In praise of Smok

I tried to quit smoking for years*. I tried "everything". Nope.

Then sub-ohm vapes came along, and they changed everything.

Finally I found something that actually worked, by which I mean delivered a decent hit of nicotine. By hit I mean, equivalent to that of a cigarette.

The pandemic came along; respiratory related; and I now had a reason to quit, aside from the increasing breathlessness.

And boom! Success! I waited three years to say that in case it wasn't, like previous attempts.

In fact, even better than success as I'm able to enjoy the occasional (in the true sense of the word) spliff and it bothers me not at all. For nicotine, I prefer my vape.

My Vape awesome. Not a disposable vape. They are evil and should be banned in every place on earth, AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. That they even exist.. It blows my mind. Those are FINITE resources, being thrown onto the street, in their billions. Humans are so stupid!

So, my vape. Like any purchase I researched the fuck out of it. I spent a long time lurking on forums and reading reviews and all the rest. Then I did the Math.

On any forum, I discovered that most brands produced X number of posts discussing "issues". I then discovered that Smok vapes produced around three to four times this number of posts.

Then I looked at the sales figures and calculated that while the most fashionably hip boutique brands had around a 2% failure rate, Smok, by sheer dint of volume sales, had something like a 0.001% failure rate.

So I bought a Smok. An Alien 220W, and after a few hit-or-miss hits I settled on Q8 coils. I get through around 5-7.5ml per day of 1.6%** liquid (a simple mix of cheap 888 menthol-chill and liquorice which I have been enjoying for years now).

I run it at 47 Watts and my coils last a long time.

I'm here right now blogging about this because I realise that MY COILS LAST A REALLY LONG TIME.

I remember when initially researching the sub-ohm vape scene reading that coils were a disposable thing. Fair enough. Folk were posting about how coils were only lasting a few days or even hours.


I'm aiming to provide all possible data here so that you can replicate MY numbers, instead. Hours?! Days? Weeks?! Nah!

I usually suck for 3-4 seconds. 5-7.5ml/day. I do tend to suck after I already disengaged the power. I don't bother to refill until I taste the nasty burn taste.

My coils last for months.

In fact, it's because they last so long that I'm here now blogging. I was just thinking, and not for the first time, "this coil has been running for ages!".

Sure, they always last months; the cotton starts to brown some and when you switch batteries the Ohm reading starts to drift up; gently at first, but then UP UP it goes and it's time to switch. No problem, I bought a pack of five new coils...


And that's why I'm here. EIGHTEEN MONTHS! I confirmed with eBay. That's how long I've been using this one coil. Pretty good. And it's not done yet!

So that's the first reason I'm here praising Smok.

The second is that about a year into my switch-over to vapeland, I realised that I needed a lighter unit for portable use. One 18650 battery instead of two, as I'm only using 47W anyway.

I bought a really nice vape which by happy coincidence uses the exact same fitting of coils as my Smok. And here's the thing..

It's not the same.

Somehow the power deliver characteristics of the portable unit are different (and unlike the Smok, not configurable). All sorts of possibilities come to mind. Whatever; for what I'm doing with my vape, nothing beats my Smok. It tastes and feels better and delivers quicker, regardless of Wattage settings. So whatever research Smok did to arrive at their figures, it works.

The Alien has been dropped multiple times (on concrete and metal, as well as softer surfaces), had the hinge bashed completely out of shape (I use Gaffer tape to keep the battery compartment shut), yet soldiers on. Marvellously.

As Smok have probably produced a million new models since then (and completely abandoned all previous models - such is the Chinese Marketing Way) I've no idea if I will ever be able to replace it, and my running search on eBay has produced no hits in years. Och well.

Aside from cosmetic issues, my Smok Alien 220W continues to work fantastically. Also, me and my home smell much nicer.

So, thank you Smok.


ps. If you know anyone selling a used Smok Alien 220W, in any condition, PLEASE get in touch!

* Not continually, of course. Something would happen, a milestone that I was no longer able to achieve and I would think, "I really should stop smoking", and then try that. Nope.

A child of the 70s, you see. When I was a kid, everyone smoked. I had my first taste at Five years old. I think they were trying to put me off, as I was so obviously trying to suck in those plumes. It didn't work. I asked for more.

** Actually now a mix of 1.6 and 1.1, then it will be 1.1 + 1.1, and so on, as I gently wean myself off nicotine.

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