By Mark Wachtler
May 20, 2012. Yuma, Ariz. (ONN) For smokers who would love to quit the cigarette habit, electronic cigarettes may be one of the best helpers available. Giving the body a blast of just nicotine and harmless water vapor, E-cigarettes eliminate the dangerous chemicals tobacco companies add to their tobacco blends. These E-cigarettes also cut out the tar and other cancer-causing ingredients of a typical cigarette. But which e-cigarettes are the safest, most popular and least expensive? We asked David Fleck of Fleck Distributions to share with us his unbiased opinion.
There’s a certain mystery surrounding e-cigarettes in America and it’s due mainly to two reasons. For one, the federal government has closed its eyes to the products, refusing to regulate them as a favor to the powerful tobacco industry. The other reason is that most of the allegedly unbiased reviews of e-cig products are no more than paid advertisements for one manufacturer or another. For that reason, we asked Fleck Distributions of Yuma, Arizona to enlighten us and our readers.
What is an electronic cigarette? Basically, it’s a small tube, the size and shape of a cigarette. Inside is a small battery and a tiny cartridge of nicotine. Suction on the e-cigarette triggers the battery which heats the nicotine. The heated nicotine releases a small amount of nicotine-flavored water vapor. That’s it – no tar, mystery chemicals or the 100-plus additives tobacco cigarettes include.
Like Whiteout Press, Mr. David Fleck of Fleck Distributions prides himself on providing fair, impartial information to his customers. Because of his honest and proven track record, we reached out to him with some of our questions. As Fleck proudly describes on his website, “Most e-cigarette reviews are just done for advertising. There are a few out there that are done by truthful people, but not a lot. This page will never accept a dime for advertising because people need the truth, not a bunch of advertising.” Readers can see why we at Whiteout Press chose David Fleck to answer our questions on behalf of our readers and subscribers.
Whiteout Press: The federal government has closed its eyes to the e-cigarette industry, assumedly in hopes it would just go away. What is the current state of laws and regulations governing electronic cigarettes in the US?
David Fleck: Right now, the laws on e cigarettes vary from state to state. Some states are fine about e cigarettes and some are trying to make them illegal. I think it boils down to the fact that our government has their hands in big tobacco’s pocket. They are saying the different flavors will entice teenagers to try them. I think if teenagers are trying them, it is because they are teenagers. I know every website that I go to including mine makes sure customers are 18.
Whiteout Press: What is your experience as not only a distributor of electronic cigarettes, but as a customer as well?
David Fleck: I have my E cig with me everywhere - the grocery store, restaurants, gas stations, etc. I have never been told that I cannot puff it yet. People are always asking me about it and that doesn’t bother me at all. I feel it is my job to educate the public about them. I had a two pack a day habit for over 30 years and I tried everything possible to quit and the longest I lasted was one week on the patch. But I was ready to rip anyone apart at the drop of a dime.
Whiteout Press: What are some of the latest improvements, innovations or products in the e-cigarette market?
David Fleck: One of the companies that I buy from offers over 200 different flavors and 4 different levels of nicotine strength. The strengths start at 24 which is the highest. Then we have 18, which is your average full flavor cigarette. We have 16, which is your ‘light’. Then we go to 6 which is ‘ultra light’. And there is even a ‘0 nicotine’. If someone wanted to, they could slowly wean themselves off nicotine all together.
Whiteout Press: We’ve personally noticed that there are few places online or off that provide honest, unbiased information about e-cigs. Do you have a place on your website that our readers can go to find out more information from an honest, trusted source?
David Fleck: Your readers can go to my website and click on ‘How E-Cigarettes Work’ and ‘Why Switch to E-Cigarettes’. On top of that, I have another site with a little blog and a real E cigarette review. I will not ever let a manufacturer pay me to put them on that site. I give my opinion in simple terms like people want to hear. Readers can find out more by visiting Fleck Distributions’ e-cigarette Review and Blog.
Whiteout Press: What would you say is a fair price range for e-cigarettes, plus the cartridges?
David Fleck: Prices do vary, but you can get a decent starter kit beginning at $20.00 and up to $50.00. And yes, I have some on my site that are more than $50.00. But I do not recommend buying them. You are just paying for the fact that it is pretty.
Whiteout Press: Are there any dangerous brands or product varieties our readers should avoid?
David Fleck: You asked about new innovative products. There is a lot of what are called “Mods“ out there and some of the companies even offer them. I will not have anything to do with a mod because those are ‘modified e cigarettes’ and some of them are blowing up. For some reason, some people think they need to get more nicotine, so they modify e cigarettes with bigger batteries and double batteries. I try to understand why people need more power because the stock models work just fine for me. The best advice that I can give to your readers is, please stay away from anything with the word ‘Mod’.
Whiteout Press: One of our major concerns is the lack of regulation by the US government over e-cigarettes. I imagine many brands are made overseas in countries with little or no oversight. What are your thoughts?
David Fleck: We are not regulated by the FDA, but there is an organization out there called TVECA. They are a watchdog group over manufacturing here in the States. They don’t do much for guys like me as it is way too expensive for a membership. The bad thing is a lot of the nicotine and all of the batteries and cartomizers come from China. Most of us wish we could get these parts here, but the price is too high. A lot of people in my business unfortunately are just in it for huge profits. They get their nicotine from China and I worry about the toxicity of it because when you Google it, you will find stuff that you don’t want to know. Some companies actually use nicotine made here in America. But they ship it to China to fill the cartomizers because of the high cost here.
Whiteout Press: You mentioned the prices for starter kits. But what kind of cost differences can smokers expect when comparing a pack of regular cigarettes with e-cigarettes?
David Fleck: I actually have an e cigarette calculator on my website. On average, a pack of 5 Cartomizers costs around $10.00. A pack of cigarettes costs between $7.00 and $9.00. Each Cartomizer is roughly equal to one pack of cigarettes. (Editor's note: For one 24 hour day, smokers will pay $7-$9, while e-cigarette users will only spend $2).
Whiteout Press: Aside from the cost benefit, have you seen e-cigarette users feeling healthier after quitting smoking and switching to e-cigs? Personally, I noticed a difference for the better after less than a week after switching. But that was my own personal experience.
David Fleck: You ask about feeling healthier. My wife and I have some friends who did it the way we did - stopped cigarettes cold and started e cigarettes - and we all felt a difference right away. For example, we all sleep better and feel more rested when we wake up. Food takes on a whole new flavor. We became more active and breathe better. E cigarettes do not taste like regular cigarettes. It takes a few days to get used to the taste of nicotine without all the tar, cyanide and other carcinogens. When you switch the way I did, you will be coughing up some pretty gross looking phlegm for two to three weeks. But when all that is gone, you will feel like your insides have been cleaned.
Whiteout Press: If our readers are looking for a recommendation from a fellow Whiteout Press reader, what e-cig brands can you recommend that are a fair price and a quality product? What do you like about these?
David Fleck: The brand that my mother, my wife, two of our friends and myself use is Gamucci. I think it has the smoothest, fullest hit with a nice clean taste to it. It is very affordable. I would recommend a deluxe kit or something with two batteries. Otherwise, you are chewing your nails when you need to recharge your battery if you only have one. Gamucci is also the only brand that offers a deluxe kit for under $50.00. We will be offering another brand soon called TABlites. Both Gamucci and TABlites are from the UK. I like their stuff because there is a little more regulating over there than there is here in the US.
Whiteout Press: If we can ask this without getting both of us sued, are there any brands you'd like to warn our readers away from? If yes, why?
David Fleck: I do want to warn people to stay away from 21st Century and Knight Stick. On my Blog and Review website – www.fleckdistribuions.weebly.com – I have a small e cigarette Blog and review page where I will never accept a dime from any e cig company for advertising. I found that most of the e cigarette review sites out there, when you read the fine print, tells you that the brands have paid a fee to be there. I promise you that my review site is one of the very few out there that includes only honest review pages without paid recommendations. I go into detail in words that regular people understand.
Whiteout Press: How can readers order their own electronic cigarettes and give a smoke-free existence a try?
David Fleck: When the readers are ready to order, they can go to my website at www.fleckdistributions.com. On the top left of the page, there is a tab called ‘Products’. Click that tab and go to the starter kits and click that link. Those interested are also more than welcome to call our toll free number at 1-800-940-1061 and we can take their order over the phone. Keep in mind, we are on the west coast and we observe Arizona time. Our hours are 9am to 9pm, 7 days a week.
On behalf of Whiteout Press, we’d like to thank David Fleck and Fleck Distributions for taking the time to answer our questions about electronic cigarettes. For readers who would like to order their own e-cigarettes, visit Fleck Distributions. For those who would like additional information or to read reviews of e-cigarette products, visit Fleck Distributions’ Blog and Review site. To place orders via telephone, call Fleck Distributions at 1-800-940-1061. Please call during normal business hours (7 days per week) and tell them Whiteout Press sent you.
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Legal disclaimer: "The FDA has not approved e cigarettes as a smoking cessation" - if Big-Pharma can bury it like this, so can we :)