TMCnet Feature
January 07, 2014

Electronic Cigarettes Seek Tech-centric Approach

There was a time when the hot shots at Philip Morris International—arguably the most well-known manufacturer of traditional cigarettes in the country—scoffed at e-cigarettes. However, the giant has quickly changed tactics after, just this past summer, vehemently saying they would never get involved in the e-cigarette business. Now, Philip Morris is calling the booming tech-savvy cigarettes the “greatest growth opportunity” in decades and is preparing to enter the market. The company isn’t alone, and a number of tech-centric companies have started eyeballing the trend cum staple, too, focusing on improving the technical side of things—and by default, the overall user experience.



Longer battery life, better design and even a smart chip control can lead to an improved quality of the vapor. Altria has teamed up with MarkTen, and Reynolds America is leading the pack by showcasing a booth at a consumer electronics show—the only tobacco company in the midst. Cheryl Zukowski was on hand to talk about just how important technology is with cigarette products, saying that of course the two go hand in hand. You can’t have an electronic cigarette and leave the “electronic” portion out of the equation.

Is this the latest tech trend?

Just like any other trending technology, rechargeable e-cigs are a hot topic and the hardware is ever improving. Known in the industry as “rechargeables,” they can be fueled up with just about any “e-juice” you prefer—there are a number of possibilities on the market, and every person seems to have their own preference. Overall, investing in a rechargeable requires a little more cash up front, but just like any piece of technology, it quickly pays for itself. If you want to make the most of things, trying a starter kit is often the best way to get all the key pieces you need and saving money in the process.

Most starter kits include a charger, battery and a choice of tank, cartomizer or clearomizer which is what carries the e-juice and actually heats it. The good news is that there might be all different types of tanks, etc. but they can often be used interchangeably with the same battery, allowing consumers to customize their “vaping” experience without constantly having to change technology or upgrade.

Tech changes in five years

Electronic cigarettes first came on the scene in late 2008, and back in the day there were only three major types available. They came as simple three-piece designs which included a cartridge that was subpar at best and the nicotine delivery itself was incredibly weak. They were also incredibly expensive—basically, the only good thing about them was that they let smokers smoke just about anywhere during a time when stricter smoking bans were being enforced across the country.

It’s been exactly five years since the introduction of ecigs, and the technological advances are amazing. No matter where you fall on the spectrum of users, whether you’ve been a fan since the beginning or are just starting to get your interest piqued, one constant remains true: People need a longer battery life and better e-liquid delivery—and that time is finally here. Companies like VapeStick and SkyCig are providing things like Lithium-Ion batteries and larger tanks (think 6ml and up), which is letting people vape all day without worrying about dead batteries or burnt tastes.

In the past few years, e-cigs have grown (literally) in an effort to fit in better technology, and have then returned to more manageable sizes without skimping on any of the tech that has been developed along the way. As more focus is being placed on technology, with reputable sources issuing calls for papers solely on e-cigs and their technological functions such as Rhizome Journal, things will only be getting better as social habits and technology continue to blend beyond Facebook (News - Alert). This is especially relevant when statistic show that social media actually makes people feel lonelier—but the social act of smoking has long been a way to form bonds.


Edited by Cassandra Tucker
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