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From: B. Harris)
Subject: Re: Nicotine
Date: 28 Apr 1998 04:37:59 GMT

In <6i2u72$> nobody@REPLAY.COM (Anonymous)

>I wonder why someone doesn't market a device for inhaling pure nicotine.
>If they can make nicotine gum I don't see why they couldn't do this.  Or
>are there people out there who just don't want other people to be able
>to enjoy themselves without paying what they feel is the price for it?

   The tobacco industry spent a VERY large sum of money developing just
such a smokeless cigarette, which was basically what you discribe-- a
little set of cigarette sized mini-inhalers meant to be tossed when
used up.  A boon to long duration commercial jet fliers and people
needing to be in smoke free areas.  They got it to work, and work well,
or so the report I read said.  But the project fell through for
internal and external reasons.  Internal was that the tobacco industry
was not at that time willing to admit that cigarettes are more or less
a nicotene delivery tool.  External was that the FDA was making
regulatory noises in the direction of the tobacco industry over the
units, and nobody wanted them to have a ledge to stand on, or way to
get a foot in the door, or whatever the metaphor you like best is.

   And finally, there were a bunch of people on both sides of the
smoking "fence" who opposed the things for the same reason a lot of
people once opposed birth control pills.  They just didn't like the
idea of human beings getting that much control over nature when it came
to a rather intimate act.  There are some people for whom smoking is
like sex: disect it, and it loses something.   Laugh if you will, but
you see herbalists of this type all over alternative newsgroups,
actually.  Mysticism for them is an essential part of life, and the
core of mysticism is *mystery*: not knowing every fine detail about
what you are doing.  You see these people regularly throwing hissy fits
when they find out that the tobacco industry grows plants deliberately
with more or less nicotene in them, or uses more or less ammonia in
cigarettes to freebase more or less nicotene into the smoke.  They just
hate that, but can't quite tell you why.

   Fear not, though.  Look at the history of nearly every good idea,
and you'll find that several instances in which it was proposed ahead
of its time, and died.  Smokeless cigarettes will be back one day.  The
world just wasn't ready for them in 1990 (or whenever).

                                     Steve Harris, M.D.

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