I saw this ad for Xhale O2 at my local 7-11 the other night. I was always optimistic that the day would come when e-cigs would enter the “mainstream” let alone the e hookah. Has this day arrived?
When NJOY started showing up at Pilot I was excited, but Pilot isn’t as wide spread as 7-11. I have now seen these advertisements at several 7-11 stores in Colorado. I haven’t traveled in a bit so I can speak for other states.
Please chime in with a comment if you have seen these in a state other than Colorado. I am trying to figure out if this is a pilot program or widespread.
I don’t have time to do all my testing and a full review on the brand, but I did want to mention it along with:
- a brief analysis of the implications and
- a “mini-review” with a place people can post comments with their thoughts
Initially, I was critical of the advertisement in the front window because, as you can see in the picture the ad for “E-Cigarettes” seemed to be intentionally positioned by the WWE Slurpee cups ad.
This could be construed as intentionally targeting children because presumably kids are more interested than adults in getting all hyped up on the super sugary treat before watching their favorite WWE characters pretend to beat the crap out of each other. .
I think there may be something to my suspicion because before I had a chance to write this post, I drove by the same 7-11 again, I noticed that the “E-Cigarettes” sign had been moved as you can see in this picture:
I am still somewhat critical of their placement because inside the store they have a display ad set up that looks like this:
This ad is on the main counter next to the taquitos, beef jerky and other junk food. In my opinion it should be behind the counter with the other tobacco products.
Fortunately, it looks like this brand is avoiding smoking cessation claims so hopefully they will be able to avoid FDA scrutiny, but you never know since they are really putting themselves out there with 7-11 chain distribution.
Oh, and they really should get rid of that display ad or move it behind the counter!
Also notice that there are e hookahs mentioned in the display ad. I kept looking for a big box that could contain something as large as a hookah or an attachment for a regular hookah. I didn’t see one. I just saw a small box for the hookah that doubles as a carrying case same as their e-cigarette. And, their “hookah” kinda just looks like a black e cig. Hmmm. . What’s going on here?
Now for my XHale O2 review
XHale O2 Review (Abridged, Full Review Pending)
Keep in mind I haven’t tried XHale O2 because I don’t have time to do a full review on it right now. I will do one eventually.
I am really only reviewing the specs on paper against my some of my usual review scoring criteria and then editorializing kinda like an android smart phone or tablet review on a tech blog. Sorry, I am an iPhone guy.. For now.
Anyway, you get the idea.
Starter Kit Includes: 1 Battery, 1 Atomizer, USB Charger, 4 Cartridges, Carrying Case
Pros: Starter kit price fairly low and cartridges strengths go up to 22mg
Cons: Cartridge flavors limited to reg / menth*, only one battery and no wall charger or car charger included, Cheap construction?
The XHale O2 starter kit price seems reasonable at $20 if the product is even half decent although the product attached to the display ad makes the construction look cheap. I did notice that their web site does sell the starter and carts for a lot more (starter is almost double). I wonder why?
For $20 though you only get 1 battery. I am not sure what you are supposed to smoke while that one battery is charging or if that battery goes bad. Replacement parts ARE available on the web-site, but again are quite expensive compared to just going down to 7-11 and buying another entire starter kit for $20.
Also, you don’t get a wall charger or a car charger, but they are available and at least those seem affordable enough.
The refill cartridges price isn’t too bad at $15 for 10 (maybe a little pricey) and they do offer up to 22mg strength, but it just depends on how good of a throat hit their glycerin (not propylene glycol) nicotine solution can deliver.
* Cartridges seem to be only available in regular and menthol for their “e-cigarette.” Their “e-hookah” however has other flavors such as strawberry. The Xhale 02 e hookah just looks like a black e cig though.
I am wondering if their e-hookah cartridges fit the e cigarette and if this is just a product labeling and marketing ploy to avoid more FDA scrutiny? Maybe. It had me fooled for a couple minutes. I guess it is also conceivable that they are targeting a segment of the market that likes smoking the hookah. Mmmm, hookah.
I withhold full judgment though until I actually buy both the e-cigarette / hookah and try the product. They definitely get an A for effort and boldness with their foray into mainstream retail with 7-11.
Until then please post your thoughts on the XHale O2 in the form of a comment. I would prefer comments from folks who have tried other e cigs and the XHale O2, but first impressions from first timers are welcome as well just let us all know in your comment.