I am going to ramble a bit so be gentle. I have been trying to reduce my smoking for over 4 years now and discovered ecigs just about then. My previous attempts proved futile thanks to Mumbai customs keen interest in my affairs and Dekang chemists unhealthy fascination for plastics, metals, socks and cheap perfumes.
Most of the hardware stuff I used then were extremely flaky. Batteries won't work or give up in days, atomisers won't work, connections would be capricious at the best of times, and everything would leak. But the worst were the juices, I still have nightmarish memories of tasting old socks, industrial metals, oil pipelines and bathroom chemicals. The only halfway reliable devices were made by a company called Janty.
It was very difficult to get accurate information even with research. I even momentarily considered setting up a global forum strictly for user interests as even then most of the forums and blogs were thinly veiled promotion and hype vehicles for the various companies springing up. Every review was a positive review.
There is always an incestuous relationship between media and the industries they cover as reviewers can't buy everything and thus depend on stuff to review and news.
I always look for reviewers who have negative reviews. In the media and on YouTube you will rarely find reviewers doing that, everything is great, everything is the next best thing, this is not credible or useful.
Cut to 3 years later and morbid thoughts have once again compelled another expedition inspite of nightmarish memories of Dekang's chemists. I was happy to discover Indianvapers.com and the active and vibrant community here. Hardware has come along by leaps and bounds, we have enthusiastic and passionate folks like jay and ali solving the massive headache of eliquids with some finesse, saving all of us from the logistics, customs and anxiety of securing a supply chain. This is yeoman service.
The hardware problem still exists but with rebuildables at least you don't need a constant supply of atomisers and coils. This is critical for us in India. I am super thrilled.
As expected India customs have stepped in to dampen my enthusiasm and my lone order from my old favourite healthcabin worth some $250 is now stuck at Delhi for a month and with customs demanding 20k in fines and DHL adding 5k more for fun, it will likely be written off.
I have made a new one at Fasttech but that’s at least a month away and I think its this that will deter most adopters.
The time investment to know what to buy and the shipping hassles rules out all but the most masochistic amongst us. I would really love if as a community we can figure this out,
One other thing I wanted to share is I was never open to non tobacco flavours. The way I thought is cigarette smokers are fond of the tobacco taste and not vanilla and assorted fruits, so that won't really work and ruled it out as a silly distraction. It didn't help that most fruity flavors 4 years ago were sickly metallic sweet.
Most current tobacco flavours do not replicate cigarettes in any way and are more often than not unpleasant and I would urge new users to have an open mind.
If you absolutely must have tobacco then the only half decent tobacco flavor that I have found after 4 years and trying over 30 is Johnson Creek's Red Oak Tenessee. Beyond that explore some of the vanilla custardy flavours, unlike others flavours they have a body and some depth and can be a pleasant way to get your nicotine fix.