Smart e-cigarette can keep track of every puff…

The Independent
A man holds an e-cigarette.© Rex Features A man holds an e-cigarette.E-cigarette smokers could be forced to “pay as you puff” after the tobacco giant Philip Morris patented a device which tracks every inhalation.The Marlboro manufacturer’s proposal envisages an e-cigarette which can connect to the internet, allowing users to “buy” puffing time online, in daily, weekly or monthly chunks.This digital functionality would also allow for the recording and uploading of smoking behaviour information – something which could prove useful in the drive to kick the habit, as well as in clinical trials.However, Philip Morris also identified the commercial potential of selling smoking “credits”. The patent submission says an accompanying mobile app could monitor when a user is about to run short of nicotine-related products and “automatically pre-order additional smoking articles”. Last year Philip Morris said that entry into the e-cigarette market would be its “greatest growth opportunity”.

The prospect of allowing the world’s largest tobacco company to track the  personal data of nicotine addicts prompted privacy concerns.

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