Just today, I became aware of something new, well new to me at least: e-cigarettes. E-cigarettes? Huh? Virtual cigarettes maybe? A social networking site where one could don a smoking persona? Maybe e-cigarettes is a service where one could hire a surrogate to smoke cigarettes for you and you get a video of this person smoking your favorite brand. E-cigarettes? I could even see Apple coming out with an iCigarette that was more intuitive to use.
No it is non of those things. E-cigarettes are electronic cigarettes. They are tobacco-less cigarettes composed of three parts: a battery, the section that holds the liquid nicotine, and the mouth piece. The cigarette is plastic. The tobacco part of a regular cigarette is the battery. the extra long filter like part is the liquid nicotine vessel and mouthpiece. The nicotine holder screws into the battery cylinder and the mouthpiece snugly fits on the end.
The gizmo works this way. When one draws on the cigarette, the battery heats up the liquid nicotine which turns into a smoke like vapor. When exhaled, the vapor looks like smoke but is essentially benign. This means people can smoke these e-things anywhere.
Look at these youtube videos to see how e-cigarettes work:
E-cigarettes have been around for a few years. It baffles me that I have never heard of them until today. This took me back to F. Ross Johnson’s the megalomaniac CEO of RJR Nabisco in the 1980s. He pushed a $350 million effort to innovate and launch a smokeless cigarette in the company’s RJ Reynolds division. The smokeless cigarette did make it to the marketplace but was a colossal dud of Edsel proportions. I actually bought a pack of those products as there was a lot of hoopla about this “innovation.” Unlike e-cigarettes, the smokeless cigarettes had to be lit. The problem was taste. The were absolutely awful.
According to my limited research, these e-cigarettes have a loyal and growing following. I am debating whether to try one or not. I read also that producers are working on an e-cigar that functions on the same principle and supposedly tastes like a real cigar. I suppose, if I am going to try anything, it would be an e-cigar.
I am still kind of astonished that I had never heard of e-cigarettes nor have I seen anyone ever smoke one. Given the fascination I had with the failure of the smokeless cigarette int he 1980s, I would have certainly been interested in knowing about and tracking the e-cigarette market. They are on my radar screen now.
Over and out until the next time I am a day late and a buck short on in regards to a new fad or innovation.