Pay-as-you-smoke e-cigarettes may be the future of smoking

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  1. News Bot

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    Gadgets By James Plafke Oct. 9, 2014 3:24 pm
    [​IMG]There are young adults alive today that can’t remember a time when restaurants had smoking sections or when any bar would let you smoke. Even now, certain outdoor areas have banned smoking, like many public parks, theme parks, and entire islands. To get around the limitations, smokers took up electronic cigarettes (though those are beginning to get banned in public spaces lately),*and they seemed to be the future of smoking — after all, you had to charge your cigarette’s battery. Now, that smoke-filled future might be changing once again: Philip Morris International has received a US patent for a USB electronic cigarette that with an option to pay as you smoke.
    Right now, electronic cigarettes are more like razors and blades — Gillette sends you a razor in the mail, but then you’re stuck buying the blade refills. While you’ve probably never received a free vape pen, once you have one, you have to keep buying the cartridge or liquid refills. This new patent describes a similar process that locks you into paying without an end in sight.
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    The patent describes an e-cig that can communicate with a host device, such as a computer, tablet, or phone, through a standard USB port. The electronic cigarette will be able to download and upload data, and the patent specifically mentions pay-as-you-smoke apps that could require you to purchase allotted smoking time or credits. It’s similar to the practice of saddling a*mobile app with in-app purchases, rather than making the entire feature set available through a single purchase.
    This new patent describes a product similar to Marlboro’s iQOS system, which is another USB-powered vape pen. Rather than a nicotine-laced liquid, users plug what looks like a tiny cigarette into vape pen, and the pen heats the cigarette enough to turn the nicotine into vapor. The product in this patent can also heat real tobacco rather than just a laced liquid, and it does seem similar to the previously announced iQOS. The real difference seems to be a terrifying future of purchasing smoking credits from some kind of cigarette app store.
    As of now, this is only a patent, but considering in-app purchases proved to be a fruitful (though hated) endeavor, it wouldn’t be surprising for another electronic device to follow suit.
    Now read:*Teen spends over $46,000 on free-to-play mobile game

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