E-smoking goes social

Sure, smoking is great because of the nicotine vibe and the general aura of knowing you are one of the cool people (kids: NO! That is not true!). But one of the other attractions, or so I've been told, is social. Why else would smokers huddle together in small groups outside in the winter in building alcoves if not for the sake of good conversation?

E-cigarettes have set out to keep the "good" parts of smoking (the nic-fix, blowing smoke-like stuff out of your mouth, holding a tube in your fingers... I guess) while losing the bad (tar, ammonia, formaldehyde, witch hazel, ball bearings, etc.) -- while also adding something new: a glowing blue or red light at the end of your little stick.

Now they're adding the social feature as well. According to today's New York Times, Blu brand e-cigs will soon start shipping in optional "smart packs" that contain radio transmitters. This means that when packs get within 50 feet of each other, they'll vibrate and flash, allowing e-smokers to find each other in a crowd. (Once you feel the vibrating, just look through the crowd for the bright blue light shining from someone's lips. Bingo.)

In the show we're assembling at the moment, we create a possible spontaneous conversation created by such a coming-together, using clips from the many, many e-cigarette reviews on YouTube. In the course of that, some guy mentions using a tea bag to modify his Blu for better performance. I still am not entirely clear on what he's talking about doing, frankly. But I promised you evidence, so here he is. Happy e-cig modding. (Kids: NO!)

(Image above via http://ecigcartridges.net

About the author

Jeff Horwich is the interim host of Marketplace Morning Report and a sometime-Marketplace reporter.

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