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Imperial Tobacco's Vype ePen 3 | Friend or Foe?
October 10th, 2018

Since the start of vaping, big tobacco companies have been trying to find ways to deter people from making the switch. However, with big names in vaping like the JUUL spreading like wildfire, it almost seems like a battle that can’t be won. So, as the saying goes, if you can’t beat them, join 'em - and that's exactly what Imperial Tobacco has done. Imperial Tobacco owns half of Canada’s market share for cigarettes with brands such as Du Maurier, Players, and Peter Jackson. They are, however, now looking to dip their toes into the other side of the spectrum with their new product: The Vype ePen 3.

Personally, I haven’t heard of Vype up until a few months ago when I noticed advertisements for this new “Vape kit” at almost every gas station or convenience store I went to. Upon looking at their site, it looks like they have another kit called the eTank pro which just looks like a rebranded Innokin T18. However, it looks like they’ve invested a ton into marketing for the ePen 3, and after hearing so much about it, I had to get my hands on one to see what all the hype was about. I drove over to my local Gas station to pick one up.

I purchased the ePen 3 starter kit which comes with 2 prefilled pods and altogether, it came up to $28.25 Canadian which is actually not bad! When I first opened up the box, the first thing I noticed was this device is a lot bigger than I thought it was going to be. After using devices like the JUUL or the Innokin EQ Ultra Portable Kit⁠, the ePen 3 is significantly bigger. Underneath the device, you’ll find 2 different pods. One is a blended tobacco and the other is a crisp mint.

After taking my first hit, the first thing I noticed is that it’s definitely a colder vape than I’m used to. The pods that come in the box are 18mg of nicotine per ml. The throat hit is not bad, but I personally prefer the throat hit of an Innokin EQ Ultra Portable Kit⁠ with salt nicotine.

Here’s where I find the shortcomings of the Vype: The Vype holds 2ml of e-liquid per pod. For a pack of 2 pods, you’re looking to spend $15 Canadian, which would equate to about 4ml of e-liquid for $15. The Vype pods are Non refillable, meaning once your pod is empty, you’re going to have to throw it out and pop in a new one. 

Many different pod systems on the market offer an open-pod system, meaning you can refill the pods with any e-liquid of your choice. You can get a 60ml bottle of e-liquid on our website for $20 Canadian, which is going to last substantially longer than the Vype Pods. With the ePen 3, I found that a full pod would last roughly about a day of use. Whereas, my 60ml bottle of juice that I’ve been using in all my pod systems is still half full after about 2 weeks. 

With all this said, let’s put some things into consideration. Let’s take the cost of a Vype ePen 3 starter kit, which sits in at $25. Now, let’s take one of my favourite pod systems, the Innokin EQ Ultra Portable Kit⁠ which to be fair, isn’t the cheapest pod system, and add the price of a bottle of juice. We’re looking at double the price of the ePen at $51, however with a significantly higher amount of juice. 

Let’s say you’re going through roughly a pod a day. By the end of the week, you’re already sitting at the same amount of money as the EQ kit, whereas with the EQ, you’ve probably barely made a dent in your bottle of E-Juice. A refillable pod system setup may have a higher upfront cost, but in the long-run, definitely saves you a substantial amount of money. Money isn’t the only area where refillable pod systems jump ahead. Because you’re filling up with your own e-liquid, this opens up a plethora of different flavours to choose from. Looking into Vype’s website, it looks like you have 5 different flavours to choose from, whereas if you have a refillable pod system, you can choose from over 400 flavours on our website, all in your preferred custom nicotine strength. 

Now, I can definitely appreciate what Vype is doing. Anything that can help people transition from Smoking to Vaping is great. With that said, however, I do feel like there are better and cheaper options out there. With the price of the pods and the overall bigger footprint of the ePen 3, I would personally pass on this device and look into a refillable pod system. 

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