Last Updated on February 9, 2016 by

How To Choose The Right e-Cigarette – Guide To Vaping

An e-Cigarette Primer by Tom McBride

Audience: Current Smokers & New Vapers

If you are a current cigarette smoker, or someone who has recently found his or her first e-cigarette less than satisfying, this series is for you.  Even if you’ve been using electronic cigarettes for a few months and not yet left behind cigarettes completely, this new series for new vapers may be just what you need to finally get rid of tobacco use completely, once and for all.

No one can deny the hazards of smoking. No one benefits from cigarettes other than the board of directors or various tobacco companies and the employees of those tobacco companies. You know that, and you’ve found yourself here at Spinfuel eMagazine probably by performing a Google or Bing search for e-cigarettes. If that’s the case, welcome to Spinfuel, and more importantly, congratulations on choosing to quit cigarettes!

You’ve made the right choice by wanting to quit, and electronic cigarettes ARE the best way to get off tobacco and leave it in the dustbin of your life’s history. Believe me when I say that today’s electronic cigarettes are 99.99% safer than tobacco cigarettes and much more satisfying, if you choose the right “e-cigarette” for YOU.

What It Means To Choose What’s Right For You

Smoking is a very personal habit, and everyone is different when it comes to smoking. Some people smoke a half a pack a day, some one pack a day, some two packs, and so on. Some people smoke menthol, others do not. Some choose Marlboro, Winston (my old brand), Parliament, Salem, or a hundred others. Like cigarettes and smokers, choosing the right e-cigarette means defining your choices in tobacco cigarettes and your smoking habits.

However, in our first article in this new series we are going to tell you about the worst mistake you can make in your new journey; falling for the ‘free starter kit’ scam. Avoiding this scam is primary to your successful switch to the right e-cigarette. Let’s begin

Guide To Vaping – Lesson One: First Things First – The Worst Mistake

Above all else, the worst mistake you can ever make as a smoker looking to switch to electronic cigarettes is to fall for the “Free Trial” scam. There is no such thing as a FREE TRIAL. Not now, not ever. But there are plenty of con artists in the business of separating you from your money that sure know how play fast and loose with the truth, and to scam enough innocent people to continue to operate with impunity.

Some of the worst offenders take out huge ads in magazines and websites that offer you the so-called “free” Starter Kit and a 14-Day free trial. You might also receive an email from one or a hundred companies offering you the same 14-Day Trial Scam.

Sadly, as a part of that free trial you agree to sign up for monthly shipments for “cartomizers” which are prefilled with cheap, horribly tasting Chinese e-liquid, on the premise that you will always have a supply of cartomizers to use. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The 14-Day Trial is NOT free

When you agree to their “free 14-day trial” they also tell you in, very tiny words, that you are agreeing to pay $120 plus shipping for that supposedly free Starter Kit after the 14-day trial. They also tell you that the 14-day trial begins the moment you place the order, so in all likelihood by the time you get your starter kit you will have maybe a day or two at most to try out your e-cigarette.  Nine times out of ten, by the time you get your cheaply made Starter Kit the time for the trial period has already ended.

At the heart of all these companies is the supposition that you will not read the fine print. The only place they post these “details” are in the “Terms and Conditions” page. You can only access that page at the very bottom of the homepage with a very small text link that is only 1 or 2 shades lighter than the black background of the page.

At the end of this article I have linked our Scam Alerts from several of these con artist companies. I urge you to read them, but more importantly read the comments left from people who were not as fortunate to have access to this article. The nightmare these companies create in order for you to cancel your agreement or to get a refund for the charges that can amount to more than $200, show to what length these companies will go through to separate you from your hard earned money.

The Scam – Part Two – The Starter Kit

Your Starter Kit will include one battery, 1 USB adapter, 1 Wall Adapter, and maybe up to 5 cartomizers (the cartomizer looks like the filter on a cigarette, and it contains the e-liquid that the battery vaporizes).

Never buy a Starter Kit that contains a single battery. When that battery needs to be recharged, which is after about 75 puffs with these cheap batteries, you won’t have a backup battery to use while it is charging, which can take 3 or more hours. When that happens the only choice you have is to suffer through it or smoke a cigarette.

The company purchases these Starter Kits, which they charge you up to $120, for less than FIVE DOLLARS from a Chinese manufacturer. Reputable companies do not sell single battery starter kits, and a two-battery starter kit costs less than HALF the cost of the Starter Kit these companies are about to charge you.

The Scam – Part Three – The Cartomizers

The first thing you need to know about cartomizers is that there isn’t a cartomizer made that will last you the equivalent of TWO PACKS of Cigarettes. NO Cartomizer from ANY company lasts that long. At most, the best cartomizer in the world will last you the equivalent of 8-10 cigarettes. If you smoke One Pack of Cigarettes a day you will go through at least 2 cartomizers every day.

These scam operations charge you $74 for TEN Cartomizers. A reputable company will sell you a 5-pack of Cartomizers for TEN Dollars or LESS. At most, 10 Cartomizers, prefilled with e-Liquid should cost you no more than $20. As a pack a day smoker you will go through roughly 60-70 cartomizers each month.

The Scam – Part Four – Chinese e-Liquid

Every one of these scam operations use the cheapest e-liquid made by Chinese e-liquid manufactures. Worse, the Chinese manufactures they use are some of the worst e-liquid companies in China. Reputable companies either use 100% American made e-liquid or the best Chinese e-Liquid manufactures (such as DeKang). Inhaling the vapor from one of the cartomizers from the scam company is risky at best. (Personally, I prefer American made e-liquid and in future articles I will discuss several that make great e-liquids)

The Scam – Part Five – Auto-Shipments

No reputable company will EVER offer Auto-Shipping or cartomizers. Well, except for one, and although I do not like their product and they are slightly more expensive then others that I do like. South Beach Smoke does have an Auto Shipment Program. However, if you sign up for the program you receive 20% off the cost of their products, making the cartomizers priced in line with others, and they will replace your batteries when they die (and they will die, usually within a year or so). Considering that South Beach Smoke sells their cartomizers at 20-25% more than most others, I cannot recommend them and I strongly you advise that you hold off ordering from ANY company unless you’ve read a review of them in Spinfuel and like what we have to say about them. Otherwise, wait until we cover the Top Ten.

Auto-Shipments by these Scam operations will cost you $74 for TEN cartomizers. As a pack a day smoker you would wind up spending more than $600 for cartomizers every month versus $120 from reputable companies.

The Scam – Part Six – The Worst Offenders

There are several companies selling this 14-day free trial SCAM, and this list is not complete, but they are the most frequent advertisers and email spammers.  Avoid these companies at all costs.

The following companies are still in business, and people are still falling for their scams. If you know of other companies please feel free to post them in the comments below.

  1. Regal  
  2. Prada
  3. Saphire
  4. XOCigs
  5. Lift Vapor
  6. Emerald LUX


In upcoming articles we will discuss the importance of determining your personal needs in order to find the right electronic cigarette for you. Each brand is different; each “platform” is different. Will you be satisfied with a ‘cig-a-like’ brand, which is a battery that is about the same size of a normal tobacco cigarette, or will you need something a little bigger or even a lot bigger? Will your budget allow you to purchase prefilled cartomizers or should you be looking at filling your own cartomizers or clearomizers? We will cover these subjects and more.

With the modern technology going into electronic cigarettes this year there is no reason why you cannot stop using tobacco completely and still enjoy the “smoking” experience.

E-Cigarettes are not some sacrifice you need to make to gain several healthy years to your lifespan, but that is a great incentive. Choosing the right e-cigarette will provide a much better experience than smoking ever will. Delicious flavors, abundant vapor (smoke), and pure satisfaction await you in the world of ‘vaping’.

Until the next column (in the couple of days, at most) you might want to take a look at our Vaping Glossary to get a better handle on some of the terminology we will use in upcoming articles. As my dad used to say; “It couldn’t hurt”.

Tom McBride