Swisher’s Entry into the eCig Market (A Review)

Not too long ago, I pointed out in an e-cigarette news update that cigar company Swisher was coming out with a line of e-cigarettes.  The line was going to include both kits and disposables, along with a disposable cigar with their unique Swisher Sweets flavor. I reached out to the good folks over at Swisher since I knew some of my readers would be curious.  They sent me their line of products to try and write a Swisher electronic cigarette review.  So, let’s take a look at the cigar maker’s foray into our world of e-cigarettes.

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Styles

IMG 1350 157x300 imageSwisher’s e-cigarette lineup includes both disposable and rechargeable kits.  The kits and disposables are both available in a traditional tobacco (called Natural Smooth) and menthol (Menthol Breeze).  In addition, the disposable lineup includes an “e-cigar” in Sweet Essence flavor, which presumable is supposed to resemble their iconic sweet cigar flavor.

I’m not quite sure why the cigar flavor is not available in a kit as well.

According to Swisher’s e-cigar site, the line will be available in both 12 and 18mg/ml.  When I spoke to their marketing person, he said that initially, only 18mg will be widely available.

The site above will give you lots of information about the company’s offering, especially about its rigorous testing and manufacturing process for its cartomizers.  They apparently put a lot of effort into ensuring consistent batches of e-liquid as well as automated filling to guarantee each carto has the same amount of e-liquid.  However, you won’t be able to buy their kits online.

The products will be available strictly in bricks and mortar locations, mostly convenience stores.  They do offer a handy store locator on their website, which tells me nobody around where I live carries them yet.

Swisher Rechargeable Kits

Swisher’s kits are pretty basic stuff.

IMG 1348 300x199 imageEach starter kit comes in a small box that perfectly resembles a cigarette pack.  Or, since this is Swisher, a little cigar pack.  Oddly, the boxes open at the top like a normal cardboard box, rather than having a flip-top like most hard cigarette packs.

Inside the first thing you’ll see is a little red notice telling you to contact their support hotline if you have a problem with the product instead of taking it back to the store.

Once you get the paper notice out of the way , there’s a smaller cardboard box inside with cutouts for the battery, charger and carto and a little instruction booklet.

Perhaps you were astute enough to notice all the items in that list above were singular.  That’s correct, this kit comes with only one battery and one cartomizer.

Even most of the cheapie “express” packs you see from other companies come with at least two cartomizers.  Naturally, you can buy more cartomizers in three packs wherever the kits are sold.

Kit Detail 300x225 imageThe battery uses the KR808 standard threading, however it seems they’ve done something funky with the way the air vents are built into the cartomizers.  I could get the Swisher battery to run a standard 808 carto.  But, there was no air flow at all when attempting to use a Swisher carto on a V2 Cigs battery.

I suppose in the end, being able to use their battery with different cartomizers is better than the other way around.

I’m going to forego the usual performance review here.  To be honest I didn’t test it extensively, the one carto that came with my traditional kit was DOA, and I’m not a big menthol fan so I didn’t spend much time with the kits.  From the few drags I took of the menthol, I thought it was a little more pepperminty than menthol (mentholy?) Performance was not what I would call stellar, especially when compared to something like the V2 or Smokeless Image kits.

Disposable e-Cigar

I’m going to go ahead and fast forward to the part people are probably the most interested in. The e-cigar.

Really the only thing that makes it a cigar as opposed to an e-cigarette is the fact the battery is brown and the logo is red mimicking the Swisher look. Otherwise, the disposable is exactly the same as its disposable siblings.

IMG 1352 300x199 imageThe thing that caught my attention about these disposables is that they are small.  Most disposables are fairly large, generally bigger than a standard sized traditional electronic cigarette.  These disposables are not only smaller than other disposables, they are smaller than Swisher’s own rechargeable (which are in turn a little smaller than other 808 batteries).

In fact, these disposables are the same size as a traditional 100 cigarette.  Naturally, they light up with an orange LED.  This will likely make them popular with transitional smokers since they are a very good approximation of a regular cigarette (or tiny cigar).  Naturally, the e-version is going to be heavier than a real cigarette.

The print on the back of the retail packaging claims that this device is good for up to 400 puffs.  I didn’t actually count puffs, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t get close to that especially considering each drag I took was about 4 puffs.

Vapor production was a little week, so I had to take several quick puffs in a row and then a long puff to get a satisfactory amount of vapor.  I probably got a little bit over an hour out of the device, which is a bit less time than I’ve gotten out of other disposables.

Aside from the vapor being a little thin, I also found it interesting there wasn’t a lot of throat hit going on either.  This especially interesting because I was at 18mg of nicotine which is quite a bit higher than the 12mg I normally vape.

All that leaves is flavor.  I’m guessing this little section down here is probably the entire reason you read this review to begin with.  So, how much does this e-cigarette taste like a Swisher Sweet cigar?

Label detail 300x158 imageI have to admit I’m going from memory here.  I haven’t smoked a Swisher Sweet in a very long time.  Still, I remember the cigars as being, well sweet.  Very sweet.  I think that the filter itself or the paper on those cigars are actually sweetened.

It could explain why the e-cigar is actually only slightly sweet.  It has a little bit of a cigar vibe going, but it’s probably a little more basic tobacco flavored e-cigarette than cigar.

I’d have to say the flavor has a definite hint to the Swisher thing, but it’s no real stretch to say the flavor is far from exactly like the cigar.

I might have to take a mulligan on this one and say if you’re a Swisher Sweet fan you might want to try a disposable for yourself and see if it does anything for you. For me, it didn’t really bring back old college memories of cheap beer and Swisher Sweets.

Too Long; Didn’t Read

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Swisher has entered the e-cigarette game.  They offer some very basic e-cigarette kits and disposables in traditional and menthol flavors. What caught my eye was a disposable intended to recreate the Swisher Sweet cigar feel.  For me, the performance was not the greatest and the flavor was reminiscent of the iconic cigar, but not quite the same (though I admit my memory might be a little foggy).  If you’re a Swisher fan, it might be worth checking out the disposable to see if it rings any bells for you.

Pros:

  • Focus on liquid safety and consistency
  • Disposables should be very familiar for transitional smokers
  • Dedicated customer support team for issues
  • Kit batteries can accept standard 808 cartomizers

Cons:

  • Kits offer only one cartomizer
  • Disposables are small and seem to have fairly short run time
  • Lackluster performance
  • Cigar flavor doesn’t invoke any nostalgia in me
  • Cartomizers not compatible with other batteries

Details:

Product: Swisher e-Cigarette
Available at: Local retailers (store locator)
Price:  Kit: $19.99 (MSRP) Disposable: 7.99 (MSRP)

Disclosure: I received this product from Swisher for review purposes

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15 thoughts on “Swisher’s Entry into the eCig Market (A Review)

  1. Funny, tween the lines all I could hear was ol' Jamison from the spiderman movies opining: "crap, crap…megacrap". You are being to kind, methinks.

  2. It's a mystery to me why manufacturers that depend on retail store sales don't do some serious testing among experienced E-Cig users to seriously try to come up with something that will turn heads, possibly even convert people. Maybe even put out cartos that actually do what they are advertised to do in comparison to a pack of cigarettes.

    Errol

    • I think the target market for those are more existing smokers, so they try to get them to be as close to cigarettes as possible as opposed to the best performing or most advanced. To some degree the claims aren't quite as exaggerated when you think about it in terms of a smoker. You take really short puffs when you smoke for the most part, so a cartridge tends to last longer if you use it that way than the way experienced vapers use the device. Of course even then I think they tend to still be a little generous in their estimates.

  3. BernieTheMac V.Cat

    I think cigar smokers will always smoke there cigars since most do not inhale. Only time will tell if this gets of the ground. I feel most cigarette smokers would have little to no interest. Just my opion. :-)

  4. >"Of course even then I think they tend to still be a little generous in their estimates."

    Certainly isn't what I read from various users of the off the shelf and Kiosh units.

    Errol

  5. I've tried three of the Swisher Sweet mini e-cigars. The first one lasted about three hours before it started spitting stuff in my mouth and leaking from the front. I got a replacement. It lasted less than a day. Definitely NOT 400 puffs. The third one lasted from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., with a puff or two every 20 minutes or so. That's not 400 puffs. I'm thinking of going back to real tobacco so I don't go broke.

    • Disposables are more of a short term thing in my mind. To keep from breaking the bank, it's best to get some sort of kit that you can reuse. For optimal savings, one where you can add e-liquid instead of buying pre-filled cartomizers

  6. I purchased the menthol breeze e-cigarette at a local hess store. I purchased it on saturday, it is now thursday and it is still in working order. granted, i only smoked it a few times. but i was very impressed at how long it lasted. most people get discouraged about the claims because they end up smoking WAY more than they would if it were an actual cigarette. i liked it. made me cough a little, which tells me the vapor is quite fierce!

  7. michael neely

    Krave e cigs are pretty good, not cheap at $10.85 with tax at Rite Aid. But you get your monies worth more than others i have tried here in Louisiana.

    • Unless Blu has changed their threading recently, no. They use 510 and the Swisher uses 808 so they are not compatible without an adapter.

  8. Bought the swisher starter kit ’cause I forgot my kit at home on a road trip. It was the only one available. First off the taste was just foul, (but taste is individual, so maybe some like it). The first cart. wouldn’t stop leaking, the second was very short-lived, the third did OK I guess, though I only used it because it was too expensive to just throw it away.