How Do E-Cigars Compare to The Real Thing? – Guest Article by Eric Van Buskirk

Meet The Latest Vaporizer Alternative

Much to the delight of smokers looking to quit, there is now an electronic, vaporizer-driven or “vape” alternative to everything notorious for having serious side effects on lung health. For nearly a decade now, hookah, shisha, cigarette and pipe smokers have all had an established array of brands to shop from when choosing a vape. Now, cigars are getting the same treatment with the introduction of e-cigars.

The benefits of this trend have become increasingly clear in recent years. Multiple studies from around the world have established that not only are vapes significantly safer than conventional combustibles; they are also the driving force behind smoking cessation at the population level. But how do these electronic devices stack up next to the real things in terms of their quality, cost and flavor experience? In this post, we take a closer look at cigars and their new electronic counterparts to find out.


What Makes a Cigar vs. an E-Cigar: A Quick Comparison

While e-cigars are designed to produce thick clouds, premium tobacco flavor, plenty of nicotine and even the aesthetics of conventional cigars, they have virtually nothing in common beneath the surface. Let’s briefly examine the two, one after the other.

Conventional Cigars are fairly straightforward in their design, consisting of three main components. First, there is what’s called the filler: a rolled bundle of cured, fermented tobacco leaves. A binder leaf holds the filler together inside what’s known as the “wrapper” leaf, which is typically the sturdiest leaf used. Higher end cigars each come with a band featuring manufacturer info and signage.

E-Cigars are much more complex in their design. They are typically covered in high quality angled paper wrap designed to look just like a tobacco cigar, with a soft chewable mouthpiece and an LED tip that illuminates when the e-cigar is puffed. An internal cartomizer stores the nicotine e-liquid, while the adjacent coil atomizer heats and vaporizes it. The three most vital internal components of an e-cigar are:

  • Its sensor, which activates the device whenever the user takes a drag
  • Its microprocessor, which controls the LED tip as well as the coil atomizer
  • Its battery, which comes in both rechargeable and disposable varieties

Higher-end devices such as those manufactured by Veppo, Cuvana or Apollo even feature safety features such as low voltage and short circuit protections.


The Pros & Cons Between Electronic and Conventional Cigars

While cigars are understandably expected to always have the edge in terms of flavor, there are plenty of advantages to e-cigars. Besides their significantly reduced implications on lung health, they are also much more affordable, though their costs are cumulative, and can be broken down into three parts: device, components and maintenance. While some e-cigars are disposable, the majority of higher-end models are rechargeable, and only require a one-time investment with negligible e-liquid top offs going forward.

Of course, the lack of stiff importation fees and bans in some states are another advantage e-cigars have over tobacco cigars.


The Reception Around E-Cigars & The Risk of Market Overlap

Currently, cigar aficionados and devotees remain largely unmoved from their favorite conventional tobacco treats. For many, there‘s an indelible sense of tradition and luxury associated with indulging in impeccably-sourced, hand-rolled cigars from Central America and the Caribbean. However, for those who want to (or have to) cut down on the established risk factors that come with cigar smoking, e-cigars are sure to be a welcome innovation. Prospective cigar smokers put off by said risk factors will also be glad to have a safer alternative available.

It’s likely the two will be able to coexist peacefully as two separate industries, drawing consumers with different interests into their respective corners of the open market.

1 thought on “How Do E-Cigars Compare to The Real Thing? – Guest Article by Eric Van Buskirk

  • For those that don’t have an in-home lounge but love to enjoy the relaxation of smoking a cigar while watching TV inside (without annoying their significant other), I think this might be a viable alternative. Naturally, the e-cigar’s vapor fragrance can be toned down (when compared to traditional cigar smoke) to avoid upsetting others while still providing the user with the relaxing aspects of smoking. Although I do have an in-house lounge, I’ll be giving the e-cigar some thought. Good article!

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