NEAFS Teo Kit and Sticks
Whilst we usually focus on vaping products here at Potv, our main aim is to help people get on the path to a happier and healthier smoke free life so when the folks at NEAFS reached out to us with their latest heat not burn (HnB) kit, the TEO, we thought we would give it a go.
Whilst I personally am a vaper through and through, I know a few people who haven’t found it to be the life changing experience that I have, no matter how many kits I try them with, they just don’t get on with it. It is too much faff, too hard on the throat, not instant enough, or just too alien. The feel of a hard drip tip doesn’t feel enough like smoking for them to make the switch. I get it but it doesn’t stop me trying to help. In the past, I have to admit I’ve rather dismissed the idea of HnB products but after getting to try it myself, I can really see the benefit as a way for people to make the switch
A brief guide to HnB
We all know that traditional cigarettes are bad, they are full of all sorts of nasties and the act of combustion only makes things worse, causing various chemical reactions and also creating tar. It isn’t the tobacco that causes the problems, but the burning. HnB is different because, as the name suggests, it heats the dry product up instead of burning it. By heating it to 350°C instead of 600-900°C, far less chemicals and aerosol particles are released making it a much safer alternative (although obviously the safest option is not to put anything other than clean air into your lungs, but we all know that). The sticks used in HnB products are also a lot cleaner with far less chemicals in the first place.
So that covers the basics, but what makes NEAFS different? Well they go even further as they don’t use tobacco at all, instead they have their own special formula which is made up from tea leaves. This instantly grabbed my attention as I am a big tea snob, I drink enough of it, but I have never inhaled it! Life without my precious Longjing is just not worth living. As well as tea, they also use mint, edible essence, vegetable glycerin, and propylene glycol.
NEAFS TEO kit
So now we have the basics out of the way, it is time to look at the kit, starting with the hardware. The TEO is NEAFS’ own HnB kit and is a great place to jump in. At first glance, it looks like a fairly traditional vape pen type device, but after a closer look, there are quite a few differences. First off, there is no tank or pod, just a hole in a removable cap, and there is no screen or complicated control system to get your head around. Underneath the removable cap, you will find a USB-C port and another smaller removable section which houses the heating blade. You only really need to access this bit when it comes to cleaning, which is a simple case of giving it a wipe down with some isopropyl alcohol.
There is also an LED in the control button which lets you know that it is on and also let you know the battery status (white-50% or higher, yellow-low battery). You can check the battery level by giving the button a quick press.
The device itself feels good. There are no hard edges, everything is nicely rounded off and has a solid yet smooth feel all round. There is a flat panel along the side with the button which has a subtle pattern which is attractive and breaks the design up. The base is also flat so you can stand it up, although as there is no liquid, this isn’t really important. Everything feels solid and well made, it generally feels like a quality device.
Using it couldn’t be any easier. Simply insert a stick by pushing it in to the hole in the top as far as it will go (there are a couple of lines on the filter part of the stick which line up just above the edge of the top of the hole). Then hold the power button for two seconds, it will vibrate to let you know that it is on and is heating. After about twenty seconds, it will vibrate again to let you know that it is ready and then you can “smoke” it like you would a traditional cigarette. You get about five minutes before it automatically turns off, which is ample time to use a stick, but you can manually turn it off too by holding the power button for another three seconds.
The big difference between using NEAFS TEO instead of vaping is how you use it. As a vaper, my kit is never far from my hand so I can take a puff or two as and when I feel like it. HnB is much more like smoking in that you use the whole stick in one go, rather like smoking a cigarette. This makes it far more natural to use if you are changing from smoking, the routine is very similar.
The battery in the NEAFS TEO is 1700mAh and should provide enough power for 20 sticks. It takes around 120 minutes to fully charge. Because of the way you use HnB, you have plenty of time to top up charging between uses, but I always suggest getting a spare kit so you always have a device ready to use, plus if anything were to go wrong, you won’t be left hanging.
One final note is that the sticks are cross compatable so if you need to, you can use other brands. I know my local supermarket has a competing brand so in an emergency, you can pick up a pack to keep you going whilst you are waiting for your refill order to arrive.
I have to admit I really love the way the NEAFS sticks are presented, and I think it is one of the many reasons that these will be comfortingly familiar to newly ex-smokers. They are like little packs of smokes. First you have the cellophane wrap with its pull tab. Once this is removed, you get that lovely smell that you get with a newly opened pack of twenty. Flip the lid and you will find the folded silver foil covering the sticks. I haven’t cracked open a packet of cigarettes for years, but instantly it felt so natural and I felt a wave of nostalgia.
The sticks themselves are like tiny little cigarettes too, very cute. Curiosity led me to taking one of the sticks apart, there is a thin cardboard tube with contains a small cigarette style filter at the mouth end, then there is a gap before a small plastic filter before you get to the tea mixture. Finally the end is sealed with thin paper which the heating blade perforates.
The big thing here is how they feel, and I have to say it felt very much like smoking a thin cigarette. Everything felt right from the level of resistance from the filter end to the draw itself. You literally just “smoke” it. I thought there would be more visible "smoke" when I exhaled, but it is more of a light wisp. Again, this is very realistic as you don’t chuck massive clouds when you smoke. I found they provided a strong hit too; I actually felt a bit dizzy like I used to after my first roll up in the morning. You feel it almost instantly as it hits your lungs and gets into your bloodstream, it should easily satisfy any ex-smoker. The only slight niggle was that occasionally the stick would come off the blade and stay in my mouth, not a big problem as you just slide it back on, but it took me by surprise the first time it happened.
NEAFS offer six flavours in two strengths, 1.5mg and 0mg. The flavours are quite subtle, really they all taste like tobacco with a hint of something extra. You can choose from Original, Menthol, Coffee, Mojito, Strawberry, and Blueberry. I have to say that there wasn’t a huge difference between the flavours, I was expecting a bit more but really it is less the taste and more the smell which changes. The Menthol gave a minty smoothness and was my favourite, but I always used to like a menthol cigarette back in the day. The Original was a straight cigarette taste right down to the throat feel, and this would probably be the best bet when starting out. The various fruits offered up slight sweetness and a bit more fragrance. Coffee was my second favourite, it had a slightly stronger flavour, a little richer and creamier. They all do the job well but don’t expect a fruity cornucopia of flavour.
The Big Test
Now I have covered the hardware and the sticks, but I am a vaper so it wouldn’t be a fair review without getting an actual smoker to give it a try, so I found a willing guinea pig and left them to play with everything. I have tried many times to get them to switch to vaping, but they just can’t get on with it, so I was very interested to see how the NEAFS kit went down. When I came back, the results were better than I could have hoped for. Whilst the flavour was a little underwhelming, the ease of use, the familiar feeling of the sticks, and act of “smoking” had made a really good impression and the final verdict was that this was a kit they finally felt not just comfortable with, but happy to use. Add that to the cheap price of the sticks, and we have a winner. After this review, I am donating the kit to them and fingers crossed, we will have one less smoker! I couldn’t be happier with that.
I went into this review with a bit of a closed mind when it comes to HnB, but that soon changed when I saw the potential first hand. This is a really powerful tool to help some people make the switch from being a smoker. It is easy to use, cheap, and effective, and can fill the gap between smoking and vaping. If you are already happy vaping, then I can’t imagine this would be of much use, but if you just want to quit smoking, this is a really natural and instinctive way to switch.
You can pick up a TEO for £29.99 direct from NEAFS, and the sticks are available in single packs (£3.99 for a pack of twenty) or cartons (£39.99 for 200 sticks). The best value though comes from the bundle which contains a TEO device, a USB cable, a travel case, a pack of original sticks and a pack of menthol, and is just £29.99 instead of £45.95. You can also buy NEAFS products from amazon and WH Smiths, so if you run low on sticks, you should be able to easily pick up supplies.
Many thanks to NEAFS for sending the TEO and sticks in for review.