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Electronic Tobacco Vaporizer Cigarette

Potential help for those who can't (or don't want to) quit smoking.
  [vote for,

I like tobacco, but I don't want to smoke. I also like the "cigarette" appearance and having something I can hold onto with two fingers. Electronic cigarettes seem to be a small finger-held vaporizer. If a cartridge with tobacco in it (rather than whatever plants it is they put in their cartridge) were used, would this work?

I wonder what temperature of air would be required to vaporize a usable quantity of nicotine? What other chemical components of the tobacco would also be vaporized? How does a vaporizer work on a physical/chemical level in general? For instance, I know vaporizers are popular for the (medical) application of cannabinoids, but which cannabinoids are vaporized and what *else* gets vaporized (and thus inhaled) in the process? Could this be a (more) healthful alternative to traditional cigarette smoking?

If this isn't how electronic cigarettes work, couldn't it be achieved? It could be battery operated with a switch triggered by air flow, or maybe a tiny turbine which powers the unit could be turned by the inhalation. This would power the heating element and a red LED to simulate the "cherry". The heated air would pass through the same tube and the plant matter and vaporize the desired chemicals (i.e. nicotine). This seems reasonable to me so far...

BakedRiemannZeta, Mar 18 2010


       There have been lots of proposals - most of them quite practical - for safe(r) cigarettes. They generally don't make it to market because (a) a cigarette company producing a safer cigarette risks acknowledging that normal cigarettes are dangerous and in any case (b) producing an enjoyable and safe(r) cigarette substitute is considered morally wrong (smokers are just meant to quit, not enjoy their habit safely).   

       There have been, from time to time, cigarettes which use glowing charcoal to heat air which passes over tobacco (or a tobacco derivative), vaporising the nicotine without producing a carcinogenic cocktail of burnt hydrocarbons. There may even have been electronic versions of the same (though battery life would be an issue).   

       Producing safer cigarettes isn't really very difficult. However, it is almost impossible to overcome the moralistic objection to tobacco*, which is indendent of (though justified by) the health impact of smoking.   

       [*see following annotations for examples]
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 18 2010

       Would it help to overcome the moralistic objections if we incorporated an MP3 player into the device? This way you're enjoying the music rather than the tobacco, which is obviously morally deficient to enjoy.
BakedRiemannZeta, Mar 18 2010

       Yes, but only if you can make a small needle jab you in the gums every time you take a drag.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 18 2010

       ***way*** too many question marks in the post
FlyingToaster, Mar 18 2010

       //Would it help to overcome the moralistic objections if we incorporated an MP3 player into the device.// Clever. Ludicrous, but clever. Could be combined with [MB]'s small needle jab: some things are pretty painful to listen to.   

       Oddly, I was just this evening discussing health benefits [sic] of nicotine. Would be huge if the health detriment problem could be solved. Largely unregulated addictive drugs that are good for you: a future growth industry. You heard it here first.
mouseposture, Mar 18 2010

       [mouse] they tried giving non-smoking oldies in retirement homes nicotine patches and found an improvement in mental ability (no or negligible harmful effects). But cigarettes are not permitted to have beneficial effects.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 18 2010

       [MB] Interesting; I didn't know that. Those same oldies are probably now on more socially respectable cholinergic agonists.   

       I know someone who, as a child with asthma in the early '40s, was treated with some stuff which you put a spoonfull of it in the (metal) cap, set fire to it, & breathed the smoke. Belladona, I bet, or something like it.
mouseposture, Mar 18 2010

       Probably. You see, it's only tobacco that contains carcinogens when burned. Things like barbecues, campfires, incense sticks and good-old-bonfires are absolutely fine, healthy and downright wholesome.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 18 2010


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