Review: Ploom Model Two

The Tobacco Industry rakes in over $35 billion a year. That’s the same kind of cash that Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, and Microsoft take in, combined. If Big Tobacco were a country, its GDP would slot right between Kenya and Lebanon.

So what if you could tap into 1 percent of that? Or even 1 percent of that 1 percent? That’s what the electronic cigarette industry has been betting on (along with Sean Parker, who recently invested in e-ciggies). But unlike the cheap, Chinese-made e-cigarettes at 7-11 or the martian sex toys coveted and customized by “vapers,” Ploom is doing something different.

If vaporizers are going to get anywhere near the mainstream, they need to dispatch the silly glowing tips, finicky and flawed hardware, and horribly named “e-juice.”

The San Francisco-based company is out to make the Nespresso of vaporizers, complete with a sleek, Made in California aesthetic and proprietary pods filled with all-natural tobacco. If vaporizers are going to get anywhere near the mainstream, they need to dispatch the silly glowing tips, finicky and flawed hardware, and horribly named “e-juice.”

They need class and sophistication, and the Ploom Model Two delivers.

As its name implies, this is the second variant of Ploom’s oversized pen-shaped vaporizer, but it’s really the third. The original Model One used the same tiny, tobacco-filled pods, but relied on butane and a temperamental heating element to get the leaves up to temp. Ploom called it a beta for a reason.

Then last year, the company released the Pax, a larger, battery-powered vaporizer designed to use loose-leaf tobacco (or, ahem, other smokable herbs). I used it for a solid three months, before getting tired of constant charge anxiety and carrying a tin of pipe tobacco in my back pocket. So I made the switch the more popular (and occasionally loathed) eGO-style vaporizer that required less maintenance, less care, and fewer trips to Smoker’s Depot.

The Model Two might have me switching back. At least for a few days each week.

So for now, the Ploom Model Two is for the occasional, social-style smoker. Someone that wants a bit of a nicotine buzz while out on the town, but none of the sticky stench and social stigma of an actual cigarette. It certainly looks better than the faux-smoke alternatives from BLU or NJoy, and doesn’t require an engineering degree to get started like some of the e-cigarette kits available online. Just make sure to order your pods in advance. And in bulk.

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