Smokeless cigarette

Published: Wednesday 31 March 1999

australian scientists are working to produce the world's first smokeless cigarette. It will allow smokers to inhale nicotine much like an ordinary cigarette but will have no smoke -- thus making it safer and less polluting. It will be safer because unburnt nicotine is a relatively innocuous substance, which some studies suggest may even have beneficial effects on inhalers, said the inventor, Robert Voges, director of Vapotronics. Made of plastic or ceramic, it is shaped like a cigarette and contains a reservoir of nicotine. It also has a bubble-jet head, a battery, an airflow sensor, indicators, and a logic circuit. When activated, it squirts tiny droplets of nicotine solution into the airstream. "The device will deliver the equivalent nicotine of 20 cigarettes inhaled into the airstream, which will be drawn into the deep lung. But, because it is not being burnt, the nicotine is relatively safe," says Voges.

Until now, there has not been a cigarette-shaped device that requires the same hand to mouth motion as a cigarette but which, without burning tobacco, provided the same nicotine surge and deep lung delivery as a cigarette.

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