Electronic cigarettes to circumvent smoking ban

A pub near Birmingham, England is helping customers beat a smoking ban by selling electronic cigarettes. Since offering them last weekend, the Butler's Arms have sold six packs at £39.99/each. From The Telegraph:
The new E.cig smokes like a real cigarette and users get a shot of nicotine every time they inhale.

The device even produces a cloud of water vapour with every puff, though causes no harm to smokers...

(Proprietor Chris) Giles said: "When it's freezing outside and chucking it down with rain it's a good alternative to going outside for a cigarette.

"We built a smoking shelter, but it's just not the same for smokers who have been marginalised by the ban...

"Luckily we can tell people aren't really trying to light up because the electronic ones are black in colour with a blue light," (says bar assistant manager Becky Giles.)
"Pub uses electronic cigarettes to beat the smoking ban" (The Telegraph)


  1. It appears that in the world of tomorrow, all vices will be replaced with an electronic equivalent. My first request: E-HotFudgeSundaes.

  2. If this is a way to get around the ban, then why not have vaporizers: electric hookahs? Because what you are discribing is the heating of the tobacco enough to release the nicotine but not hot enough to burn.

  3. I think this is an excellent idea.

    If someone can’t kick the habit or doesn’t want to, the best case scenario is getting their fix without harming themselves or others (well, ignoring nicotine).

  4. well it was always the smoke itself that was the problem. Wonder how many people will complain about it affecting their breathing anyway?

  5. This would actually eliminate most of the health risks associated with smoking. You’d still be a drug addict, but at least you’d be a drug addict with functioning lungs. Variations could probably be usefull in helping people to quit too.

  6. @#3

    I don’t think these actually contain tobacco. They just give you a shot of nicotine and release the water vapor. It’s not the same as a vaporizer, which actually uses tobacco (or other smoking herbs).

  7. This is the worst thing to happen to smoking. Much worse than the bans. The whole point of smoking in the first place is to give you an excuse to talk to strangers. “can I get a light?” “no, sorry these run on batteries and light themselves.” “oh… well can I bum one?” “no, I only have this one and it costs 40 pounds.” LAME!

  8. I think it’s a cool idea and will try it someday. I’ve personally gotten around the smoking thing and its harmful effects by using Swedish snus (not the crap American stuff that Camel has in stores now). I get to keep the tobacco, keep the nicotine, and say goodbye to cancer.

  9. I heard about these in the mid nineties. If it is what I think it is, it consists of a metal coil around what is essentially a rock of crystallized nicotine (surely combined with other agents). The coil is electrically heated, vaporizing the nicotine which is then inhaled. The water vapor is news to me though, It is a more efficient method for the consumption of nicotine (which is what the tobacco companies have been selling all along) with decreased health risk but from a marketing standpoint it was too much like freebasing rock cocaine for everyone’s comfort. So the project was shelved until crack was out of the daily press and the timing was right.

  10. @#5

    According to a doctor friend, in med school the preferred delivery vehicle was an orange injected with vodka (doesn’t generate much alcohol breath).

    And yes, he graduated.

  11. I recently went to an indoor flea mkt in a shabby building that was a factory outlet before manufacturing all went to china.

    A room the size of a football field, floored with 27 different shades of off-beige carpet remnants, sparsely populated by dejected Americans who once had real jobs selling the threadbare remains of their worldly possessions.
    A sad 20-something “entrepreneur” (too young to remember when America when it was strong) hunched with spina bifida and a speech impediment, sitting in a halo of odorless faux smoke hawking electronic “cigarettes” (which more resemble glowing novelty fountain pens.)

    “Try N-JOY!! Why wait to thmoke when you can N-joy now? Why go out thide when you can thtay in? All the look tathte, and feel of REAL thigarret thtyle! N-JOY! True thmoking freedom now!!! Now with three-point-thix-volt lithium cartridge pack”

    Out of pity i accepted the proffered pamphlet. Days later when i inspected it i found it contained the verbal click track of the hawker verbatim .(sans lisp)

    Obviously, like all of you i’ve been feeling the overpowering Philip K. Dick vibe for at least the past decade, but for me this was
    “the present we are living in now was Dick’s future. But we are frucking living IN THIS DEBRIS NOW and where the hell does this leave us? Maybe if i convince someone to kill me i will wake up in a different flavor of simulation?”

    Dick help us all!
    over and out.

  12. @12

    Perhaps you have said goodbye to lung cancer, but you are still at risk for cancers of the mouth, tongue, esophagus etc.

    Then again, we all have to die of something.

  13. The anti-smoking lobby is so obnoxious. The WHO says it “knows of no scientific evidence whatsoever demonstrating the e-cigarettes are a smoking cessation aid” and makes some nonspecific comments about “chemical additives” that “could” be toxic, and gets a headline saying they’re just as unsafe as cigarettes. Wait…what? Did they really just try to pass that non sequitur off as a legit argument?

    And of course, it was necessary to end an article about a non-tobacco-containing product with an obligatory line of scare-tactic statistics about smoker deaths.

    Self-righteous, nanny-ideology idiots.

  14. @#17 Phikus: You leave your house to interact with society? Do you have any idea how many deaths occur from causes exclusive to being outside your home? Wow, you must really hate yourself and everyone else if you engage in an activity that adds that much risk to the lives of yourself and others…

  15. That seems to be quite a profound argument against the government’s policy.

    ingenuity and capitalism: 1; government forcing us to be healthy against our wills: 0

  16. Sounds like a nice little invention. People who wants to indulge their vice gets to do so without endangering others. It’s been theorized that some of the negative health side effects from smoking tobacco comes from inhaling burnt plant matter, and not just from the nicotine itself.

    This probably wouldn’t have been invented without the smoking ban, so it appears that the government policy is working, albeit in an unintended way.

  17. I enjoy the occasional cigarette on a night out. I’m not sure that one a month is enough to justify the investment in the hardware for this experience. Most of all, I know that smoking bans aren’t really about our health, and fear the ban-hammer.

  18. Smoking bans aren’t about the health of the smokers. They’re about the health and comfort of the people AROUND the smokers, especially those who are under particularly heavy exposure (bartenders etc.).

    As a smoke-sensitive asthmatic and someone who just plain prefers to smell my food rather than smoke in restaurants, I really, really appreciate the bans, and also have no problem with people “smoking” electronic cigarettes to get around them.

    Also, black with a blue glow? Perfect for the goth club!

  19. Perfect.

    Every time someone lights up around me, I get pissed. Possibly because they’re my lungs, and it’s not my fault that people are dumb and inhale plants (of any type). It also smells. Bad. If you eliminate those reasons, I don’t see why you shouldn’t be able to use them. They’re a great alternative. They look cool, you’ll look cool smoking them. Isn’t that the whole reason for starting smoking?

  20. I got one some months ago from china to help me quit my 12 year, pack-a-day habit. Except mine looked like cigarettes and glowed red. All my chinese friends and coworkers were concerned, what with china’s “laws” and “regulations” with regards to manufacturing. Nonetheless, I did some research and here’s what it is: 1. There’s no giant nicotene crystal. 2. It’s not water vapor. It’s actually propylene glycol- the smoke usually used in stage productions. What’s nice is that nto only is it smokey, but it even has that nice blue tinge. They can be flavored to tste like marlboro and other brands. I’ve been smoke-free for 3 months and 3 weeks now. I only used it for a few weeks before I wuit altogether. The nicotene content is much lower than a real cigarette. And while it is nice that there is effort in the draw like a real cigarette, nonetheless you don’t feel the slight clenching of the lungs that may of us are addicted to. All in all, it’s nice, it’s fun, and it’s a clever adaption of the nicotene inhaler. I personally loved having it at work (in an chemistry lab), smoking up at my desk to everybody’s horror. But no, I don’t think too many people will really feel that it fully replaces the cigarette. I also, even as an ex smoker dislike and disagree with the smoking bans. But I also accept the old poem about the nazi’s and how they’ll come for us all some day. So bacon eaters and coffee drinkers beware!

  21. #16: Snus (or snuff) is tobacco, doofus. It causes cancer of the mouth and throat. We call those “snuff pouches” over here. It’s still tobacco and not good for you. But I do love them and use them myself. :D

  22. #27/28 Doofus? Did you actually read what you linked? LOL

    #16 said there were risks of mouth, tongue and esophagus cancer due to Swedish snus use. The only real risk of cancer that any legitimate studies have found so far is pancreatic cancer, and even that is marginal. People with histories of high blood pressure could be put at risk as well, nicotine being a stimulant and all. That’s about it. That was my beef with his irresponsible comments.

    To boot, there’s a major difference in the manufacturing process (also in the article you linked) between American snuff and Swedish snus, which makes a big difference regarding carcinogens. Take a look at the dip article at Wikipedia if you want to be enlightened about the differences.

    Meanwhile, stay classy and sharp, Mitch.

    Cigarette smoking is a problem, and people should not be violently opposed to a solution, even if it’s only an 95% solution.

  23. Can we get rid of all those cancers by injecting nicotine directly? After all, a syringe will not cost £39.99

  24. @ #18
    I think the WHO was mainly pissed off because the makers of the e-cigarettes had made adverts with no labelling accept for the WHO symbol. This was used without permission and the WHO don’t want the blame if something is wrong with them.

  25. Nicotine does not cause cancer, indigenous South Americans have been ingesting huge amounts of it (mainly in the form of concentrated water extracts) for hundreds if not thousands of years.

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