Green Smoke has produced one of the best e-cigs on the market today, with excellent vapor production, a varied and enjoyable flavor selection, substantial battery life and a wide selection of nicotine levels.
Green Smoke is without a doubt one of the best electronic cigarette manufacturers for cigalike devices. The e-cig has sturdy construction, a well-executed flavor profile, ample vapor production, plenty of nicotine levels and a cigarette-like design. Green Smoke may not be perfect, but they still offer one of the best cigalikes on the market.
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Loads of vapor
Plenty of options for nicotine levels
Ample battery life
Full one-year warranty and 30 day money back guarantee
Intuitive, sturdy design and excellent manufacturing quality
Cartomizers all have lot numbers
They needed more flavor options, not less
Cartomizers have a reduced lifespan compared to previously
Business is now solely focused on the US – the UK site has closed and they don’t ship to Australia
Green Smoke has produced an excellent e-cigarette, one that genuinely reproduces the smoking experience minus the concoction of chemicals and the off-putting smell. The flavors are robust and well-executed, the vapor production is excellent and the manufacturing quality is top notch.
Their offerings aren’t perfect, though: the reduction in the number of flavors available has lost them some long-term customers, and the lifespan of the cartridges has taken a turn for the worst, but on the whole, Green Smoke have still maintained much of what made them popular. Despite some issues, they're still up there with the very best cigalike e-cigs you’ll find on the market today.
E-cigarettes can only serve as a replacement to tobacco cigarettes if they accurately emulate the smoking experience, or at least the parts of it that are most important for you. Without a substantial amount of vapor from each puff and a realistic throat hit, you just feel like you’re smoking a toy – a nicotine-dispensing novelty that could never convince you to ditch the tar-filled alternative. Green Smoke is one of the most respected e-cigarette producers around the world, and they’ve amassed countless positive reviews for their two-piece, cigarette-like designs and thick, robust flavors. But is it really all it’s cracked up to be, or just empty hype? Our Green Smoke review tests out the device to find the answer.
Founded in late 2008 in Miami, FL, Green Smoke is one of America’s oldest brands of e-cig. Sam Capuano noticed the huge gulf between the still-lucrative cigarette industry and the attempts to denormalize smoking through widespread “No Smoking” signs and increasingly unavoidable legislation relegating smokers to standing outside in an effort to get their nicotine. Spurred on by the early e-cigarette designs, he became determined to help smokers “go electric” through innovation and a tireless dedication to customer service. Working with scientists and tech-wizards, he turned his dream into a reality.
After earning the custom of millions of vapers around the world, things changed a little for Green Smoke when they became one of the increasing number of cigalike e-cig brands to be bought out by tobacco companies. Altria – who owns Phillip Morris and consequently, Marlboro-brand cigarettes – bought Green Smoke in 2014. In other words, Green Smoke is now a Big Tobacco e-cig. But does that change what they have to offer for new vapers?
What Starter Kits Does Green Smoke Offer?
The Pro Kit ($74.05 – as of May 2016) offers three batteries in your chosen lengths, ten cartomizers, a USB charger, wall adapter, in-car charger and a leather carrying case.
If you’re looking for something cheaper – the Express Kit ($46.72) is a more stripped-down version, without the in-car charger you get in the Pro Kit and coming with one short and one long battery (instead of three in your chosen size) and just five cartomizers to keep the price low.
If you want the bare minimum offering, there’s also the Essentials Kit ($18.49), which comes with a single battery, two cartridges, a USB charger and a clamshell carrying case, offering what you need to try out vaping without requiring too big an investment.
Packaging & Design
The box for the Pro Kit is stylish, sleek and proudly green, with a magnetic closing clasp and a two tier interior. It’s sturdy, so there’s no worry of any of your vital pieces of equipment being damaged in transit or storage. The top tier cradles the batteries, and stores the (frankly, rarely – if ever – needed) instruction manual. In the box’s underbelly, you’ll find the USB charger, which is easy to use (just screw the battery in and plug it in) and fits comfortably into the plug and car adapters. (Note: The box design has recently changed, to a thinner design with a slide-out section containing all of your gear)
The e-cigarette itself is expertly designed, with simple screw-on cartridges which leave just a thin golden band separating it from the battery. Design-wise, they’ve opted for the faux-paper rings and a generally cigarette-like look, with the tobacco cartridges in particular looking like cigarette butts. However, they’ve added a line of designer batteries with some more unique and colorful designs if you’re looking for something to vape which will make you stand out. Aside from the design, all of the batteries from Green Smoke are automatics, which work just like a regular cigarette.
It’s pretty lightweight, and although you might notice the difference in weight and size when you first switch from tobacco cigarettes, the entire experience is very authentic indeed. The tip is green, but glows pleasingly on inhalation, fading in and out gradually just like a tobacco cig would. One of the most impressive aspects of the design is that the air-flow holes are actually at the top of the battery – not between the battery and cartridge – which gives a flush and stylish appearance without impacting on the functioning of the e-cig.
Green Smoke cartridges are available in five different strengths. The most nicotine-heavy option has a concentration of 2.4 % (24 mg/ml), going down to 1.8 % (18 mg/ml), 1.2 % (12 mg/ml), 0.6 % (6 mg/ml) and nicotine-free. After using the 2.4% cartridges for just a little longer than I’d have smoked an ordinary cigarette, I had my first nicotine rush since my very first cigarette. The 1.8% cartridges will be plenty for many smokers, and there are ample options for cutting down or for the heaviest nicotine consumers. No complaints at all in this department – every vaper’s needs are well catered for.
However, for smokers who usually don't find cigalikes satisfying, other devices like the JUUL Vapor from Pax have a lot to offer. This device uses nicotine salts (just like cigarettes do) and a high nicotine level to ensure it's satisfying for the heaviest smokers. It's still really easy to use, so the JUUL is well worth considering, especially if you've tried a cigarette-like e-cig before but haven't been impressed.
Flavors & Vapor
This is the area which really separates Green Smoke from the pack. Whereas the cheaper brands of e-cig will give you a reasonably satisfying hit of vapor, the dense clouds you get from a Green Smoke e-cig genuinely invite comparison with the tar-filled, combustible alternative. Since all of the batteries are automatic, you might expect a reduced vapor volume if you don’t take a couple of introductory puffs first (to prime the atomizer), but for Green Smoke this really wasn’t necessary – it was consistently satisfying. In comparison to V2 Cigs, there is probably slightly less vapor per puff here, but the difference is so miniscule it’s genuinely difficult to call. Needless to say, you won’t be disappointed if you’re just switching from smoking, and if you’re looking for notably more vapor, you’ll need to upgrade to a vape pen or a mod.
The flavors are also well-crafted and arguably amongst the best in the category. The latest innovation from Green Smoke is the FlavorMax cartomizer, designed (as the name suggests) to maximize the flavor. Although they previously promised 360 puffs per cartridge, they’ve rightfully removed this claim – the number of puffs you get is so dependent on how you vape it’s hard to estimate your mileage from a single cartridge. It must be said, though, there seems to have been a decline in cartomizer lifespan recently.
For flavors, there are three varieties of tobacco, Classic Tobacco, Southern Gold and Signature Red (which is modeled after Marlboro Red), as well as the creatively named Mocha Mist, Menthol Ice and Smooth Cream.
Generally speaking, the flavors you get through Green Smoke are excellently executed; robust and accurate across the board. When it comes to tobacco emulations, the Signature Red packs more of a punch, the Southern Gold has a tint of sweetness and the Classic is much smoother. Choosing between these is a matter of preference, but for me the sweeter elements of the Gold give it the edge – for the overall experience, however, not the accuracy to the tobacco taste (which is extremely difficult to replicate without burning something).
The Menthol Ice is pretty hard-hitting, even a little too much so at first, but you soon become accustomed to vaping it. From the sweet flavors, Mocha Mist probably takes the cake for me, offering a deliciously sweet and well-captured blend of coffee and chocolate, although the Smooth Cream is pretty tasty too. The only real complaint about the flavors is that we’d love to see more of them, because the options currently on offer are excellent overall!
Sadly, though, in the last few months, flavors that were once excellent – especially the chocolate option – have disappeared from the line-up. Additionally, the cartridges seem to run out more quickly than they once did, with some users complaining that they barely get half a day’s use out of each. We noticed this issue in testing, too – the flavor seems to fade notably quicker than it once did (Green Smoke used to be astounding on this front), and we’ve also noticed cartridges running out after half a day of use. The quality is still largely there, but the longevity has taken a notable hit.
The battery life on the Green Smoke cigarettes is great considering their size, and the long one will last moderate users around a day of work without requiring re-charging.
According to the marketing, the shorter (160 mAh) battery lasts for around 200 puffs, and the longer (270 mAh) one stretches this to around 275, but these figures are always quoted under ideal conditions. The main thing is whether or not a single charge can take you through a day of work, and Green Smoke passes this test for less intensive vapers. Admittedly, though, if you’re just switching from smoking you’ll probably find you need to vape quite often and you drain your batteries in about half a day. Even then, with the Pro Kit you’ll have two spare batteries to keep you vaping when your others are charging. Thanks to these extras, you’ll never be without the nicotine you’re looking for!
There may be other brands with pen-sized batteries that last a little longer (White Cloud’s Cirrus 3X comes to mind), but Green Smoke’s offering is unlikely to disappoint. If you’re looking for a notable improvement in battery life, you’ll have to upgrade to vape pens or mods, which have much bigger batteries and most of which will last even intensive users through a day of work.
Manufacturing and Warranty
As if the gilded threading didn’t give this away, the Green Smoke e-cig is exceptionally well manufactured. All of their manufacturing facilities are certified to an internationally-recognized standard and everything that goes out to customers has already passed through a veritable gauntlet of tests. Their batteries are put through airflow and safety tests before being shipped out, and everything Green Smoke produce comes from American engineers and developers.
Throughout our extensive testing, we encountered no issues with the batteries whatsoever, and the build quality is unquestionable. One even survived being accidentally dropped into a glass of wine; after drying out, the battery functioned perfectly again. The cartomizers – as mentioned earlier – still offer great flavor and seem well-made, but have dropped notably in lifespan compared to the earlier, independent days of the company.
However, the e-liquid you’ll find in your cartomizers has been through a wide range of tests. Using internationally-recognized third party labs, the Green Smoke team put every batch of their e-liquid through rigorous chemical assessment to guarantee a consistent level of nicotine and ensure that there are no impurities. Everything they send out to you has passed this test comfortably, and every single pack of cartridges has a unique lot number so any issues can be traced back to their source.
There is plenty of cover in the event that you’re dissatisfied or if you’re unlucky enough to receive a defective electrical component. First off, Green Smoke offers a 30 day money-back guarantee, so if you’re not satisfied, simply return your kit within 30 days and you’ll receive a full refund. In addition, a 365-day warranty is available, which offers hassle-free replacements within the first year of purchase. Of course, the warranty doesn’t cover you if you’ve modified or otherwise misused your e-cig in any way.