Electronic Cigarettes Trying to Put the 'Social' Back Into Smoking

Electronic cigarette maker Blu is trying to put the social back into smoking with its new "socially aware" packs of reusable smokes. The new cigarettes feature built-in networking connections that allow users to exchange info wirelessly with other smokers.

Blu's electronic cigarettes packs will alert you when someone else smoking the same brand is within 50 feet from you, and both of your packs with light up and vibrate. You can then exchange contact information such as social networking sites and download that data onto your computer. Even cooler, the packs vibrate when you pass by a retail outlet that sells Blu cigarettes, so you never forget to replenish your stock.

The new smart packs will go on sale later this month, according to The New York Times , and will cost $80 for five e-cigarettes and a radio-equipped carrying cartridge. The carrying cartridge also serves as a charger for the electronic cigarettes. In the future, Blu plans to tether the electronic cigarettes with smartphones through dedicated apps in order to allow for more social features. The company also plans to develop a system where the packs can monitor your smoking habits and report back to you...or your doctor.

Electronic cigarettes have been proposed as a healthier, less expensive alternative to smoking, though many skeptics debate the health aspect. An electronic smoke is usually made of a filter-like cartridge that holds the nicotine (and various flavors) and a tube, typically as long as a regular cigarette, which holds the battery and a heating element. Together, the two pieces create an odorless mist in your mouth, giving a similar sensation to smoking tobacco. The nicotine cartridges need to be replaced periodically and generally last for the equivalent of 20 cigarettes.

Disclaimer: I have tried electronic cigarettes before, but I cannot guarantee that they actually pose no risks to your health. If in doubt, always consult with your doctor beforehand.

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