Cartomizer Capacity or Cartomizer = How many cigarettes?... there's been a lot of contradictory info on this subject. Let's clear it up a little bit.
If you smoke cig-like e cigarettes, how many cartomizers you'll need depends on
a) what you are more addicted to - nicotine or ritual of smoking
b) which strength and quantity of cigarettes you used to smoke
c) how deep you inhale the vapor
So, what I am about to share here is an advice, useful enough for many of you to make a rough estimate on how many refills you are supposed to buy while you are still new to this experience. With time, you'll know exactly for yourself.
As for the prefilled cartomizers (or cartridges), general rule of thumb is to divide every seller's claim by two: if they say their refill replaces 20 cigarettes, for many of you (not for all!) the number is closer to 10.
Smoker's Halo Kit - click to read a review
Time for a general observation here: it may seem to us that the suppliers exaggerate whenever this equivalence question is raised. They just take nicotine milligrams in their cartomizers and put an "=" beteween that and nicotine milligrams declared on a tobacco cigarette pack. Or they compare tobacco with electronic cigarettes based on the number of puffs.
These premises may prove both wrong for one simple reason – nicotine absorbtion from e-cigarete vapor is not equivalent to the one from tobacco smoke. It is more like half less. That's what cartomizer capacity is more like.
Nobody seems to know the exact ratio, although there have been honest attempts to measure it, as it depends on a number of factors. Still, half of is much closer to what users get than equal to.
However, there is one thing that I certainly know from my own experience: nicotine absorbtion from e-cigarette is much closer to the nicotine absorbtion from NRT gums.
I tried both repeatedly and it turns out exactly this: I need almost exact number of nic milligrams from nicotine gum as from e-cigarettes. It doesn't matter whether we are talking about refillables or prefilled cartomizers.
And that number is almost exactly twice the number of nic milligrams I need from tobacco cigarette.
Before we accuse e-cig suppliers for overall exaggeration, there's one more thing to say. Their claim that their cigarette is equivalent to 20 or 30 tobacco cigarettes can be true in some cases. It refers to users who aren't craving for nicotine nearly as much as they are addicted to the ritual of smoking itself.
When I get new cartomizers of cig-alikes to try out, I go through 2 or 3 of them daily. Yet, one of my husband's friend tells me that one carto can last him for two, even three days. (He is a light smoker, but still. I can't really imagine myself spending so few cartos weekly).
Consider this: my husband used to smoke 30 (sometimes even 40) Red Marlboro cigarettes daily. I used to smoke 20 to 25 at most Marlboro Lights. Judging only by that you might think he was much bigger nicotine addict than I.
But this is where things get weird: I go through 3 cig-alike refills daily now. And what he needs is only 1, maybe 1.5 at the most. Therefore we decided he'd go with cigalikes and I'd stick with eGo batteries and e-liquid.
Now, if you live in a place like NY where tobacco cigarettes cost $8 - $20 dollars (correct me if I'm wrong), you might find 3 refills a day a bargain. Or you might find you can't stand eGo and similar batteries, or both.
However, it doesn't really change the general conclusion that applies to most: cig-alikes are quite convenient and enough for smokers like my husband and his friend - not nearly as expensive as they would be for those like me.