Smoking-Cessation Lighter

US Patent 5871518, issued on February 16, 1999, is for a "smoking cessation lighter and method." The patent abstract offers this description:

A lighter for tobacco products suppresses the urge to smoke by operant conditioning. It delivers a shock to the user's hand when the lighter is extinguished. This generally happens when the first puffs of smoke are being inhaled. Inhalation of the smoke gives a positive reinforcement of the habit because of the pharmacologic effects of the smoke. The shock provides a negative or suppressive action at the same time. The anticipation of the shock will negate the anticipation of the relief the drugs in the smoke provide. In an alternative embodiment, the shock is applied at the time of activation of the lighter. In yet another embodiment of the invention a negative stimulus is provided by a pin that pricks the user at the time of activation of the lighter.

Maybe I'm not understanding the invention, but it seems to me to be exactly the same as the electric-shock lighters that have been a favorite of pranksters for years. Except that the patent dresses up the prank with some scientific mumbo-jumbo. And instead of being conditioned not to smoke, wouldn't a smoker simply learn not to use that lighter? (Thanks to Sherry Mowbray!)
     Posted By: Alex - Mon Aug 11, 2008
     Category: Inventions

Well, H-bob, quitting isn't as easy as one would think. I just kicked the habit after 40+ years. My trick was Champix. Really worked for me. The only thing shocking about the ligher is the fact that some idiots will buy it.
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 08/12/08 at 12:45 AM
I agree, Fred, lets legalize all recreational drugs and tax the bee-jesus out of them. Why just pick on tobacco?
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 08/13/08 at 09:57 AM
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.