mg/ml nicotine in five different flavours (tobacco, creme brulee, mango, cool mint, fruit medley). The battery is charged by plugging into a special USB port adapter inserted into a USB port.
To order: www.juulvapor.com (imported from US)
Second and third generation models
These more advanced models can deliver more nicotine and vapour and are more satisfying. They do not look like cigarettes and are more complex to use than cigalikes.
You will need to purchase
- E-liquid, and regularly refill the chamber.
- Replacement 'coils'. The coil is the heating element which needs to be changed at regular intervals, typically every couple of weeks although sometimes longer. Change the coil when the taste goes off. The wick draws the e-liquid onto the coil.
Performance of each device depends to a large extent on their power, which is determined by the voltage of the battery (usually 3-6V) and the resistance of the heating element (usually 1-6.5 ohms).
The higher the voltage and the lower the resistance, the higher the power (in watts). Power typically ranges from 4-11 watts.
Model selection is a matter of personal preference and budget.
Popular models for beginners
These second generation models are ideal for beginners. They are compact, easy to fill and use and deliver a good dose of nicotine and vapour. Click the link below each to see an instructional video.
|VIDEO: Joyetech AIO (RRP about $30)||VIDEO: Innokin Endura T18 (RRP about $42)|
Select your e-liquid
If you select a refillable device (second, third or fourth generation EC) you will also need to purchase e-liquid. You can purchase premixed ready-to-use e-liquids or you can mix your own.
There are 4 steps involved in purchasing a ‘ready-made’ liquid:
- Select the nicotine strength
Premixed solutions range from 0-36mg/ml (or 3.6%). Most people start with 12-18mg/ml (1.2-1.8%), but some heavier smokers prefer the 24mg/ml (2.4%) solution. Some experimentation may be required to find the appropriate strength to manage nicotine cravings and urges.
- Select your flavour
The most popular flavour initially is tobacco, but other flavours include menthol, fruit, confectionery and beverage flavours, such as mocha or coffee.
- Select your PG: VG blend
Nicotine is dissolved in PG (propylene glycol) and VG (vegetable glycerine) in varying proportions. Depending on personal preferences, typical PG:VG blends are 70:30, 50:50 and 30:70. A good starting blend for beginners is 50% PG: 50% VG.
- PG gives more flavour and throat hit.
- VG produces more mist and is sweeter but is very gluggy and harder to work with. Heating coils do not last as long in high-VG mixes.
- Select bottle size
Typical bottle size is about 30 ml, but can bottles can range from 20-500ml. The average volume of e-liquid used per day is 2-5ml.
Some long-term users buy the individual ingredients in bulk and mix their own e-liquid. High strength nicotine at 100mg/ml can be purchased from overseas websites and stored in the freezer. It is mixed with other ingredients purchased locally, ie propylene glycol, vegetable glycerine and flavourings.
Last Modified: 12-08-2017