Disclaimer: I received a free product from Cigotine for the purposes of this review. However, this review reflects my true opinion regarding the product, not some bunch of crap I’m “supposed” to say. Cigotine was cool with this.
I’ve been a smoker for about a million years. I usually smoke a little more than a pack a day. I’m well aware of all the negatives: It’s expensive, it smells bad, and it’s going to kill me if I don’t stop. Yet, just like my spending addiction, smoking is so ingrained into my lifestyle I don’t know how not to do it.
I received an email from Cigotine awhile back, asking me if I’d like to try their electronic cigarette and review it here at SOD. Naturally, since I’ve complained about wanting to quit smoking AND because I had the chance to try it for free, I was all about it.
What is Cigotine?
Basically, instead of buying tobacco cigarettes that you light and smoke, an electronic cigarette (or e-cigarette) is a battery-powered device that looks just like a regular cigarette and is supposed to simulate the experience of smoking in a less disgusting/expensive way. Please note that e-cigarettes are NOT supposed to help you “quit” smoking. They are not “healthy.” They simply contain fewer chemicals and release an odorless vapor instead of gross secondhand smoke.
Some e-cigarettes require you to buy these little vials of liquid nicotine, which are squirted into a cartridge and placed in this contraption that attaches to a battery. Complicated, right? One of the cool things about Cigotine is its 2-piece design. The cartridges already contain everything you need – you just screw them into the battery and throw them away when they’re empty.
While real cigarettes contain thousands of chemicals, Cigotine contains six, all of which are commonly found in household items. The chemicals are listed on the website – I found it very comforting to know exactly what I’m inhaling instead of just filling my body with random scariness.
What’s in the box?
I received the Deluxe Kit (pictured above), which retails for $99.95, plus three additional boxes of cartridges. One cartridge is more or less the same as two packs of cigarettes, so a box of five is equivalent to a carton. A box of cartridges costs $14.95. (For comparison, a carton of my brand of cigarettes costs $37.)
The box contained everything I needed to get started – two batteries (looks like the white part of the cigarette), the cartridges (looks like the filter), a USB charger, and a wall adapter. I plugged up a battery and it was charged in less than two hours. The battery stays charged for about two days depending on how much you smoke.
It takes a few puffs to get the full effect of the Cigotine cartridge. They sent me the equivalent of a “light” cigarette since that’s what I normally smoke, and at first it was extremely weak. It also had the slightest hint of a fruit or berry flavor, which was weird but not horrible. The tip of the e-cigarette is blue and lights up when you inhale (oddly hypnotizing!). When you exhale, a cloud of water vapor comes out. Very convincing! It didn’t take long for the cartridge to release its full strength – it was smoother than a regular cigarette, but not as different as I thought it would be.
That first day, I made it six hours without smoking a real cigarette. When I felt a nicotine fit coming on, I grabbed my Cigotine and puffed away. In the house. Sitting right beside my son, who announced excitedly that he couldn’t smell a thing. I smoked in my car without cracking a window and letting in the evil summer heat. I didn’t need an ashtray. No cigarette butt to throw in my yard. Awesome!
There are a few things I didn’t love about Cigotine that first day. While it definitely satisfied my physical nicotine cravings, it lacked some of the psychological benefits I’ve been used to for so long. No flicking my lighter. No searing heat hitting my lungs (which I know won’t make sense to nonsmokers). No seeing the cigarette get smaller. So I smoked a regular cigarette that night before bed, and another one the next morning. I won’t lie – I’ve continued to smoke at least two and sometimes 10 a day ever since.
Is Cigotine Worth It?
I’ve now finished six Cigotine cartridges (12 packs) and I’m basically a convert. I haven’t managed to put down my real cigarettes completely yet, but it’s becoming easier as I get used to smoking an e-cigarette regularly.
Would I have ever tried Cigotine if I hadn’t gotten it for free? Honestly, probably not. $100 is a big investment for something you can’t really judge until you’ve tried it. However, I noticed today that Cigotine now offers a disposable “try me” e-cigarette equal to a pack and a half for $14.95. That’s not bad if you’re interested in trying it without committing to the entire kit!
If I can give up regular cigarettes, I’ll save a ton of money. I smoke three cartons of cigarettes per month, which usually costs about $110. Three packs of Cigotine cartridges cost $45. That’s a savings of almost $800 a year! Plus I don’t have to go outside in the blazing heat or freezing cold, my clothes smell better, I’m not constantly interrupting time with my son to go smoke… Yeah, there are definite benefits here. Plus I notice I don’t have as much shortness of breath when I’m active.
The Bottom Line
If you’re sick of spending a ton of money on cigarettes, Cigotine may be a good alternative. It does require an initial investment of $100 and takes some adjustment, but it’s easy and intuitive to use. Their customer service department is very responsive and eager to help you get used to the product. Plus you become extremely popular when you smoke, because everyone and their mom wants to know what you’re smoking and where you got it!
Drawbacks? Cigotine isn’t readily available in stores yet, so you have to plan/order ahead to avoid running out of cartridges. You also risk a dead battery if you’re not careful – I charge one every night and switch them out daily just in case. It actually makes me more motivated to quit smoking because it’s such a pain in my ass to keep everything organized.
Overall, I’ve enjoyed my experience with Cigotine and plan to keep using it. It sure beats patches and gum as a harm reduction method for quitting smoking! If you’re looking to put down the smelly cancer sticks, check out the Cigotine website and consider the switch to e-cigarettes.