Blu Cigs Review

By Lindsay Fox Posted August 21, 2012

Blu’s name is now illustrious, but the e-cigarette itself wouldn’t strike you as having big tobacco funding. There are many positive points about the e cig, but the battery life and nicotine levels aren’t the best for heavier smokers or vapers.

Blu Cigs Electronic Cigarette
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  • Great vapor performance
  • Smart Pack with "Social" feature
  • Excellent portable charging pack
  • Seven well-executed flavors
  • Smoke juice made in the USA
  • Propylene glycol-free cartridges
  • 24 Hour customer service


  • Cartridge flavor gets weaker after around 150 puffs
  • Battery life is too short
  • Nicotine content not enough for heavy smokers
  • No noticeable throat-hit
  • Larger batteries and manual options would have been useful

Bottom Line

Lorillard backing hasn't soured the product quality of Blu’s e-cigs, but ironically the product doesn't offer enough to more hardcore ex-smokers. The battery life, nicotine levels and throat hit fall a little short, but the flavors, vapor production and portable charging case provide enough to satisfy more casual vapers.

Blu Cigs: Our Expert Review

Blu Cigs Review

blu Cigs is no longer the North Carolina start-up it once was. After being purchased by Lorillard (manufacturer of cigarette brands like Newport and Kent), the brand is now synonymous with the increasing role of “big tobacco” in the e-cig industry. blu electronic cigarette was chosen by the company because they have a pretty solid reputation, so it’s still a consideration for smokers looking to make the switch and vapers alike.


After being bought out by Lorillard in April 2012, blu’s president Jason Healy wrote a blog post addressing their new “life with big tobacco,” promising the same commitment to the vaping community and a continued dedication to quality in their products. He admits that there are some challenges to working with such a huge company, but talks down the negative aspects as merely the result of increased regulations and protocols. Regardless of the level of truth in that statement, how blu eCigs progresses is of great interest to the industry, since few e-cig companies boast the financial might of big tobacco. The only worry is that it’s now all about profit and no longer about the vapers.


The Premium 100 Starter Kit ($89.95) comes with a portable charging case (with the infamous Social Feature), two Premium 100 batteries, a five-pack of cartridges, USB charger and wall adapter, or alternatively you can pick up the Premium Starter Kit ($79.95), which is the same except with Original (Premium) batteries.



Packaging and Design


The Premium 100 kit comes in a minimalistic black box, adorned with blue and white text and an image of the charging case. The design is purposefully sleek, and whilst it achieves its goal, the lack of an opening and closing clasp makes it a little harder than you’d like to actually get into the kit. When you’ve removed the top you’re greeted to the sight of the charging case, a cigarette-packet like case with the company name and the blue triangular logo on the front. It sparks into life as you open the pack, the logo lighting up and a three LED display on the side tells you how much power you have left. Underneath, you’ll find the manual, cartridges, chargers and a USB cable for topping up the charging case.


Blu Cigs Premium 100 Starter Kit


The portable charging case has a USB slot on the bottom, meters to show the case’s level of charge and the cigarettes level of charge and the “Social” button on the side. Inside, you’ll find a charging slot for a battery, a slot to store another battery and spaces for five cartridges. You don’t need to screw anything in to set the battery to charge; a pretty useful feature which avoids unnecessary fiddling.


Blu Cigs Starter Kit Review - Blu Smart Pack


The “Social” feature, however, which vibrates when the case detects the signal of another user’s case or a nearby blu eCigs vendor, seems like it will be of little use in most situations. Locating a vendor might be useful (if you run out of cartridges unexpectedly and happen to be near a seller, that is), but the notion of approaching somebody just because they use the same brand of e-cigs seems unusual. The box would vibrate, which means a fellow vaper is nearby – then what? Do you look around for the stream of vapor and approach them without a second’s thought? Of course you wouldn’t – you’d be too afraid of making a mistake and looking like some kind of brand-obsessed maniac – “Hi, my blu Cigs charging case just vibrated – do you use blu too? No… Oh… My bad.” On a more positive note, the case does slip comfortably inside your pocket.


The original blu Cig was a three-piece model, with a separate atomizer and flavor cartridge, but since 2011 they’ve switched the industry standard two-piece design. The new e-cig is a lightweight, cigarette-sized device with a thin golden band separating the cartridge from the battery. The Premium 100 cartridge is actually longer than most you’ll find, meaning that they can offer the equivalent of around a pack and a half of cigarettes. The black models are more high-tech and futuristic in appearance, but the white option looks much more like a traditional cigarette. Both types of battery have matching cartridges, with realistic speckling on the ones for the white battery. There are little images to tell you which cartridge you’re vaping – as an example, there is a little pipe graphic on the tobacco cartridges and an ice-cream cone on the vanilla.


Nicotine Levels


You have the choice of four nicotine levels with blu Cigs, no nicotine, Low (6-8mg), Medium (9-12mg) and High (13-16mg). There is potential there for managing down your nicotine intake, but the strongest cartridges aren’t likely to be enough for heavier smokers. With the uncertainty in the quoted values, the biggest nicotine consumers could end up with a 13mg cartridge, which is far from ideal. Most manufacturers offer a maximum of 18mg per cartridge, with some offering up to 24 or even 36mg. If you’re a heavy smoker, there are definitely better options elsewhere for nicotine levels. The uncertainty in the quoted levels is irritating, but since a frequent complaint from those who want the technology banned is that there are minor variations in nicotine content, this is actually a fairly up-front and commendable admission.


Flavors and Vapor


The vapor production is pretty good with the blu eCig, but as the battery wears down you will notice a dip in performance. On a fresh charge, you’ll produce a satisfyingly thick cloud of vapor; enough to satisfy the sensory craving but not a big competitor with the best brands for vapor production. When the battery starts to wear down, you need to give several priming puffs to get a decent amount of vapor. Sadly for the more hardened smokers, the throat-hit isn’t very noticeable at all with the blu eCig – it’s more like a smooth hookah than a hard-hitting cigarette.


Blu Cigs Flavor Cartridges


This is because blu has teamed up with Johnson Creek Smoke Juice for their flavors. This is an excellent agreement to come to, since Johnson Creek are respected e-liquid producers operating out of the US, but comes with an important caveat. The e-liquid Johnson Creek produces for blu is 100 percent vegetable glycerin (VG, for short), because some people are allergic to propylene glycol (PG), which ordinarily forms the bulk of the liquid. The reason it’s used is that PG creates the smoke-like throat-hit many smokers are looking for, and some VG is usually mixed in because it tastes better. This pretty much sums up the issues and advantages of the flavor and vapor with blu – the flavor is excellent but many smokers (and vapers) won’t be satisfied with the sensation.


They may only offer seven different flavor options, but they’re all well-crafted and the majority manage to replicate the intended tastes pretty perfectly. It’s worth noting that Johnson Creek produces the flavors exclusively for blu, so if you’re already a fan of theirs you won’t be getting the same liquids you’re used to. On the whole though, they are robust in flavor, with the Cherry Crush and the Vivid Vanilla being amongst the best options. The cherry has a delicious warmth to the flavor that produces an amazingly accurate representation, making it one you can happily vape all day.


The Classic Tobacco flavor is a very enjoyable take on the taste, but if you’re looking for a good replication this is the only one that’s a bit of a let-down – it’s just a little too sweet to really capture the flavor. Again, this is likely because of the VG base, but it’s a bit of a shame given that there’s only one tobacco option available from blu. For menthol smokers, the Magnificent Menthol is great, striking the balance between strength in flavor without being overpowering. Another important point to consider is that the flavors dampen somewhat when you’ve had around 150 puffs, sometimes leaving you yearning for a new cartridge to get the flavor back before you’ve even worked through it.




Blu eCigs Battery Review


This is the main area that holds back the e-cig, and it is another flaw which hits chain-vapers and heavy smokers hardest. You’ll find that you need to charge the battery after around two hours of heavy use. The manual claims that the Premium 100 batteries last for 150 puffs on a full charge, and the Premium batteries only offer 100 puffs. Even under these ideal conditions, that would only be equivalent to around a 10 pack of cigarettes for the Premium 100 battery. Also, you’re unlikely to get that many satisfying puffs out of a single charge. It’s hard to over-state how much of a downside this really is, since most smokers will get through something around a pack a day, which means almost everyone using blu will need to take their spare (and charging case) along with them at all times.


On the plus side, charging is quick, and with the charging case it’s pretty easy to take a spare with you. The USB charger and charging case work as expected, with clear LED lights to tell you when it’s charging and when the battery is ready to use. Longer batteries would have been a really useful option, even if they detracted from the cigarette-like size.


Manufacturing and Warranty


The build quality of the blu eCig seems excellent, with the “CE” and “RoHS Compliant” marks proudly displayed on the exterior of the starter kit. They impose their own rigorous tests, with an independent quality control team patrolling their facilities every day to ensure only the very best in manufacturing. There were no problems throughout our testing (aside from the capacity of the batteries, mentioned above), and the financial might of Lorillard backing them is likely to mean this will only get better. We didn’t even notice a problem with e-liquid leaking from the mouthpiece tip, which is a pretty common issue with e-cigs. The performance may not be up to scratch in some respects, but the manufacturing quality is without question.


You’re covered for defects in the electronics for up to one year (not covering cartridges and disposables, of course), as long as you fill in a form and provide proof of purchase. This is a little more limited than what’s offered by other companies such as Green Smoke e-cigarette or V2 eCigs, but still a decent offering (since a manufacturing defect would likely show itself pretty quickly). When you’ve filled the form in it may take a couple of weeks to process your replacement, however, which is far from ideal.


Blu Cigs Review, 2.7 out of 5 based on 12 ratings

Editor Rating

Packaging & Design





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The blu Cigs Premium 100 package is a very good effort overall, but there are some key issues that hold it back. The batteries can’t hold enough of a charge to last you for a day of vaping, and there aren't any options for things like manually operated or longer ones. For heavier smokers or vapers, this combined with the low nicotine levels makes the e-cig pretty unsuitable. Strangely, one of the only companies with big tobacco backing doesn't actually offer an e-cig that meets the needs of hardcore tobacco smokers. However, if you’re a more casual smoker you’ll find that the delicious flavor profile and smooth draw make the blu Cig very appealing indeed.

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User Reviews

  1. no image

    Ok, but not worth the price

    Good taste for a few drags then goes off. I liked the cherry for half a smoke then it got gross. The price is outrageous and they don’t last long.

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    Hope Rash

    Battery problems!!!

    Bought rechargeable kit, got it home and charged it. Within 30 minutes the pack stopped charging. So I took it back and exchanged it and the new one is having the same problem. Wont be getting another one! Complete waste.

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    Tai Rollins

    I love using my blu ecigs. I just got a batch of their e-liquid and it’s really great.

  4. no image

    very happy

    I used the blu and loved the flavor. Of the classic. Tobacco. Then i heard. Alot of good. Reviews. Of the v2 red since like. Marlboro. So i bought one horrible. Flaver and vapes very bad tried other brands to the best one is blu no harsh flavor. Like. V2 is the blu. Is the best

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    Henry Shaw

    Not on your life

    I was an early adopter of their first version, bought four complete kits, two for me and two for the wife. Right off the bat I ran into trouble with the charging boxes failing if you left them plugged in overnight. Three of four failed. As for the sticks, they didn’t hold enough charge and soon began to stop charging all together. As for the tanks, one in five didn’t work. I used their liberal return policy and returned the dead boxes and had the same issue with the next set.

    Their coffee flavor and tobacco flavors weren’t bad.

    After fighting the system I went back to smoking again and gave up until I bought a Kanger system.

    I feel like Blu used me as a beta tester for their first version and I won’t waste my time or money to let them back in again. If you’re going to switch to vape, I recommend you buy a real system you can rely on.

  6. no image

    The the best flavor cartridges out of all e-cigs.

    Love the blu.

  7. no image

    The menthol is like smoking perfume

    Made me nauseous.

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    David G

    This is new to me, It seems to me, It might be to good to be true.

    To tell you the truth this thing is so real, I grabe my lighter when I take a hit
    off it. If it was pussy flavor, I’m afraid I might have set her bush on fire!!!!!!!!!!!

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    David G

    This is new to me, It seems to me, It might be to good to be true. So, I think the worst about the

    To tell you the truth this thing is so real, I grabe my lighter when I when take a hit
    off it.

  10. no image
    David G

    After a while I notest they tast like overheated electronics and burnt wires.

    The liquid might be safer than cigarette smoke. However, fumes from the components themselves may not be.

  11. no image

    its great....

    im a newport smoker,and the switch to the BLU CIG is awesome.I LOVE IT!!!

  12. no image
    Lori Stastny

    1 out of 5 cartridges work

    The one out of the five tastes and lasts well. But they are far too expensive to get 10 minutes out of the other four. They honored their warranty before and returned 30 packs to me. This time I sent them 36 packs back, and after taking forever and poor customer service, they only sent me 4 packs without ANY explanation or email. They have stolen my money for the last time!

  13. no image


    half the time the batteries won’t charge, even new straight out of the box. Don’t waste your money

  14. no image


    After a month, the pack stopped charging batteries. Couldn’t tell if the problem was the pack or the batteries so ordered both. A few months go by with no problems. Then it starts dying again. I see a starter kit in a store so I buy it, charge it up, and it won’t charge the batteries. Long story short I have gone through three or four packs and I have a drawer full of defective batteries. Most of the favors are crap and they die quickly too. Cherry crush is the only good one and it’s amazing. The disposable blu’s last like a few hours. Johnston creek or whatever they’re called need to divorce themselves from this crappy technology.

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    Its funny how the customer comments on the Blu website are 4 or 5 star. If a company has to put FAKE customer reviews on their own website, then the product is usually crap!! Like this review noted, the throat feeling is not present when u take a puff. That is one of the best things about smoking a real cig. The blu commercials and reviews online are all just hype…

    This product IMO is simply crap……
    DO NOT PURCHASE, unless u like the feeling of nothing in ur lungs when u inhale. This is with the HIGH nicotine cartridges as well..

  16. no image
    Steve Hollis

    Have gone through two already with the exact same problem. Plus the battery pack is iffy at best. Waiting until the Marlboro “Mark Ten” comes out and this setup will be toast!

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    MaryKate Dempsey

    With Blu I can breathe thru my nose and not smell an ash tray. The skin on my face is actually clearer and cleaner. There are some inconveniences but all in all I think it is worth it. I also found out that I had to adjust to the fact that I was not as nicotine dependent as I believed. Have to use low nicotine. My clothes definitely smell better, too. Reading other reviews it seems that I am the only one that realized smoking stinks and the aesthetics do matter to some. Yes, the batteries are somewhat unreliable but Blu won’t make my ceiling yellow and hopefully will keep my lungs at least a shade lighter, too. However, big tobacco will find a way to sabotage this idea if they can’t make megabucks out of it.

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    M Burke

    Purchased both through store & website. Total of 3 units. 2 needed total charger replacements, now 4 batteries & another charger shot. I am not a heavy user.
    Replacement requests have to be completed via on line form, which is fine. However requested replacement piece requires a seperate report.
    Maybe because I’ve had to do it so often.
    Have purchase cartridges on line approximately every 2 weeks, so I have an established account.
    Have 2 new cartridges left, 2 shot chargers, 4 spent batteries. Yeah, I’m done.

  19. no image

    Bought a starter kit from Walgreens for 35 dollars. It came with two batteries. Only one worked so I exchanged it for a new one. Then the box wouldn’t charge properly. I smashed it to pieces and I’m out 35 dollars. Thank you blu!

  20. no image
    Richard M

    I tried the Blu system for about six months before giving up on it. The cartridges taste okay, and the charging pack is a good, cool idea; but the batteries are unreliable and inconsistent. Out of five batteries I tried, only three worked, and very unreliably and unpredictably. At best, the life between charges is short. At worst, some charges don’t seem to take at all. You get a few puffs, and the battery starts blinking and needs to be charged again.

    A short battery life could be worked around with extra batteries if the batteries weren’t so unpredictable and unreliable. Sometimes they hold a charge, sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they stop working altogether, and then start working again for no apparent reason. Sometimes the light lights up, but no vapor is produced; and sometimes the light stays on or flashes when no cart is attached, until the battery discharges itself.

    The company replaced one of the defective batteries for me, but the replacement they sent didn’t work. I also purchased an additional starter set and two additional batteries; so I went through a total of five batteries, of which only three worked, all of them unreliably and unpredictably.

    Even with three batteries and two chargers in the rotation, there were times when I couldn’t take a drag because none of the three batteries were ready to use. Most often two would be in the chargers, and the third would be having one of its acting-up times when it lit up, but nothing happened vapor-wise.

    When the light on, but no vapor problem happened, the only thing that seemed to “fix” the battery for a while would be recharging that battery using a computer’s USB port. That took a very long time, but seemed to reset the battery somehow so it would work again for a time.

    Eventually I just got tired of farting around with batteries all day. I switched to a refillable tank-type e-cig that I can use for a day or two between charges, and is also a lot cheaper to use.

    The battery problem is a shame because the carts have a better-than-average flavor and the charging case is a cool, useful idea. With better batteries, I would have stayed with the Blu system because of the taste and the coolness factor. But the unreliable batteries made it more trouble than it was worth.

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