Humble greetings and warmest felicitations on the turning of the New Year to you all! Major Edmund Thaddeus Browning (Retired) here. Allow me to welcome you, one and all, to the first entry in what my friend and colleague, the inestimable Mr. John Castle, has entitled my collected entries: “Ask A Sir”. Spiffing good title, that!

Herein I shall endeavor to answer reader questions from the basic to the thorny. It is my hope, in so doing, to entertain one and all as well as to educate and to inspire. Without further ado, allow me to open the mailbag and see what awaits therein!


Just Starting In Wichita

 “Dear Mr. Sir,

My husband bought me an e-cig w/ variable voltage and variable wattage but I’m new to VV and VW. Can u tell me the best setting to use? Thx!

Just Starting in Wichita

Dear Starting,

Generally speaking, if you are only just dipping your toes into Advanced Personal Vapourisers for the very first time, I advise that one employs the variable wattage function, as this function is far more forgiving than the variable voltage function; rather, I should like to say that your delicious juices and your atomising devices will be more forgiving.

Should you happen to adjust your wattage to an exceedingly aggressive level, the worst you might expect would be an unpleasant flavour; should you err similarly with a voltage adjustment, however, the results can be far more distasteful; a harsh, burnt flavour, with an irritating, even eye-watering throat hit.


Dutifully consult the user manual that accompanied your delightful new device to discover how you might set it to adjust its wattage, and make the necessary adjustment your very first act. Now you shall likely find your perfect “vape” between the settings of 7.5 and 9 watts, I’ll wager. All set? Now you’ve got it!


“The Sir”

Bleh In Long Island

“Dr. Major,

I just started using cartomizers recently coz my bro told me they give the best flavor. I dunno wat he means, coz every time I fill one up and start usin it, theres this gurgley sound and all I taste is this burnin metal n plastic funk. Am I doin somethin wrong, or is my bro fulla [redacted]?

—Bleh in Long Island”

Dear Bleh,

I can only surmise, dear Sir, that this happens to you regularly. Although you haven’t dispensed all of the information I should like to have in hand for an exact picture of the problem, I shall offer this suggestion which I am confident will guide you in the right direction:

Patience is a virtue in all things; but in no thing is it more virtuous than in the period that immediately follows the filling of a new atomisation device. One can hardly be unsympathetic to your desire to indulge in an immediate puff on that little tube just filled with deliciousness; however, you must exercise patience. Allow the filling of your cartomiser or the wicks of your clearomiser to drink in that wonderful nectar. I generally advise at least a good five minutes as being plenty of time to wait out that saturation process.


“The Sir”

Queasy In London

“Dear Major,

I recently gave up a packet-a-day [cigarette] habit and started using an e-cigarette my brother-in-law gave me. I think it’s just the dog’s, really brilliant. The vapour tastes wonderful and satisfies just like the old-fashioneds. But I’ve noticed a few things that I don’t like. If I puff long enough, I get a thudder of a headache and feel queasy. I thought this was supposed to be a better alternative to the stinkies, and my brother-in-law doesn’t have this problem. Am I allergic or something?

—Queasy in London.”

Dear Queasy,

I fear I’m not terribly well schooled with regard to the colloquialisms you employ with such panache; nevertheless, I believe I understand your dilemma. Let us avoid over complications; the symptoms you describe sound very much to me like what one should expect when one overindulges in one’s nicotine. I believe you will find that if you reduce either the duration or frequency of your “vape breaks”, you should find that these discomforts shall subside. That should stand you in good stand in the short term.

In the long term, I gently but strongly advise you to select eliquids with the next lower nicotine strength. If you experience these sensations while using a liquid of 24-milligram (or 2.4%) nicotine strength, make your next order for 18 milligram (or 1.8%) nicotine strength eliquid, and see if that does not suit you.


“The Sir”

Going In Los Angeles


Hey, so like, I really love eGo batteries, but I don’t like how expensive they are for how long they last. Only a couple hours and then you gotta get a new one? Bummer! Do you know if anybody makes one that lasts longer? My girlfriend is naggin’ me to quit smoking, but I can’t keep forking over that kinda money every couple hours for a new battery!

—Going Broke in L.A.”

Dear Going,

Truly, young man, you have presented me with a stumper of a question. I am genuinely mystified, and I think you will find that a rare occurrence indeed! However, after many an hour of consideration — I am forced to admit that a wicked headache slowed me a bit in these meditations — I believe I am now able to formulate a response to your query wholly devoid of the sort of language more commonly heard on the docks and wharves of the city. It is this:

You can save quite a lot of your earnings by taking notice of the fact that eGo batteries are rechargeable.