Bull Smoke E Cig Q & A
When the Bull Smoke review was handed off to me in the 3rd week of July I began investigating the product and comparing it to other products in the same category. What I discovered was disturbing. KR808 batteries available from other eCig companies for half the cost that Bull Smoke charges, starter kits of comparable components that were selling for $20 less, and so forth.
Example: Halo Cigs sells the same KR808 batteries, although they are different colors, thickness, length, etc. Halo sells their batteries for $14.95 while Bull Smoke sells theirs for $24.95, or 5 for $99.95. The Halo Cigs starter kit, a better kit but comparable in the number of components (with more choices as well) sells their Starter Kit for $54.95 and Bull Smoke sells theirs for $74.95, a full $20 more.
In addition, Halo Cigs sells their prefilled cartomizers with their own, American made eLiquid, not a generic Chinese eLiquid. Lastly, Halo Cigs includes 2 BLANK cartomizers so that their customers can fill them with any eLiquid they choose.
When I went through the Bull Smoke website I discovered many inconsistences, including some wild claims that just couldn’t be true. Rather than print something without getting the other side’s input I put together a series of questions to present to Martin Giles, owner of Bull Smoke. Below are the questions and answers that he provided.
Spinfuel (Julia): As you probably already know, Spinfuel eCigs Magazine takes their reviews very seriously. Our reviews are in-depth, honest, and straightforward. It is for that reason that I must ask you a few questions about your product and statements made on your website. I ask only for clarification purposes because I intend to mention these areas in the review. The last thing I would want to do is put anyone on the spot, so I assure you these questions are only asked to allow me to delve deeper into those areas that really define a product.
Bull Smoke (Martin): Happy to help!
Spinfuel (Julia): Please do not take offense for any of the questions below. I am simply looking for information to back up what I write about. We do not write fluff pieces or reiterate material found in press releases, we create our content by asking questions, living with the product, and “kicking the tires” in every way possible. I realize this is your first review with us, sometimes a company that first works with us takes offense at what appears to be digging for dirt, and I assure you this is not the case. When the review is published most companies understand exactly why we asked the questions we asked.
Bull Smoke (Martin): No offense taken – I appreciate the due diligence.
(Clearly, based on the Bull Smoke Attack Force, they took offense – Julia)
Spinfuel (Julia): On your website you state the following:
Bull Smoke is the originator of the unique 2-piece design electronic cigarette that provides smokers with an exciting new alternative.
Your site also indicates that:
“Bull Smoke engineers are widely credited within the industry for the invention of the revolutionary 2-piece electronic cigarette design.”
Are you, Bull Smoke, indeed the “originator” of the 2-piece eCigarette, comprising the battery and cartomizer? How did this come about? Does your company hold any patents with respect to the 2-piece design?
Bull Smoke (Martin): The manufacturing plant we use in China was the originator of the two-piece design. Many brands, ours included, launched this 2 piece design at the manufacturing level, around the same time. While it’s debatable which brand introduced it to the market first, we were clearly at the forefront and subsequently, many other manufacturing plants followed suit. It’s one of those things where nobody argues with it, because there is no line in the sand saying “well, company x sent an email saying it was coming soon, while company y had it on their website first, meanwhile company z was the first to place an order for it from the plant.” Follow?
(It was at this point that I began to worry somewhat about what Bull Smoke has been claiming about their product. On the site, and to the public, they claimed that they were the originator of the 2-piece design, then Martin admits that Bull Smoke DIDN’T invent it, the FACTORY where he buys his product was the “originator”. Where I come from claiming the work of someone else as your own is frowned upon. – Julia)
Spinfuel (Julia): Your choice in using the KR808 battery and cartomizer is, in my opinion, an excellent choice. Battery life, voltage, etc., of the KR808 has always worked out better for myself than using the 510. What was your reason for using the KR808 design over the more common 510?
Bull Smoke (Martin): Testing, testing, and more testing. I can’t tell you how many people were involved, because it was well over 100.
(I was going to ask Martin is those “100” people involved were actually Bull Smoke employees, then I decided against it. Clearly, the 100 people he speaks about are the people at the Chinese owned factory. – Julia)
Spinfuel (Julia): Is your eLiquid manufactured in China or the US? Like 99.99% of all other brands, we’re pretty confident that your eJuice is injected into cartomizers in China, so we are asking if the juice itself is manufactured in China. Do you own the company that mixes the juice or was the company hired to create the juice line for you?
Bull Smoke (Martin): China. Even the brands that “make” their e-juice in the USA ship them to China to get filled, so it’s a real fine line saying it’s a USA-made product. We do not own the company that mixes the juice, it’s contract manufacturing like 99.9% of our competition. In fact I don’t know one company who owns foreign manufacturing plants outright. I’ve heard of some investing in the facilities and leasing staff, but outright ownership by an e-cigarette brand does not exist to my knowledge.
Spinfuel (Julia): Are your eLiquid “flavors” exclusive to Bull Smoke? In other words, were they blended specifically for Bull Smoke, under Bull Smoke’s direction? If the flavors are specific to Bull Smoke, how long, approximately, did it take to formulate your flavors?
Bull Smoke (Martin): We made some slight variations to most of the generic flavors offered by the E-juice companies, so I guess technically we have about 80% exclusive flavors. Our grape flavor we share with only one other brand, and it’s made somewhere very unique – off the beaten path – and since it’s been highly successful we may move manufacturing of other flavors to this lab in the future. Time will tell, but we’re very happy with where we’ve come as far as flavors and making sure everyone is satisfied.
(So, not only does Bull Smoke NOT create their own eLiquid, it’s mostly “off the shelf” Chinese juice. – Julia)
Spinfuel (Julia): Your website displays a banner that reads, “American Engineered“. Which parts of Bull Smoke are American engineered and what do you mean by American engineered?
Bull Smoke (Martin): The battery was engineered in America. This is the same process Apple uses when it manufactures. If you own an iPhone, flip it over – it reads the same way. In simple terms, the design, technical functionality, and direction is all done here in the USA by minds living here, and the specs are sent to China to develop a final product based on those specs. Does that make sense? If not, please let me know and I’ll clarify further.
I see, the Bull Smoke product, it’s KR808 series batteries, it’s cartomizers, and the generic Chinese made eLiquid is the same as Apple spending millions of dollars on R&D and building prototypes of their products, and then shipping out those plans, to companies in China to have them made. Is that it? I don’t think so.
Spinfuel (Julia): On the FAQ page Bull Smoke states:
Bull Smoke uses the industry’s most powerful 4.2v long life lithium battery, which is actually the top of the electronic cigarette.
However, on the page Vapor Technology, Bull Smoke states:
The Bull Smoke battery is comprised of a 3.7-volt ion lithium pack inside each cylinder that keeps the cigarette always charged and ready for optimal use.
I will be touching on the voltage of the battery, could you please explain why there are 2 different voltage claims?
Bull Smoke (Martin): This was a mistake – it’s since been fixed. We upgraded batteries a few months ago and everything is 4.2 volts. In the past, we used the weaker 3.7-volt battery.
Spinfuel (Julia): Bull Smoke claims that its batteries have the shortest charging times in the industry. How long does it take, on average, to recharge a Bull Smoke battery? Do you know what the “average” recharge time is for the majority of eCigarette batteries of similar voltage?
Bull Smoke (Martin): We recommend charging for 2 hours minimum. We’ve seen competition post 3-5 hours, and we invite you to compare charging times to see for yourself.
Spinfuel (Julia): Bull Smoke indicates that there are 10,000 chemicals in tobacco or tobacco smoke. I have always used the number “4000″. I would be very interested in seeing where you got that figure from as I would like to use it not only in this review, but in any future reviews or opinion pieces where the number of chemicals in tobacco would be stated.
Bull Smoke (Martin): I’d have to check with the research staff we hired to find that material, but a quick Google search shows that we’re far from alone in this claim, so it was made somewhere and it looks like many other sites are claiming the same. I’d like to know the “real” answer but it looks like both 4,000 and 10,000 are widely used. See below.
Spinfuel (Julia): Which Starter Kit, the Ranch Hand or City Slicker, is the most popular with your customers?
Bull Smoke (Martin): Ranch Hand. We cater to the blue-collar smokers who are used to the marketing of Winston, Marlboro, and the brands that market with simplicity. The City Slicker is more geared towards the social smoker or someone who just wants to taste the variety of delicious flavors we offer.
Spinfuel (Julia): That’s about it. Thank you for your patience and time for answering the above questions. I look forward to hearing back from you!
Bull Smoke (Martin): Again, I’m happy to help. Please let me know if I can provide any further answers.
Spinfuel (Julia): I set up an account this morning and tried to make a couple of purchases in order to see how the function works. At no time was I asked how much nicotine I wanted in my cartomizers. I got all the way to “Place Order” and saw nowhere to choose it. When and how does a customer make that choice?
Bull Smoke (Martin): Not sure what you did, but you can clearly make those choices here.
Martin is correct here, in a way. When you order Refill cartomizers you can certainly choose your nicotine strength. It’s the Starter Kit where you cannot. We explained this in the review.
So, readers… Do you feel comfortable buying Bull Smoke eCigs?