On the left, the Njoy Duo. On the right, the Titan.
But which is best? There's only one way to find out -
But which is best? There's only one way to find out -
For some time now I've been convinced that the Njoy was lighter than the Titan. Today I finally remembered to put them on the balance at the lab. The Titan weighs in at 15.0 grams (standard size battery) and the Njoy weighs 14.8 grams. Now, I know I've spent most of my life in labs and an inordinate amount of time weighing small amounts, but I don't believe I can detect a difference of 0.2 grams with my fingers.
I think it's psychological. The Njoy looks like a cigarette. The Titan looks like a pen. I know what those things weigh so I'm probably superimposing a preconceived idea onto the weight I think I feel in my fingers.
The fact is, they weigh pretty much the same. The Njoy feels more comfortable hanging from the mouth than the Titan but again that's not a fair comparison. I've had over a year to get used to the weight of the Titan, before trying out the Njoy. There's also the psychological effect of the cigarette appearance. It has much more effect than you'd think.
So which is best? It depends entirely on what you want.
At the most basic, what we all want is to be allowed to smoke indoors again. Or even outdoors without having to experience the basest levels of spite that any passing antismoker can manage. Electrofag offers something that looks and feels like smoking but which is not covered by the ban. We can Electrosmoke indoors and even if anyone objects, it leaves no trace. No tobacco smoke to offend the feeble nostrils of those delicate flowers, no ash, no combustion products at all. The vapour dissipates in moments so a sly puff in a non-smoker's bathroom won't be detected. Especially if they are of the sort who fill the air with chemicals 'because they like the smell'. Never try to explain. They will not understand.
All Electrofags fulfil the smoking-like experience indoors so there's no contest there.
So, do you want a gadget that lets you smoke coffee, banana, strawberry, absinthe and even roast chicken as well as tobacco and cigar flavours? Or do you just want hassle-free tobacco flavour? How far from 'standard' smoking do you want to go?
If you simply want something that looks and feels like smoking with the absolute minimum of hassle, go for the Njoy Pro Duo. It looks like a cigarette, it smokes like a cigarette, the large-capacity cartridge means you have to change it less often, and the cartridge is integral with the heater so you don't even notice the gadgetry is there. There isn't much in the way of wild accessories as yet. Flavours are tobacco, menthol and vanilla. There is a range of strengths, and even a zero-nicotine option so you can test whether you're really addicted to nicotine or just like to smoke.
I have horrified several non-smokers in the real world simply by suggesting that with a zero-nicotine Electrofag, they could experience smoking with nothing more than flavoured steam. They genuinely believe that if they try that, they will instantly crave a pack of Capstan Full Strength and smoke a hundred a day. These are not dim and easily convinced people either. Some are qualified and experienced scientists whose logic somehow evaporates as soon as tobacco is mentioned.
I tried pointing out that veggieburgers don't make vegetarians crave the real meaty thing, that alcohol-free booze doesn't make a teetotaler desire absinthe, that dildos don't turn gay girls straight, but to these people 'that's different'. No, it is not. It is exactly the same. A nonsmoker with a nicotine-free Electrofag is still a non-smoker. There's nothing of real smoking in there. Not even nicotine. It's flavoured steam and it doesn't even have to be tobacco flavour. It is the smoking equivalent of a veggie burger.
The Njoy is for smokers, and perhaps for non-smokers who might want to try the experience with no risk. For the non-smoker who wants to join in with smoking pals but who doesn't want tobacco flavour, the Titan is the one to get. The Titan allows all kinds of weird and wonderful flavours, most with the no-nicotine option too. In fact you can buy the flavour and the propylene glycol (it's in asthma inhalers and smoke machines, before you get all worked up over the chemical name. It's also a food-standard thickening agent. You've already been exposed to much more than you'll ever get from Electrofag). Then you can mix flavoured steam in perfect safety to your heart's content.
The Titan is a gadget. It doesn't look at all like a cigarette. It's black and lights up blue. The white version looks closer to a cigarette but it doesn't have the 'paper' appearance of the Njoy and as far as I am aware, it lights up blue too. I'm not knocking it - it's a great gadget and one of the most long-lasting gadgets I've ever bought- but it requires a bit of gadgetry affinity to get the best out of it. Since it looks nothing like a cigarette, it makes life easier in busy pubs because it's obviously not a real cigarette. The bar staff don't have to keep checking.
The Njoy offers this option too, with batteries in burgundy and silver as well as the realistic ones. But if you want to keep to the smoking experience as closely as possible, the Njoy has the realism you'd want.
If you want to go beyond smoking and into the realms of the bizarre, you need a Titan. You'll be messing around with frequently changing and probably refilling cartridges and you'll need to deal with separate heaters but you can make it taste like a cigar or a pipe or a coffee or just about anything. With nicotine or without. The cartridges are smaller and don't last as long as the Njoy ones but since the heater is separate, the cartridges are cheaper.
Basically, I can't declare a preference. It all depends what you want. Both Electrofags are good but for me, the Njoy is the one for when it's raining outside and I just want a smoke. The Titan is my choice when I feel like a cigar or something a little on the wild side. I didn't like the Titan's auto battery but the Njoy auto battery works just fine. If you go for Titan, the manual battery (where you press a button to make it work) is better. The Njoy's auto battery (where you just inhale and it comes on by itself) is much more responsive.
I carry both with me now. It's not like they take up much space, compared to a pouch of tobacco. Consider the pack of 20 you might carry now, and compare it to carrying one cigarette, one spare battery and perhaps a spare cartridge. You don't even need a 10-pack size to carry a day's worth of smoking.
Fun factor: both have that. The Titan gets double-takes whenever I use it because people think I'm chewing a pen until the 'smoke' comes out. The Njoy looks real, so if anyone objects I drop what appears to be a lit cigarette into my shirt pocket. Lots of fun to be had with both kinds.
If Electrofag could be made exactly like smoking, I'd switch in an instant. It's nearly there. Science should be researching ways to make it perfect but science is scared of smoking. Anyone who suggested working on Electrofag would meet the 'You support the tobacco industry' hysteria and it wouldn't be worth their while typing up a CV ever again. If only people would just grow up. Then perhaps we'd get somewhere.
One thing that occurred to me today - suppose you stage a play and one character has to smoke. It's illegal now, and perhaps the actor doesn't smoke anyway. Get a nicotine-free Njoy which looks just like the real thing. Pretend to light it with a small hand-held torch and your character can puff away on stage realistically, perfectly legally and with no concerns for their health at all. The only difficulty will be if the character is required to stub it out in an ashtray. Electrofag doesn't get shorter. Ever.
Oh, and Lady Gaga and others who have smoked on stage - definitely get one of these. In fact, you rich rock stars, throw some into the audience. It will drive the Righteous nuts. They can't do a damn thing about it.