Written on: 18/10/2012 by DFoucault (1 review written)
I smoked tobacco for 25 years. Between 25 and 35 fags a day and up to 50 on a night at the pub. I have been on elites for a year now and here is my honest review for those considering taking them up seriously. There are three things I'd like to say about them and I will be as honest as possible. Before I start let me state my baseline position on them. I have been determined to make them work as I never want to smoke tobacco again. I haven't smoked a real fag since I have been on elites but lots of organisation and planning is required to avoid frustration or failure. Failure for me would having no nicotine delivery vehicle at hand and torturing myself as to whether I should go and buy some Marlboro lites and potentially take up tobacco smoking again (this hasn't happened yet). Frustration is feeding my nicotine habit but in a way that either doesn't taste good or requires a lot of faffing about (you have to be really organised to avoid this with elites).
First they do work as a cigarette substitute but you have to do quite a bit of work yourself to make them work in particular to handle the unsatisfactory batteries that come with this product. I suspect that all the negative reviews on here and other sites may relate, usually without knowing it, to the batteries. Basically when the charge on the battery is low you don't get much of a tobacco hit: it is easy to blame an unsatisfactory nicotine hit on an empty cartridge when most of the time the battery is just getting flat. I always have at least one spare fully charged battery on me and if the tobacco hit is low I put the cartridge on the fresh battery and hey presto I'm back in business; or alternatively I realise that I do in fact need a new cartridge. I have about 8 batteries now and in the evenings, the only time of the day I am near electricity I recharge them two at a time using two chargers. The batteries only work at satisfactory power at the rate I smoke for about 3 hours each. This coincidently is about the time the battery takes to charge (so you could in fact smoke elites well with only 2 batteries with one going straight on the charger as the other one comes off: this is how I did it for the first two or three weeks). If you can get the battery charging thing to work out for you - eg. If you work at a desk and can always have a charger going next to you or if you just carry a lot of charged batteries around like me - then elites do work well as a tobacco substitute. But as I said above it is a lot of work.
Second, the cartridges. You have to get a feel for how long the cartridges last for you. In my case they last exactly 1/2 as long as it states on the pack. So one cartridge is about 20 to 25 smokes. This makes it cost £4 a day. So it will save you money if you used to smoke tailor mades and cost you abit more if you rolled your own. There is a hidden cost though that bumps this figure up. If you have a well charged battery you will know when the cartridge is running out as the taste of the cartridge changes to a sort of burnt taste: this is how I know when to throw the cartridge away. Probably about one in every 8 new cartridges taste like this from the beginning: I don't know whether they have leaked somehow or never been filled properly. These need to be thrown away straight away. It is annoying but is happens regularly.
Finally, after a year I do feel so so so much better. I ran my first half marathon the other week at 46 years old. It felt good. I also play football once a week and have no more coughing, wheezing or pounding heart like I used to when I was on the fags. My son doesn't say I smell when he hugs me. I never cough all morning. My clothes don't smell etc etc etc. In other words, thisis a viable way to still be a nicotine feind, like I am, and have many of the benefits of the non-smoker. That is, for me, all the efforts of making these e-lites work does pay off. But it does require a lot of faffing about as outlined above. Hope this helps and doesn't put anyone off trying to get off tobacco. Even with all the hassle of e-lites I still feel liberated from the stinky debilitating habit of tobacco smoking.