“ Brand: Intellicig / Type: Giving Up Smoking Aids „
I am very proud to be able to say that I gave up smoking nearly four weeks ago, and have still managed to resist the evil weed!
Due to me stopping my marginally less virulent habit than my husbands, he has decided that he will at least give some thought to giving up (a big step indeed for him anyway!), with him even coming home with the product I will now review for you as his first official step!
This product is known as an "E-cigarette", but the brand name is "Intellicig", with the starter kit comprising of a few different elements.
Within the very aptly cigarette packet shaped box, comes the actually E-cigarette, a pack of atomization tips, with there being a variety of different "flavours" ranging from Marlboro through to menthol tips.
Also included is the charging cable needed to keep the researchable battery within the unit fully charged, though even I was surprised to find that this was actually a USB cable, my daughter finds it hilarious that when she is on the computer there is a cigarette "burning" on the end of the laptop!
To start you have to charge the cigarette body part up for around 5 hours, this is easy enough to do by plugging the cable into the USB port on your computer, then inserting the whole e-cigarette into the box like opening on the opposite end (gold connection tip down!).
The body itself looks exactly like a bog standard king sized cigarette, the main body is white, with a grey tip on it, which when the unit is drawn and smoked on glows red like a real cigarette.
The body is though much heavier than a normal cigarette, with it being made from metal, and containing batteries too, though is not too heavy to handle, and to be honest gives you something extra in way of soothing your troubled and non-tobacco addled brain!
Once the main unit has been charged up, which is decipherable by the tip no longer glowing red (alternatively when the unit needs charging up the end glows red on and off intermittedly, this will need charging for 2-3 hours per week if used as often as you would actually smoke!), you simply screw one of the flavoured tips into the main body, and away you go!
I have to say I did feel a bit of a plum when I first had a go with this, when you first take a drag on it you assume nothing it going to happen, but this is where the magic happens!
In the centre of the newly screwed on flavoured tip there is a small hole to let the flavour out of, so when you take a drag on the cigarette it stats some sort of reaction that triggers the glowing tips mechanism, making the tip glow at precisely the second you would expect it too.
The biggest surprise to me though was the smoke!
My darling husband nearly doubled up with laughter when he saw my expression after having a go with the e-cigarette as he had deliberately forgotten to tell me of the smoking mechanism included.
Within the tip itself there must be flavoured "moisture", so when you take a draw on the cigarette it atomises into safe and harmless mist, which is made from such fine water particles it looks very much like smoke, but without the stated 40 harmful and cancer inducing chemicals used within real tobacco products to help them taste as they do and burn efficiently.
Each tip contains what is stated on the pack as being "200 mouths" which is simply 200 drags of the cigarette, after which time the taste and the smoke start to run out.
Now when I smoked I was a menthol girl, and my husband did actually get some menthol tips by mistake, so I of course gave them a go and to be honest wasn't that impressed by the flavour, but the normal tobacco tasting one's were a lot more realistic.
Is this a useful aid, in short yes!
Not only does this give your hand something to do, especially at associated smoking times (mine was just after the school run having a natter with my mates, and at work break times with a cup of coffee), but it gives you the actual sensation of smoking, from glowing tip and taste, through to the sensation of smoke being inhaled, I have to say that one point is probably one of the best parts of the cigarette, knowing you are getting the sensation of smoking without any of the killer chemicals included!
Not only is this is a health aid, helping you to break the cycle of addiction, but you also start to smell better too!
I am ashamed to say that I never had any concept of how much smoking made me smell when I was doing it, and now I have stopped and my friends at work go out for a cigarette, I can smell it immediately, and the fact that the cigarette also stops yellowing teeth, smelly clothes and also the biggy "passive smoking", there is no longer any need to feel that you have to sit outside to smoke that cigarette in crappy weather conditions.
Any downsides, only a couple!
I have to say that the feeling of stupidity doesn't really leave you, and in so saying this is not something I would stand and smoke in front of actual smokers (though my husband was sold this from a friend, and a couple of my work colleagues have actually ordered some too!).
The other downside is my children. My kids have been taught from a young age that smoking is a dirty and destructive habit to form, and in no way should they start as it is a killer, but this will not stop them from being inquisitive about smoking, especially seeing their Mum and Dad smoking for the best part of their childhood, especially after watching their parents standing and smoking what my husband refers to as his "toy fag", with my son even demanding he be given a go....no, not cool, hence we have now hidden said fag from his sight!
Apart from these minor points this is a useful aid to breaking the addiction cycle, clean and safe to use, as long as you can overcome the feeling of stupidity at using in public this is the perfect product.
Price wise the starter packs are available for purchase ranging from £21.00 onwards, and are available via the Betterware book, amazon and a variety of other locations at varying prices.
Longevity of use should be around two weeks for the pack of 6 pre loaded taste tips included in the pack, with the replacement tips being readily available, though I would say that a good month or two's use of this product would be more than enough to break the cycle of addiction to smoking, as by then all the chemicals from the actual cigarettes with have been flushed from your system.
This is a useful aid to stopping smoking, and I would recommend you try if you are stopping!
Thanks for reading x
A while ago a friend of mine popped round to see me and while he was sat on the sofa talking to me he produced an electronic cigarette, took a drag and exhaled a mouthful of "smoke". Now I was a bit surprised about this as the person in question hasn't smoked for 5 years and I'd never seen an electronic cigarette in action before. He explained that although he and his wife hadn't smoked for some time they both still missed cigarettes so when he'd come across Intellicig starter packs selling for £25 each he'd purchased one for both of them and they'd been merrily puffing away on them ever since. He was so enthusiastic about his Intellicig I got quite interested in buying one myself. As some of you know I'm trying to quit the evil weed and these e-cigarettes seemed like a good plan.
A few weeks later I made a point of going to the shop that sold them and bought one. The first thing I must mention is the box doesn't show a picture of a cigarette so I struggled to find them in this shop and had to ask. Armed with my electronic cigarette I went home to see what all the fuss was about.
Inside the box there is a tub containing 4 refill cartridges, the cartridges look like the filter. The white section of the Intellicig is the battery and a small section between the filter and battery is the vaporiser. There is a booklet that comes in the box and tells you how it all goes together and also a USB charger that goes in a computer to charge the battery. You can buy a wall charger, I believe they are £7.99, but I haven't done so yet.
The first problem I encountered was the booklet showed 4 separate pieces of the cigarette, I only had 3 that I could see. After a while I realised the vaporiser was screwed onto the battery in my box and I did indeed have all parts. It's a common mistake though as my friend's wife admitted she also thought she had a part missing because of this. The filter that is attached to the vaporiser in the box is actually an empty one just to show you where it goes so you need to immediately change that for one of the ones in the refill tub.
The Intellicig comes charged so you can get going straight away. All you need to do is screw the battery on the vaporiser and take the empty filter off and replace it with a full one. The filters have a plastic cap on them to keep the piece of foam moist so just remove that and push it onto the vaporiser and you're good to go. Drag on the filter like you do a cigarette and "smoke" appears like on a normal cigarette which is inhaled and then exhaled. The tip of the Intellicig lights up red like a real ciggie too. The smoke is actually steam produced by the vaporiser and as it passes the filter it collects some nicotine along the way as these electronic cigarettes are actually nicotine replacement (NRT) and don't contain tar or ingredients that cause cancer and respiratory problems in normal cigarettes.
One thing I wondered was how would I know if the filter needed changing? On a lot of NRT items like the inhalators there's no way of knowing when the cartridge is empty except opening it up and looking and I anticipated the same problem with this however it's easy to tell when the cartridge is empty as when the piece of sponge inside gets dry and no longer has any nicotine liquid on it the vaporiser doesn't work anymore so as soon as it stops producing "smoke" that's the first thing to check. It's very obvious when it's dry too as the foam expands and usually falls out as you remove the filter.
Another thing I wondered about was how to tell when it needed charging. Again though the vaporiser stops working so if you check the filter or change the filter and that isn't the problem it's a good idea to put the cigarette on charge for a while. Only the battery section needs to go on charge and it screws into the USB charger. Once plugged into your computer it flashes 5 times to confirm it's now on charge and then a red light will show to tell you it's charging and once finished the red light turns green, so very simple.
The other reason the vaporiser doesn't work is it may need cleaning. If both steps above haven't got it "smoking" again just unscrew the vaporiser from the battery, take off the filter then put the flat end of the vaporiser to your lips and wrap a tissue around the pointed end and blow. This removes any excess water in the vaporiser and is all that's needed to clean it. If all those steps fail to get vapour appearing then you need to email the manufacturers, I've seen a lot of people online mention how helpful they are and how quickly they replace parts but I can't vouch for that as I haven't had to contact them so far.
That's about it for troubleshooting so it's a very simple device to use and look after. Each filter contains nicotine equivalent to 6 cigarettes and refill packs cost about £3.25 for 5 so that's equal to 30 cigarettes for £3.25 which as you smokers will know is seriously cheaper. The filters come in different strengths of nicotine, the usual ones in shops are high strength but there are low strength ones too. The actual cigarette comes in silver and black as well for those who want something a bit different but most retailers only have the standard white one and brown filters. Personally I'm fine about it looking like a real cigarette but I may purchase a black one in the future because I like the way it looks!
So onto using it. I was pretty excited when I got my Intellicig, it intrigued me and I hoped it would help me stop smoking normal cigarettes so I could avoid the tar and chemicals that come along with smoke. Once I'd established I had all the parts I popped a new filter on, sometimes these feel a bit loose but I tend to hold my Intellicig by the white part so I don't pull them off, and took a drag. The first realisation I had was the smell, the filters actually smell like the smell you get on your fingers from smoking so very realistic. Then the "hit" as the vapour reached the back of my throat, which is something you don't get with NRT inhalators. My friend's wife raved about that aspect because it's not something other products do. So you've got a red tip that lights up, vapour that looks like smoke and hits the back of your throat like smoke and a realistic smell. I was thrilled with the product! I know all you non-smokers must think this is crazy but it's actually very sensible as it doesn't contain the harmful bits that cigarettes do but mimics them as close as you could get. I have to say I'm very pleased with my Intellicig and it is very similar to smoking a real cigarette but without the worry of how it will affect me. Of course it's still nicotine so the nicotine addiction is there but you can work your way down the filter strengths to wean yourself off these completely or carry on with them long term if you prefer, as you aren't getting the problem making ingredients of cigarettes it's not a problem to take your time stopping.
The only problems I've encountered is the vaporiser stops working but the above steps have always sorted that out. I would prefer a wall charger so I'm going to purchase one when I get round to it but for now I just pop the USB charger into the laptop and let it charge up, it takes around 3 hours maximum. I buy refills online and they work out at about 70p a filter from the Amazon seller I buy from. You can also buy them direct from Intellicig at www.intellicig.com .
As for how I'm doing stopping real cigarettes, I sometimes have days where I only use my Intellicig and it doesn't bother me because these are so close to the real thing there's no feeling of being deprived. Other days, especially if I'm out and have forgotten my Intellicig I'll have perhaps 2-3 cigarettes at most so it's really helping me. As the vapour isn't real smoke it doesn't make me or my house smell and I can actually smoke this inside which is a bonus in this weather! I never smoked cigarettes inside and always went to the back porch to smoke so now I can stay warm and comfy and just have a few puffs on my electronic cigarette, no smell, no clouds of smoke and no hassle! I've also blown some "smoke rings" using this which I suppose are actually "steam rings"!
It really is so realistic and the closest NRT you're going to find on the market right now. £25 for the starter pack isn't bad at all and the refills are a lot cheaper than cigarettes. The best thing though is avoiding the tar that causes health problems which makes the Intellicig worth it just for that. I intend to purchase a carry case so I can take mine out and about easily, and a wall charger for easier charging while I sleep at night.
Do I recommend them? I certainly do! For any smoker who has tried giving up but misses smoking too much and fails, or feels totally deprived and fails, or has eaten themselves into a tugboat status then failed and started again to try and lose weight, this Intellicig removes all those feelings of something's missing or something needs replacing as it's just like smoking so it's definitely worth a try.
Available in some shops, direct from www.intellicig.com and several online chemists. You can buy liquid to refill your existing filters but I haven't done that so far so can't comment.
A full 5 stars from me and I'm very happy with my Intellicig.