I love smoking cigarettes—the smell, the ritual of lighting, the first morning draw, all of it. So, would I replace my beloved nic-sticks with a Fifty-One Trio E-Cigarette if given the chance? Short answer: nope.
Obviously, yes, the Trio is great because you get all the nicotine and none of the other bad—the ash, tar, carbon monoxide, or the hundreds of other noxious chemicals present in regular cigarettes (including the smell and smoke stains). Instead, you inhale a vaporized mixture of water, nicotine and Propylene glycol (FDA approved and commonly found in food colorings, mouthwash, and humidors).
They're a handy alternative for the occasional or social smoker who doesn't want to keep a pack on hand or bum smokes all night. The draw is pretty good, much cooler than normal smoke. It's just a little longer than a Camel Wide and about as thick around, so it looks more like a real cigarette than other available brands, cutting down on the "Heyyy, what'cha smokin' there?" drunken inquiries outside your local tavern. The nicotine cartridges sit in the "filter" section, last about as long as normal pack and are ludicrously less expensive—about $10 for a pack of six. The cartridges also come in a variety of strengths, 24mg (Plus—Drum hand-rolled), 18mg (High—Dunhill Reds), 14mg (Mid+—Marlboro Reds), 11mg (Mid - Marlboro Lights), 6mg (Low—Marlboro Ultralights), and 0mg (No Nicotine—why are you even wasting your money?).
Despite it being a reasonable facsimile to a real cigarette, it still feels toy-ish and kinda gimmicky. The end lights up when I inhale, which I suppose is to make it more realistic (though it's also available in green and blue). But really, it just reminds me I'm smoking a very small vapo, not a cigarette. Also, it doesn't really taste like a real cigarette—it's closer to hookah smoke or pipe tobacco sans the tobacco. You know, synthetic.
For as much as I should love the Trio for all of its health and cost advantages, I think I'll take my chances with the real thing.
$130 starter kit, $10 refill (pack of 6) available from Fifty-One