Smart: the Tosee Intelligent Cigarette Filter

I don’t smoke. In fact, I’ve never smoked a single cigarette in my life, but my Dad smoked most of his life, though in the latter part of his life he was down to a single cigarette he’d make last through much of a day because he knew of the ill effect it could have. He tried to quit but tobacco has addictive ingredients and it’s darn hard to just stop. I can appreciate that, and supported his one cig/day habit as he was older.

There are many aspects to smoking beyond the ingredients and while it does seem to be diminishing as a habit, as you can see in the graph below from the US Department of Health and Human Services (quite a testament to the success of the anti-smoking lobby) I do feel like we citizens should have the right to make decisions that might not be in our best interest rather than live in a “nanny state” where someone else decides what’s best for us.

Here’s how teen smoking is trending in the United States, 1975-2014:

teen smoking trends in the USA, 1975-2014

If people are going to smoke, however, I do think that there should be healthier alternatives, as much as that might be an oxymoron, and as much as you may think it’s a horrible habit that should be illegal. Fact is, we humans have been rolling up and smoking various plants for the entire history of civilization. It’s probably one of the reasons we stoleĀ fire from the Gods on Mount Olympus, actually. šŸ™‚

Still, not much has been done towards making cigarettes, those rolled up tubes of tobacco and paper, less unhealthy for those people who can’t, or won’t quit. Yes, there are vapes and other substitutes — some of which are more unhealthy than what they replace — but what about the lowly, cheap tobacco?

Enter the Tosee smart cigarette holder. Designed by a smoker, itĀ filters out certain harmful substances and monitors the intake of others, allowing smokersĀ to use that data to regulate and reduce their smokingĀ habit while still enjoying the social and kinesthetic experience of smoking a cigarette. Here’s the prototype:

tosee smart cigarette filter

Founder and inventor Eason Wu explains:Ā “Smoking is a big social activity in North China where Iā€™m from. My father was a heavy smoker for over forty years, and my childhood memories of him mostly include his rough morning cough.” After years of his mother nagging his father to quit,Ā “if you could tell people how much they were actually smoking – and how much harmful substances they were actually inhaling, it created a kind of psychological burden.”

Again, to be clear, I’m not a fan of smoking. But I support people being able to make decisions for themselves on an issue like deciding to light up a cigarette and enjoy it (as long as I don’t have to smell the secondhand smoke, thank you), and if we do want to give people the freedom to make decisions like this, how is the Tosee not a great idea?

Here’s a better graphic that explains exactly what this invention does:

tosee smart bluetooth cigarette filter

With the Tosee, you can then monitor each puff, each cigarette, and get cumulative data on what your ingesting, how many cigarettes you consume, etc. If nothing else, it takes smoking out of the dark and sheds a light on it that might well help a lot of people rethink their habit, and the fact that it will also be able to reduce the amount of carcinogenic substances from a cigarette? That’s just a bonus.

The Tosee is a crowdfunded project scheduled to launch on March 25, 2015 and I have no relationship with the company other than as a recipient of their press materials. I’m just intrigued by an invention that recognizes that people do smoke and might enjoy the experience, but want to learn more about what they’re ingesting, how many cigarettes they go through and even filter what they’re breathing in to reduce how unhealthy their habit is.

Know a smoker? Tired of nagging them to quit, just to get into a fight because they don’t need you to be their righteous nanny? Then this kind of smart filter might be just the thing for them…

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