Many vapers may have little interest in the Vuse since it is made by “Big Tobacco” and because it uses a model, ultimately, from 2007. But, there is still a market — maybe even the largest segment of the vaping market — that still use and want these types of e-cigarettes.
If you are genuinely interested in the Vuse, this review is for you (or you can check our “best of” list for similar products).
Vuse was founded in 2012 by RJ Reynolds Vapor, a division of Reynolds Tobacco. Based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Reynolds is the second largest tobacco company in the U.S. behind leader Altria. Reynolds is known for the popular Winston and Salem cigarette brands among others.
The Vuse Digital Vapor e-cigarette is easily obtained anywhere tobacco cigarettes are sold such as gas stations and convenience stores. For approximately $11 users get a very basic starter kit that contains a battery, one flavor cartridge, and a USB charger. Accessories such as charging adapters and storage cases may be purchased online from their website.
Let’s get into the particulars in this review of the Vuse Digital Vapor e-cigarette.
All things considered, the Vuse Digital Vapor e-cigarette is a good lookin’ e-cig. The design is sturdy and fully made of metal with a stainless steel finish to the battery matched to a black flavor cartridge. The size and feel in the hand replicates a genuine tobacco cigarette, but the appearance should make it unmistakable from one. The end lights up with a white LED during use. As the liquid level becomes low in the cartridge the LED will begin to flash. Likewise, when the battery needs charging, the Vuse will change from white to red to warn users.
All cigalike vapor products use a very small battery in order to replicate the size and feel of a tobacco cigarette. And since the Vuse battery is really no different, the battery run-time is no better or worse than other similar e-cigs.
Heavier users of the Vuse are reporting up to two hours between changing and charging batteries, while light users may see eight hours or more from a charge. You may find it beneficial to have and carry extra batteries to get through a work day or other outings away from home. This is especially important for those who have recently quit smoking as most people vape quite heavily at this time. It really just depends. But one thing is for sure, counting puffs, or trying to match how long a cartridge will last versus a pack of smokes is a fruitless proposition. You just have to try it out.
Vuse cartridges are now available in eight flavors, but Melon and Nectar are exclusively sold at 7-Eleven retail stores. Vuse describes each flavor as follows:
Original: our take on classic tobacco
Crema: smooth and creamy flavors with light and toasted notes
Berry: a mixed blend of vibrant berry flavors
Menthol: Vuse’s signature take on menthol flavor
Chai: a crisp blend of aromatic tea flavors
Mint: cool, fresh mint flavor with a tobacco undertone
Melon: a cool, refreshing melon flavor
Nectar: soft blend of silky, summer fruit flavors
All Vuse flavor cartridges contain 4.8% nicotine (48 mg/mL), which is definitely on the strong side. The high nicotine content may be more appropriate for heavy smokers or those struggling to quit smoking. Two packs of replacement cartridges cost about $8 (but it really depends on where you buy).
Vaping the Vuse Digital e-cig is a similar experience to smoking a cigarette. It’s just heavier and requires you to pop a cartridge onto the battery. The draw is roughly the same type of feel, and the e-cigarette is held in the hand the same way. Inhale the vapor into your mouth and then into your lungs (called mouth-to-lung, or MTL in the popular vaping vernacular).
The Vuse has a strong throat hit and high level of nicotine to appeal to smokers and former smokers. Unlike the genuine product it replaces, e-cigs do not have any burning ash nor do they need to be extinguished when the user finishes a session.
Vuse Digital e-cigarettes use a feature RJ Vapor calls Smart Technology. It is billed as providing constant monitoring of heat and adjusts the delivered power accordingly, ensuring proper vaporization and temperature. Vuse claims Smart Technology leads to a perfect puff every time. Ahem. Not so.
Flavors: the best Vuse flavor I tried was Berry. The Original, Mint, Chai, and Cream all were mediocre flavors at best. Even the one I like the most, Berry, was just a smidgen better than the other flavors.
Perfect Puff: Nope. For some reason, certain flavors tend to not perform as well as others, and not just from a flavor standpoint. I don’t know why this happened, but some of my cartridges would get close to tasting burnt with hitting the Vuse no more than two times in a row. If a device like this can’t stand up to chain vaping, I think it really puts a cap on the users’ chances of success.
Vapor: it’s okay. As stated, the amount is similar to the amount of smoke that comes from a cigarette. There are cigalikes that produce more vapor, though, if that is a concern.
I began using cigalikes back in 2010 to get me off cigarettes. The one I started with was called the SafeCig (it’s no longer sold). Even now, I will use a cigalike (like the NJOY Daily), or something like the JUUL. I say that to say I don’t mind cigalikes at all, so I kept an open mind with the Vuse.
In my opinion, the Vuse is just okay (if that). It works, but it isn’t a stellar performer by any stretch of the imagination. For vapers and smokers alike, the Vuse may be able to get you out of a jam should you be without your preferred vape or smoke. But, as a sole device, in my estimation, there are a slew of better options out there.
Either which way, I recommend looking elsewhere (unless you are in a jam and you need a quick fix).