My First E-Cigarette

This section is mostly historical at this point as I don’t plan to be doing many significant updates, and some of the content is rather old right now (from circa 2010, vs it being 2020 as I type this). The information is still useful from the perspective of the journey of stopping smoking and moving to e-cigarettes, but not necessarily for specific models of e-cigarettes, as they’ve come a long way.  Refer to the Intro page for a quick 2020 update.

Deciding on what seemed like it should be a relatively simple purchase, that of my first e-cigarette was least of all..simple. Instead, I came across their existence randomly, and was intrigued by the idea, and quickly found myself at the Electronic Cigarette Forum  perusing linked YouTube video reviews, and well, trying to sort out exactly - what's it all about?

It seemed like a new world at first, as I waded through discussions of atomizers, vaping, smoke juice and how to cut as well as flavor it, about dripping versus dipping and refills, and through article links and speculation over the FDA and US government once again trying to (potentially) do our thinking for us. Which type of ice machine cleaner might be best for cleaning and reviving atomizers, followed by many on and off site reads regarding possible health concerns.

After the smoke (vapor?) cleared, I decided to give it a try. Reading and investigation is great, and I certainly learned a lot in coming to the decision, but there was still the question of what would it really be like, compared to my trusty Marlboro Light? And, what the heck was I going to buy, and from whom? To make the choice a bit more difficult, US Customs has been playing games, holding up some vendors shipments into the US, seemingly ignoring the fact that e-cigarettes are perfectly legal. Laws can be a wonderful thing (ok, or not)..wouldn't it be nice if our own government abided by them at times, as well? Ahh well..that's an entirely different topic. I also did some rough math comparing cost, using the more reality based number of cig equivalents per cartridge than the manufacturers and some vendors would have you believe, and checked out many vendor sites.

Due to the Customes games, many vendors were out of stock on kits, or supplies, but I was still trying to decide what I actually wanted, regardless. Much reading and many videos later, I thought I'd narrowed it down, but then I learned about the 'same e-smoke, many different names' game that vendors play. So, ironically, I had even 'compared' reviews of one possibility against another one, while in fact they were both the same e-smoke! Oops. Well, hey, at least they liked them both, right? :-)

I look at the Screwdriver, the DSE901, the Red Dragon, and others, as well as even the 'Blu.' What did I want? Well, of course, what every new e-smoker wants, I'm sure! I wanted an e-cigarette, that looked, felt, and tasted, exactly like a cigarette, but lasted 20x as long, and was 1/10th the price. Don't you?! :-)

Of course, I accepted reality at least semi-graciously, and weeded out as much as I could. I am quite glad I don't visit the mall often, as apparently they're infested with the worst e-smoke out there..instead, the Red Dragon seemed tempting for a bit, but I just couldn't get over the feeling of being overcharged, on what seemed to be a non-refillable cartridge..just like the 'Blu,' it felt like more hype and marketing polish than anything, and I'd be paying for that 'privilege.' I thought about the DSE901 for a bit, and looked at many reviews of the same, and the general recommendation of 'it's simple and reliable, works reasonably well, and you can get parts anywhere,' which is always a good thing. But, I just didn't groove on the mouthpiece it had, and being e-cig newbie, wanted the same as everyone before me - I wanted it to look as close to a regular smoke, or analog, as possible.

I went through a handful of models, even random reviews I could find, on e-cigs I'd never heard of on my 'crash course to e-cig knowledge,' and several reviews my Leaford and the UK guy Scotty (thanks, guys! :-) ) and others, and saw mention of the Vapor King, before realizing it's another generic re-brand (yes yes, he may well have ordered some 'special parts,' and no disrespect intended for anyone bringing a decent e-cig to market, under any's still a KR-808D-1, though! :-) ) , so thought about the whole 2 piece e-cig with the integrated atomizer vs the 'usual' 3-piece. I still think it's a neat idea, but like the 'Red Dragon' and others, until it's easy to refill carts, or they become within 20% of the same cost as refilling normal carts, with the same flavor choices, I'm not quite ready to go down that route, although I'd like to try one. Of course, I believe the VKs were out of stock anyways, so that helped as well.

So, after seeing several of my 'dream cigs' discarded by the mighty forum consensus, or worse, by watching a video of someone exhaling from one, to see, well..nothing, coming out of his mouth, I finally decided on the Joye 510, aka TECC Titan and others. Why? Well....I'd done my homework, and thought about some of these things as I smoked my Marlboro, and felt the itch in my throat, and read what others had to say. I'd decided that while the idea of 'flavors' in my 'cigarette' just sounded so utterly bizarre to me, that maybe it was something I'd enjoy once I tried it, and that as there were definite differences between e-juice with the same 'flavor' but altogether different tastes, that I'd really like to be refilling my carts and trying different liquids. Furthermore, I'd like to try several before coming to my own conclusion about e-smoking, whatever that may wind up being..enough people had bought the local mall's e-cig, liking the idea, and being turned off by the performance or taste, so really wanted to give it a fair shake, and that meant trying more than the relatively limited number of flavors available for the 2 piece setups.

Also, the 510 had pretty consistently gotten good or better reviews. Apparently, the first iteration had some issues, but they seem to have been sorted, and I really liked the idea of the PCC (Portable Charging Case), plus the USB passthrough. No matter how much marketing fluff and hype 'Blu' and similar may be, they do have a nice presentation in their charger pack, and really, I tend to break things without thinking much about it. I have a thick rubber 'hone condom' on my iPhone for a reason - it's not that I'm clumsy, I'm not...I just tend to be hard on my things, and lose them if possible, drop them, throw them on the ground, whatever..and there's no way I really liked the idea of carrying around 'some random e-smoke pieces' in a pocket. Either way, the 510 seemed a winner to me, as my first e-cig. It was reasonable length, filter-ish/round mouthpiece, got good throat hits per reviews, and a vaping monster compared to many.

I did notice a 'transition' in some thinking while researching up until this point. I really wanted my first to look like an analog. I also ignored people's comments over manual batteries versus pressure switches. But, as I watched and read more, while I still wanted it to at least feel like a regular smoke, some of those black e-cigs looked kinda cool!

Ok, decision made, time to do it, considering it's now like 3am, had a long work day into the night, and then a few more hours of research pre-purchase. Noting the issues people had with batteries and atomizers, I decided that I'd try at least two different e-cigs, and several 'flavors' and juice brands before 'deciding' about e-cigs, so I would pick up a spare atomizer and battery at the very least, and then add on from there if I really preferred one of the e-cigs over the other.

I did start to look up all the 510 names, and different vendors, to compare prices, etc..but decided to just go ahead and order from Totally Wicked - they had a good reputation on the forum, even if a bit high on pricing compared to a 'generic 510,' and had starter kits in stock. Unfortunately, they don't offer juice sample packs - I was pretty into trying their flavors, but the pricing on it for only 30ml bottles just put a kink into that idea for the time being, when I was still up in the air over my reaction to the e-cig. Ironically perhaps though, I 'had to' have the PCC, and then saw the USB passthrough. Ok, well, a USB passthrough is one way to not worry so much over batteries, especially as I work from a home office so frequently, so...sold. One black PCC Titan Starter Kit, and err, one white USB passthrough...ahh well, times/stock is tough.

Next up, I knew I was going to need some juice. And the usual - syringe, small bottles, droppers, and some PG. By now, I'd also been contemplating on a second e-cig to try... The Titan seemed big (in my mind), and the Pilot/EVO/M401/2/3 had gotten some pretty good reviews, and now that I knew the difference between dripping, refills, and dipping, knew that it was a good candidate for dipping, and was reasonably inexpensive.

I went to Johnson Creek (edit 2020 - shut down by over-reaching regulations in 2018 :( ) for some juice to start with, mainly because they seemed to make their own, were in the US, and were also relatively nearby, and the sampler seemed a better idea to try multiple flavors for the same $30 or so, than a single bottle of 'hit or miss' as I was getting into it. I did pick up a pair of 10ml bottles as well, from them, of Original Tobacco and Mint Chocolate Madness...the idea was still strange of flavored 'cigarettes,' but hey, why not? I'd learned enough to know to get it in high strength, for cutting with PG later, at least, to save a few $ down the line.

Down the line wasn't to be yet, however. I'd decided on the other e-cig to try, the 401, so went off 'in search of one.' I came across Midwest Vapor, who was reasonably nearby, and several of the myriad of read forum posts had called them out as being good to deal with, and fast shippers. The price on a 401 Starter Kit seemed decent, and was in stock, although they were out of atomizer spares. And now, just as I'd started to mentally be ok with the idea of a black 'cigarette,' and then seeing their black M401 with a design on it, and really liking it....of course, they only have the 'cigarette clone' brown filter/whit-ish battery in stock. Figures. :-)

I saw they had some other misc things I'd be needing, and had free shipping over $99 or so, so somehow convinced myself I needed some PG and glycerin (hadn't decided on which I'd be using, or both, yet), syringe, and some bottles, and grabbed a USB cable. Which technically, I did need, but somehow what I planned on spending just doubled! :-D

The weekend was here, but, I still no spare battery and atomizer for the M401 (had just ordered it on Friday or so). Somehow I managed to find the Eastmall site, and saw they sold M401s quite reasonably, and while I was hesitant to order from China, they also had what seemed to be a killer deal on juice, basically get 50% free...and that could round out my 'flavor experience' along with some spare 401 parts. I did some quick searching, and saw mention of Hilton and RY4 being tasty for many, and I'm kind of a vanilla freak, and filled in with some other miscellaneous flavors I still wasn't sure I wanted to well, smoke. But, I'd try!

Feeling quite content with my purchases, if a bit annoyed at the total, I settled in for what every online e-cig purchaser inevitably does...the wait! I'd done my homework, I purchased at least relatively wisely and informed, and damnit, I want it NOW. Of course, now is when I realized the PCC Starter Kit I bought from TW was different than the other Titan/510 Starter kits...the others all had two atomizers and batteries, but the PCC kit only had one. Argh. Second order, add a battery and atomizer...sure wish that was consistent, after staring at the kits and options online for 30 minutes, they just all blended together...

I'd gotten order confirmations from both TW, JC and Midwest nearly immediately, and an additional shipping confirmation from TW the following day. I figured the stuff from Eastmall would get here when it got here, but coming from TN (JC) and the others were relatively close.

I'm not a big fan of mail. I pay all my bills online, email and/or call my friends, and while I get a ton of trade magazines free, besides them, I don't have much use for 'actual mail' any more, and I generally use FedEx Ground for deliveries/purchases, or failing that, the box kickers..err, UPS, who both deliver to my door. It's not infrequent I don't bother to get it for a week or two at a time, then throw most of it out. Amusingly, the TW package was delivered *faster* than I expected, and actually sat in my mailbox overnight, while I was 'wanting it now.' So was the other TW order for the other battery and atomizer! I'd also sent Midwest an email asking if my package had gone out, which they responded to immediately, it had. As I'd paid via PayPal, PayPal had actually sent a ship notice, but not with a particularly useful subject, so I'd ignored it. Oops. We'll come back to that one...

Of course, I ripped into the TW package at once. What would it taste like, and feel like? Crap, was it really 12" long, and several pounds? As I opened up the miscellaneous packages (the PCC 'kit' was essentially loose individual parts), it was nice to see all the misc cable ends were USB, plus car and wall wart/transformer...I also thought about the comment I think from the recent 'media story' on e-cigs where the woman said she couldn't put it together in under ten minutes the first time...around a minute later, it's together, while the PCC is being charged, cool.

So, well, it's black, and looks sort of like a stubby pen. Not bad, but like a stubby pen, a bit thicker than a normal smoke in diameter. I read about all the DOA 'horror stories,' so put it to my lips, and take a drag, remembering something about primer fluid and primer puffs, so I don't inhale. I get a bit of smoke, and see the blue LED light up in the mirror. Huh. I take a longish, but slow drag. A little bit of smoke, but tastes funny. I'm not terribly impressed, so think a minute, then pull off the cartridge. Oops, I put the blank cart/mouthpiece on, nothing in there. Ok, well I said I put it together, not that it was right!

Soon after, I now have one of the individually wrapped in plastic Tobacco High carts, right where it belongs, and try again...a few non inhaled primer puffs, and get some residual taste, noticing it did at least taste different from the prior attempt.

I take a tentative drag, to 'see what it would do.' Hmm. That's well...different. It's not bad, but it's different, somehow. I remembered the bit about charing batteries fully for initial use, so went and grabbed the USB passthrough and plugged it in, to take another. Wow, ok, now that is indeed a 'throat hit.' Quite noticeable. I take a longer and slow drag, trying to figure out what I thought, really. I hold it in for a few seconds, then exhale. On the way in, the 'smoke'/vapor is definitely thinner feeling. On the way out...ok, it indeed produces a good amount of vapor. It looks like smoke, mostly. The mouthpiece...I wish it were softer, and the 510 a bit lighter. Softer, so it was more slightly bite-able, like a real cig, and lighter for 'the mouth hang.' It feels bit more like chewing on a pen cap, than a cigarette in the mouth. Again, not terrible, but...different.

It's interesting. In a way, feels like it's my first cigarette all over, like you're trying to figure out, 'So, how do I do this? Is this right?', while at the same time trying to compare it to a 'real cigarette,' that by now, I know quite well. I light a real smoke, and alternate for a bit, and try to decipher the differences. It's obviously different - the taste, the weight, the feel of the draw. I'd been worried an e-cig would feel like sucking through an empty straw, but there's some amount of resistance there..the 'smoke' isn't smoke. It looks fine going out, but it's thin...but, there is a throat hit. I go back and forth on the's not unpleasant, now that I have a filled cart on, at least! But, not quite the same.

I wonder, 'Can I replace or lower my tobacco smoking using this thing?', and roll the idea over and over in my head throughout the day. I may need to try this for a while, as it's not an immediately obvious answer, for me. And there are flavors and another e-cig to try!

My Midwest order was supposed to show up, and I'd been somewhat cursing my choice to not buy any TW liquid, as they didn't have filled carts, I was wondering if I'd run through the 5 they did give me before I got any liquid. It's not like I went cold turkey on the analogs, but still, I wanted to continue the experience, without the annoyance of 'I can't, it's empty!'

I checked the mailbox around noon, and removed the prior days mail, but no goodies for me yet, just the usual crap. That's OK, they haven't come yet, no big deal. I had work to get done, in spite of entirely too many meetings..I took a late lunch, and thought I'd heard what might have been a postal truck outside at one point during a conference call, so went and checked the box again. WTF? A 'We missed you, will redeliver later' tag? Again, WTF? It was in the mailbox, not at my door, and the door had never been knocked on, nor the bell rung. As much as I'm unimpressed with UPS, UPS definitely beats out the 'exceptional people' of the USPS.

So, I'm a bit annoyed. OK, more than a bit. A simple knock on the door, no problems. No knock on the door = what, delivery tomorrow, if they 'remember' to actually knock on the door?! I call USPS, as was at least as unimpressed as expected. You only get a toll-free number on the 'missed you slip,' and while I'm asking why they hire people incapable of performing their job, as in, actually trying to deliver packages they're paid to deliver, I'm being told all they can do is file a compliant, and schedule a re-delivery. Yay. I get the local post office's phone number, at least. I'll go get it myself. That might have worked, if the number given didn't go directly to voicemail. Well, not directly, it also gave the option of 'or press 0 for assistance.' However, pressing that magic number '0' performed only a single simple action - it disconnected you entirely. Wow. I call the toll-free number back, waiting on hold again...and get a new number. Same thing. I finally leave a voicemail with a case number, after the toll-free operator said they would be calling me today.

Which means of course, in Customer Non-Service got it, never heard from 'em. Ok, fine...they at least pushed through the re-delivery notification to the local office, and I'd be there the next day in the home office. So, I get back to work, and occasionally toke on my 510, still trying to determine what exactly I think of it, or more specifically, e-smoking.

The next morning, I get up, and have an entirely too early 9am conference call. I know there are those of you that do that whole 9 to 5 thing, and while I'd be quite happy to be off work at 5 (last night was 1am), the thought of being up at 8am for anything not involving the exchange of bodily fluids....just doesn't cut if for me. So, I had my 'kickstart' - a Coke, a bagel, and a few (real) smokes, and did the call, and several afterwards, sometimes taking a drag from my 510. As decent as the 510 produces vapor, I'm mostly convinced it's even better on the USB passthrough. I'm unsure if the voltage or amperage is higher(USB is technically 5vDC, and I believe 500mAH max, so it *could* be), or just more consistent/not dropping, but I believe it's better overall. I think I could also get used to the manual switch without too much effort. The pressure switched LEDs are cool, but after reading about a few cases of battery poisoning and/or drop/leakage, having a sealed battery may indeed be the way to go there, longer term..

Lunchtime comes at a normal time today, so 'just in case,' I go to the mailbox. biggie, as I've got nothing else in there, either, so it's not here yet. I head back inside, and make a sandwich for lunch. I think I hear something, so head outside, to see the mail truck pulling away. I trot to the paperwork, and...that's IT. Once again, WTF? My street is fairly private, so I see the mailman a ways down the road, but, it looks like he's turning around, so I stand in the road and flag him down, asking where my package is...which of course elicits the exact response I was so hoping for - 'what package?' Ummm...I get his supervisors direct phone number, and walk off. NOW I need a smoke! :-)

I call the number, and surprise, it's like the other collection of them I now have - direct to voicemail. I call the toll-free number back again, and explain what's going on, and basically ask how tough it can truly be to successfully deliver a Priority Mail package sometime within double the amount of time expected. As I'm working on this whole 'PC thing' (not really, can't stand it, but I try not to upset or piss off random people,. anyways..), I make it clear I'm not aggravated with her, but am quite irritated and just, well, amazed, especially considering the prior day's call saying it was pushed through for automatic re-delivery for today.

At this point, I simply want to go and pick up my package myself. But....they can't tell me exactly where it is. I get another number and an address, but am told I have to call first. Ok, great. I hang up, google map the address, and...that address does not exist! The phone number is even better, it simply says the number has changed, and the new number is...the same toll-free number I've been calling. Meh. So, I call back, again. Different person, and this one gives me a different number and a different address, a whole 10 minutes later. I do reach someone there, and this is apparently not the Post Office, but a dispatch station..or something. The guy on the phone is reasonable, and seems fine, but he can't tell if the package is back at dispatch, or at a (different) Post Office location, but he assures me he'll call me back by 2pm, after he chases it down. Ok, no problem, back to work I go, he at least seems to know there is indeed a package...

So, 3pm hits, and no call. I'm dreading the idea of the non-working 'press 0 for help' or worse, another pointless call to the 800 number, but, here we go. Someone actually answers, I explain I'm waiting on Jim to confirm location of my package, so I can go pick it up, after 2 days of failure by the USPS. I'm told Jim's in a meeting, and he may or may not be out by 5pm, when they close. Somehow, we have an utter failure to communicate, with me asking a simple question over and over - "who does Jim's job, or locates packages, when he's unavailable?" Of course, I'm thinking, you know, maybe someone else can make the call Jim needed to, or just check the notes for the package...or something, anything resembling just the slightest bit of sanity...nope. Worse, this woman doesn't seem to even understand why I would ask such a question. I wind up having no choice but to hang up on her, just shaking my head, wondering if I'd ever see my stuff.

Quite surprisingly, someone calls me an hour later. It's not Jim, but the branch supervisor or something, and apparently it took a a branch supervisor to locate one of those strange, odd things, so difficult for the USPS to handle...called a piece of mail. Whatever, I'm actually pleasantly surprised, if sort of chuckling. We determine that it's not at the dispatch center, but at the other Post Office. I no longer care about how, why, or who, just want a single question answered - "Are you sure it's there, and can I just go get it?" She was nice, and even tried calling the PO, but she had no more success than I had with any of the numerous local PO calls I'd attempted previously. So, I thanked here, finished what I was working on, and ran to the PO before they closed, fingers crossed.

I'd been told to not go to the counter, but the 'door to the left, just knock.' I walk in, and there's someone already knocking on that exact door, so I'm thinking great timing, I can just 'piggyback' on whenever someone shows up from his knocking. No one answers, unsurprisingly, and I start to chuckle. The guy looks at me a bit oddly, I'm sure, as I just explain with, "I'm pretty sure you really don't want to know" and then I note the sign hidden by the 'knocking guy,' which says, "Closed, please go to counter." Off I go.

Now, I'd left the reminder/signature slip in the mailbox, 'just in case,' along with a note saying to come to the door, knock, leave it at the front door, whatever it took. But I knew, somehow, the counter guy would want 'the magic slip.' So before putting the slip into the mailbox, I wrote down the insanely long 32+ digit or so number, only approximately half of which were actually needed, ontp my phone, and gave it to him when I got to the counter. We had a lovely discussion over 'where's the slip?' but he did head off to find it. Somehow, it would be wrong if he just found it at once, so instead, I'm standing at the counter for 5 minutes. I can see him heading this way, partially blocked by shelving inside the PO, but don't see anything in his we go again!

He comes up, and I'm waiting for him to tell me he has no idea where it is, and maybe offers his sage advise of calling the toll-free number, when I notice there is indeed a small package, stuffed under his armpit. And it's actually mine.

All in all, 2 hours of phone calls and being on hold wasted, spanning 2 days...but, yes, USPS delivered. Surprisingly. :-)

So, I grab it and head back to the car, looking both ways, just in case it was God's time to mess with me, like having a car run into me after finally getting the package, but I made it out in one piece. Of course, in my now annoyance intensified excitement, I now rip open the package at once, spraying peanuts across the passenger seat of the car, and check it out in the parking lot. I'd paid $5 to have Midwest pre-charge the battery. While it'd be nice to have it be done for free, so be it, it's really not a big deal, and my 'I want it now' phase isn't entirely unknown to me, either :-D

Everything looks like it's there, I now have some liquid for refills, and a syringe, bottles, and the M401. Entirely expecting at this point to have either a bad atomizer or battery out of the box...I put it together. I grab a cartridge, and open it up. Wow, that inner cart looks tiny compared to the 510! Gotta try it, and had brought the 510 along for, throw it together, and..the draw seems much closer to that straw fear I had previously..."Oh, hell, I did it again, didn't I?" Yep, empty cart. Ok, I have something like 15 carts...grab packing list. That's right, I was able to get some blank carts, but not pre-filled from them, but they gave me a free bottle of RY4..and there were a few filled carts in there, inside the kit itself. Hey, looks like they actually gave me a *bonus* of 5 blanks,, works for me!

Actual *wet* cart in place this time...I hold it up against the 510. The M401 is thinner, not by a huge amount, but noticeably, much closer to a real cigarette's diameter. It's slightly shorter than the 510, but we're talking perhaps 2-3mm at best. And with the brown cart, and the 'paper striped' battery, it certainly looks like a 'real cig,' at least from a foot away or so, and even up fairly close.

I do the primer puffs again, and get 'real vapor' then. It still feels like a weak draw by comparison the the 510, and a different taste, but I figure, I'll go ahead and try the RY4 once I get back home. I also wanted to try dipping, as that one's tough to do with the 510 with it's recessed atomizer..thankfully, that particular Post Office is close to the house, all in all, I really didn't miss much time away from work, basically a normal lunch time only, versus the norm 15-30 minx max I take on most days, and would be working late again regardless, so it wasn't so bad, just frustrating all in all.

After getting home I did whip up a quick mixture of 24mg, from the RY4 36MG I'd gotten, in a small 4ml bottle. Of course, I did test how sharp the syringe is...definitely time to find a strong plastic alternative, methinks (I didn't stab myself, just touched it, intentionally). So, I made a pair of carts for each, the 510 and the M401.

I also tried dipping with the M401 versus dripping the 510, and just 'cart compared to cart.'

Regardless of the method, the 510 outperforms the 401 for vapor production. Not usually by a huge amount, like the 401 produces nothing (it does, and it's quite 'enough' as far as I'm concerned, to be content with in general), but it's noticeable. If I had to quantify it with a guesstimate, I'd say the 510 produces 1/3rd more vapor. Of course, I should probably compare them again in a few days of use on both...

The 401 draws easier that the 510. Several times, I've liked the draw on the 510 better, as being closer to an analog smoke. But then I'll pick up the 401 and just use it for a while, and the draw doesn't seem to bother me much, unless I'm thinking about it actively.

The 510 is more consistent on vapor production, as well, so far.

The RY4 flavoring...(now diluted to 24mg from 36)..I think I like it, but I can't quite decide between the Tobacco High carts I got with the 510 compared to the RY4. I think I need a bit of time to play with different strengths, and go through some carts of each before any conclusions there, and really, that's just an aside on 'random liquid tastes,' really. I don't dislike either, though I wish my JC would at least be confirmed to have shipped, for some more comparisons.

So, out of the box, no DOAs for either. Both TW and Midwest actually responded to email, while JC has not responded even to a simple request about shipment status. The packaging...this is a relatively minor gripe, and one I passed on to TW. Their 'other' Starter Kits (non PCC) both come with two atomizers and two batteries, while the PCC kit comes with only one of each. The other kits are boxed, the PCC 'kit' came essentially as a bunch of individual parts, and with no instructions/box, etc. I could do without the box, although the M401 box is nice, and now is my 'e-cig kit box' with carts and liquid, syringe, etc, for both of them, but I would have really liked to get the instructions for the 510, as my first e-cig, and really wish they would make their PCC kit the same as the boxes non PCC kit, and just a discount on the PCC if added on to the price of a Starter Kit as an option. I think it would make first time purchases easier and saner.

I do also wish TW had sampler kits. Not much I can do about that, and I don't doubt it's more expensive with their childproof caps and labels, etc, but for purely selfish reasons (I can't/won't buy $30 30ml bottles x 12 flavors at once!), really. I do wish they'd also be a bit more obvious on their e-cigs, as I think one of their other renames is actually an M401, which I would have been happy to buy from them if it is and was confirmed.

I do like the fact that Midwest had 'miscellaneous stuff' like the bottles, syringe, PG and glycerin..while I can certainly go to a Wal-Mart, or elsewhere, it might take a bit to find decent sized bottles, and the syringe, so I'd just as soon buy 'everything I can' from a single vendor I'm already making a purchase from, as long as the markup isn't too excessive. Also, while it looks like TW uses web software that actively tracks (and displays) actual inventory, Midwest does have a link to an update on their inventory, which is nice, especially when Customs seems to be wreaking havoc on some vendors inventories currently. Anyways, thumbs up for both vendors, will do business with both of them again in the future without giving it a second thought.

As far as the two e-cigs go, I think I'm still adjusting. I find myself alternating between the two of them (technically 3, as I have a 510 atomizer and cart on the USB pass-through, plus one on a batt, and the 401), 1 510 and the 401 with RY4, and the second 510 with Tobacco High carts, although I have no idea if those are TWs or from wherever they bought the 510 from. The Tobaccos High cart has a slightly sweet taste to it, which I think I'm coming to enjoy. The carts on the 510 seem to definitely last longer at this point, but the 410 really is perfect for dipping, that it may not matter, and I haven't run a cart dry on either, just noticing diminishing smoke output, then topping up each a bit so far.

The 410 is a snap to dip with. It's battery seems to have a bit of 'lag' in stopping after I stop toking on it. No such problem on the 510 batteries, but it doesn't seem a big deal, it may just actually be a delay on the LED, versus actually still activated atomizer.

I like the PCC case, but I have hopes of someone doing it one better in the future, allowing for either an assembled e-cig to fit inside (perhaps with a better cartridge system, as they evolve), or at least able to fit two batteries, two atomizers, and two or three carts. With it only holding a single battery and atomizer, it's sort of breaking the rule many expect - one of them will fail, and I'd like to have a backup at hand if/when it does.

The fairly generic M410 fine. It's stiff material inside, were it dense foam, it could be altered easily to fit other e-cigs..may still be able to modity this one, haven't played with it yet. But, for the few $, really, it's fine.

A few random shots. The Titan/510 is the black on black, the M410 is brown/light tan. The opened case is the generic 410 case, with a marlboro Light 100 for comparison, and the USB passthrough battery box for the 510 is on the left of the one shot, with the PCC on the right