After writing my last article, the idea of the Smart E-Cig (for disposable products) was born in my head. I won't hide that I'm a smoker and a geek, and as a user of this type of product, I notice certain shortcomings of the devices that currently exist. For example, I'm very annoyed that I don't know how much liquid is left in the device and when I need to go to the store again. Of course, this one missing element alone didn't compel me to write this article. I decided to try imagine the perfect product I would want to have and expand on that idea.

What I would expect from the perfect product:

Of course, the most important element is its flavor and ease of use, but there are also several additional things that the product could have.

From the user's perspective:

  • Flavor
  • Ease of use
    • Information on the amount of liquid in the device
    • The ability to easily order the product online
    • Warranty fulfillment
  • Health and safety
    • Information on the safety of the product
    • Information on the legality of the product
    • Smoking statistics (to help reduce smoking)

      Information on how much nicotine and other substances my body has taken in and how it affects my body.
      An application could propose a smoking reduction program based on the user's information, personalized for each smoker. Each smoker absorbs a different amount of nicotine at a different frequency, and an individual reduction model could be developed based on individual statistics. Because the model would be tailored to the user, the process could be smoother and less burdensome. The phone could provide an audio notification when it's time to smoke, gradually increasing the time between inhalations.

      Of course, doctors should weigh in on whether this would make sense.

Smart E-Cig

By applying the Smart E-Cig idea, anonymous statistical data could also be collected, which could help the vape industry.

All the following statistical data would be anonymous:

For the manufacturer:

• Most commonly used flavor/product
• Do users smoke the product to the end/does the product have any defects?
• In which regions are which products most frequently purchased?
• Average smoker age

Based on this information, the manufacturer could better tailor their product to the needs of the market.


• Most commonly used flavor/product
• Do users smoke the product to the end?
• In which regions are which products most frequently purchased?
• How often do users smoke, at what time?
• Average smoker age

Based on this information, MHRA could better tailor their health promotion efforts.

Taking into account the possibility of increasing the limit from 2ml to 10ml, which would allow for a higher product price, I think that adopting costs at the level of £1-£1.5 per product would be acceptable. (Please correct me if I'm wrong.)

What would be required:

Preparing such a product would require many things, primarily a uniform standard of information exchange, as well as being inexpensive, easy to implement, and use. This requires the preparation of standardized technical and software standards.

Technical requirements for the product:

• Cheap chip realizing NFC/RFID ISO 14443 type A/B communication/

• Cheap programmable microcontroller

Registers holding information about:

• Remaining amount of fluid/PUFFs (in the same way as it is implemented in printer cartridges)

• Time stamp counter between puffs + puffing time

Additional sensors such as temperature, speed, etc. could also be added, and it could also be a diagnostic tool measuring lung condition/health. The application could show the user's progress since switching from traditional cigarettes to e-cigarettes.

Technical communication requirements:

The simplest and cheapest way to communicate with a central database would be to use a phone. Most current phones have built-in NFC and are based on Android or iOS. (Some of you may have had experience with smartwatches, which would work similarly, except that the NFC communication range is up to 4 centimeters. With re-usable devices, Bluetooth communication could be attempted.) The simplest way to implement this would be through an application that would mediate the exchange of data between the device and the central database. The application would also allow for the display/storage of personalized data locally and in the cloud with the user's consent. Anonymous data could be sent to the MHRA as well as the device manufacturer.

Example of application (Proof of concept):

Smart E-Cig Smart E-Cig

Advantages and disadvantages:

From the customer's perspective


• Better product quality

• Increased trust in the product

• Monitoring of how the product affects health


• Increased product cost by around £1-2

From the manufacturer's perspective:


• Understanding user behavior and better product adaptation
• Directing users to the manufacturer's store
• Easier product identification by the user, automatic online ordering of the product based on user needs
• Greater brand loyalty


• Increased product cost by around £1-2
• IT infrastructure costs or SaaS license + product preparation costs

From the MHRA's perspective:


• Better control over the sale of such products through product-level identification + possible implementation of Age Check.
• Statistical data on user behavior that allows for better adjustment of solutions aimed at improving the quality of life of UK citizens.


• IT infrastructure costs or SaaS license + infrastructure preparation costs


The topic is as wide as a river, and I realize that I have not covered many topics in this short article, but I think it is interesting enough to be presented.

If you found this article interesting and would like to discuss it with us, please feel free to contact us.

Example process flow of purchasing and unlocking a product (concept):

Smart E-Cig

Geek extras:

An example of data that can be stored on the device in JSON format.:

{ "version": 1, "type": "EDEVICE", "uuid": "1f6b0464-08da-44d1-9f61-5546cdcdcac5", "productUUID": "cddecc69-507b-40fb-873f-dcece4549632", "manufacturerUUID": "83f5c2a0-5057-4f46-aa7d-fefecfa28b95", "expiryDate": "2019-12-10 00:00:00", "sign": "419503a4d8ddaf5b1ba695c33312eeb4", "device": { "counters": { "puffsLeft": 100 }, "flags": { "isLocked": false }, "sensors": { "temperature": 20, "airSpeed": 100 }, "logs": [ [ "2019-12-12 01:01:01", "PUFF", 10 ] ] } }

Raphael Calm
Techstream Group LTD
2023-05-03 14:52:26