The tobacco industry gets smoked out
Will the e-cigarette kill off the business that kills millions every year?
E-cigarettes put to the test: a smoker’s verdict
The first time I put the E-Lites to my lips I dropped it. This was because it’s heavier than a real one and years of habit had accustomed my mouth to the weight of Marlboro Lights. Ritual is important to a smoker. The searching for a light; the tapping of a fag on a box; the little thrill in tearing the cellophane and removing the foil from a new box; the rustling of cigarette papers; the aroma of a freshly opened pouch of tobacco. It’s a type of unconscious delayed gratification.
E-Lites have none of this. You remove the cap and smoke. Plain and simple. It says “you’re an addict and here’s your nicotine”. It is roughly the same size as a cigarette and produces a small stream of vapour, which helps. The green light at its tip, which lights up when you suck on it, is a bit disconcerting – why not red? I suspect it is to differentiate it from a real one. I did get some double-takes on the Dart when I produced it, until my fellow passengers realised it wasn’t tobacco.
Does it work? Yes, actually it does. You get to hold something in your fingers, an important aspect as anybody will know who has witnessed a colleague unconsciously mimicking smoking with a biro while staring at a screen (and chances are they stopped smoking a decade ago).
The taste is smooth and the nicotine hit instantaneous. It does help to cut down on smoking and is handy in non-smoking places. For those on long-haul flights or stuck in transit lounges it would be a god-send as it is far more satisfying than gum or patches. For those trying to cut down it is a help, but the fact you “smoke” an electronic cigarette means you are supporting the oral link at the heart of smoking. But all in all, it is a good product. CONN O’MIDHEACH