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.