Ploom review

modelone_hero.jpg Ploom is a wee butane-powered vaporizer that has a cigarette-esque form factor and produces enough smoke to make it feel like a smoke. So far, so good. Unfortunately, it requires proprietary pods, none of which contain weed, and parts of it get hot on the outside. It's an amazing little sci-fi gadget -- a bit like a fancy mechanical pencil -- though not really something I want inside of me. The smoke I found curiously unsatisfying, too, but I smoke cigars. So your mileage may vary. And it's just $30. Product Page

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    1. They do contain Propylene Glycol, but there are different grades. Look at the ingredients on your bottle of Vanilla flavoring! Also used in mouthwash, toothpaste, and a wide variety of health products.

      We trust the companies using propylene glycol are using a food grade version. If you use an e-cig, you get your choice of vapor juices using PG or Vegetable Glycerin. I usually use VG based juices since you’re further removed from PG. That said, most juice makers use food grade PG. One Chinese manufacturer’s model tested by the FDA was found to produce Methylene Glycol, produced from heating industrial grade PG (uh, antifreeze). I doubt ploom would use this grade as the lawsuits would be enormous!

  1. #2 – I think you’re confusing PG with ethylene glycol, which is moderately toxic as it metabolizes to oxalic acid and can cause liver and kidney damager. Propylene glycol is classed as GRAS (generally recognized as safe) as a direct food additive, and while large blood concentrations can be harmful, you would have to consume a large amount of the pure product in a short amount of time to experience toxicity.

    1. I’m not, you know, “eating” the glycol, am I? My lungs are things I breathe with, my stomach is for food.

      See how these small differences in words are so important?

      Take another example: Vapourize vs. Smoke. If you keep saying “smoke” it’ll be regulated by the Federal Gov’t. SO stop it and get with the Ploomspeak: “Vapourize”

  2. On top of whatever’s in the smoke itself, I imagine inhaling butane fumes isn’t good for you, either.

  3. I add hexane and xylene to everything I drink because they form a pleasing liver toxicity.

  4. It’s a cute gadget, but it’s not nearly as cheap or safe as a real electronic cigarette. I quit a 15 year habit using e-cigs, and it’s amazing how well they work. The trick is to avoid the scam artists and get a good model and high quality juice. I’d recommend a 510 or KR808. Here’s an introductory website I had to put together because every time I went out, I’d get half a dozen people asking me why my cigarette lights up blue. Now instead of giving a 10 minute lecture, I just send them here: http://good-ecig.info

  5. Hopefully someone will stick some high quality weed in one of them pods and write a DIY pod review………. Anyone?

  6. Just my 2p. In my experience people who poo-poo e-cigs and bitch about how “toxic” electronic cigarettes are are usually non-smokers and seem to temporarily forget how HUGELY toxic the alternative analogue cigarettes are.

    It’s like saying bungie jumping is a safer alternative to jumping unsupported off a 100 foot high bridge, but you know, dang, you can get rope burns and jerk your spine so I dunno if people should be allowed to do it.

    Getting real tired of people telling me how I should use my freedom of speech and freedom of choice, you know? I love my e-cigs and I feel so much better vaping than smoking.

    You would think a safe or at least safer alternative to smoking would be seen as a good thing, wouldn’t you? Or is it not good because it’s fun? Because you know I start to get the impression that the real reason people frown on fun alternatives to smoking is that believe smokers are evil and need to be punished.

    1. I thought the condemnation was aimed at non-smokers who might be potential customers of the ecigs. To borrow your metaphor, bungee jumping is less dangerous than just free falling, but it’s still more dangerous than just staying home. (Well, the metaphor breaks down at some point.)

      In other words, while an alternative may be commendable, an additive to one’s habits that isn’t completely risk-free will always remain unpreferable to one’s baseline risk-level.

    2. Getting real tired of people telling me how I should use my freedom of speech and freedom of choice, you know? I love my e-cigs and I feel so much better vaping than smoking.

      I’m tired of smokers exposing me to carcinogens. Your freedom of speech does not include a license to endanger the health of others. If you’re smoking in the comfort of your own home that’s one thing, but it should be illegal to smoke anywhere in public.

      You would think a safe or at least safer alternative to smoking would be seen as a good thing, wouldn’t you? Or is it not good because it’s fun? Because you know I start to get the impression that the real reason people frown on fun alternatives to smoking is that believe smokers are evil and need to be punished.

      Fun’s got nothing to do with it. If you’re spewing carcinogens, you *are* evil.

      Now, if you want to go bungee jumping, even in public, I have no problem with that because it doesn’t endanger me.

      Get it?

      1. You’re argument loses a lot of its force considering everyone here has been talking about a device that DOESN’T spew carcinogens. In fact, you’re SPECIFICALLY referring to someone who is talking about a vaporizer.

        So… yeah.

      2. Y’r fl.

        f ‘m hvng smk n pblc, nd t ffnds y, thn wlk wy.

        D y vn knw hw mny thr txns r n th r?

        thnk y’r hypcrt.
        nlss y wnt t bn bss.
        smhw dn’t thnk y yll t dlng bss, t ntrsctns.
        nd y wnt vn hr f gvng p yr SV.

        Y’r lk ths n grl n L, wh scrmd t m fr smkng nr hr.
        Y’R CHSNG T B N GNT SMG BBBL BT Y’R CMPLNNG BT M SMKNG???
        Sblmtn mch?

        Y’d prbbly strt hckng nd whzng nd hvng fk sthm ttck f jst wntd t smk nr y.

        G t hll.

      3. doofus I wasn’t talking about blowing cigarettes in your face I was talking about vaping, e-cigs, as this was what the conversation was about. So thanks for reading my comments so carefully.

        Part of my reason for switching to e-cigs was to eliminate second hand smoke, as e-cigs produce nothing but very short lived vapour. I care about what I do to other people, despite what you might think.

        But thanks for reinforcing my impression of non-smokers as intolerant blanketbombers who just don’t listen to smokers whatever they might be saying just on principle.

        All I was trying to do was put in my 2p that vapour inhalers could save millions of lives, not just smokers but non-smokers too. If you’re not down with that then sorry I spoke.

  7. They should start making Paxil pods and Zanax pods. They’d make a killing. A few nice vanilla mint puffs and you are into Paxil land? With prescription of course. They’d make trillions.

  8. What I’d like is a nice looking electric pipe that with refillable cartridges only filled with propylene glycol and whatever else they put in to make the smoke effect, sans the nicotine and other tobacco borrowed chemicals. I like the image that smoking can give, but I dislike the cancer and-nope, just cancer’s enough to make tobacco a bad idea. So, does anyone have an idea for what could fulfill my desire?

    1. I like the image that smoking can give

      I’m curious what image people have of smokers these days. I personally can’t understand why anyone would choose to start smoking, knowing what we know about cigarettes now, so my image of smokers is that they don’t think things through in the long term.

      1. “I’m curious what image people have of smokers these days. I personally can’t understand why anyone would choose to start smoking, knowing what we know about cigarettes now, so my image of smokers is that they don’t think things through in the long term.”
        I mean the literal image-the cigarette or pipe as accessory, not as a drug. You’re talking about the modern perception of smokers as foolish, not the impression of the act of smoking itself. I’d point out any number of old movies that show how effective of an image smoking can have, the artistry of skillfully manipulating the smoking implement can be amazing. I’ve never smoked, and never tried due to well, the cancer risk. What’s appealing to me is the idea of separating the image of smoking from the cancer causing elements-which would be undesirable to a smoker, due to the lack of nicotine, but to me who lacks any dependency on nicotine that is ideal. To further iterate, in case you’re still confused: tobacco, nicotine, and other major carcinogens I do not want, the device(pipe) and visual smoke I do. If the smoke can be produced using a safe enough chemical(which propylene glycol seems to be) then I would like a product that can do this for me.

        1. You wouldn’t care so much if the image of cool guys blowing smoke hadn’t been beat into your brain by tobacco companies.

    2. A number of e-cig companies offer e-cig (and e-pipe) catridges that are just flavored vapor (no nicotine, etc). I have found them useful for stage use (especially in smoking banned environments) as character elements and even to replace cigarettes for manipulation effects when doing magic

  9. “So, does anyone have an idea for what could fulfill my desire?”

    I think you could get one of these and then experiment with mixing bulk incenses together to find a blend you like. I can’t imagine smoking incense is super good for you but its not tobacco either.

  10. “I personally can’t understand why anyone would choose to start smoking”

    Cuz its a drug. And humans like drugs.

  11. I quit smoking 30 years ago when I was 27. Diagnosed with stage IIIb nonsmall cell lung cancer 8 months ago. Trust me. You do not want to go through this. Lung cancer is the most common form of cancer, hitting more folks each year (160,000+)than breast cancer, colon cancer and prostate cancer combined. Median survival rates are 15-18 months. You should be spending your money on other things. You really do not want to go through this.

  12. nothing beats cold turkey.
    stopping smoking is easy. all you have to do to quit smoking is stop smoking. you don’t have to do anything. If you are smoking, do less.

    1. The way you said that makes me think you’ve never been a smoker.

      I’m currently going cold turkey and although it’s been 2 weeks still after every meal, half way through every TV show, every time I start to read a book and every time I go to bed I crave.

      I’m really tempted to get one of these as it could ease those cravings and allow me to retain this refound feeling that cigarettes taste and smell disgusting. I’d probably just end up smoking that though.

  13. The biggest cancer risk of smoking seems to be the burnt by-products, though nicotine has its own problems. Hence the issues with secondhand smoke.

    As a nonsmoker, I applaud the use of these vaporiser products. If they cease to make me cough on a product I do not choose to consume, then yay!

    As for the frankly Puritan argument about non-smokers starting, it’s a war-on-drugs argument against individualism that always bewilders me in North American conservative types. (We Canadians have it too, if less influential)

    People need to pick their poison, aka whatever makes you happy is fine with me. I hate decisions that pit one person’s “freedom” (for lack of a better word) against another’s.

    The push to outlaw vaporisers is strictly from the North American tobacco industry.

  14. The pods are made of anodized aluminum. I see no reason at all you can’t refill them yourself, lick the rim, and stick a bit of a wrapping paper on them to seal it long enough to smoke with it.

    You could even use that method to stick a bit of pot in them =p

  15. I’m with tylersweeney on this.

    The Jedi Mind trick behind quiting is that you are not actually quiting something, but starting something else.
    You are not denying yourself something, but giving yourself something you have denied yourself to have.
    Like being able to breathe like a normal person.

    Being able to breathe can be quite a powerful incentive.

    It was for me anyway.

    And hey, if you’d rather have a smoke, then have a smoke. And enjoy it!

    But it’s always a choice, and you are not a victim.

    Screw those who say it’s an addiction and an addiction is a disease.

    It’s a habit.

    1. To Marcel and tylersweeney, you are quite right, and touch upon something Allan Carr does in his excellent “self help” book – The Easyway To Quit Smoking.

      It’s a simply written deprogramming manual that reiterates ideas like you’ve trained yourself to put on a tight pair of shoes to enjoy taking them off. He also spends a lot of time debunking the idea that it is “hard” – something that is reiterated through advertising, and pretty much makes it harder for people.

      If you remove the addictions’ power (easier with cigarettes, nicotine as a drug is pretty ineffectual compared to alcohol or marijuana) you make it substantially easier to kick it.

      I recommend it to anyone and everyone:
      Allan Carr’s Easyway To Quit Smoking.

      1. Anybody who says it is “easy” to quit smoking was never really a smoker. You can keep your self-help quackery, I’ll keep using my electronic cigarette. I get all the things I’m chemically and psychologically addicted to, without any of the carcinogens, gross smell, or sin tax.

        1. I smoked a pack and a half a day for six years. I can tell you with confidence that it is that easy. you just stop.

    2. If smoking is not an addiction why are there so many people who want to quit but can’t? Why do people who smoke feel nervous and on edge when they have to go a few hours without smoking? Why do so many people continue to smoke knowing that it could kill them?

    3. “Screw those who say it’s an addiction and an addiction is a disease.”

      You really should look up nicotine some time.

  16. I recently witnessed a salesman trying to get my local liquor store’s owner to sell these things. It occurred to me then that these are a particularly “designy” way to circumvent legislation against flavored cigarettes. Since they don’t actually burn the stuff in the pods, is it possible they don’t count as smoking under the law?

  17. “Since they don’t actually burn the stuff in the pods, is it possible they don’t count as smoking under the law?”

    Depends how the law is written. In the UK they can be used to circumvent the anti-smoking laws since the laws specify burning and this is vaporising.

    “nicotine as a drug is pretty ineffectual compared to alcohol or marijuana”

    If you mean do ineffectual at addiction then there’s no evidence marijuana is physically addictive, whereas there’s plenty for nictotine. Both are psychologically addictive.

    Also, Alan Carr is a bucktoothed comedian. You mean Allen Carr.

  18. The iolite is the king of portable weed vaporizers. I got mine for less than $200 at vapefiend.com: it runs on butane, has been tested for safety by Dublin university and shown to give off no harmful fumes, and I get away with getting high in theatres, buses, bars, galleries, even the supermarket!

  19. First thing i thought was exactly the same thing. Great but can i put my medical marijuana in it. After the answer was no i was greatly disappointed. Im sure I could reverse engineer it into function but I dont think ill bother. The price of the usual vaporizer these days is completely ridiculous beyond belief. Although it is the most healthy way to smoke.

  20. @tylersweeney, I quit cold turkey. It took me three years of cycling between cold turkey and inhale-an-entire-pack-in-half-an-hour to get to the point where now, a decade after I quit, I only crave cigarettes, oh, ten? twelve times a day?

    Quitting sucks, and not in the fun, spanky way. Which is why I don’t hassle people who do smoke, because, Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, quitting is the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

    If e-cigs work, well, I’m of the “grab every tool that will help” school of psychology.

  21. Figured I’d add – I assume you drive? If so, you might want to try looking in the mirror before casting stones.

  22. I’m tired of smokers exposing me to carcinogens. Your freedom of speech does not include a license to endanger the health of others. If you’re smoking in the comfort of your own home that’s one thing, but it should be illegal to smoke anywhere in public.

    Agreed, but to a degree perhaps. Restaurants, bars, pretty much anywhere indoors, shouldn’t allow smoking. As for outdoors, let ’em, unless it’s a major crowd zone.

    Fun’s got nothing to do with it. If you’re spewing carcinogens, you *are* evil.

    A little harsh, eh? Misguided? Yes. Illogical? Yes. Evil? No.

    1. @phrosty

      Agreed–I have no idea how one could consider the right to smoke a freedom of speech issue. The only thing that bothers me more than second-hand smoke is people claiming the First Amendment protects their right to do any- and everything they want.

  23. Crap. I forgot blockquotes on my previous comment. I was quoting kmoser on the first and third lines.

  24. erm… You know, vaporizers are used for more than getting drugs into your bloodstream via the lungs. Vaporizers are also used in cooking to extract the scent from various things to “perfume” or “scent” a dish. The most famous is Grant Achatz’s restaurant Alinea in Chicago. They use a “volcano” to create a vapor, like lavender or some other herb, that fills a plastic bag. The bag is put inside a pillow case, and when the meal is served, the pillow is put on the table and the plate of food is put onto the pillow. A few holes are poked through the pillowcase into the bag inside, and the weight of the plate squeezes the scent out of the bag as the food is eaten. You get the scent your nose, but the food in your mouth has a different taste.

    I’m a home cook, so I can’t waste that much money on one of those “volcano” gizmos. A $30 vaporizer is interesting, but not if you can’t load it with your own herbs (and not THAT “herb”). Ah well. Near miss.

  25. Ploom is a wee butane-powered vaporizer that has a cigarette-esque form factor and produces enough smoke to make it feel like a smoke.

    If it’s producing smoke, it’s not a vaporizer. Which is it?

  26. Its just a rip off of an electronic cigarette, and they are alot safer than smoking real cigs. It does NOT contain a chemical in antifreeze. It is a different chemical, most are just flavoring, PG pr VG and nicotine. Please do your research people. Ive been smoking one for about 3 months now and have had no desire to smoke real cigarettes at all. And plus, I can smoke at work now! :-P

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