US20150313282A1 - Electronic smoking article - Google Patents

Electronic smoking article Download PDF

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US20150313282A1
US20150313282A1 US14/267,309 US201414267309A US2015313282A1 US 20150313282 A1 US20150313282 A1 US 20150313282A1 US 201414267309 A US201414267309 A US 201414267309A US 2015313282 A1 US2015313282 A1 US 2015313282A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
aerosol delivery
delivery device
aerosol
device according
secondary function
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US14/267,309
Inventor
Balager Ademe
II Walter Charles Liebscher
David Charles Bovender
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RAI Strategic Holdings Inc
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R J Reynolds Tobacco Co
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Application filed by R J Reynolds Tobacco Co filed Critical R J Reynolds Tobacco Co
Priority to US14/267,309 priority Critical patent/US20150313282A1/en
Assigned to R.J. REYNOLDS TOBACCO COMPANY reassignment R.J. REYNOLDS TOBACCO COMPANY ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: ADEME, BALAGER, BOVENDER, DAVID CHARLES, LIEBSCHER, WALTER CHARLES, II
Publication of US20150313282A1 publication Critical patent/US20150313282A1/en
Assigned to RAI STRATEGIC HOLDINGS, INC. reassignment RAI STRATEGIC HOLDINGS, INC. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: R. J. REYNOLDS TOBACCO COMPANY
Application status is Pending legal-status Critical

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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A24TOBACCO; CIGARS; CIGARETTES; SMOKERS' REQUISITES
    • A24FSMOKERS' REQUISITES; MATCH BOXES
    • A24F47/00Smokers' requisites not provided for elsewhere, e.g. devices to assist in stopping or limiting smoking
    • A24F47/002Simulated smoking devices, e.g. imitation cigarettes
    • A24F47/004Simulated smoking devices, e.g. imitation cigarettes with heating means, e.g. carbon fuel
    • A24F47/008Simulated smoking devices, e.g. imitation cigarettes with heating means, e.g. carbon fuel with electrical heating means
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B25HAND TOOLS; PORTABLE POWER-DRIVEN TOOLS; MANIPULATORS
    • B25FCOMBINATION OR MULTI-PURPOSE TOOLS NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR; DETAILS OR COMPONENTS OF PORTABLE POWER-DRIVEN TOOLS NOT PARTICULARLY RELATED TO THE OPERATIONS PERFORMED AND NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • B25F1/00Combination or multi-purpose hand tools

Abstract

The present disclosure provides an aerosol delivery device including a housing formed of one body or a plurality of bodies; one or more primary function elements, said primary function elements being configured for aerosol delivery; and at least one secondary function element that is not configured for aerosol delivery. The secondary function element can be selected from the group consisting of an accessory housing, an accessory rail, a clip, a writing instrument, an ink reservoir, a stylus, a bottle opener, a cutting instrument, a nail file, a screw driver, a chewable appendage, and combinations thereof. The secondary function element can be removably, permanently or retractably associated with an aerosol delivery device.

Description

    FIELD OF THE DISCLOSURE
  • The present disclosure relates to aerosol delivery devices such as smoking articles, and more particularly to accessories for such devices. The smoking articles may be configured to heat a material, which may be made or derived from tobacco or otherwise incorporate tobacco, to form an inhalable substance for human consumption.
  • BACKGROUND
  • Many smoking devices have been proposed through the years as improvements upon, or alternatives to, smoking products that require combusting tobacco for use. Many of those devices purportedly have been designed to provide the sensations associated with cigarette, cigar, or pipe smoking, but without delivering considerable quantities of incomplete combustion and pyrolysis products that result from the burning of tobacco. To this end, there have been proposed numerous smoking products, flavor generators, and medicinal inhalers that utilize electrical energy to vaporize or heat a volatile material, or attempt to provide the sensations of cigarette, cigar, or pipe smoking without burning tobacco to a significant degree. See, for example, the various alternative smoking articles, aerosol delivery devices and heat generating sources set forth in the background art described in U.S. Pat. No. 7,726,320 to Robinson et al., U.S. Pat. Pub. Nos. 2013/0255702 to Griffith Jr. et al., 2014/0000638 to Sebastian et al., 2014/0060554 to Collett et al., U.S. patent application Ser. No. 13/647,000 to Sears et al., filed Oct. 8, 2012, U.S. patent application Ser. No. 13/826,929 to Ampolini et al., filed Mar. 14, 2013, and U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/011,992 to Davis et al., filed Aug. 28, 2013, which are incorporated herein by reference in their entirety.
  • It would be desirable to provide a smoking article that employs heat produced by electrical energy to provide the sensations of cigarette, cigar, or pipe smoking, that does so without combusting tobacco to any significant degree, that does so without the need of a combustion heat source, and that does so without necessarily delivering considerable quantities of incomplete combustion and pyrolysis products. Further, advances with respect to manufacturing electronic smoking articles with various features, including functional features, would be desirable.
  • SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE
  • The present disclosure relates to materials and combinations thereof useful in electronic smoking articles and like personal devices. In various embodiments of the present invention, an aerosol delivery device is provided, wherein the device can comprise a housing formed of one body or a plurality of bodies; one or more primary function elements, said primary function elements being configured for aerosol delivery; and at least one secondary function element that is not configured for aerosol delivery. The secondary function element can be selected from the group consisting of an accessory housing, an accessory rail, a clip, a writing instrument, an ink reservoir, a stylus, a bottle opener, a cutting instrument, a nail file, a screw driver, a chewable appendage, and combinations thereof.
  • In some embodiments of the aerosol delivery device, the primary function elements can include a power source, a microprocessor, a sensor, and a heating element. In some embodiments, the housing can comprise a control body and a separable cartridge. The separable cartridge can comprise a heater, a reservoir with an aerosol precursor composition, and a liquid transport element, for example. In addition, the separable control body can comprise a power source, a microprocessor, and a sensor.
  • In various embodiments of the present invention, the aerosol delivery device can comprise the chewable appendage as the secondary function element, wherein the chewable appendage is associated with a housing body mouth end. The chewable appendage can be configured to allow passage of aerosol in a chewed state or in a non-chewed state. In certain embodiments, the chewable appendage can include a rigid tube configured to allow passage of aerosol through the chewable appendage.
  • In various embodiments of the present invention, the aerosol delivery device can comprise the clip as the secondary function element, wherein the clip is associated with an external surface of the aerosol delivery device. The clip can be configured to attach the aerosol delivery device to an external body, for example.
  • In various embodiments of the present invention, the aerosol delivery device can comprise the accessory housing as the secondary function element, wherein the accessory housing is associated with an external surface of the aerosol delivery device. The housing body can include at least one connector to removably engage the accessory housing. In certain embodiments, the accessory housing can be configured to hold at least one secondary function element selected from the group consisting of a clip, a writing instrument, an ink reservoir, a stylus, a bottle opener, a cutting instrument, a nail file, a screw driver, a chewable appendage, and combinations thereof.
  • In various embodiments of the present invention, the aerosol delivery device can comprise the accessory rail as the secondary function element, wherein the accessory rail can be associated with an external surface of the aerosol delivery device. The housing body can be configured to removably engage the accessory rail, for example. In some embodiments, the accessory rail can be configured to facilitate attachment of at least one secondary function element being selected from the group consisting of an accessory housing, a clip, a writing instrument, an ink reservoir, a stylus, a bottle opener, a cutting instrument, a nail file, a screw driver, a chewable appendage, and combinations thereof. In certain embodiments, the accessory rail can be configured as a clip.
  • In various embodiments of the present invention, the secondary function element can be removably or permanently attached to an exterior surface of the aerosol delivery device. In some embodiments, the secondary function element can be retractable into the aerosol delivery device. In certain embodiments of the aerosol delivery device, the secondary function element can be situated within the housing body.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES
  • Having thus described the disclosure in the foregoing general terms, reference will now be made to the accompanying drawings, which are not necessarily drawn to scale, and wherein:
  • FIG. 1 is a sectional view through an electronic smoking article comprising a control body and a cartridge according to an example embodiment of the present disclosure;
  • FIG. 2 is a sectional view through an electronic smoking article comprising a cartridge and a control body and including a reservoir housing according to an example embodiment of the present disclosure;
  • FIG. 3 is a sectional views through an electronic smoking article comprising a clip and a chewable appendage according to example embodiments of the present disclosure;
  • FIG. 4 is a sectional views through an electronic smoking article comprising a laser module according to example embodiments of the present disclosure;
  • FIG. 5 is a sectional views through an electronic smoking article comprising a USB device according to example embodiments of the present disclosure;
  • FIG. 6 is a sectional views through an electronic smoking article comprising an accessory housing element according to example embodiments of the present disclosure;
  • FIG. 7 a is a sectional views through an electronic smoking article comprising an accessory rail according to example embodiments of the present disclosure;
  • FIG. 7 b is an exterior view of an electronic smoking article comprising an accessory rail and an accessory housing element engaged with the accessory rail according to example embodiments of the present disclosure;
  • FIG. 8 is a sectional views through an electronic smoking article comprising a stylus according to example embodiments of the present disclosure; and
  • FIG. 9 is a sectional views through an electronic smoking article comprising a removable cap according to example embodiments of the present disclosure.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • The present disclosure will now be described more fully hereinafter with reference to exemplary embodiments thereof. These exemplary embodiments are described so that this disclosure will be thorough and complete, and will fully convey the scope of the disclosure to those skilled in the art. Indeed, the disclosure may be embodied in many different forms and should not be construed as limited to the embodiments set forth herein; rather, these embodiments are provided so that this disclosure will satisfy applicable legal requirements. As used in the specification, and in the appended claims, the singular forms “a”, “an”, “the”, include plural referents unless the context clearly dictates otherwise.
  • The present disclosure provides descriptions of aerosol delivery devices or smoking articles, such as so-called “e-cigarettes.” It should be understood that the mechanisms, components, features, and methods may be embodied in many different forms and associated with a variety of articles.
  • In this regard, the present disclosure provides descriptions of aerosol delivery devices that use electrical energy to heat a material (preferably without combusting or pyrolyzing the material to any significant degree) to form an inhalable substance; such articles most preferably being sufficiently compact to be considered “hand-held” devices. An aerosol delivery device may provide some or all of the sensations (e.g., inhalation and exhalation rituals, types of tastes or flavors, organoleptic effects, physical feel, use rituals, visual cues such as those provided by visible aerosol, and the like) of smoking a cigarette, cigar, or pipe, without any substantial degree of combustion or pyrolysis of any component of that article or device. The aerosol delivery device may not produce smoke in the sense of the aerosol resulting from by-products of combustion or pyrolysis of tobacco, but rather, that the article or device may yield vapors (including vapors within aerosols that can be considered to be visible aerosols that might be considered to be described as smoke-like) resulting from volatilization or vaporization of certain components of the article or device. In highly preferred embodiments, aerosol delivery devices may incorporate tobacco and/or components derived from tobacco.
  • Aerosol delivery devices of the present disclosure also can be characterized as being vapor-producing articles, smoking articles, or medicament delivery articles. Thus, such articles or devices can be adapted so as to provide one or more substances (e.g., flavors and/or pharmaceutical active ingredients) in an inhalable form or state. For example, inhalable substances can be substantially in the form of a vapor (i.e., a substance that is in the gas phase at a temperature lower than its critical point). Alternatively, inhalable substances can be in the form of an aerosol (i.e., a suspension of fine solid particles or liquid droplets in a gas). For purposes of simplicity, the term “aerosol” as used herein is meant to include vapors, gases and aerosols of a form or type suitable for human inhalation, whether or not visible, and whether or not of a form that might be considered to be smoke-like.
  • In use, aerosol delivery devices of the present disclosure may be subjected to many of the physical actions employed by an individual in using a traditional type of smoking article (e.g., a cigarette, cigar or pipe that is employed by lighting and inhaling tobacco). For example, the user of an aerosol delivery device of the present disclosure can hold that article much like a traditional type of smoking article, draw on one end of that article for inhalation of aerosol produced by that article, take puffs at selected intervals of time, etc.
  • Aerosol delivery devices of the present disclosure generally include a number of components provided within an outer body or shell. The overall design of the outer body or shell can vary, and the format or configuration of the outer body that can define the overall size and shape of the aerosol delivery device can vary. Typically, an elongated body resembling the shape of a cigarette or cigar can be a formed from a single, unitary shell; or the elongated body can be formed of two or more separable pieces. For example, an aerosol delivery device can comprise an elongated shell or body that can be substantially tubular in shape and, as such, resemble the shape of a conventional cigarette or cigar. In one embodiment, all of the components of the aerosol delivery device are contained within one outer body or shell. Alternatively, an aerosol delivery device can comprise two or more shells that are joined and are separable. For example, an aerosol delivery device can possess at one end a control body comprising an outer body or shell containing one or more reusable components (e.g., a rechargeable battery and various electronics for controlling the operation of that article), and at the other end and removably attached thereto an outer body or shell containing a disposable portion (e.g., a disposable flavor-containing cartridge). More specific formats, configurations and arrangements of components within the single shell type of unit or within a multi-piece separable shell type of unit will be evident in light of the further disclosure provided herein. Additionally, various aerosol delivery device designs and component arrangements can be appreciated upon consideration of the commercially available electronic aerosol delivery devices, such as those representative products listed in the background art section of the present disclosure.
  • Aerosol delivery devices of the present disclosure most preferably comprise some combination of a power source (i.e., an electrical power source), at least one control component (e.g., means for actuating, controlling, regulating and ceasing power for heat generation, such as by controlling electrical current flow the power source to other components of the article—e.g., a microcontroller), a heater or heat generation component (e.g., an electrical resistance heating element or component commonly referred to as an “atomizer”), and an aerosol precursor composition (e.g., commonly a liquid capable of yielding an aerosol upon application of sufficient heat, such as ingredients commonly referred to as “smoke juice,” “e-liquid” and “e-juice”), and a mouthend region or tip for allowing draw upon the aerosol delivery device for aerosol inhalation (e.g., a defined air flow path through the article such that aerosol generated can be withdrawn therefrom upon draw). Exemplary formulations for aerosol precursor materials that may be used according to the present disclosure are described in U.S. Pat. Pub. Nos. 2013/0008457 to Zheng et al. and 2014/0000638 to Sebastian et al., the disclosures of which are incorporated herein by reference in their entirety.
  • Alignment of the components within the aerosol delivery device can vary. In specific embodiments, the aerosol precursor composition can be located near an end of the article (e.g., within a cartridge, which in certain circumstances can be replaceable and disposable), which may be proximal to the mouth of a user so as to maximize aerosol delivery to the user. Other configurations, however, are not excluded. Generally, the heating element can be positioned sufficiently near the aerosol precursor composition so that heat from the heating element can volatilize the aerosol precursor (as well as one or more flavorants, medicaments, or the like that may likewise be provided for delivery to a user) and form an aerosol for delivery to the user. When the heating element heats the aerosol precursor composition, an aerosol is formed, released, or generated in a physical form suitable for inhalation by a consumer. It should be noted that the foregoing terms are meant to be interchangeable such that reference to release, releasing, releases, or released includes form or generate, forming or generating, forms or generates, and formed or generated. Specifically, an inhalable substance is released in the form of a vapor or aerosol or mixture thereof. Additionally, the selection of various aerosol delivery device components can be appreciated upon consideration of the commercially available electronic aerosol delivery devices, such as those representative products listed in the background art section of the present disclosure.
  • An aerosol delivery device incorporates a battery or other electrical power source to provide current flow sufficient to provide various functionalities to the article, such as resistive heating, powering of control systems, powering of indicators, and the like. The power source can take on various embodiments. Preferably, the power source is able to deliver sufficient power to rapidly heat the heating member to provide for aerosol formation and power the article through use for the desired duration of time. The power source preferably is sized to fit conveniently within the aerosol delivery device so that the aerosol delivery device can be easily handled; and additionally, a preferred power source is of a sufficiently light weight to not detract from a desirable smoking experience.
  • As described generally above, aerosol delivery devices can include primary function elements. Primary function elements can be elements that are related to aerosol formation. Primary function elements can include, for example, power delivery elements (e.g., a battery, a controller, a sensor, etc.) and aerosol forming elements (e.g., precursor liquid, a reservoir, a transport element, a heater, etc.).
  • Aerosol delivery devices of the present disclosure can further comprise at least one secondary function element. Such an element can be unrelated to the primary function elements. In other words, the secondary function element is not configured for converting an aerosol precursor composition into an aerosol for delivery to a user. Although the secondary function element can be electrically connected to a primary function element (e.g., a battery, a microprocessor, etc.), the secondary function element and the aerosol delivery system can be independent of one another. In exemplary embodiments, a secondary function element can include an accessory housing, an accessory rail, a clip, a laser pointer, a USB memory device, a writing instrument, an ink reservoir, a stylus, a flashlight, a bottle opener, a cutting instrument, a nail file, a toothpick, a screw driver, a comb, a chewable appendage at one end of the aerosol delivery device, and combinations thereof. The secondary function element does not impede aerosol formation or aerosol delivery to the user.
  • Alignment of a secondary function element can vary. In specific embodiments, the secondary function element can be located at or near an end of an aerosol delivery device or portion thereof, can be associated with an exterior surface of an aerosol delivery device, can be located within a cartridge housing or a control body housing, and combinations thereof. Other configurations, however, are not excluded. As used herein, “associated with” can mean that the secondary function element is removable and may be replaceable. “Associated with” also can mean permanent. In various embodiments, a functional element can be retractable such that the functional element is stored in a space extending into the interior of an aerosol delivery device (or an attachment thereto) while the functional element is in a closed position. In an open position, a retractable functional element can extend outwards from the interior of a housing, from an exterior surface of the aerosol delivery device, or from an attachment thereto such that a user can use the element as desired.
  • In various embodiments of an aerosol delivery device, the device can include a secondary function element in the form of an accessory housing and/or an accessory rail. The accessory housing can be a compartment wherein one or more additional secondary function elements can be housed. The accessory housing can be removably (and optionally replaceably) or permanently attached to an exterior surface of the aerosol delivery device. An accessory rail can be a device removably or permanently attached to an exterior surface, wherein additional secondary function elements can be removably or permanently associated with the accessory rail. For example, additional secondary function elements can be snapped onto the accessory rail in various embodiments. In some embodiments, additional secondary function elements can be slid onto the rail and locked into place via a suitable locking mechanism. An accessory housing and/or an accessory rail can extend along the entire length of an aerosol delivery device, only along a portion of the device, or beyond one or both ends of the device.
  • As mentioned above, a secondary function element can be in the form of a clip, for example. The clip can be used to releasably secure an aerosol delivery device to another element such as a shirt, a pocket, a book, etc. Any configuration and size of a clip, as is known in the art, can be associated with an exterior surface of an aerosol delivery device. Representative types of clips are set forth in U.S. Pat. Nos. 2,570,670 to Harold; 6,027,223 to Lakey et al.; and U.S. Pat. Pub. No. 2007/0289141 to Caswell; the disclosures of which are incorporated herein by reference. One or more clips can, for example, be removably attached to an aerosol delivery device. Alternatively, one or more clips can be permanently attached to an exterior surface of an aerosol delivery device. In some embodiments, one or more clips can be retractable into the outer housing of an aerosol delivery device or into an accessory housing associated with the control body or the cartridge body.
  • An aerosol delivery device can also comprise a writing instrument, a stylus and/or an ink reservoir, for example. A writing instrument and/or stylus can be removably or permanently attached to an end of the aerosol delivery device that is opposite the mouth end wherein the user intakes aerosol. In certain embodiments, a writing instrument and/or stylus can be removably associated with the mouth end of the aerosol delivery device such that the writing instrument and/or stylus can be removed while the aerosol delivery device is in use. Alternative secondary function elements can also be associated with a removable cap. In some embodiments, a writing instrument and/or stylus can be associated with an aerosol delivery device such that the functional element is retractable into and out of the housing of the aerosol delivery device or into an accessory housing associated with the control body or the cartridge body. In various embodiments, an aerosol delivery device can include an ink reservoir wherein the ink reservoir can be removably or permanently attached to an exterior surface of the aerosol delivery device. In certain embodiments, an ink reservoir can be situated inside the housing of the aerosol delivery device. Other configurations of a writing instrument, a stylus and/or an ink reservoir are also contemplated herein. Furthermore, various sizes and shapes of a writing instrument, a stylus and/or an ink reservoir are considered herein.
  • In various embodiments of the present invention, an aerosol delivery device can comprise a bottle opener, a cutting instrument, a nail file, a screw driver, and a combination thereof. In certain embodiments, an aerosol delivery device can comprise any useful tool often found in a pocket knife or multi-tool device, for example. Each secondary functional feature can be removably or permanently attached to an exterior surface of an aerosol delivery device, an accessory rail, or housed within an accessory housing. In certain embodiments, the secondary functional element can be retractable. For example, in a closed position a cutting instrument can fold into a pocket extending into the interior cavity of an aerosol delivery device and in an open position the cutting instrument can protrude from an exterior surface of the aerosol delivery device or from the interior of an accessory housing such that the cutting instrument can be used by a user. In order to facilitate opening and closing of the retractable element, a means of engaging the secondary functional element can protrude from an exterior surface of the aerosol delivery device when the functional element is in a closed position. For example, the secondary functional element can comprise a groove, a hook, a spring mechanism initiated by an exterior button, etc. Alternative configurations of a tool associated with an aerosol delivery device are also considered herein.
  • In various embodiments of the present invention, an aerosol delivery device can comprise a chewable appendage at one end of the aerosol delivery device. As used herein, “chewable” can refer to an element that can be made from resilient material, can be easily deformable, crushable, and/or partially dissolvable. In some embodiments, a chewable appendage can be substantially similar to a conventional cigarette filter. The appendage can be removable and/or permanently attached to the aerosol delivery device. In certain embodiments, the appendage can be retractable. An appendage can be formed from any material adapted for oral use. For example, an appendage can be formed from an edible material, rubber, thermoplastics, paper, woven or non-woven fabrics, and the like.
  • In various embodiments of the present invention, an aerosol delivery device can comprise a secondary functional feature in electrical communication with a power source and/or a control component of the aerosol delivery device. For example, the aerosol delivery device can include a laser pointer and/or a flashlight. The secondary functional element can be removably and/or permanently engaged with the aerosol delivery device. In certain embodiments, the aerosol delivery device can include a switch to turn power to the secondary functional element on or off. In various embodiments, the laser and/or flashlight can be adapted to function at variable intensities, for example.
  • One example embodiment of an aerosol delivery device 100 is provided in FIG. 1, which particularly illustrates the various primary function elements that may be included in the device. As seen in the cross-section illustrated therein, the aerosol delivery device 100 can comprise a control body 102 and a cartridge 104 that can be permanently or detachably aligned in a functioning relationship. Although a threaded engagement is illustrated in FIG. 1, it is understood that further means of engagement may be employed, such as a press-fit engagement, interference fit, a magnetic engagement, or the like.
  • In specific embodiments, one or both of the control body 102 and the cartridge 104 may be referred to as being disposable or as being reusable. For example, the control body may have a replaceable battery or a rechargeable battery and thus may be combined with any type of recharging technology, including connection to a typical electrical outlet, connection to a car charger (i.e., cigarette lighter receptacle), and connection to a computer, such as through a universal serial bus (USB) cable. For example, an adaptor including a USB connector at one end and a control body connector at an opposing end is disclosed in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 13/840,264, filed Mar. 15, 2013, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety. Further, in some embodiments the cartridge may comprise a single-use cartridge, as disclosed in U.S. Pub. No. 2014/0060555, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.
  • In the exemplified embodiment, the control body 102 includes a control component 106 (e.g., a microcontroller), a flow sensor 108, and a battery 110, which can be variably aligned, and can include a plurality of indicators 112 at a distal end 114 of an outer body 116. The indicators 112 can be provided in varying numbers and can take on different shapes and can even be an opening in the body (such as for release of sound when such indicators are present). In the exemplified embodiment, a haptic feedback component 101 is included with the control component 106. As such, the haptic feedback component may be integrated with one or more components of a smoking article for providing vibration or like tactile indication of use or status to a user. See, for example, the disclosure of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 13/946,309 to Galloway et al., filed Jul. 19, 2013, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.
  • An air intake 118 may be positioned in the outer body 116 of the control body 102. A coupler 120 also is included at the proximal attachment end 122 of the control body 102 and may extend into a control body projection 124 to allow for ease of electrical connection with an atomizer or a component thereof, such as a resistive heating element (described below) when the cartridge 104 is attached to the control body. Although the air intake 118 is illustrated as being provided in the outer body 116, in another embodiment the air intake may be provided in a coupler as described, for example, in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 13/841,233 to DePiano et al., filed Mar. 15, 2013.
  • The cartridge 104 includes an outer body 126 with a mouth opening 128 at a mouthend 130 thereof to allow passage of air and entrained vapor (i.e., the components of the aerosol precursor composition in an inhalable form) from the cartridge to a consumer during draw on the aerosol delivery device 100. The aerosol delivery device 100 may be substantially rod-like or substantially tubular shaped or substantially cylindrically shaped in some embodiments. In other embodiments, further shapes and dimensions are encompassed—e.g., a rectangular or triangular cross-section, or the like.
  • The cartridge 104 further includes an atomizer 132 comprising a resistive heating element 134 (e.g., a wire coil) configured to produce heat and a liquid transport element 136 (e.g., a wick) configured to transport a liquid. Various embodiments of materials configured to produce heat when electrical current is applied therethrough may be employed to form the resistive heating element 134. Example materials from which the wire coil may be formed include
  • Kanthal (FeCrAl), Nichrome, Molybdenum disilicide (MoSi2), molybdenum silicide (MoSi), Molybdenum disilicide doped with Aluminum (Mo(Si,Al)2), and ceramic (e.g., a positive temperature coefficient ceramic). Further to the above, representative heating elements and materials for use therein are described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,060,671 to Counts et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 5,093,894 to Deevi et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 5,224,498 to Deevi et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 5,228,460 to Sprinkel Jr., et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 5,322,075 to Deevi et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 5,353,813 to Deevi et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 5,468,936 to Deevi et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 5,498,850 to Das; U.S. Pat. No. 5,659,656 to Das; U.S. Pat. No. 5,498,855 to Deevi et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 5,530,225 to Hajaligol; U.S. Pat. No. 5,665,262 to Hajaligol; U.S. Pat. No. 5,573,692 to Das et al.; and U.S. Pat. No. 5,591,368 to Fleischhauer et al., the disclosures of which are incorporated herein by reference in their entireties.
  • Electrically conductive heater terminals 138 (e.g., positive and negative terminals) at the opposing ends of the heating element 134 are configured to direct current flow through the heating element and configured for attachment to the appropriate wiring or circuit (not illustrated) to form an electrical connection of the heating element with the battery 110 when the cartridge 104 is connected to the control body 102. Specifically, a plug 140 may be positioned at a distal attachment end 142 of the cartridge 104. When the cartridge 104 is connected to the control body 102, the plug 140 engages the coupler 120 to form an electrical connection such that current controllably flows from the battery 110, through the coupler and plug, and to the heating element 134. The outer body 126 of the cartridge 104 can continue across the distal attachment end 142 such that this end of the cartridge is substantially closed with the plug 140 protruding therefrom.
  • A liquid transport element can be combined with a reservoir to transport an aerosol precursor composition to an aerosolization zone. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 1, the cartridge 104 includes a reservoir layer 144 comprising layers of nonwoven fibers formed into the shape of a tube encircling the interior of the outer body 126 of the cartridge, in this embodiment. An aerosol precursor composition is retained in the reservoir layer 144. Liquid components, for example, can be sorptively retained by the reservoir layer 144. The reservoir layer 144 is in fluid connection with a liquid transport element 136. The liquid transport element 136 transports the aerosol precursor composition stored in the reservoir layer 144 via capillary action to an aerosolization zone 146 of the cartridge 104. As illustrated, the liquid transport element 136 is in direct contact with the heating element 134 that is in the form of a metal wire coil in this embodiment.
  • An exemplary embodiment of a further smoking article 200 including a variety of primary function elements according to the present disclosure is shown in FIG. 2. As illustrated therein, a control body 202 can be formed of a control body shell 201 that can include a control component 206, a flow sensor 208, a battery 210, and an LED 212. A cartridge 204 can be formed of a cartridge shell 203 enclosing a reservoir housing 244 that is in fluid communication with a liquid transport element 236 adapted to wick or otherwise transport an aerosol precursor composition stored in the reservoir housing to a heater 234. An opening 228 may be present in the cartridge shell 203 to allow for egress of formed aerosol from the cartridge 204. Such components are representative of the components that may be present in a cartridge and are not intended to limit the scope of cartridge components that are encompassed by the present disclosure. The cartridge 204 may be adapted to engage the control body 202 through a press-fit engagement between the control body projection 224 and the cartridge receptacle 240. Such engagement can facilitate a stable connection between the control body 202 and the cartridge 204 as well as establish an electrical connection between the battery 210 and control component 206 in the control body and the heater 234 in the cartridge. The cartridge 204 also may include one or more electronic components 250, which may include an IC, a memory component, a sensor, or the like. The electronic component 250 may be adapted to communicate with the control component 206.
  • An exemplary embodiment of a further smoking article 300 including a variety of primary function elements and secondary function elements according to the present disclosure is shown in FIG. 3. As illustrated therein, a control body 302 can be formed of a control body shell 301 that can include a control component 306, a flow sensor 308, a battery 310, and an LED 312. In some embodiments, LED 312 can be configured to function as a flashlight. For example, the LED 312 may be configured to provide a substantially white light of at least 10 lumens, at least 25 lumens, or at least 50 lumens. Other types of lighting elements are also contemplated herein. Smoking article 300 can further include push-button 311 configured to actuate an electrical current to LED 312 such that power to a secondary function element can be turned on and off. Alternative embodiments of power actuators (i.e., on/off mechanisms) are also contemplated herein.
  • A cartridge 304 can be formed of a cartridge shell 303 enclosing a reservoir housing 344 that is in fluid communication with a liquid transport element 336 adapted to wick or otherwise transport an aerosol precursor composition stored in the reservoir housing to a heater 334. An opening 328 may be present in the cartridge shell 303 to allow for egress of formed aerosol from the cartridge 304. Such components are representative of the components that may be present in a cartridge and are not intended to limit the scope of cartridge components that are encompassed by the present disclosure. The cartridge 304 may be adapted to engage the control body 302 through a press-fit engagement between the control body projection 324 and the cartridge receptacle 340. Such engagement can facilitate a stable connection between the control body 302 and the cartridge 304 as well as establish an electrical connection between the battery 310 and control component 306 in the control body and the heater 334 in the cartridge and optionally a secondary function element which may require a power source and/or control component. The cartridge 304 also may include one or more electronic components 350, which may include an IC, a memory component, a sensor, or the like.
  • FIG. 3 illustrates exemplary embodiments of secondary function elements that can be included in the smoking article 301. For example, clip element 360 is associated with an exterior surface of the aerosol delivery device 300, specifically with an exterior surface of control body 302. Alternatively, clip element 360 can be associated with an exterior surface of cartridge 304. Clip element 360 can also be associated with an accessory housing and/or an accessory rail, as discussed below.
  • Appendage 365 is a chewable appendage associated with a mouth end of the cartridge 304 which does not impede the passage of aerosol from the aerosol delivery device to the user. For example, an opening 368 may be present in the appendage 365 to allow for egress of formed aerosol from the cartridge 304. In some embodiments, appendage 365 can include an optional rigid tube 370 that can ensure that aerosol passage is not impeded.
  • An exemplary embodiment of a further smoking article 400 according to the present disclosure is shown in FIG. 4. As illustrated therein, a control body 402 can be formed of a control body shell 401 that can include a control component 406, a flow sensor 408, a battery 410, and a laser module 405. Laser modules known in the art can be a secondary function element incorporated into an aerosol delivery device. See, for example, the laser module described in U.S. Pat. Pub. No. 2013/0256516 to Mochizuki, herein incorporated by reference in its entirety. Smoking article 400 can further include push-button 411 configured to actuate an electrical current to laser module 405 such that power to the secondary function element can be turned on and off. Alternative embodiments of power actuators (i.e., on/off mechanisms) are also contemplated herein.
  • An exemplary embodiment of a further smoking article 500 according to the present disclosure is shown in FIG. 5. As illustrated therein, a control body 502 can be formed of a control body shell 501 that can include a control component 506, a flow sensor 508, and a battery 510. A cartridge 504 can be formed of a cartridge shell 503 enclosing an aerosol formation system (e.g., a reservoir, precursor fluid, a heater, etc.). The cartridge 504 may be adapted to engage the control body 502 through a press-fit engagement between the control body projection 530 and the cartridge receptacle 535. As illustrated in FIG. 5, the control body projection 530 can be a USB device that is in electrical connection with control component 506 and receptacle 535 can be a USB hub. Control component 506 can further include a memory device to facilitate use of the USB device.
  • An exemplary embodiment of a further smoking article 600 according to the present disclosure is shown in FIG. 6 As illustrated therein, an accessory housing element 605 can be associated with an exterior surface of aerosol delivery device 600. The accessory housing element 605 can extend the entire length of the aerosol delivery device, or the accessory housing element 605 can be shorter or longer than the length of the aerosol delivery device. Additional secondary function elements can be removably and/or permanently stored within accessory housing element 605. For example, a tool such as cutting instrument 610 can be situated within accessory housing element 605. In various embodiments, additional secondary function elements stored within accessory housing element 605 can be replaceable and interchangeable. As such, a user can select secondary function elements to match his/her needs. In various embodiments, aerosol delivery device 600 can be configured to removably or permanently attach the accessory housing element 605. For example, aerosol delivery device 600 can include one or more connectors 608 that can lock into receptacles 612 situated within the accessory housing element. Alternatively, the accessory housing element 605 can include connectors that fit into receptacles situated within the aerosol delivery device 600. Alternative means of attachment known in the art are also considered herein. In various embodiments, the aerosol delivery device can include a means to release the accessory housing element after it has been secured to the aerosol delivery device. For example, a push button 615 can disengage connectors 608 from the accessory housing element 605 when pressed. In some embodiments, the accessory housing element can further include an element configured to actuate an additional secondary function element stored within the accessory housing element. For example, push button 620 can be configured to extend a retractable secondary function element, to actuate current to a secondary function element stored within the housing element that is electrically connected to a primary function element within the aerosol delivery device, to open the accessory housing element, and combinations thereof.
  • An exemplary embodiment of a further smoking article 700 according to the present disclosure is shown in FIG. 7 a. As illustrated therein, an accessory rail 705 configured to facilitate attachment of at least one secondary function element can be associated with an exterior surface of aerosol delivery device 700. Additional secondary function elements 710 can be removably and/or permanently attached to the accessory rail 705, which can function as a universal mounting system. In certain embodiments where secondary function elements are removably attached to the accessory rail 705, the aerosol delivery device and/or the accessory rail can further include a mechanism to facilitate release of the secondary function elements when desired. In some embodiments, an accessory rail can be used to facilitate attachment of an accessory housing element. The accessory rail 705 can extend the entire length of the aerosol delivery device, or the accessory rail 705 can be shorter or longer than the length of the aerosol delivery device. In some embodiments, the accessory rail 705 be grooved or similarly configured, such as along a substantially midline 708 of the rail 705. With such a groove, secondary function elements can be slid onto the accessory rail and then locked into place at a desired location via a locking mechanism or through an interference fit. For example, as illustrated in FIG. 7 b, an accessory housing element 605 can be engaged with accessory rail 705. Accessory housing element 605 can be securely locked into place on accessory rail 705 via locking mechanism 710.
  • An exemplary embodiment of a further smoking article 800 according to the present disclosure is shown in FIG. 8 As illustrated therein, a stylus 805 can be associated with an end of aerosol delivery device 800. As used herein, a “stylus” refers to a writing utensil or a small tool used for some other form of marking or shaping. A stylus can also be a computer accessory that is used to assist in navigating touchscreens. In various embodiments, stylus 805 can be transparent or translucent such that LED 812 (or some alternative means of providing light) can shine through or otherwise illuminate stylus 805.
  • An exemplary embodiment of a further smoking article 900 according to the present disclosure is shown in FIG. 9 As illustrated therein, a removable cap 905 can be associated with an end of aerosol delivery device 900. The removable cap 905 can comprise a secondary function element. For example, the removable cap 905 can include one or more of a clip, a laser pointer, a USB memory device, a writing instrument, an ink reservoir, a stylus, a flashlight, a bottle opener, a cutting instrument, a nail file, a screw driver, a chewable appendage at one end of the aerosol delivery device, and combinations thereof. In some embodiments, the removable cap 905 can further be used to cover a mouth end of an aerosol delivery device 900 such that foreign bodies can't enter the device and aerosol can't get out of the device while the device is not in use. In various embodiments, the removable cap can fit on either end or both ends of the aerosol delivery device 900.
  • In some embodiments, an aerosol delivery device according to the present disclosure can comprise one or more mods, which can include any originally included or after-market elements that can be attached and optionally removed from an aerosol delivery device or an element thereof, such as a control body or a cartridge. In one embodiment, an exemplary mod can be an auxiliary power unit, which can comprise a battery, capacitor, or similar power storage and/or delivery mechanism that can supplement a power storage and/or delivery mechanism that can be original to the aerosol delivery device. For example, the aerosol delivery device can comprise a primary battery, and the mod can comprise a secondary or back-up battery that can be attached to the aerosol delivery device and form an electrical connection therewith, preferably without any need for removal of the primary battery.
  • In another exemplary embodiment, a mod can comprise a tank or other element configured to hold a volume of aerosol precursor composition. Such tank mod can be configured to attach to the aerosol delivery device so as to be in fluid communication with one or more of the original reservoir within the aerosol delivery device, the liquid transport element within the aerosol delivery device, and the heater within the aerosol delivery device. For example, the aerosol delivery device may include or be modified to include a port, and the tank mod may include a transfer projection. In use, the tank mod may be attached to the aerosol delivery device such that the transfer projection passes through the port and provides for transfer of aerosol precursor composition from the tank mod to the one or more elements within the aerosol delivery device. In this manner, the amount of aerosol that may be produced by the device can be effectively extended beyond the original amount of aerosol precursor composition included in the aerosol delivery device. The tank mod may be reusable, and the port on the aerosol delivery device can be configured to substantially re-seal after removal of the tank mod such that further tank mods may be utilized. In some embodiments, the port of the aerosol precursor composition can be a mouth opening (see element 128 in FIG. 1). As such, a tank mod may be configured to substantially attach to the mouth end of the aerosol delivery device, including sliding over or otherwise engaging the mouth end of the aerosol delivery device. Such tank mod may include, for example, one or more element for actuating transfer of aerosol precursor composition from the tank mod into the aerosol delivery device.
  • The various components of an aerosol delivery device according to the present disclosure can be chosen from components described in the art and commercially available. Examples of batteries that can be used according to the disclosure are described in U.S. Pat. App. Pub. No. 2010/0028766 to Peckerar et al., the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.
  • The aerosol generating piece most preferably incorporates a sensor or detector for control of supply of electric power to the heat generation element when aerosol generation is desired (e.g., upon draw during use). As such, for example, there is provided a manner or method for turning off the power supply to the heat generation element when the aerosol generating piece is not be drawn upon during use, and for turning on the power supply to actuate or trigger the generation of heat by the heat generation element during draw. Additional representative types of sensing or detection mechanisms, structure and configuration thereof, components thereof, and general methods of operation thereof, are described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,261,424 to Sprinkel, Jr.; 5,372,148 to McCafferty et al.; and PCT WO 2010/003480 by Flick; which are incorporated herein by reference.
  • The aerosol generating piece most preferably incorporates a control mechanism for controlling the amount of electric power to the heat generation element during draw. Representative types of electronic components, structure and configuration thereof, features thereof, and general methods of operation thereof, are described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,735,217 to Gerth et al.; 4,947,874 to Brooks et al.; 5,372,148 to McCafferty et al.; 6,040,560 to Fleischhauer et al.; 7,040,314 to Nguyen et al. and 8,205,622 to Pan; U.S. Pat. Pub. Nos. 2009/0230117 to Fernando et al. and 2014/0060554 to Collet et al.; and U.S. patent application Ser. Nos. 13/837,542, filed Mar. 15, 2013, to Ampolini et al. and 14/209,191, filed Mar. 13, 2014, to Henry et al.; which are incorporated herein by reference.
  • Representative types of substrates, reservoirs or other components for supporting the aerosol precursor are described in U.S. Pat. No. 8,528,569 to Newton; and U.S. patent application Ser. Nos. 13/802,950, filed Mar. 15, 2013, to Chapman et al.; 14/011,192, filed Aug. 28, 2013, to Davis et al. and 14/170838, filed Feb. 3, 2014, to Bless et al.; which are incorporated herein by reference. Additionally, various wicking materials, and the configuration and operation of those wicking materials within certain types of electronic cigarettes, are set forth in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 13/754,324, filed Jan. 30, 2013, to Sears et al.; which is incorporated herein by reference.
  • The aerosol precursor, or vapor precursor composition, can vary. Most preferably, the aerosol precursor is composed of a combination or mixture of various ingredients or components. The selection of the particular aerosol precursor components, and the relative amounts of those components used, may be altered in order to control the overall chemical composition of the mainstream aerosol produced by the aerosol generating piece. Of particular interest are aerosol precursors that can be characterized as being generally liquid in nature. For example, representative generally liquid aerosol precursors may have the form of liquid solutions, viscous gels, mixtures of miscible components, or liquids incorporating suspended or dispersed components. Typical aerosol precursors are capable of being vaporized upon exposure to heat under those conditions that are experienced during use of the aerosol generating pieces that are characteristic of the current disclosure; and hence are capable of yielding vapors and aerosols that are capable of being inhaled.
  • For aerosol delivery systems that are characterized as electronic cigarettes, the aerosol precursor most preferably incorporates tobacco or components derived from tobacco. In one regard, the tobacco may be provided as parts or pieces of tobacco, such as finely ground, milled or powdered tobacco lamina. In another regard, the tobacco may be provided in the form of an extract, such as a spray dried extract that incorporates many of the water soluble components of tobacco. Alternatively, tobacco extracts may have the form of relatively high nicotine content extracts, which extracts also incorporate minor amounts of other extracted components derived from tobacco. In another regard, components derived from tobacco may be provided in a relatively pure form, such as certain flavoring agents that are derived from tobacco. In one regard, a component that is derived from tobacco, and that may be employed in a highly purified or essentially pure form, is nicotine (e.g., pharmaceutical grade nicotine).
  • The aerosol precursor may incorporate a so-called “aerosol forming materials.” Such materials have the ability to yield visible aerosols when vaporized upon exposure to heat under those conditions experienced during normal use of aerosol generating pieces that are characteristic of the current disclosure. Such aerosol forming materials include various polyols or polyhydric alcohols (e.g., glycerin, propylene glycol, and mixtures thereof). Many embodiments of the present disclosure incorporate aerosol precursor components that can be characterized as water, moisture or aqueous liquid. During conditions of normal use of certain aerosol generating pieces, the water incorporated within those pieces can vaporize to yield a component of the generated aerosol. As such, for purposes of the current disclosure, water that is present within the aerosol precursor may be considered to be an aerosol forming material.
  • It is possible to employ a wide variety of optional flavoring agents or materials that alter the sensory character or nature of the drawn mainstream aerosol generated by the aerosol delivery system of the present disclosure. For example, such optional flavoring agents may be used within the aerosol precursor to alter the flavor, aroma and organoleptic properties of the aerosol. Certain flavoring agents may be provided from sources other than tobacco. Exemplary flavoring agents may be natural or artificial in nature, and may be employed as concentrates or flavor packages.
  • Exemplary flavoring agents include vanillin, ethyl vanillin, cream, tea, coffee, fruit (e.g., apple, cherry, strawberry, peach and citrus flavors, including lime and lemon), maple, menthol, mint, peppermint, spearmint, wintergreen, nutmeg, clove, lavender, cardamom, ginger, honey, anise, sage, cinnamon, sandalwood, jasmine, cascarilla, cocoa, licorice, and flavorings and flavor packages of the type and character traditionally used for the flavoring of cigarette, cigar and pipe tobaccos. Syrups, such as high fructose corn syrup, also can be employed. Certain flavoring agents may be incorporated within aerosol forming materials prior to formulation of a final aerosol precursor mixture (e.g., certain water soluble flavoring agents can be incorporated within water, menthol can be incorporated within propylene glycol, and certain complex flavor packages can be incorporated within propylene glycol).
  • Aerosol precursors also may include ingredients that exhibit acidic or basic characteristics (e.g., organic acids, ammonium salts or organic amines). For example, certain organic acids (e.g., levulinic acid, succinic acid, lactic acid, and pyruvic acid) may be included in an aerosol precursor formulation incorporating nicotine, preferably in amounts up to being equimolar (based on total organic acid content) with the nicotine. For example, the aerosol precursor may include about 0.1 to about 0.5 moles of levulinic acid per one mole of nicotine, about 0.1 to about 0.5 moles of succinic acid per one mole of nicotine, about 0.1 to about 0.5 moles of lactic acid per one mole of nicotine, about 0.1 to about 0.5 moles of pyruvic acid per one mole of nicotine, or various permutations and combinations thereof, up to a concentration wherein the total amount of organic acid present is equimolar to the total amount of nicotine present in the aerosol precursor.
  • As one non-limiting example, a representative aerosol precursor can have the form of a mixture of about 70% to about 90% glycerin, often about 75% to about 85% glycerin; about 5% to about 20% water, often about 10% to about 15% water; about 1% to about 10% propylene glycol, often about 4% to about 8% propylene glycol; about 0.1% to about 6% nicotine, often about 1.5% to about 5% nicotine; and optional flavoring agent in an amount of up to about 6%, often about 0.1% to about 5% flavoring agent; on a weight basis. For example, a representative aerosol precursor may have the form of a formulation incorporating greater than about 76% glycerin, about 14% water, about 7% propylene glycol, about 1% to about 2% nicotine, and less than about 1% optional flavoring agent, on a weight basis. For example, a representative aerosol precursor may have the form of a formulation incorporating greater than about 75% glycerin, about 14% water, about 7% propylene glycol, about 2.5% nicotine, and less than about 1% optional flavoring agent. For example, a representative aerosol precursor may have the form of a formulation incorporating greater than about 75% glycerin, about 5% water, about 8% propylene glycol, about 6% nicotine, and less than about 6% optional flavoring agent, on a weight basis.
  • As another non-limiting example, a representative aerosol precursor can have the form of a mixture of about 40% to about 70% glycerin, often about 50% to about 65% glycerin; about 5% to about 20% water, often about 10% to about 15% water; about 20% to about 50% propylene glycol, often about 25% to about 45% propylene glycol; about 0.1% to about 6% nicotine, often about 1.5% to about 5% nicotine; about 0.5% to about 3%, often about 1.5% to about 2% menthol; and optional additional flavoring agent in an amount of up to about 6%, often about 0.1% to about 5% flavoring agent; on a weight basis. For example, a representative aerosol precursor may have the form of a formulation incorporating about 50% glycerin, about 11% water, about 28% propylene glycol, about 5% nicotine, about 2% menthol, and about 4% other flavoring agent, on a weight basis.
  • Representative types of aerosol precursor components and formulations also are set forth and characterized in U.S. Pat. No. 7,217,320 to Robinson et al. and U.S. Pat. Pub. Nos. 2013/0008457 to Zheng et al.; 2013/0213417 to Chong et al. and 2014/0060554 to Collett et al., the disclosures of which are incorporated herein by reference. Other aerosol precursors that may be employed include the aerosol precursors that have been incorporated in the VUSE® product by R. J. Reynolds Vapor Company, the BLU™ product by Lorillard Technologies, the MISTIC MENTHOL product by Mistic Ecigs, and the VYPE product by CN Creative Ltd. Also desirable are the so-called “smoke juices” for electronic cigarettes that have been available from Johnson Creek Enterprises LLC.
  • The amount of aerosol precursor that is incorporated within the aerosol delivery system is such that the aerosol generating piece provides acceptable sensory and desirable performance characteristics. For example, it is highly preferred that sufficient amounts of aerosol forming material (e.g., glycerin and/or propylene glycol), be employed in order to provide for the generation of a visible mainstream aerosol that in many regards resembles the appearance of tobacco smoke. The amount of aerosol precursor within the aerosol generating system may be dependent upon factors such as the number of puffs desired per aerosol generating piece. Typically, the amount of aerosol precursor incorporated within the aerosol delivery system, and particularly within the aerosol generating piece, is less than about 2 g, generally less than about 1.5 g, often less than about 1 g and frequently less than about 0.5 g.
  • Additional representative types of components that yield visual cues or indicators, such as light emitting diode (LED) components, and the configurations and uses thereof, are described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,154,192 to Sprinkel et al.; 8,499,766 to Newton and 8,539,959 to Scatterday; and U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/173,266, filed Feb. 5, 2014, to Sears et al.; which are incorporated herein by reference.
  • Yet other features, controls or components that can be incorporated into aerosol delivery systems of the present disclosure are described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,967,148 to Harris et al.; 5,934,289 to Watkins et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 5,954,979 to Counts et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 6,040,560 to Fleischhauer et al.; 8,365,742 to Hon; 8,402,976 to Fernando et al.; U.S. Pat. App. Pub. Nos. 2010/0163063 by Fernando et al.; 2013/0192623 to Tucker et al.; 2013/0298905 to Leven et al.; 2013/0180553 to Kim et al. and 2014/0000638 to Sebastian et al.; and U.S. patent application Ser. Nos. 13/840,264, filed Mar. 15, 2013, to Novak et al. and 13/841,233, filed Mar. 15, 2013, to DePiano et al.; which are incorporated herein by reference.
  • The foregoing description of use of the article can be applied to the various embodiments described herein through minor modifications, which can be apparent to the person of skill in the art in light of the further disclosure provided herein. The above description of use, however, is not intended to limit the use of the article but is provided to comply with all necessary requirements of disclosure of the present disclosure.
  • Many modifications and other embodiments of the disclosure will come to mind to one skilled in the art to which this disclosure pertains having the benefit of the teachings presented in the foregoing descriptions and the associated drawings. Therefore, it is to be understood that the disclosure is not to be limited to the specific embodiments disclosed herein and that modifications and other embodiments are intended to be included within the scope of the appended claims. Although specific terms are employed herein, they are used in a generic and descriptive sense only and not for purposes of limitation.

Claims (20)

1. An aerosol delivery device comprising:
a housing formed of one body or a plurality of bodies;
one or more primary function elements, said primary function elements being configured for aerosol delivery; and
at least one secondary function element that is not configured for aerosol delivery, said at least one secondary function element being selected from the group consisting of an accessory housing, an accessory rail, a clip, a writing instrument, an ink reservoir, a stylus, a bottle opener, a cutting instrument, a nail file, a screw driver, a chewable appendage, and combinations thereof.
2. The aerosol delivery device according to claim 1, wherein the primary function elements include a power source, a microprocessor, a sensor, and a heating element.
3. The aerosol delivery device according to claim 1, wherein the housing comprises a control body and a separable cartridge.
4. The aerosol delivery device according to claim 3, wherein the separable cartridge comprises a heater, a reservoir with an aerosol precursor composition, and a liquid transport element.
5. The aerosol delivery device according to claim 3, wherein the separable control body comprises a power source, a microprocessor, and a sensor.
6. The aerosol delivery device according to claim 1, comprising the chewable appendage as the secondary function element, wherein the chewable appendage is associated with a housing body mouth end.
7. The aerosol delivery device according to claim 6, wherein the chewable appendage is configured to allow passage of aerosol in a chewed state or in a non-chewed state.
8. The aerosol delivery device according to claim 7, wherein the chewable appendage includes a rigid tube configured to allow passage of aerosol through the chewable appendage.
9. The aerosol delivery device according to claim 1, comprising the clip as the secondary function element, wherein the clip is associated with an external surface of the aerosol delivery device.
10. The aerosol delivery device according to claim 9, wherein the clip is configured to attach the aerosol delivery device to an external body.
11. The aerosol delivery device according to claim 1, comprising the accessory housing as the secondary function element, wherein the accessory housing is associated with an external surface of the aerosol delivery device.
12. The aerosol delivery device according to claim 11, wherein the housing body includes at least one connector configured to removably engage the accessory housing.
13. The aerosol delivery device according to claim 11, wherein the accessory housing is configured to hold at least one secondary function element selected from the group consisting of a clip, a writing instrument, an ink reservoir, a stylus, a bottle opener, a cutting instrument, a nail file, a screw driver, a chewable appendage, and combinations thereof.
14. The aerosol delivery device according to claim 1, comprising the accessory rail as the secondary function element, wherein the accessory rail is associated with an external surface of the aerosol delivery device.
15. The aerosol delivery device according to claim 14, wherein the housing body is configured to removably engage the accessory rail.
16. The aerosol delivery device according to claim 14, wherein the accessory rail is configured to facilitate attachment of at least one secondary function element being selected from the group consisting of an accessory housing, a clip, a writing instrument, an ink reservoir, a stylus, a bottle opener, a cutting instrument, a nail file, a screw driver, a chewable appendage, and combinations thereof.
17. The aerosol delivery device according to claim 14, wherein the accessory rail is configured as a clip.
18. The aerosol delivery device according to claim 1, wherein the secondary function element is removably or permanently attached to an exterior surface of the aerosol delivery device.
19. The aerosol delivery device according to claim 1, wherein the secondary function element is retractable into the aerosol delivery device.
20. The aerosol delivery device according to claim 1, wherein the secondary function element is situated within the housing body.
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