I have a new Electrofag to review. I’ve been sent samples to review before and reviewed some I bought myself. This is one of the free samples – well, it’s free as long as I write a review. No money changed hands either way, and the freebiness of the sample won’t affect my opinion. I have never signed any agreement, with anyone, to only give good reviews. I know that happens. I’ve never been asked to sign one and if I ever am, I’ll decline. So this review is unchecked by the sender of the sample and untainted by any restrictions on what I say. As if any such restriction could ever hold.
Technical stuff first. The one I have is an Aspire Pockex in stainless steel, with blueberry flavoured vaping juice and was supplied by Ecigwizard.They have quite a range of vaping stuff on that site. I haven’t looked at new vaping stuff for a while and I’m surprised there’s so much of it.
This Electrofag is priced at £19.99 (ex-VAT, so VAT will add £4 to that price), the 10 ml bottle of juice at 52p (ex-VAT, still cheaper than Poundland!). With postage and VAT added the total cost would be £30.60. I did get mine by next day delivery so maybe postage will be less if you can wait a few days.
In the UK you’ll be lucky to get four packs of cigarettes for £30 so if you buy one of these and use it for a total of four days, you’ll break even. That assumes you smoke a pack a day – I know some people who’d break even if they used it for a day and a half.
Compared with current UK tobacco prices it’s not expensive at all. But then any Electrofag can make that claim because UK tobacco prices are ridiculous.
So, here’s what arrived today –
On the box is the insanity of Tobacco Control. Not one word of truth in that warning label but we’ve been over this many times. In small print beneath it states ‘The above warning only applies when this device has been filled with nicotine containing e-liquid’.
So you have a warning in large print followed by ‘not really, we’re only kidding’ in small print. Since you can get zero-nicotine vape juice, that warning and its small print will, in some cases, be a total and absolute lie. That’s the lunacy that passes for law in this country now. I’m surprised they haven’t demanded pictures of steam-burn victims on the packs yet. I’m sure they will.
The addictiveness of nicotine is a farce. CStM will smoke if she’s stressed or drunk but never otherwise. During my PhD I knew a guy who would smoke a whole pack when drunk but next morning he was a nonsmoker again. For me the turning point was a 20-hour flight to Beijing. No smoking at the airport or on the way. It didn’t bother me at all – and I was expecting it to! No, it’s not addiction. It’s just nice, like pineapple slices or tea. More British people drink tea than smoke/vape. Is tea an addiction? Go on, I dare you 🙂
But I digress. The first thing I noticed was that it’s a really sturdy box. This one comes very well packaged. I actually did read the battery safety leaflet which is unusual for me. I notice the batteries should be changed every 3-6 months. I think I’d opt for buying a whole new set every 6 months – at the price, why faff about with battery changes? You’ll want a new tank and mouthpiece before then anyway. Oh, all the spares are on the website too.
As a smoker, the difference between paying £7.50 a day for cigs and paying £30 every six months for an Electrofag is pretty incredible. If it ‘turns’ me. We’ll see…
(Actually I’m paying less than £4 a day at the moment because I bought a caseload back from Denmark but we’ll gloss over that part. Running an Electrofag would still be a hell of a lot cheaper).
I can hear you screaming about now: ‘Open the bloody box!’ Okay, okay…
The Aspire Pockex is in a foam inlay next to a long black box containing a spare heater thingy (I know there are technical terms for these, I don’t care) and a USB cable. Just a plain USB cable with a mini connector at one end.
I’ve never seen this before. Every other Electrofag I’ve had requires you to take it apart and plug the battery into a special charger. They all look much the same, those chargers, but they’re not quite the same and if you use the wrong one you risk ‘boom’. It’s scary because the old ones don’t all have labels on them.
This one has a mini USB port in the bottom. Just plug it in. No dismantling, no messing about with a powerful lithium battery with both terminals at the same end (always scary). I like that innovation. I expect vapers are going ‘Oh we’ve had that for ages’ but it’s still a first for me.
There are instructions in the box but meh, I already read the battery instructions. That’s enough instruction for today.
The design is sleek and not too big. I’ve never been a fan of those ones that look like they belong in an electrician’s toolbox or in the hands of a Star Trek security guard. Yes, I know they are popular but they look like too much to carry around to me. This design suits me. Fits in a pocket and won’t be mistaken for some kind of stun gun.
It has 2 ml capacity (again, that’s the law now, nothing the supplier can do about it until Government contains someone with an actual brain) and the top plate with mouthpiece unscrews to access the tank. The heater thingy came out with it – I unscrewed the heater from the lid and screwed it back into the socket in the base of the tank. Make sure the little white window is at the bottom if you do this, because otherwise it won’t work. I don’t think it will fit the other way around anyway.
With the entire top off it’s very easy to add e-liquid to the tank, up to the fill line that’s halfway up the tank.Then you just screw the top back on. Apparently you can change the heater thingy without emptying the tank first. I’ll try that when the heater thingy breaks.
Here I had to look at the instructions. Pressing the button did nothing – you have to press it five times fast to turn it on, then you just press to vape. Pressing five times again turns it off so it won’t go off in your pocket. That’s worth remembering (I didn’t, hence mysterious hiss from shirt pocket earlier today).
So, I have a shiny Electrofag ready to go…
I like that it stands securely on its base. Putting down a tank-fill Electrofag can be a tricky thing. The Poundland one I tried needed to be propped against something or it would topple over. This one has a wide flat base and feels very stable even on the desk of a keyboard-batterer like me.
The blueberry vape juice is very smooth with none of the chemically harsh aftertaste of the early e-liquids. It’s actually very very nice indeed. I’ve puffed quite a bit already and saved some money on real-baccy cigs. It has passed the smoke ring test – I can blow smoke rings with it even though they aren’t really smoke at all. They look the same. Good enough.
The vape button has a light inside. When you press, it lights up blue and stays lit for a second or so after you release it. Gives you time to check it. You need to, because if it lights up pink you have less than 30% charge left and it’s plug-in time. Well, you can probably run a while longer on 30%, no need to panic.
I like this one. It’s light, it doesn’t look like it has a car battery in it and it’s not designed by H.R. Giger. Okay, hardcore vapers like to have things that look like they fell off a spy satellite but I prefer small, light, sleek and non-bizarre. The Aspire Pockex works for me.
Will it stop me smoking? Even Death might have trouble with that, it’s a hard call. I like smoking but it’s getting painfully expensive now. So using an Electrofag to reduce the expense of tobacco is a good thing for me. As a dual-fuel smoker/vaper, I don’t want to shell out for the Space Ranger versions. I want an occasional-use one that isn’t going to bulk out my pockets and isn’t going to make me look like I’m sucking a folded up multitool.
It also doesn’t produce a cloud of vapour that looks like a damn cumulo-nimbus at ground level. I never understood why vapers take such pride in that. They can decry smokers while producing an entire cigarette’s worth of ‘smoke’ in one breath. That’s just drawing attention to yourselves. No wonder Tobacco Control is after you.
The Aspire Pockex makes as much vapour as I usually exhale from real smoking. It’s a good transition tool for a smoker, it doesn’t make you feel like you just breathed out Global Warming. With no lingering smoke smell and even the blueberry scent vanishes in seconds. Just like all Electrofags.
Also you don’t have ashtrays to empty. That’s good too.
In the end though, I don’t think any Electrofag will stop me smoking. I love the flavours and the gadgetry but one thing that’s impossible to get right is tobacco flavour. You can’t have a generic tobacco flavour. Each blend of tobacco is different. It’s pot luck if the tobacco flavoured juice matches the one you usually smoke. If it happens to match, well great, but I haven’t found one for me yet.
And I just bought a new lighter. One of the fierce ones that doubles as a welding torch. I also like my Zippos. I like real fire. I like real burning cigarettes.
However, as I said, smoking is becoming a nastily expensive hobby. So, using a good, smooth-vaping Electrofag to reduce my intake of real tobacco is helpful. This one is more likely to ‘stick’ than any I’ve had before. It’s easy to use, easy to fill with the really wide open top, it stands nicely beside the keyboard with no wobbles to make me nervous and the vape is really smooth with no nasty throat aftertaste.
I think this one is for us dual-fuel types. The total-vape types will want a car battery and spark plug taped to a tank containing a litre of vape juice but if you just want to cut down a bit, save some cash, but not actually give up the real thing for now, this Electrofag is a good one to do that. It’s like a step on the way. It’s not for the hardcore, it’s for the smoker who wants to try it out.
At the price, well, it’s only going to cost four packs of fags to try it. And let’s face it, that’s really not much of a risk. If you’re a pack-a-day smoker and this thing cuts your intake by half, you break even in 8 days. After that you’re saving money. You’re paying less tax to fund antismokers. That’s a good thing all round.
I’d aim this one at the smoker who hasn’t tried vaping yet. The full-on vapers are going for things sold by the Weapon Shops of Isher (look it up if you don’t know it) but smokers wondering about trying vaping aren’t going to shell out for those gadgets and might be a bit scared of them.
They might go for an Aspire Pockex. It’s easy to use for a beginner and looks close to a cigarette and not scary at all. It’s light and solid-feeling and stable and easy to fill and charge. And it doesn’t look like something found in the remains of an exploded Dalek.
One thing though – a bit more detail on the filling instructions would be good. Just saying ‘top fill’ assumes you already know what you are doing. If you want to catch the not-yet-vapers among the smokers, you need to give them details.
Write the instructions for someone who’s never seen anything like this before and you’ll be ahead of every Electrofag seller out there. They all write instructions for vapers, not smokers.
All told though, if you’re a smoker who has wondered about vaping, this is a good one to start with.
Vaping might or might not save your life, meh, who cares? When did a smoker ever worry about longevity?
It can save you a shitload of money though.