There are plenty of apps and devices to encourage good habits. How about one of the worst habits of all? For those who want to quit smoking but just can’t go cold turkey, e-cigarettes are now the latest and greatest self-tracking device.
Smokio is a product that bills itself as "the first connected electronic cigarette" that allows you to track your vitals and regulate the nicotine level of each puff via a smartphone app. "Every puff is captured and saved, even when your smartphone is out of sight," the website says. Starting at $89.90, the e-cigs contain a chip that hook your "vaping habits" right onto the web, for all to see if you so desire.
The company, which started selling its product in France last year and is now bringing it to the U.S. market, says Smokio is a tool to tailored to help people quit for good (It is promoting itself as part of the solution, tied to World Health Organization’s global "World No Tobacco Day" today).
But e-cigarettes, which contain a battery that vaporize a liquid containing nicotine, are controversial among health experts and are coming under growing regulation in the U.S. The industry is booming as Big Tobacco companies invest heavily in it, seeing a market opportunity at a time in which smoking rates are declining around the world.
Though they are likely healthier compared to regular cigarettes and some scientists say they could save lives, the long-term health effects of e-cigarettes aren’t well enough studied, the World Health Organization says. Other experts worry they could also be a "gateway product" to nicotine addiction.
In the U.S., many cities are banning e-cigarettes in the same places smoking is banned, with New York City's being the latest law to take effect. So you may be able to track your vaping habits all you want, but you better be careful about where you light up.