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Ploom X Kit Review - Heat Not Burn

Ploom X Kit Review - Heat Not Burn

We understand that not everybody enjoys vaping - even the convenience of disposable vapes and the overwhelming number of flavours available isn’t enough to lure some people away from smoking. Due to this I’ve decided to look at alternative methods of obtaining nicotine, which lead to me testing the Ploom X kit as an alternative to smoking, in the hopes of finding a reliable substitute that ticks all of the right boxes. In this review I'll be taking a close look at the overall performance of the Ploom X device, including its battery life, how easy it is to use, as well as how it compares to vaping. 

What is Heated Tobacco?

Before I get into the meat of the matter, let’s first talk about heated tobacco, and what heat not burn technology actually is. Heated tobacco differs from traditional tobacco products such as cigarettes and cigars due to the fact that they’re combusted, whereas heated tobacco is tobacco that is gradually heated.
Heating the tobacco reduces the risk of pollutants as there’s no tar or smoke released when the tobacco is heated - there’s also no ash or lingering smell left behind either, making for a more pleasant experience than smoking.

Heated tobacco is becoming popular because it offers consumers a cheaper, safer, more pleasant experience when compared to smoking traditional cigarettes.*
*When tested the Ploom X had a 90-95% reduction in the levels of 9 constituents recommended by the World Health Organization for reducing cigarette smoke.

There are currently two brands of heated tobacco taking the market by storm: IQOS, developed by PMI (Philip Morris International) and Ploom, manufactured by JTI (Japan Tobacco International) - in this review we’ll be focusing on the Ploom products, the Ploom X and Ploom X Advanced.

About Ploom

Ploom devices and the EVO sticks designed to accompany them have been released in the UK by JTI (Japan Tobacco International). JTI is a leading brand across the globe, famous for many different types of cigarettes such as Camel, Benson & Hedges, Silk Cut, and American Spirit. However, JTI has also expanded into the harm-reduction market with other well known products such as Nordic Spirit nicotine pouches, Logic pre-filled vape kits, and of course, Ploom heated tobacco devices.
JTI acquired the Ploom brand in 2011 and have since taken it to new heights with the Ploom X and Ploom X Advanced heat not burn devices and their impressive HeatFlow™ technology. JTI purchased Ploom as part of their strategy to develop reduced risk products so that their customers could continue to enjoy the true taste of tobacco or satisfy their nicotine cravings without the potential health risks associated with smoking cigarettes.

ploom-x-device

Ploom X Key Features

  • Battery Capacity: 2800mAh Built-In Rechargeable Battery
  • EVO Sticks Per Pack: 20 Tobacco Sticks
  • Dimensions: 43.5 x 88.5 x 24.0mm
  • Weight: 95g
  • Similar To: IQOS Iluma One

How does Ploom X work?

To use the Ploom X all you need to do is insert an EVO tobacco stick until the line on the tobacco stick is flush with the top of the device. Once the stick has been fully inserted the Ploom X kit will power a heating element within the device which gradually heats the tobacco stick in order to create a vapour containing nicotine and the taste of real tobacco. As Ploom devices do not ignite (burn) the tobacco in the EVO sticks, there is no smoke, tar or ash produced.

Ploom X Kit Review

As someone that usually vapes to get their nicotine fix, using the Ploom X was a completely new experience for me. I’ve tried the IQOS devices previously, but I’ve never been a regular user of heated tobacco; that said, I was pretty damn impressed with the Ploom X device before I’d even tried an EVO tobacco stick.

Charging the Ploom X

Unfortunately the device was not charged when I first opened the box, which was a little inconvenient as I’d hoped to use it straight away. However, the Ploom X didn’t take long to charge - approximately 2 hours for a full charge, although I could have used it sooner if I didn’t want to wait for the device to finish charging.
The Ploom X charges using a Type-C USB cable, which is pretty standard for most electronics these days. As soon as the device was plugged in it began to vibrate strongly - after this subsided, a light on the device began to pulse steadily which I took to mean it was charging properly.
Obviously I did a bit of research on this device before using it, first to make sure I knew how to use it properly, but also out of curiosity. I discovered that you can actually pair the Ploom X with your phone using Bluetooth - which was pretty cool - once you’ve paired your phone with the device you can check how much battery is left in the Ploom X and you can even lock it! I thought this was a pretty nifty feature, even if I didn’t actually use it much. 

ploom-x-charging

Inserting the EVO Stick

I only tried one of the twelve flavours available in the EVO Tobacco Sticks - the Cobalt EVO sticks. The Cobalt EVO are a box of 20 tobacco sticks and have been created exclusively for use with the Ploom X and Ploom X Advanced heated tobacco devices. Whilst the sticks themselves don’t really look like anything special, just like small cigarettes, they cost only half the price of a regular pack of 20 cigarettes and are just as satisfying.
As I said previously, the EVO sticks are pretty small, so getting the first one out of the pack can be a bit difficult, but once you’ve removed the first, the rest are much easier to take out. The Cobalt EVO stick had quite a deep, mentholy taste with a touch of mint and an ever so slightly coolness after, which I feel would make them a great option for anybody that enjoys menthol cigarettes with a refreshing feel on the aftertaste.

Inserting the EVO stick was really straightforward, in fact it couldn’t really have been much easier. All I needed to do was slide the cap at the top of the device to one side and push the stick in until the line on it was flush with the top of the device. That’s all there is to it.

ploom-x-tobacco-stick

EVO Flavours

There are currently 12 different tobacco blends in the EVO sticks - ranging from those with a typical tobacco taste, to floral and menthol options. See below for a list of all EVO blends.

Tobacco EVO

  • Bronze: A full, intense tobacco flavour
  • Tan: A balanced and mild tobacco blend
  • Amber: A smooth, well rounded tobacco blend
  • Gold: A mild tasting tobacco
  • Menthol EVO

  • Cobalt: An intense minty-menthol tobacco
  • Green Option: A menthol tobacco with a peppermint capsule. Click to activate.
  • Green: A balanced blend of menthol and tobacco
  • Azure: A more mild tobacco with a subtle menthol
  • Fruit and Menthol EVO

  • Purple Option: A menthol tobacco with a berry flavoured capsule. Click to activate.
  • Ruby: A menthol tobacco with slightly sweet apple note
  • Magenta: A menthol tobacco blended with grape undertones
  • Baize Option: A menthol tobacco with a pear flavoured capsule. Click to activate.
    evo-tobacco-stick
  • Testing the Ploom X

    Now that you know everything else about the Ploom X it’s time to get down to it and look at how this device performed! So, the first thing I did was insert one of the EVO sticks into the top of the device; once I'd done that it was time to press and hold the button on the panel and wait for the light strip to reach the top of the device. I wasn’t expecting the Ploom X to vibrate again - but it turns out Ploom has incorporated haptic feedback into many different aspects of the device, including a vibration to let you know your EVO stick is ready for use.
    All I can say is wow… I was not expecting the device to produce an experience that genuinely tasted and felt like I was smoking an actual cigarette. The tobacco flavour comes through immediately, followed by the cool menthol sensation - and hot on its heels is the throat hit I remember from when I used to smoke.
    One of the drawbacks in my opinion though was that it took a while for the vapour production to build - the first few draws on the filter didn’t actually result in much vapour being released - initially I thought that maybe it was due to the EVO needing more time to heat up, but judging by the heat in the filter tip itself this wasn’t the case. It wasn’t a massive inconvenience, but I did expect more from the Ploom X and EVO sticks.
    Although the EVO did steadily emit more vapour throughout my session, it was still nowhere near the amount released by even one of the weakest vapes - I’d say it was actually less than the average cigarette, but I haven't smoked for so many years that I may be wrong on that front - but my point is, it didn’t seem like much. The vapour also had next to no smell and didn’t linger for more than about 30 seconds either.
    Similar to other heated tobacco devices, the Ploom X does time each session, which limits them to approximately 4 minutes - this can be a bit intimidating as you know you’ve only got a set amount of time to either finish your EVO or bin it. However, you’re not left guessing. The Ploom X will vibrate towards the end of your session to warn you that you don’t have much time left, and it vibrates much stronger a second time to let you know that your session is over.
    Once my session was finished I found that I had a lingering tobacco taste in my mouth - I couldn’t quite remember if this was normal for smokers, but I didn’t particularly enjoy it, personally. However, if you’re transitioning from smoking to using the Ploom heated tobacco devices you may find that this simulates the feeling perfectly for you. It’s important to note that once your session is over you should wait a little while for the EVO to cool down before removing it from the device and disposing of it properly.
    Overall one full charge of the Ploom X device lasted for the full 20 EVO sticks before it needed to be recharged again - this is great for those who only smoke 20 cigarettes a day, but for those amongst you who are heavier smokers, you may wish to carry a powerbank with you as the device’s battery may die before you’re done for the day.

    ploom-x-kit

    Ploom X Pros and Cons

    Pros

  • Tastes and feels just like a cigarette
  • No lingering smell in the air or on my clothes and hair
  • Really simple and easy to use
  • Cheaper than smoking cigarettes
  • Cons

  • Battery only lasts for 20 EVO sticks
  • Very strong nicotine hit
  • Takes a while for the vapour production to peak
  • Lingering tobacco taste in mouth
  • Final Verdict

    To conclude, there are plenty of things to like about the Ploom X, especially if you’re interested in quitting cigarettes and looking for a substitute that actually feels like smoking. For me some of the best features of the Ploom X is that it truly does feel like you’re smoking a cigarette when you use it, as well as the fact that it’s really easy to use - this means it's a good fit for all levels of experience. Just make sure you read the user manual before giving it a go - just to be on the safe side.

    However, as with all things in life, it also has its downsides. I didn’t like the fact that the taste of tobacco lingered in my mouth for 5 - 10 minutes after use, or the fact that it took a while to really kick in and produce the amount of vapour you’d expect.
    Overall though, the Ploom X is an amazing little device and is the perfect alternative to smoking with its compact size and user friendly design - i’d definitely recommend it to anyone that’s struggling to stop smoking, especially if they don’t get alone with vape kits.

    Ploom X Advanced

    The Ploom X Advanced Kit has actually replaced the Ploom X now and is the latest heat not burn device by Ploom. It features a few interesting upgrades on the Ploom X, such as an extended session time of 5 minutes per EVO stick, as well as being smaller and sleeker. That’s not all though, the Advanced Ploom X also contains an upgraded heating engine and new Ploom tech for an improved experience, as well as sporting replaceable front panels that can be purchased in an array of colours to match your mood and style.

    ploom-x-adavance

    Leave a comment

    Author: Taz Dean

    Taz Dean has had a ten year career in the vaping industry. He has helped build business', develop products and create e-liquid lines globally. As an ex smoker, avid vaper and vaping advocate, he has years of knowledge and experience on aspects of the vaping industry, from the shop floor all the way to distribution . This unique insight helps with his unique perspective and engaging informational content.

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