Saving on E-Cigs the Right Way
NEW YORK ( MainStreet) There's a lot to be said about e-cigarettes, and not all of it is flattering. Regardless, sales are booming: electronic cigarette sales in convenience stores are estimated at $1 billion this year, according to Convenience Store News . With cigarettes being so expensive, many smokers are looking to switch to e-cigs to save some much recession-needed cash. But how much can you save?
Since cigarette prices vary between states, we called six gas stations in six major cities and asked for the price of a pack of Marlboro Lights, with tax, to use as examples. If you're in Los Angeles, expect to pay $7.65; in Dallas, $7.24; in Indianapolis, $6.14; in Washington, D.C., $8.25; and in Brooklyn, $12.35. Using that data, if you're someone who smokes a pack every two days in Indianapolis, that's $1,121 a year. But if you live in D.C., your smoking habit costs you $1,506. And God help you if you live in New York City, because you'll pay $2,254 a year on smokes at that rate.
It's no surprise that one of the more appealing aspects of using an e-cig, known as 'vaping' among users, is that it saves money. However, some e-cigs habits are more expensive than others. The trendy ones seen in gas stations and pharmacies mimic a cigarette; their rechargeable battery is the white paper part of a cigarette, and their cartridge, which stores the flavored liquid known as e-juice, looks like the filter. However, they may not be your cheapest alternatives. Wholly disposable, one-time use e-cigs can go for $15, and should be avoided due to their limited use and expensive nature. So let's take, for example, the cost of investing in Blu eCig, which was bought by tobacco giant Lorillard (they make Newports) for $135 million last year.
First, you'll need a starter kit. Blu starter kits range from $70 to $80; they consist of two batteries, two chargers, an electronic carrying case (which actually rumble when you're near another Blu user, so you can decide on whether or not to strike up awkward conversation) and a five-pack of cartridges. In store, they cost $14.99 at my local Walgreens. Blu claims they supply a cigarette pack's worth of vapor per cartridge, although it really depends on how much vapor you pull. A Blu "Original" cartridge contains 1.2 mL of e-juice, or 6 mL per pack. Say you go through a pack of cartridges a week at $15. That makes $780, plus $70 for the kit, or $850 for the first year, not including tax. That's certainly cheaper than our two-pack a day habit. But it's not necessarily the cheapest option, especially if you smoke even more, as that's likely to transition over to 'vaping' a lot.