RJ Vapor is currently running an aggressive, nationwide marketing campaign and many people are looking for honest Vuse reviews. There is a lot you need to know before buying Vuse and you deserve to know the whole story, especially the stuff that you don’t see in the commercials. (Click here to see the original Vuse commercial.)
Vuse e-cigarettes are sold only in retail locations, you cannot buy Vuse e-cig kits or refill cartridges online. In fact, RJ Reynolds and other Big Tobacco companies have lobbied for the ban of online e-cig sales. The White House actually stepped in and blocked the effort to ban online e-cig sales. If banning online were to ever come to fruition, independent e-cigarette brands would essentially be crushed and allow Big Tobacco e-cig brands to enjoy a virtual monopoly.
RJ Vapor is an RJ Reynolds company and that means that they have an extensive distribution network at their disposal. The leading e-cigarette brands as of 2015 are smaller, independent companies built by innovative entrepreneurs who don’t have easy access to large scale retail distribution. Vuse e-cigs encounter no such issues. Basically, RJ Vapor has the power to put Vuse on the same shelves where you see RJ Reynolds cigarettes, which is pretty much everywhere.
Given the overwhelming attention and visibility that a massive company like RJ Reynolds has the ability to generate, we have been covering Vuse extensively. Vuse Digital Vapor has made some grandiose claims, most noticeably the catchy “perfect puff” proclamation. They have also claimed to lead the industry with new technology but our Vuse expose clearly indicates that the technologies utilized by Vuse have been utilized by the best e-cigarettes for some time.
In any event, due to the notoriety of Vuse, there is a demand for an in-depth Vuse review. This is not an in-depth e-cigarette review. This is more of an evaluation based on immediate impressions. There is an absolute absence of reliable information available regarding the actual performance details of Vuse and I felt that it was important to provide you with an honest assessment.
At this time, we are not able to provide exact details regarding electronic cigarette battery life, cartridge life etc. Rather I have compiled some basic performance evaluations based on using Vuse for a few days. Look for a full ECCR review in the future.
When we do an e-cig review, it is a lengthy process that can take weeks to months to complete. Our e-cig video reviews average 20 minutes in length because there are a lot of details to go over. The fact that we do not compromise when doing vaping reviews has made us the most trusted source in the industry.
You will find a number of Vuse reviews on Youtube but none meet ECCR standards for supplying necessary information and long-term performance details. The video reviews that are currently available entail a person on camera opening a Vuse Solo kit. They comment on the appearance and then they take a few puffs and render a judgment. That is, to be frank, ridiculous.
My Vuse Review
This mini ecig review is my own based on limited use and does not qualify to be considered as an e-cigarette review by ECCR standards. I am going to report my first hand experience and discuss the technical aspects, the prices, comparisons and basic performance.
The purpose is to give a brief sketch of Vuse in response to the marketing, brand notoriety and questions posed by our readers.
There is no video review. I will not insult your intelligence by posting a Youtube style e-cig Vuse reviews video where I open a pack, vape a few times and then render a judgment based on all of 15 minutes of use. Again, that is ridiculous and not an e-cig review. It takes weeks to months to do a proper review, until then this mini-review will give you a brief synopsis to help you decide whether or not you want to give Vuse Digital Vapor a try.
To begin I bought two Vuse Solo kits from a local convenience store. I also bought some Cool Ranch Doritos, soda and a Mr. Goodbar! I shouldn’t have but it was an impulse buy. Convenience stores and retail stores in general, spend millions on research to get you to buy on impulse. It works.
Here’s the thing, buying a chocolate bar while stopping by a gas station or convenience store is one thing but buying an electronic cigarette should not be a matter of simple convenience and being in the right place at the right time. Your e-cigarette choice should never be an impulse buy.
We have a lot of fun with e-cigarettes. There is a lot of levity among our staff and these are just cool gadgets. The bottom line, however, is that the reason we are all here boils down to a dangerous and powerful addiction. All kidding aside, when dealing with an issue that involves a decision that could have a major impact on your life you need to know exactly what you are buying.
Your e-cigarette choice should never be an impulse buy. If I were making this argument to you in court, Vuse would be my exhibit A.
Unless you are a heavy smoker, Vuse actually puts you at risk of making your nicotine addiction worse. The product that you see behind the counter at the same store where you buy your cigarettes actually has a nicotine content that is 400% greater than a typical cigarette. The clerk will not be able to tell you this and the Vuse packaging does not even tell you this.
I photographed the Vuse packaging and labeling from all sides to show you that nowhere does it indicate the nicotine level. It is 48mg. A cigarette is about 12mg. Doesn’t matter if it’s light, ultra light, regular or whatever almost all cigarettes have 12 mg of nicotine. Vuse has 4 times as much nicotine as a tobacco cigarette.
That is something that I have written about often and at length. That is a crucial fact that you must keep in mind if you are even considering Vuse. Buying Vuse on impulse thinking that all e-cigs are basically alike might just well open a Pandora’s Box for your nicotine addition and cravings.
Now, granted, burning tobacco involves chemicals like ammonia which accelerate nicotine absorption in your body. You eliminate those terrible toxins when using an electronic cigarette so you could need more nicotine to quench the craving.
That means that in order to achieve the same level of nicotine satisfaction when vaping vs smoking you may need a nicotine level that somewhat exceeds the 12 mg average found in tobacco. So a pack per day smoker will probably need 18 to 24 mg.
Do you need 400% more nicotine than a cigarette provides? It has been my experience and the standard accepted by the industry that the answer is a resounding no. In fact, I know vape shop owners who refuse to stock any e-liquid over 24 mg. There are companies that offer nicotine levels in the range of Vuse but they at least let you know exactly what you are getting. Vuse does not and for the most part an e-cig nicotine level of 48 mg is way to high for the majority of smokers and vapers.
Unfortunately, Vuse does not offer any other nicotine levels. Your options are limited. There are only two flavors and one nicotine level. By virtue of limited options alone Vuse simply does not measure up to the leading e-cigarette products.
All of this is not indicative of a lousy product, it just shows the inexperience of RJ Vapor in the e-vapor business. Like they say in the commercials, they have been involved in tobacco for 130 years but that does not translate to an understanding of vaping and electronic cigarettes.
I suspect that as we go forward and they learn more about the industry and what consumers want and need they will evolve and begin providing the options that you need to successfully ditch tobacco and make the switch to e-cigarettes. They have the capacity and resources to do so. One can only hope that at some point they consider the product evolution that will best serve consumers and not just rely on influence and market presence to get you to buy the product that they want you to buy.
Vuse Refill Cartridges
Assembling Vuse is very easy. The refill cartridge twists clicks into place rather than using traditional threading. It reminds me of the technology developed by Atlantic Cigs and their new Nautilus mod. The difference is that with the Atlantic Nautilus the connection is recessed into the housing of the mod body which provides stability. The Vuse connection is not as stable. That is not a flaw that is simply a reality of a twist and click style design employed by a cigalike ecig.
I never had any issue with an accidental separation of the cartridge from the battery. After a couple of days I was actually impressed with the design and how it functioned. I inserted and removed the cartridge repeatedly looking to see if it stood up to wear. It did.
Vuse claims that the refill cartridges have been tested and they will not collapse if bitten by a child. It is good to know that if a child get a hold of a Vuse cartridge and bites it, no nicotine will come out. These safety precautions are essential to optimize vaping and e-liquid safety.
When I purchased the two Vuse Solo kits, I got one of each flavor. It comes in either tobacco or menthol flavors. As for flavor quality, I thought they were fine. They were not as good as the better e-cig brands but overall the flavor was okay. Flavor is a subjective thing and I am not about to tell you it tastes terrible because you just might like it! I feel that I can say that the better ecigs are more consistent and more flavorful.
The only issues was the harshness. It did make me cough several times. The harshness is likely attributable to the high nicotine content. Being aware of the high nic content, I used Vuse intermittently throughout the course of a few days as I feared that consistent vaping would exacerbate any nicotine cravings. If you do buy a Vuse, I recommend doing the same.
Does Vuse really provide a ‘perfect puff’? The vapor is far from a perfect puff. The vapor is okay. There is vapor and it is not bad. It just does not measure up to the vaping experience provided by the top ecigs.
RJ Vapor makes the claim of the perfect puff and I understand the marketing aspect but overall the claim of the perfect puff and the surety of their technological superiority is prima facie evidence, once again, of RJ Vapor’s inexperience in the e-cigarette industry. They are apparently unaware of the competing technologies and the vaping experience provided by those competing brands.
The cost of Vuse refill cartridges is $3.00 each. That is higher than industry standard. My overall impression of Vuse refills is stuck on the limited options and the high nicotine content. I like how the cartridges click in place and the ease of use, the vapor is not bad and the flavor is not bad. Ultimately, my awareness of the high quality e-cigarettes that are out there has left me with higher standards and those standards are not met by Vuse at this time.
When you get your Vuse, the battery is fully charged. This is excellent. The battery looks very nice with a silver finish and the logo is very cool. The product is attractive. I quite liked the illuminated blue logo against the shimmering silver battery. It is a sizeable e-cigarette but I have no issue with that and neither do most vapers. It is still easily portable and convenient to use.
The battery fits into a USB charger the same way that the e-cig refill cartridge connects to the battery. I had concerns about how well the connection would hold while the battery rested in the charger. Would the twist and click hold as well as a threaded battery and charger?
I plugged the battery into the charger and jostled the battery. It stayed in place. I moved the computer around and nudged the battery walking by it. It held firm. I did everything but threw a football at it, which I would never do from only one yard away (sorry Seattle, couldn’t resist). Anyway, kudos for the battery and charger design.
I had read several complaints about the Vuse battery not taking a charge after the first or second use. I had two Vuse batteries and one of them indeed did take the first charge but not a second. The other Vuse ecig battery took three charges and I have not tested it beyond that.
The battery issue is real but is somewhat mitigated by the fact that the batteries are cheap and accessible. In other words, it is not a big deal. Yes, the best e-cig brands have longer lasting proven batteries made with high quality components. Vuse is not in that category.
The battery issues may be linked to the fact that Vuse uses a lithium polymer battery as opposed to the lithium ion batteries used by other electronic cigarette offerings. Lithium polymer batteries are actually more expensive than lithium ion batteries and have the potential to be better regulated and lighter but they do not have the energy density of lithium ion batteries.
Lithium polymer batteries are not without potential for the e-cigarette industry but are perhaps not yet capable of the energy required to create enough vapor to satisfy consumers.
Vuse Pros And Cons
Vuse is made and assembled in the USA and provides a less harmful alternative for smokers who are struggling with an addiction to tobacco cigarettes.
The technology is sound and the cartridge design is well thought out with consideration for nicotine safety. It looks great, the design and appearance has a futuristic feel. The product is readily available given the massive distribution power of RJ Reynolds.The initial price point is also good.
The twist / click cartridge design is easy to use and seems reliable.
For a heavy, multi-pack per day smoker, Vuse and its 48 mg nicotine content may be a good option.
The 48 mg nicotine content is far too high for the majority of smokers and puts you at risk of making your nicotine addiction even worse. The lack of nicotine options is a definite negative.
The lack of clear disclosure about the nicotine content is concerning. It could be attributable to inexperience in the industry.
There are only two e-cigarette flavor options available.
The battery and cartridge life are not yet competitive with the leading electronic cigarettes.
I see potential. How lithium polymer batteries will fare as an e-cigarette battery remains to be seen. Putting on the prognosticators hat, lithium polymer has an Achilles heal in that it is lese dense with energy and it generally requires a warm up before being capable of optimal performance but technology never holds still.
RJ Vapor has a solid understanding of the overall need for a less harmful option as well as the responsibility of managing resources i.e. their decision not to market single use disposable ecigs. Still, their understanding of the e-cig industry, the current technology and the options needed on an individual level is clearly lacking at this time.
The three main features of Vuse that prohibit the possibility of recommendation at this time are the lack of transparency regarding ingredients, the very high nicotine level as well as the lack of flavor options.
As Vuse vapor matures as a brand, perhaps we will see more disclosure and more nicotine options to serve a broader range of consumers.
You can’t put all smokers into one basket. People have individual needs to help them escape tobacco and many people are looking to reduce nicotine consumption over time. In order to accomplish that, the best e-cig brands do offer those options and opportunities to reduce usage over time.
Many industry insiders and skeptics are saying that Vuse is using the high nicotine level, and not offering lower nicotine options, because they want to simply hook you on their new product just as they hooked you on tobacco. I cannot say that this is the case. Tobacco companies do have a dark history of using similar tactics but whether or not this is the end game of Vuse is an unknown and can only be speculated upon.
RJ Vapor is certainly in a position to demonstrate better intentions toward vapers than RJ Reynolds tobacco has toward smokers throughout history. In order to demonstrate their sincerity, increasing options and transparency would be a huge step in the right direction.
Overall, I cannot recommend Vuse. The nicotine is too high and the performance does not measure up to the top e-cig brands. I am also concerned about unsuspecting smokers trying Vuse and ending up with an even more severe addiction to nicotine because of the very high 48 mg content.
If you want to give Vuse a try, it is better than smoking cigarettes. Still, your attention would be better directed toward brands like Green Smoke, Apollo, Halo, Atlantic or EverSmoke. All of these brands offer better performance, numerous options and better long term cost advantages.
Green Smoke – average cartridge price 23% less than Vuse.
Apollo Ecigs – (use Apollo coupon code ECCR to save 20%) – average cartridge price 20% less than Vuse.
Halo Cigs – average cartridge price 33% less than Vuse.
Atlantic Cigs – average cartridge price 25% less than Vuse.
EverSmoke – average cartridge price 20% less than Vuse.
The brands mentioned above perform at a higher level and will save you money in the long run.
Thanks for spending some time with ECCR today and I sincerely hope that you will share your experiences with Vuse in the comments section.