Electronic cigarettes

In case you don’t know, cigarettes in Germany are not cheap. After the last price increase some time ago a pack of cigarettes can now be bought for 5 Euros which is not so little if the resident smoker needs around one carton per week. So we started looking at alternatives.

It turns out there almost no vendors at all in Germany which sell those electronic cigarettes, those that do don’t have good ratings. Eventually we settled for a new British company which sells a product call SkyCig. So we ordered the starter kit. The idea was to see what they are like, if they are reliable, how they taste and, quite important too, if overall they are cheaper than normal cigarettes.

The cigarette itself is made up of the battery (which you can charge), a refill which basically represents the cigarette’s butt and contains the nicotine in pure form (i.e. without all the bad substances present in a real cigarette) and a vaporizer which heats up the liquid nicotine and produces the vapor. They also sell what they call a cartomizer, which is the refill and the vaporizer in one unit which screws in turn to the battery. It ends up cheaper per puff and you just throw it away when it’s finished.

The pack can hold couple of refills and also acts as a charger for the batteries. Once itself is charged, it can charge up to 4 cigarettes. We also bought two of those USB chargers which can charge individual cigarettes, bit more convenience.

You can get the refills in various flavors and they taste not bad at all. While you drag, the tip of the cigarette lights up orange and it also produces a smoke-like vapor which looks very much like the real thing. The difference is that it dissipates very quick, smells good and doesn’t stain your walls, clothes, teeth.

Since it’s not a real cigarette it can potentially be used in places where normal smoking is banned. Which is all over the place in Germany.

We’re still in the testing phase but the results so far are quite promising. From one carton or more per week, our resident smoker came down to only 2 packs per week. Price-wise we are definitely cheaper, can’t say for sure yet but from what I can tell so far at least 50%, if not more. The goal is to stop smoking the real cigarettes but that will come gradually.

The whole electronic cigarette thing is rather new and most countries don’t know what to make of it. There no specific laws about it, or nothing consistent anyway. In some EU countries it’s apparently illegal to buy pure nicotine without a doctor’s prescription, in others it’s ok. We’ll see how it goes.


Last week, all of a sudden, my power supply just died. Since it was kinda built-in into the case, I decided to replace both and get something better quality which while not as cheap, should last longer:

Not dead

I am not dead, still alive and kicking even though I let the blog be for the past couple of months. Not sure how many people look here from time to time (if any) but I plan to revive the blog and keep up posting. I even took time today and updated WordPress from the ancient version I was running.

This year the stupid 5-day festival I was talking about last year took place again in our town but this time we were prepared: we took vacation days. We went for a week to Romania, this time by plane so we won’t waste 4 days just driving. We left right in the morning when the great event started and came back one week later.

The vacation itself was nice although a bit too hot, I don’t think there was a single day with temperatures below 32C or so. We spent 2 days in Bucharest, another 2 at Paraul Rece and then 4 days in a tiny village somewhere in the neighborhood of Buzau. On our way back from there we stopped for couple of hours in Brasov so Freya had  a chance to see the the city center and bit around.

We flew with German Wings, a local “low-cost” company. I say “low-cost” because, while cheaper than a normal airline, it’s still not so low after you add all kind of things, like extra suitcases and so on. We also had the dubious privilege of landing and taking off from Baneasa Airport, which still seems ancient and out of last century.

Eventually we came back to lovely Germany where we were promptly welcomed with 18C temperatures and gray weather.  And then we started work so things are back to normal :)


Really nice weather today so we took a trip to visit the castle of Hohenzollern. The castle is situated some 50km south of Stuttgart and it’s considered the ancestral seat of the Hohenzollern family, which eventually become german emperors. It’s interesting to note that one of the first kings of Romania, Carol I (or Charles I) was a Hohenzollern. Small world, eh ?

I took pictures, of course :)

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