US20120180803A1 - Modularized smoking device - Google Patents

Modularized smoking device Download PDF

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US20120180803A1
US20120180803A1 US13353886 US201213353886A US2012180803A1 US 20120180803 A1 US20120180803 A1 US 20120180803A1 US 13353886 US13353886 US 13353886 US 201213353886 A US201213353886 A US 201213353886A US 2012180803 A1 US2012180803 A1 US 2012180803A1
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module
modules
plenum
interface
smoke
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US13353886
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Evan Christopher Beloni
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Evan Christopher Beloni
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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A24TOBACCO; CIGARS; CIGARETTES; SMOKERS' REQUISITES
    • A24FSMOKERS' REQUISITES; MATCH BOXES
    • A24F1/00Tobacco pipes
    • A24F1/30Hookahs

Abstract

The present invention relates to a modular smoke plenum that can be implemented in a hookah, pipe or other smoking device. The modular plenum according to embodiments of the invention features multiple modules or components that may be rearranged in any order, allowing for interchanging and rearranging of the components. Each module may have a specific purpose or functionality, such as cooling, filtering, or extending the length of the device. A standardized interface on each end of the modules allows for connection of the modules in any order to construct a modular plenum. This provides for unlimited rearrangement of the modules, an unlimited number of modules in the plenum, and unlimited reconfiguration possibilities for the modular plenum. By changing the functionality of the plenum and/or the order in which the smoke passes through the different functions, a different smoking experience can be achieved without using a completely different device.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • The present application relies on and claims priority to and the benefit of the filing date of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/434,316, filed Jan. 19, 2011, the entire disclosure of which is hereby incorporated herein by reference.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • 1. Field of the Invention
  • The present invention relates to smoking devices, such as hookahs or pipes. More specifically, embodiments of the present invention relate to modular smoke plenums with interchangeable and re-arrangeable parts or modules for a customizable smoking experience and to smoking devices comprising such a modular smoke plenum.
  • 2. Description of Related Art
  • Pipes and hookahs are common devices for smoking substances such as tobacco. Hookahs, in particular, date back to the 1500's and have had one general style of construction. Typically, tobacco is burned in a bowl at the top of the hookah. Smoke generated from the burning tobacco travels down a plenum, or down tube, into a base. In the base, the smoke is filtered through water contained in the base by exiting the opposing end of the plenum, which is disposed under the water. Above the water level in the base is an exit hose, through which the water-filtered smoke will travel to the smoker upon inhalation through the tube.
  • Existing hookahs include some that are configured to be dismantled for the purpose of cleaning or maintenance. Separation of the hookah parts is generally limited to where the base meets the plenum and optionally where the plenum meets the bowl. These parts, though they can be removed, have a specific function to the device and cannot be re-arranged. For example, it may be desirable to remove the base from the rest of the hookah so that it can be cleaned or replaced by a new base. Even in such hookahs, however, the plenum is generally a single part construction.
  • In hookahs where the plenum can be removed and taken apart, it is again for the function of cleaning and maintenance. U.S. Pat. No. 7,806,123, entitled “Modular Smoking Apparatus,” describes a plenum comprising several parts that can be disassembled for cleaning. This patent is hereby incorporated by reference herein in its entirety. As described, the hookah includes a bowl, an intermediate tube, a plenum, and a base, which are arranged in that order. If the intermediate tube or the plenum is removed, it must be replaced with the same part and it must connect to the overall device as it did before in order for the hookah to function. As shown and described in this patent, the intermediate tube and the plenum cannot be re-arranged with one another, nor removed from the system without disabling the device. Further, the connections between the intermediate tube, plenum, and base are not configured with standardized interfacing to allow for re-arrangement of the parts, thus, deterring and/or preventing re-assembly of the plenum with the plenum parts in the wrong order. Thus, this type of device allows for ease of cleaning of the parts of the device but does not allow for varied functionality of the device during use.
  • Another smoking device described in U.S. Pat. No. 7,827,995, entitled “Interlocking Hookah Pipe” and which is incorporated by reference herein in its entirety, provides for disengagement of the plenum from the base. Although this configuration may be desirable for transporting the hookah or for cleaning the device, it does not provide functionality for changing the smoking experience obtained from using the device. There is no mechanism described for adding additional filtering capabilities or for further cooling the smoke, let alone such capabilities provided within the plenum itself.
  • Hookahs are often used by tobacco smokers due to the pleasurable smoking experience. In a hookah, the smoke that is directed through water in the base is generally less harsh than untreated tobacco smoke. This is due to the water cooling and filtering the smoke before it is inhaled by the user. Conventional hookahs still use water in the base of the hookah as the means of filtering and cooling the smoke. In hookahs where an additional filter has been added, it is usually a component of a single part construction of a hookah. In hookahs with two or more parts, the additional filter is required for the hookah to function properly. For example, there are existing hookahs that provide for filtering of the smoke, such as U.S. Published Patent Application No. 2010/0126517, entitled “Smoking Apparatus with Filter and Cooling,” which is incorporated by reference herein in its entirety. As described in this publication, a filter is provided in the plenum, however, the filter is not removable. If a user desires not to filter the smoke during use, a different hookah must be used.
  • Thus, what is missing from existing smoking devices is the ability to customize the user's smoking experience. For one smoking experience for example, it may be desirable to first cool the smoke, then filter it, then moisten the smoke prior to inhalation. Alternatively, it may be desirable to first moisten the smoke, then cool it without an intermediate filtering step to provide a different smoking sensation. Such customizable smoking experiences are not possible with existing hookahs, or other smoking devices, and to achieve these different results, the smoker must use a different device for each type of experience.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The limitations inherent in the conventional hookah, and more specifically the plenum, as mentioned above provide great incentive for a plenum with added function. The present invention relates to a modularized smoke plenum for hookah or other smoking device intended for human inhalation. More specifically, a modularized smoke plenum is provided with interchangeable and re-arrangeable parts that communicate with a standard interface to provide for a customizable smoking experience.
  • Embodiments of the invention provide a modular plenum for smoking devices, such as pipes and hookahs, which allows for variation of the smoking experience by re-arrangement of the components of the modular plenum.
  • Generally, according to embodiments of the invention, a modular plenum is provided which comprises one or more re-arrangeable parts capable of being assembled into a smoke chamber or smoke passageway. The plenum can be inserted into a smoking device, such as a hookah or pipe. For purposes of this specification, the interchangeable and re-arrangeable parts of the plenum are referred to as “modules.”
  • Each module provides for the passage of smoke therethrough and has a standardized interface on either end. The interface allows connection between multiple modules or smoke passages, providing both structural support and an airtight seal (in some cases, near-airtight is acceptable). This interface can be one of many styles such as a male/female type interface, a latch type interface, or a magnetic interface; which can further include friction fit, screw thread, tapered fitting, collet & o-ring, etc. Interface is standardized so that each module can be attached to any other module in any order desired.
  • More specifically, each module has at least three distinct parts: 1) a flow region to allow smoke passage through the module, wherein the flow region is defined at opposing ends by an “inlet” and “outlet” for the smoke to enter and exit the module; 2) a standard interface on the inlet end of the module that is the same size, type, and configuration for the inlet end of every other module in the modular plenum system; and 3) a standard interface on the outlet end of the module that is the same size, type, and configuration for the outlet end of every other module in the modular plenum system and which interfaces with the inlet end of all other modules in the system. The modular smoke plenum is connected to a smoke source and exit, using the same standard interface.
  • In embodiments, each module serves a particular purpose such as filtration, cooling, and/or extension of the overall length of the plenum, or may have an aesthetic purpose. According to embodiments of the invention, the assembly generally may be oriented in any direction, but orientation may be restricted with certain modules. In some cases, smoke would travel in a specific direction; however in some cases it may travel either direction.
  • The functions of the modules vary and may be extensive. The following are non-limiting examples of possible functions that the modules can perform. Possible functions can include a filter medium to clean smoke; an ice holder to cool smoke; a redundant water chamber to allow for the smoke to pass through an additional water area to further moisten and cool the smoke more than the single pass through water in a traditional hookah or pipe; plenum extenders to make the device taller or shorter as desired (mainly for aesthetics); a freezer module that cools smoke using a cold heat transfer fluid absorbing heat from passing smoke; a taste module that infuses flavor into the tobacco or that can be used without burning tobacco, such as modules that provide fine respirable aerosols; angle connectors to change the plenum direction; multi-interface adapters to allow for multiple modules to join, e.g. a Tee (“T”) or Wye (“Y”) shape; have designs, patterns or colors that are aesthetically pleasing; and outer chambers comprising multiple fluids, e.g., heat transfer fluids, that can be used to create an aesthetically pleasing, dynamic design inside modules, using heterogeneous fluids with colored dies.
  • A smoking device made from one or two parts can be improved upon by splitting into more components with a standard method of interface. This invention modularizes the smoking device which introduces several key benefits, some of which include: allowing for rearrangement and interchangeability of the components using standardized fittings; a smoking device that is easier to prepare, clean, and transport; a smoking device that allows a user to purchase more parts to add on at a later date; a smoking device that allows the user to replace broken components without replacing the entire unit; a smoking device that is customizable for any user or to accommodate user preferences by having standardized modules that are able to connect with any other module in any arrangement, making numerous filtration, cooling and aesthetic attachments possible; and a device that allows multi-modal operation.
  • The modular plenum and smoking devices comprising them are capable of operating with smoke, vapors and gas (such as breathing grade Oxygen) or any other flow intended for human inhalation.
  • The modules of the plenum may be fabricated out of a variety of materials, such as plastic, glass, ceramic, wood, or metal. A transparent material such as plastic or glass is ideal for allowing the user to see smoke travel through the device.
  • To use a modular plenum according to the invention, the user can first plan a module configuration based on the desired functionality and aesthetics. Next, the modules are assembled into the desired configuration to create the full smoke plenum. Alternatively, the plenum can be constructed spontaneously by selecting and joining together certain modules as desired. Next, the plenum once configured and constructed can be added to a smoke source such as a bowl for burning tobacco. The other end of the plenum is then attached to a base. Once constructed, the smoking device may be used as any other similar traditional, non-modular device. Shuffling, interchanging, rearranging and reconfiguring of the modules of the plenum is the essence of embodiments of this invention. One could even remove, rearrange, or add modules while the smoking device is in use. With a smoke source and exit on either end, modules may be rearranged to whatever degree the user sees fit.
  • Because the smoke plenum works in a multitude of smoking devices, this effectively makes the smoking device multi-modal. The replacement of a few components can switch the mode of the device. Essentially using a set up plenum, one can change the embodiment of the invention from a hookah to a pipe and vice versa by swapping out some parts or components attached to the plenum.
  • Particular embodiments of the invention may include a smoking apparatus comprising: a bowl assembly for burning tobacco having an adapter or a standard interface for connection with a plenum; a modular plenum configured for receiving smoke from the bowl end and comprising one or more modules each with a standard interface for removing, re-arranging, or adding modules and allowing for re-assembly of the plenum with a module removed, re-arranged, or added; optionally a base for holding water configured for receiving smoke from the plenum and comprising a standard interface for direct connection with the plenum; and a mouthpiece for inhaling smoke after passing through the plenum or base.
  • Such smoking apparatuses can be hookahs or other pipes and can further comprise one or more modules having a specific function chosen from an ice module, a freezer module, a filter module, or an extender module. Preferred are hookahs having any number of modules, such as two or more such modules.
  • The standard interface for any of the modules described in this specification can include a standard interface chosen from a threaded interface, a friction fit male/female type interface, compression fitting, flare fitting, flange fitting, a tapered male/female fitting, or a collet & o-ring type interface, to name a few. Indeed, any type of seal-creating quick-release fitting would suffice.
  • Smoking apparatuses, devices, and systems of the invention preferably comprise a plurality of modules, including at least one module chosen from an ice module, a freezer module, a filter module, an extender module, etc., each module configured with a male and female end and a standard interface, such as a standard threaded interface. Any number of modules can be included in a plenum system according to the invention with any number of possible functionalities. Examples of modular plenum systems according to the invention can include a plenum comprising a filter module and an ice module; or a plenum comprising a freezer module and an extender module; or a plenum comprising an ice module, a freezer module, a filter module, and an extender module; or a plenum comprising a filter module and an extender module; or combinations of any one or more module. Additionally, due to the standard interface, the modules can be arranged in any order relative to one another.
  • Pipes are also included within the scope of the invention and can specifically include a pipe type smoking apparatus comprising one or more modules having a specific function chosen from an ice module, a freezer module, a filter module, or an extender module. Preferred are pipes having any number of modules, such as two or more such modules.
  • Preferred pipe type systems of the invention include modules, wherein the standard interface is chosen from a threaded interface, a friction fit male/female type interface, a tapered male/female fitting, or a collet & o-ring type interface.
  • Such pipes are especially preferred which comprise at least one module chosen from an ice module, a freezer module, a filter module, an extender module, etc., each module configured with a male and female end and a standard interface, such as a standard threaded interface. Pipes according to the invention can have any number or combination of modules in any order as described above with respect to the hookahs.
  • Also included within the scope of the invention is a modular plenum for a smoking device, such as a pipe or hookah, comprising one or more modules each with a standard interface for removing, re-arranging, or adding modules and allowing for re-assembly of the plenum with a module removed, re-arranged, or added. Such modular plenums preferably comprise at least one module with a specific function chosen from an ice module, a freezer module, a filter module, or an extender module, etc. Preferred plenums of embodiments of the invention include one or more modules capable of performing a specific function to alter the quality, mouth feel, temperature, or other characteristic of the smoke, or to alter the appearance of the apparatus, or allow for multiple users of the device simultaneously. For example, the modules can be configured for altering the quality, mouth feel, temperature, or qualitative or quantitative characteristic of the smoke, or for altering the overall shape or appearance of the smoking device, such as a hookah or pipe.
  • The modules of the modular plenum can each comprise a standard interface chosen from a male/female type interface, a latch type interface, or a magnetic interface; which can further include threaded interface, a friction fit male/female type interface, a tapered male/female fitting, or a collet & o-ring type interface. What is meant by a standard interface in accordance with this specification is that one end of the module comprises a certain type of interface, while the other end of the module comprises a complementary type of interface. This allows for the modules to be re-arranged in any order within the system.
  • Especially preferred modular plenums can include plenum systems comprising at least one module chosen from an ice module, a freezer module, a filter module, or an extender module, etc., each module configured with a male and female end and a standard interface, such as a standard threaded interface.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • These drawings illustrate certain aspects of some of the embodiments of the present invention implemented in a hookah configuration, and should not be used to limit or define the invention. The plenum may also be implemented similarly in other smoking devices, such as in pipes, and serve the same or similar purpose. Together with the written description, the drawings serve to explain and illustrate certain principles of the invention.
  • FIG. 1 is a schematic diagram of an exemplary smoking device according to embodiments of the invention showing a side elevation view of a hookah configuration.
  • FIG. 2 is a schematic diagram of an exemplary hookah further providing an exploded side elevation view to emphasize the modularity of the smoke plenum.
  • FIG. 3 is a schematic diagram showing a cross-sectional view of a representative modular smoke plenum according to embodiments of the invention in an assembled manner showing interaction of different module functions.
  • FIG. 4 is a schematic diagram showing a detailed elevation view of two modules of the modular plenum according to embodiments of the invention using one possible type of interface, e.g., a mating male and female taper interface.
  • FIG. 5 is a schematic diagram providing a detailed view of an exemplary standard interface for modules of the modular plenum according to the invention using another possible type of standard interface, e.g., a male and female screw thread interface.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • One implementation of the invention is in a hookah 10, shown in FIG. 1. In this configuration, the top and bottom portions of the hookah remain relatively similar to that of a traditional hookah, burning tobacco in bowl 28 with coal 30. Tray 26 rests below the bowl for catching ash. The top of the hookah assembly then adapts to the invention at smoke inlet 20. Typically, bowl 28 is connected to smoke inlet 20 using an adaptor. In embodiments, the bowl can be equipped with a standard interface 14, 16. In some embodiments, smoke inlet 20 can have a standard interface 14, while bowl 28 may not. Multiple modules 12 are configured and assembled into a plenum by attaching one end of the standard interface 14 to the mating interface 16. The plenum then adapts to the smoke outlet 18 where the smoke leaves the modular plenum and enters the bottom portion of the hookah or base. During use, smoke travels through the down tube 22 from the modular plenum to pass through water and then to the user through hose 24.
  • FIG. 2 shows the same hookah configuration 10 of FIG. 1 in an exploded view. One or more modules 12 (here, three) are connected to form a modular plenum. In this embodiment, each module 12 comprises a female end 16, which is the same size, configuration, and type of connection as every other female end 16 of each of the modules 12. At an opposing end, each module 12 comprises a male end 14 adapted for operable communication with the female end 16 of any other module 12 in the system. The plenum is then connected with the smoke inlet 20 by way of a male end 14 for connection with the female end 16 of the upper most module 12 of the modular plenum system. The bowl 28 is then connected to the smoke inlet 20 using an adaptor and does not have to be connected by a standard interface. Alternatively, the plenum can also be connected directly with bowl 28 in a similar manner by the bowl 28 having a male end 14 for connection with the female end 16 of the upper most module 12 of the modular plenum system. Similarly, the base of the hookah is connected to the plenum using a female end 16 for connection with the male end 14 of the lower most module 12 of the modular plenum. Mating ends 14 and 16 of each of the modules and the corresponding connections of the bowl 28 and base provide a standard interface between components that allows for any of the modules 12 to be re-arranged with any other module 12 in the modular plenum system.
  • A detailed cross-sectional view of an exemplary assembled plenum according to embodiments of the invention is shown in FIG. 3. One or more modules 12 (here, three to five) are connected end to end to form a modular plenum system of the invention. Two functionalities for the modules 12 are shown in this embodiment, namely a filter module 34 and an ice module 36. Because pipes (including hookahs) are powered by a vacuum provided by inhalation, the interference male/female fit between modules 12 provides for an air tight connection between modules to prevent ambient air from entering the plenum and for allowing the smoke to travel the length of the plenum to the exit. The seal in the plenum is to prevent ambient air from entering the plenum rather than to prevent smoke from exiting.
  • As shown, the modules 12 may comprise a screen 32 as means for supporting the functional portion of the module 12 and for allowing smoke to travel through each module 12 to eventually exit the plenum. In one of the modules 12, the screen 32 supports filter media 34 for filtering the smoke as it travels through the plenum. In another module 12, ice 36 is supported by screen 32 to provide for the function of cooling the smoke as it travels through the plenum. Due to the standardized nature of the interface between inlet 16 of one module 12 and outlet 14 of another module 12, the modules 12 can be re-arranged if desired. Thus, in this embodiment, the module 12 having the ice 36 can be removed from the modular plenum and re-inserted above the module 12 having the filter function. Re-arranging the modules 12 within the plenum, and thus re-ordering the functions of the modules 12, can result in a different smoking experience. It is ideal to filter the smoke before cooling, as filters tend to warm the smoke if the smoke is lower than the temperature of the filter. An especially pleasing smoking experience can be achieved by adding cooling to filtered smoke.
  • The functions of modules 12 can vary and may be extensive. Filter medium 34 can be used to clean the smoke passing through the plenum, making the process less unhealthy by removing contaminants. Filter media 34 may be one of several types, or a combination of multiple types. Activated carbon and felt are both great media, each serving a slightly different purpose. Carbon removes chemical contaminants and felt is more suited for removing particulates. In embodiments, combining both carbon and felt is ideal to remove both chemical compounds and particulates. Another function of modules 12 can be to cool the smoke. For example, module 12 can be configured to hold ice cubes 36 in the module to allow for the smoke traveling through the plenum to come into contact with the surface of the ice 36 to cool the smoke. One way to retain the ice 36 within module 12 is to incorporate a perforated bottom into the module 12, such as a mesh screen 32. The mesh or perforated platform is capable of retaining the ice 36 within the module 12, while allowing smoke to pass around and through the ice 36 then through the next module 12. In this manner, the passing smoke transfers heat to the ice 36, therefore cooling the smoke before reaching the user. A cooled smoke in some circumstances is considered more pleasurable.
  • Modules 12 can also have the function of being a water chamber, or a redundant water chamber. In such a configuration, module 12 can contain water in a manner to allow the smoke to pass through the water area to moisten and cool the smoke, similar to that of the base of a hookah. Redundant water chambers are fairly common in modern water pipes, but are built into the pipe in a non-modular manner. If used in conjunction with a hookah, the water chamber can be substituted for the water chamber typically found in the base of a hookah, or can be additional to further moisten and cool the smoke more than a single pass. Adding a redundant water chamber to the smoking device may increase the total effect of moistening and cooling the smoke. By having a water chamber in the plenum, the smoke can be moistened and cooled before passing through a filter or before being further cooled through ice 36, which is a function not possible with conventional hookahs and other smoking devices.
  • In embodiments, the modular plenum can comprise one or more modules 12 to make the overall smoking device taller. These extender modules can be used to obtain a device with a plenum of any desired height. By adding or removing the extender modules 12, the length of the plenum can be customized for a particular user. For example, if the user is of short stature, a shorter plenum may be desired. The device can then easily be altered for a user of a tall stature by adding any number of modules 12 to the plenum to obtain a certain desired height. This makes for a more comfortable smoking experience for a group of users who may desire a hookah of different heights without using multiple devices.
  • A freezer module 12 can be another function provided by the modular plenum according to embodiments of the invention. Freezer modules cool smoke using a cold heat transfer fluid absorbing heat from passing smoke. The freezer module is a device that is typically stored in one's freezer to maintain a cold temperature, ready for use. When assembled into the modular plenum and during use of the smoking device, the cold fluid of the freezer module 12 then absorbs heat from the smoke, cooling it and making it more comfortable for the user. This has a similar effect as cooling smoke with ice 36 or water, but has a benefit of not being able to melt and therefore does not have to be replaced. The freezer module 12 is configured in a manner to allow the smoke to contact the cooled fluid (or surface of a container that holds the fluid) then pass through the module to the next module or to the base of the smoking device.
  • Further functionality can be provided by angle connectors to change the direction of the plenum. Likewise, multi-interface adapters can be provided to allow for multiple modules to be joined into the modular plenum system. For example, modules 12 can be configured to provide a Tee- (“T”) or Wye- (“Y”) shape configuration to allow for the connection of two modules 12 into one other module 12. Tee- and Wye-shape configurations also allow for expansion of the plenum in multiple directions, allowing for multiple smoke inlets 20 or outlets 18. Therefore multiple users can simultaneously use the device or multiple bowls 28 can be used at once. The modules 12 can also be provided with external designs, patterns or colors to provide an aesthetically pleasing device. As one's aesthetic tastes change, the device can be changed by swapping out the previous modules 12 with new modules having a more aesthetically pleasing appearance.
  • Multiple heat transfer fluids can be used simultaneously to create an aesthetically pleasing, dynamic design inside modules, using heterogeneous fluids with colored dies. For example, module 12 can comprise a double walled module having an inner cylindrical wall providing a passageway for smoke through the module and an outer cylindrical wall substantially concentric with the inner wall. The inner wall and outer wall each have an inner and an outer surface. The inner surface of the inner wall contacts the smoke during use; the outer surface of the inner wall faces the inner surface of the outer wall and is spaced some distance from the outer wall to provide a void between the walls; and the outer surface of the outer wall is exposed to the environment and is preferably transparent or semi-transparent. In this void can be disposed two liquids of different colors, which are incapable of mixing. Upon moving or heating of the hookah, the varying patterns provided by the different colored fluids can provide a pleasing aesthetic for the hookah. Although the module in this embodiment is cylindrical and concentric, module shape may vary. The same effect can be achieved as long as there is space, or a void, between the inner surface of the outer wall and outer surface of the inner wall of a double walled module.
  • One embodiment of the standardized interface of modules 12 implements a male and female tapered fitting as in FIG. 4. As shown, the male taper 14 rests inside female taper 16. This mating creates a seal and allows for interchanging of modules 12, when each module 12 is configured with the same male/female interface.
  • Another embodiment of the interface is an adaptation of the male/female type interface and additionally uses threads to secure the fit. Such a configuration is shown in FIG. 5. As illustrated, the male threaded end 42 is received into female counter-threaded end 40. In this manner the modules 12 mate with a secure yet releasable fit. Such a configuration may provide more stability than just a male/female taper connection, especially when the plenum or smoking device is inverted or lifted from above. Having the threaded connection between modules 12 ensures the modules 12 will remain together until it is desired to re-arrange them.
  • The following description is provided to illustrate how the modular plenum of embodiments of the invention may be used. For example, one embodiment of the invention is a hookah setup with several functional modules. The user may start with the base and add a filter module. The filter helps in removing carcinogens and/or solid material from the smoke, decreasing the health risk associated with smoking. Next a freezer module can be added. Lastly, the device is topped with a hookah bowl for the burning of shisha tobacco. In use, the smoke is generated in the bowl, travels down the freezer module to cool the smoke, then through the filter module to clean the smoke, then into and out of the base through a hose and to the user. In some instances, depending on the composition of the smoke, cooling the smoke prior to filtering it may result in different smoke compositions emerging from the device. For example, some particles when cooled may be reduced in size and not captured by the filter. This would allow for some of the particles in the smoke to pass through the filter rather than being captured by the filter. The emerging smoke in some circumstances may have a different taste or mouth feel due to the types of particles that pass through the filter. If the order of the modules is reversed or re-arranged, i.e., the smoke filtered first then cooled, the smoke may have a different more pleasing taste or mouth feel. To further change the functionality of the smoking device, the modular plenum can be altered by adding, removing, or replacing one or more modules for a different smoking experience without using a different smoking device.
  • One example of modifying the smoking device would be to add multiple filters. Instead of using one filter module, as described above, a series of filter modules can be inserted into the modular plenum. The same type of filter module, such as a carbon filter, can be used in the series of modules, or different types of filters can be used, such as alternating a carbon filter with a filter comprising felt. Any number of filter modules can be used, such as from 1-10 filter modules, alone or in combination with any number of other modules. Likewise, the order of the modules can also be changed, such as attaching the freezer module to the base, then adding one or more filter modules above the freezer module.
  • Another embodiment of the invention is a hookah setup with nine functional modules utilizing a standard thread interface. One may start at the bottom of the hookah with a base that contains water and has an inhalation hose attached. Next an ice holder module can be added on top of the base by screwing the ice module onto and in direct contact with the base. The base in this case should have the same type and size interface as the opposing end of the module to ensure any module can be attached to the base in this manner. Then, one can add three extender modules to increase the length of the plenum. Preferably, the extender modules serve no other function but to make the plenum longer, and the extender modules are transparent so that the user or on-lookers can observe the smoke passing through the plenum. Again, the extender modules are equipped with the same standardized interface as the base and the ice holder module. Next another cooling module can be added on top of the extender modules, such as a freezer module. The freezer module is typically stored in the freezer prior to use to ensure sufficient cooling of the smoke. The freezer module contains a chamber of cold liquid inside, which is used to absorb heat from the smoke, cooling it and making it more comfortable for the user. Then a filter module with the same standardized interface can be placed on top and in direct communication with the freezer module to clean the smoke. If desired, another three extender modules can be added and directly connected with the filter module to further extend the length of the plenum. Lastly, the device is topped with a hookah bowl adaptor to accept a hookah bowl for the burning of shisha tobacco, which is burned by a coal. In use, the smoke is generated when the tobacco burned in the bowl travels down the extender modules (which if transparent, the user and on-lookers can view the quality of the smoke), then through the filter module, through the freezer module, through three more extender modules (where the smoke can visually appear different than it did while passing through the first three extender modules due to the intermediate cooling and filtering of the smoke), and finally through the ice module into the base. In this configuration, the smoke travels through a 9-membered modular plenum before it enters the base. While traveling through the plenum the composition of the smoke changes due to the filtering and two cooling modules in the plenum. The smoke then travels out of the base through a hose to the user.
  • This embodiment can then be rearranged to create a new embodiment, either between uses or during use. Any of the joints between modules (or between a module and the bowl or a module and the base) can be disconnected. The modules can be removed, replaced, or swapped for different modules. For example, if a group of users is using the same smoking device and a user of shorter stature uses the device, the plenum can be customized for that user by removing and not replacing any 1-6 of the extender modules. By unscrewing the ice module from the extender module just above it and by unscrewing the extender module just below the freezer module, all three of the lower extender modules can be removed. If these three extender modules are not replaced, the overall length of the plenum is reduced making the device easier to be used by someone of shorter stature. Additionally, any one or more of the other modules can be swapped out for a different function. For example, after inhaling the smoke that is passed through this first configuration, it may be desired to cool the smoke further. Accordingly, the ice module can be swapped out for a second freezer module, and optionally the filter module swapped out for a third freezer module. In this manner, the modules being swapped out can be removed by separating the plenum at the appropriate joint, then inserting the desired number of freezer modules into the system. Once the desired modules are screwed into the remaining modules of the existing setup, the hookah is now ready for use with extra cooling capabilities. No other existing hookah has this ability to remove, add, or replace modules and use the hookah in a different configuration.
  • Another embodiment of the invention uses a similar plenum implemented in a pipe for pipe tobacco. In this scenario, the base now accommodates a downstem and bowl for burning tobacco. A water chamber module can be added to help remove additional particulates and further moisten smoke. Next a filter can be added to remove tar and carcinogens from the smoke, again decreasing health risk. An ice holder can be added and filled with ice to cool smoke. The plenum is then topped off with a smoke exit, in this case a mouthpiece, and is ready to use. The user then lights the tobacco in the bowl, burning it and creating smoke. The smoke passes through the base and up through the water chamber, then is purified by the filter, cooled by the ice, and lastly inhaled by the user.
  • In such an embodiment, the ice in the ice chamber will melt as the smoke warms the ice. Rather than replacing the ice, one may replace the ice holder with a freezer module, which will not melt. The user can easily screw the ice holder off the plenum and remove the mouthpiece. The freezer module is then screwed on to the plenum and mouthpiece is replaced. This new embodiment has a similar functionality as the last with the added benefit of cooling without melting ice. Similar to the hookah embodiment, the user may also add multiple filters or any other module, creating any smoke plenum desired. No other existing tobacco pipe has this ability to disassemble and add or replace modules.
  • The present invention has been described with reference to particular embodiments having various features. It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various modifications and variations can be made in the practice of the present invention without departing from the scope or spirit of the invention. One skilled in the art will recognize that these features may be used singularly or in any combination based on the requirements and specifications of a given application or design. It is intended that the specification and examples be considered as exemplary in nature and that variations that do not depart from the essence of the invention are to be within the scope of the invention.
  • Embodiments of the present invention are well adapted to attain the ends and advantages mentioned as well as those that are inherent therein. The particular embodiments disclosed above are illustrative only, as the present invention may be modified and practiced in similar or equivalent manners apparent to those skilled in the art having the benefit of the teachings herein. It is evident that the particular illustrative embodiments disclosed above may be altered or modified and all such variations are considered within the scope and spirit of the present invention. While embodiments are described in terms of “comprising,” “containing,” or “including” various components or steps, embodiments can also “consist essentially of” or “consist of” the various components and steps. Whenever a numerical range with a lower limit and an upper limit is disclosed, any number and any included range falling within the range is specifically disclosed. In particular, every range of values (of the form, “from about a to about b,” or, equivalently, “from approximately a to b,” or, equivalently, “from approximately a-b”) disclosed herein is to be understood to set forth every number and range encompassed within the broader range of values. When using the term “any” to describe a number of modules of the invention, it is intended that one or more may be used and the number unlimited. Also, the terms in the claims have their plain, ordinary meaning unless otherwise explicitly and clearly defined in this specification. The indefinite articles “a” or “an,” as used in the claims, are defined herein to mean one or more than one of the element that it introduces.

Claims (20)

  1. 1. A smoking apparatus comprising:
    a bowl assembly for burning tobacco and having a standard interface for direct connection with a plenum;
    a modular plenum configured for receiving smoke from the bowl and comprising one or more modules each with a standard interface for removing, re-arranging, or adding modules and allowing for re-assembly of the plenum with a module removed, re-arranged, or added;
    optionally a base for holding water configured for receiving smoke from the plenum and comprising a standard interface for direct connection with the plenum;
    and a mouthpiece for inhaling smoke after passing through the plenum or base.
  2. 2. The smoking apparatus of claim 1, which is a hookah and further comprises one or more modules capable of altering the quality, mouth feel, temperature, or characteristic of the smoke during use, or capable of altering apparatus shape or appearance when introduced.
  3. 3. The smoking apparatus of claim 2, comprising at least one module chosen from an ice module, a freezer module, a filter module, an extender module, a redundant water chamber module, an angle connector module, a multi-interface adapter module, a double walled module, or a transparent module.
  4. 4. The smoking apparatus of claim 3, which comprises one or more modules chosen from an ice module, a freezer module, a filter module, or an extender module.
  5. 5. The smoking apparatus of claim 1, wherein the standard interface is chosen from a male/female type interface, a latch type interface, or a magnetic interface.
  6. 6. The smoking apparatus of claim 5, wherein the standard interface is chosen from a threaded interface, a friction fit male/female type interface, a tapered male/female fitting, or a collet & o-ring type interface.
  7. 7. The smoking apparatus of claim 6, wherein the modules include one or more modules having a specific function chosen from an ice module, a freezer module, a filter module, or an extender module, each module configured with a male and female end and standard threaded interface.
  8. 8. The smoking apparatus of claim 1, which is a pipe and further comprises one or more modules capable of altering the quality, mouth feel, temperature, or characteristic of the smoke during use, or capable of altering apparatus shape or appearance when introduced.
  9. 9. The smoking apparatus of claim 8, comprising at least one module chosen from an ice module, a freezer module, a filter module, an extender module, a redundant water chamber module, an angle connector module, a multi-interface adapter module, a double walled module, or a transparent module.
  10. 10. The smoking apparatus of claim 9, which comprises one or more modules chosen from an ice module, a freezer module, a filter module, or an extender module.
  11. 11. The smoking apparatus of claim 8, wherein the standard interface is chosen from a male/female type interface, a latch type interface, or a magnetic interface.
  12. 12. The smoking apparatus of claim 11, wherein the standard interface is chosen from a threaded interface, a friction fit male/female type interface, a tapered male/female fitting, or a collet & o-ring type interface.
  13. 13. The smoking apparatus of claim 12, wherein the modules include one or more modules having a specific function chosen from an ice module, a freezer module, a filter module, or an extender module, each module configured with a male and female end and standard threaded interface.
  14. 14. A modular plenum for a smoking device comprising two or more modules each with a standard interface for removing, re-arranging, or adding modules and allowing for re-assembly of the plenum with the module removed, re-arranged, or added.
  15. 15. The modular plenum of claim 14, comprising one or more modules capable of altering the quality, mouth feel, temperature, or characteristic of the smoke during use, or capable of altering apparatus shape or appearance when introduced.
  16. 16. The modular plenum of claim 15, comprising at least one module chosen from an ice module, a freezer module, a filter module, an extender module, a redundant water chamber module, an angle connector module, a multi-interface adapter module, a double walled module, or a transparent module.
  17. 17. The modular plenum of claim 16, which comprises one or more modules chosen from an ice module, a freezer module, a filter module, or an extender module.
  18. 18. The modular plenum of claim 14, wherein the standard interface is chosen from a male/female type interface, a latch type interface, or a magnetic interface.
  19. 19. The modular plenum of claim 18, wherein the standard interface is chosen from a threaded interface, a friction fit male/female type interface, a tapered male/female fitting, or a collet & o-ring type interface.
  20. 20. The modular plenum of claim 19, wherein the modules include one or more modules having a specific function chosen from an ice module, a freezer module, a filter module, or an extender module, each module configured with a male and female end and standard threaded interface.
US13353886 2011-01-19 2012-01-19 Modularized smoking device Abandoned US20120180803A1 (en)

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Cited By (22)

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US20120266900A1 (en) * 2011-04-19 2012-10-25 El-Deiry Maged B Ice hose
US20130146070A1 (en) * 2011-12-09 2013-06-13 Edmund Ross Smoking Device
US20130319437A1 (en) * 2012-05-30 2013-12-05 Tuanfang Liu Electronic Hookah
US20140130811A1 (en) * 2012-11-14 2014-05-15 Vicken Touzjian Magnetically assembled hookah
US20140261495A1 (en) * 2013-03-15 2014-09-18 R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company Cartridge and control body of an aerosol delivery device including anti-rotation mechanism and related method
USD731705S1 (en) * 2013-06-28 2015-06-09 Muhammad Nadeem Hookah base
US20150272214A1 (en) * 2014-03-28 2015-10-01 Boris Giller Adapter for connecting automatic electronic vaporizer to a traditional shisha
USD742587S1 (en) * 2013-05-21 2015-11-03 Rodney Masri Hookah
US20160066619A1 (en) * 2014-09-10 2016-03-10 Fernando Di Carlo Multi-user electronic hookah and a method of its use
USD757355S1 (en) * 2015-04-21 2016-05-24 Babylon, Inc. Hookah with smoke purge valve and stem tube assembly
USD757997S1 (en) * 2015-11-12 2016-05-31 Wael Elhalwani Hookah
USD757998S1 (en) * 2014-04-09 2016-05-31 Wael Elhalwani Hookah
USD757999S1 (en) * 2015-11-12 2016-05-31 Wael Elhalwani Hookah
USD759301S1 (en) * 2015-11-12 2016-06-14 Wael Elhalwani Hookah
USD762002S1 (en) * 2014-01-14 2016-07-19 Huizhou Kimree Technology Co., Ltd. Shenzhen Branch Electronic hookah bowl
USD773113S1 (en) * 2014-04-09 2016-11-29 Wael Elhalwani Hookah
US20170099872A1 (en) * 2015-10-07 2017-04-13 Bill Reimann Water Pipe
USD784611S1 (en) * 2015-01-19 2017-04-18 Ryan Eng Electronic hookah apparatus
US10051886B2 (en) 2014-06-27 2018-08-21 John De Gaglia Smoking device for organic material
USD829371S1 (en) 2017-10-27 2018-09-25 J Well France Vaping device
US10085480B2 (en) 2015-10-07 2018-10-02 William James Reimann Smoking pipe
USD832502S1 (en) * 2017-11-23 2018-10-30 J Well France Hookah

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US20120266900A1 (en) * 2011-04-19 2012-10-25 El-Deiry Maged B Ice hose
US9185936B2 (en) * 2011-04-19 2015-11-17 Maged B. El-Deiry Ice hose
US20130146070A1 (en) * 2011-12-09 2013-06-13 Edmund Ross Smoking Device
US20130319437A1 (en) * 2012-05-30 2013-12-05 Tuanfang Liu Electronic Hookah
US20140130811A1 (en) * 2012-11-14 2014-05-15 Vicken Touzjian Magnetically assembled hookah
US9044050B2 (en) * 2012-11-14 2015-06-02 Vicken Touzjian Magnetically assembled hookah
US20150320110A1 (en) * 2012-11-14 2015-11-12 Vicken Touzjian Magnetically Assembled Hookah
US9609893B2 (en) * 2013-03-15 2017-04-04 Rai Strategic Holdings, Inc. Cartridge and control body of an aerosol delivery device including anti-rotation mechanism and related method
US20140261495A1 (en) * 2013-03-15 2014-09-18 R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company Cartridge and control body of an aerosol delivery device including anti-rotation mechanism and related method
USD742587S1 (en) * 2013-05-21 2015-11-03 Rodney Masri Hookah
USD731705S1 (en) * 2013-06-28 2015-06-09 Muhammad Nadeem Hookah base
USD762002S1 (en) * 2014-01-14 2016-07-19 Huizhou Kimree Technology Co., Ltd. Shenzhen Branch Electronic hookah bowl
US20150272214A1 (en) * 2014-03-28 2015-10-01 Boris Giller Adapter for connecting automatic electronic vaporizer to a traditional shisha
USD757998S1 (en) * 2014-04-09 2016-05-31 Wael Elhalwani Hookah
USD773113S1 (en) * 2014-04-09 2016-11-29 Wael Elhalwani Hookah
US10051886B2 (en) 2014-06-27 2018-08-21 John De Gaglia Smoking device for organic material
US20160066619A1 (en) * 2014-09-10 2016-03-10 Fernando Di Carlo Multi-user electronic hookah and a method of its use
USD814105S1 (en) * 2015-01-19 2018-03-27 Ngen Smoke Llc Electronic hookah
USD784611S1 (en) * 2015-01-19 2017-04-18 Ryan Eng Electronic hookah apparatus
USD757355S1 (en) * 2015-04-21 2016-05-24 Babylon, Inc. Hookah with smoke purge valve and stem tube assembly
US10085480B2 (en) 2015-10-07 2018-10-02 William James Reimann Smoking pipe
US20170099872A1 (en) * 2015-10-07 2017-04-13 Bill Reimann Water Pipe
USD757997S1 (en) * 2015-11-12 2016-05-31 Wael Elhalwani Hookah
USD759301S1 (en) * 2015-11-12 2016-06-14 Wael Elhalwani Hookah
USD757999S1 (en) * 2015-11-12 2016-05-31 Wael Elhalwani Hookah
USD829371S1 (en) 2017-10-27 2018-09-25 J Well France Vaping device
USD832502S1 (en) * 2017-11-23 2018-10-30 J Well France Hookah

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