E-cig review: Blu cigarettes

Manufacturer’s website (for retail purchase): http://www.blucigs.com.

If you know I got one of those new-fangled electronic cigarettes, you’re probably wondering what I think of it.
Here’s the gist of it: It pleasantly surprised me, but it also disappointed me a little.
Blu cigs ship free, fairly fast, within about five days. When the kit comes, you get two batteries, two atomizers (the heart of an e-cig), and one “variety” carton of flavor cartridges in the nicotine strength of your choice (which ranges from high — 16 mg — to “none”).
Blu’s big advantage over other e-cigs is its “pack”, which is a rechargeable battery package that can charge one of your batteries while you’re using the other one to smoke, as well as hold five flavor cartridges, and an extra e-cig entirely.
How does it smoke? Well, it’s not as satisfying as a regular cigarette, I’m sorry to say — it just doesn’t kick out enough vapor — but it is satisfying. I’ve found myself beginning to jones for the Blu cig in the same way I would jones for a regular cigarette. Same nicotine craving.
To really get a pull, you have to huff and puff, kinda, to heat the cartridge up enough, which sometimes gives you a bit of a nasty plastic-like taste in your mouth. However, for the most part, the flavor cartridges taste like they’re supposed to taste. Vanilla tastes like vanilla and cherry tastes like cherry (they also make a “Classic Tobacco” flavor).
Each cartridge is good for around 150 puffs, or — so they say — 15 cigarettes. Given that you’re going to be puffing on this thing a lot harder than you’d puff on a regular cigarette, it’s not nearly that many. I seem to go through a cartridge a day. But that’s still cheap: 25 cartridges is $25, and price goes down as you buy in bulk.
Is it satisfying? Yes, and no. Yes, it is satisfying in many ways, and gets you that nicotine fix you need, but I would challenge anyone to go cold turkey from regular cigarettes to strictly these. One is smoke, the other is water vapor. Of course the smoke is going to be more intense.
But, still, I thought this thing wouldn’t work at all, and it turns out it does work, and fairly well at that, so, as I said, I was pleasantly surprised.
So, to sum up: something like a B for these cigarettes, and an A for effort, because they certainly try to make it as satisfying as a regular cigarette, and it comes damn close.
The starter kit costs around $60, ships free, and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. I’m not returning mine, so I can’t testify as to how easy it is to return them, but I have used their online help chat, and it was helpful. You can also order spare atomizers, spare batteries, a spare pack — you can order all the bits and pieces if something in particular breaks for you or goes wrong.
If you’re a heavy smoker, or looking for a “cleaner” alternative to smoking, Blu cigs might be for you. Just remember, it’s not anywhere near as satisfying as choking down a real cancer stick. Just the nature of the beast.
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