E-cigarette manufacturer is first to offer a "puff counter"These canny little devices are fast becoming the jewel in the crown of tobacco harm reduction, while simultaneously right pissing off the tobacco control community in general. Oh yeah, and this guy, of course.
With data being stored by an electronic chip, the new technology will give users the option of displaying how many “puffs” are left, how many virtual cigarettes are left or a simple color-coded line indicating how much vapor is left in a given product. Logic is the first electronic cigarette company to be issued this kind of “counting” patent.
It may be just a small adjustment but, as a vaper myself, one of the obstacles e-cigs have currently is that there isn't the same 'session time-out' users get with an 'analogue'. Psychologically, this detracts just that little bit from the experience.
The throat hit is very similar to that of real tobacco - even if I'd agree with other commentators who believe the taste could be improved upon - but the same natural end point that one gets with a real cigarette is missing.
It's clear that the owners of this patent have recognised this and their solution is something which many vapers will welcome as a definite improvement to their enjoyment.
Of course, the very fact that vaping is enjoyable is precisely the reason those opposed to tobacco are also opposed to less harmful replacements like the e-cig. The game-changing facet of e-cigs to mimic smoking is repeatedly quoted by anti-tobacco loons as a bug rather than a feature. In this, they are identical to the evangelical prohibitionist nutjobs of the past who waved their crosses, sang to Jesus, and wailed that only the hair shirt and uncomfortable abstinence was the way to see the light.
It's quit or die only (though if you buy some of their pharma sponsors' products along the way, that'd be hunky-dory).
Like I said last month, the electronic cigarette looks unstoppable now, and this latest development just makes me more certain of that.
It's also a perfect example of progress being very swiftly driven by intense competition in a free market. With government yet to get its claws in to stifle entrepreneurial spirit and innovation, we are seeing a 'gold rush' as small outfits are clambering over each other to offer new products, new angles, and intelligent design to attract custom.
Everyone wins! Small businesses get rich, consumers get ever-improving goods, and tobacco users get a product which is becoming more similar to smoking by the day, but less dangerous.
It can't last, of course. If there's one thing government has in common with anti-tobacco it's a deep distrust of free trade. They thrive on regulation and the money it inevitably brings them.
We'll see burdens placed on e-cigs very soon; taxation no doubt; regulation which sqeezes the small entrepreneur out of the market; and the wailing and gnashing of teeth from the tobacco control industry if e-cigs end up being controlled by big tobacco instead of big pharma.
It won't be the end of the e-cig though, it's here to stay - it's the big not-so-bad new boy in town. It's just that the people who claim to care about smoking and health will put off, financially or by scaremongery, many many of those who might otherwise choose a safer alternative.
Just like they've done - in a stratospherically irresponsible, and deadly, manner - with snus.