Since eCigarette vapor is missing the thousands of poisons, toxins and carcinogens of cigarette smoke:
It will never taste like a real cigarette. Though some flavorings get sort of close. And I have tried dozens. I can't remember them all. Lets see what I can remember; Real Cig, Virginia Flu Cured, Dunhill, Klondike, RHYx, tobakum, tobacco, bold, mild, smooth, strong tobacco. Though I do like Virginia Flu Cured, Dunhill and Klondike in my ePipe, they don't taste like a real pipe cigar or cigarette. And I absolutely hated the others. What I noted is that if it has tobacco or cigarette anywhere in the name, it doesn't taste like a real cigarette at all.
So I gave up on an eCigarette tasting like a real cigarette. Initially I went to a local vape shop that offers sampling and found one or two that I liked. I was surprised to find that the cigarette taste is less of a factor to quitting smoking than getting the nicotine than an enjoyable other flavor and enjoying the hand to mouth, inhale and exhale habit.
I was also surprised to find that I actually prefered vaping to smoking and chewing through flavors.
With that said, vaping is not for every smoker. My wife still does not like to vape.
The vaping experience is defined by these terms:
Throat hit is determined by the sensation in the back of the throat when vapor hits it. Throat hit is further described with the adjectives strong, mild and weak. Throat hit can be affected by eLiquid flavorings. For example, Jalepeno is sometimes used to increase throat hit which is a real bad idea BTW.
Taste is determined by the temperature of the vape. Taste is further described with the adjectives Hot, warm or cool.
Flavor is determined by the volume of vapor, specifically the ratio of vaporized eLiquid to air. Flavor density is a more appropriate term. Flavor is further described with the adjectives outstanding, good and weak. Sometimes yummy, dense and anemic are also used.
*Note: Taste and Flavor used to describe vape experience are not related to
eLiquid flavorings like apple, chocolate, tobacco, pumpkin pie, dragons blood
etc. eLiquid flavorings do not appreciably affect taste or flavor as used in
describing the vape experience.
How much force it takes to inhale comfortable. Some like an open airy draw for a Direct To Lung (DTL) experience, some like a tight or restrictive draw for a Mouth To Lung (MTL) experience.
The draw is the most important factor to select first. When I was coming right off of smoking I was used to a MTL experience and I wanted an atomizer that gives that experience. Note that all DTL atomizers that have an Air Flow Control (AFC) can be dialed down to support a MTL experience but it doesn't taste the same. But the only way to turn a MTL atomizer into a DTL is through drilling and milling.
Most atomizers today sport a medium draw experience. Right on the verge of being DTL but can be dialed down to MTL with it's AFC. Though the trend in atomizers is clearly DTL.
The second most important factor is the temperature of the vapor. To reduce risk and improve vape experience, I use a Temperature Control (TC) mod. A vape can also be cool, warm, hot and dry.
This is my goal:
A dense, cool, flavor packed vape experience. An atomizer with a lot of juice flow is needed. Long stem drip tips can also help to cool the vapor and some atomizers like the eHPRO eTank F1 have a top airflow control that pulls air down the outside of the chimney to the bottom of the build area which cools the chimney and preheats the air input to the build. These designs work well for cool vapes.
I don't want this:
A weak but cool vape. With temperature limiting devices such as the DNA-40 it is possible to get a weak vape. If you are inhaling and the temperature limit is reached, the DNA-40 will shut down power going to the atomizer resulting in a weak vape. While not dangerous as a hot or dry vape it isn’t flavor packed, not as dense. In other words, the vaporized juice to air ratio is much lower. This will be explained in detail later in this book.
And I definitely do not want this:
A burning hot melt my tongue vape.
A dry vape.
Assuming I like the eLiquid and I haven’t picked a harsh eLiquid such as those flavored with Jalapeño which is sometimes done to increase throat hit, a hot or dry vape is also harsh. Harsh defined as it feels like it is burning your tongue throat or lungs either chemically or by temperature. Harsh as in it irritates your throat, tongue or mouth. Throat hit is one thing, irritation is another.
A dry vape can be either cool or hot by the time it hits your tongue depending on atomizer chimney design and vapor path length. But the juice has been chemically altered in a hot or dry vape. Cooling it down after it has been altered does not rectify the problem. In a hot or dry vape I am not tasting my eLiquid. Rather I am tasting the burnt, cracked or otherwise decomposed version of my eLiquid and it is bad. And depending on how bad and the type of wicking, decomposed or burnt wick can occur in a dry vape as well. The taste of any dry vape is unmistakable and bad. With that said, some people like a hot vape and that is their goal. But I just like to stay away from dry vapes and keep the temperature under that which produces nasty byproducts for each and every ingredient in my eLiquid including all those in the flavoring(s).
I get the feeling from reading posts and blogs online that some people only like their eLiquid if it is dry or burnt but once they get a saturated vape of intended unmolested flavor, they hate it. This is not good as dry vapes produce black gunk build up faster and are closer to smoking than vaping. Which is why some people probably like it.
The more juice you can flow to the heating device, the more power you can apply to a point, all other things being equal. The amount of vapor volume is determined by the amount of power. But too much power over a short period of time and the temperature on the heating element can soar not only affecting taste, but to dangerous byproduct producing levels as well.
Any given coil/wick build has an inherent amount of power it can sustain before starving the coil for eLiquid which results in a dry vape without a mod or APV that has temperature protection. In particular I am talking about the case where there is increased juice flow as much as possible without leaking and I still get a dry hit. Lowering my voltage/power when this happens if using a variable voltage or variable wattage device works for me. If using a fixed voltage device like an eGO or mech mod then I increase build resistance. Yes there will be less power and therefore vapor produced but it won’t be dry or burnt and all that entails.
While not as prevalent, it is possible to have too little power depending on the mod and atty. In this condition the vape is too cool. Little vapor is produced and what is produced never reaches temperature. The choices are to increase power, buy a more powerful mod, or reduce juice flow by restricting the juice hole.
This is what guided me through my hobby. Looking for more and better tasting (my definition) vape experience. After I had tinkered with and adjusted the things I could, it was then time to explore different mods and attys whose inherent design offered better performance i.e. juice flow, maximized heated surface area, more vaporized eLiquid volume.
The third most important factor is the amount of vapor. When I was coming off of analog cigarettes I was surprised to learn that a modest 10-30 watts produced a satisfying amount of vapor. Although I have vaped at 100W+ I routinely like to vape in the 20-40W range.
Determined my draw preference.
Understood Temperature == Taste
and Power == Vapor Volume
Flavorings are a personal preference and whatever is needed to keep from smoking again.
And I did lots of research told on Are eCigarettes Safe? page that ties all this into risk.
All the information contained in these pages are only the opinions of the author and the author is not an expert at anything.