WO2018130664A1 - Dispensing device - Google Patents

Dispensing device Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2018130664A1
WO2018130664A1 PCT/EP2018/050784 EP2018050784W WO2018130664A1 WO 2018130664 A1 WO2018130664 A1 WO 2018130664A1 EP 2018050784 W EP2018050784 W EP 2018050784W WO 2018130664 A1 WO2018130664 A1 WO 2018130664A1
Authority
WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
rod
dispenser
housing
exit orifice
filter
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/EP2018/050784
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Willem Paul Beeker
Michael Roger Cane
Joshua Matthew LANSON-MILLAR
Philip Thomas Worthing
Original Assignee
Philip Morris Products S.A.
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to EP17151500 priority Critical
Priority to EP17151500.0 priority
Application filed by Philip Morris Products S.A. filed Critical Philip Morris Products S.A.
Publication of WO2018130664A1 publication Critical patent/WO2018130664A1/en

Links

Classifications

    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A24TOBACCO; CIGARS; CIGARETTES; SIMULATED SMOKING DEVICES; SMOKERS' REQUISITES
    • A24FSMOKERS' REQUISITES; MATCH BOXES; SIMULATED SMOKING DEVICES
    • A24F15/00Receptacles or boxes specially adapted for cigars, cigarettes, simulated smoking devices or cigarettes therefor
    • A24F15/12Receptacles or boxes specially adapted for cigars, cigarettes, simulated smoking devices or cigarettes therefor for pocket use
    • A24F15/14Receptacles or boxes specially adapted for cigars, cigarettes, simulated smoking devices or cigarettes therefor for pocket use with appliances for releasing a single cigar or cigarette
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A24TOBACCO; CIGARS; CIGARETTES; SIMULATED SMOKING DEVICES; SMOKERS' REQUISITES
    • A24FSMOKERS' REQUISITES; MATCH BOXES; SIMULATED SMOKING DEVICES
    • A24F47/00Smokers' requisites not otherwise provided for
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61MDEVICES FOR INTRODUCING MEDIA INTO, OR ONTO, THE BODY; DEVICES FOR TRANSDUCING BODY MEDIA OR FOR TAKING MEDIA FROM THE BODY; DEVICES FOR PRODUCING OR ENDING SLEEP OR STUPOR
    • A61M15/00Inhalators
    • A61M15/06Inhaling appliances shaped like cigars, cigarettes or pipes
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D83/00Containers or packages with special means for dispensing contents
    • B65D83/04Containers or packages with special means for dispensing contents for dispensing annular, disc-shaped, or spherical or like small articles, e.g. tablets or pills
    • B65D83/0409Containers or packages with special means for dispensing contents for dispensing annular, disc-shaped, or spherical or like small articles, e.g. tablets or pills the dispensing means being adapted for delivering one article, or a single dose, upon each actuation
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61MDEVICES FOR INTRODUCING MEDIA INTO, OR ONTO, THE BODY; DEVICES FOR TRANSDUCING BODY MEDIA OR FOR TAKING MEDIA FROM THE BODY; DEVICES FOR PRODUCING OR ENDING SLEEP OR STUPOR
    • A61M15/00Inhalators
    • A61M15/0028Inhalators using prepacked dosages, one for each application, e.g. capsules to be perforated or broken-up
    • A61M15/003Inhalators using prepacked dosages, one for each application, e.g. capsules to be perforated or broken-up using capsules, e.g. to be perforated or broken-up
    • A61M15/0031Inhalators using prepacked dosages, one for each application, e.g. capsules to be perforated or broken-up using capsules, e.g. to be perforated or broken-up by bursting or breaking the package, i.e. without cutting or piercing
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61MDEVICES FOR INTRODUCING MEDIA INTO, OR ONTO, THE BODY; DEVICES FOR TRANSDUCING BODY MEDIA OR FOR TAKING MEDIA FROM THE BODY; DEVICES FOR PRODUCING OR ENDING SLEEP OR STUPOR
    • A61M15/00Inhalators
    • A61M15/0028Inhalators using prepacked dosages, one for each application, e.g. capsules to be perforated or broken-up
    • A61M15/0063Storages for pre-packed dosages
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61MDEVICES FOR INTRODUCING MEDIA INTO, OR ONTO, THE BODY; DEVICES FOR TRANSDUCING BODY MEDIA OR FOR TAKING MEDIA FROM THE BODY; DEVICES FOR PRODUCING OR ENDING SLEEP OR STUPOR
    • A61M2205/00General characteristics of the apparatus
    • A61M2205/75General characteristics of the apparatus with filters

Abstract

A dispenser (1) for dispensing a filter component is provided. The dispenser (1) comprises a housing (2) defining an exit orifice (5) and a rod (3) at least partially disposed within the housing (2). The rod (3) has a first end face, and the rod (3) is movable between a retracted position in which the first end face of the rod (3) is fully disposed within the housing (2), and an extended position in which the first end face of the rod (3) is disposed outside the housing (2). When the rod (3) is moved between the retracted position and the extended position, the first end face of the rod (3) passes through the exit orifice (5). The dispenser also includes a first helical storage zone (7) for storing a plurality of filter components that can be dispensed from the dispenser by the rod (3). The first helical storage zone (7) is disposed within the housing (2) and extends around and along a length of the rod (3).

Description

DISPENSING DEVICE

The present invention relates to a dispenser for dispensing a filter component, and in particular, a dispenser for dispensing a filter component for a smoking article.

Filter cigarettes typically comprise a rod of tobacco cut filler surrounded by a paper wrapper and a cylindrical filter aligned in an end-to-end relationship with the wrapped tobacco rod, with the filter attached to the tobacco rod by tipping paper. In conventional filter cigarettes, the filter may consist of a plug of cellulose acetate tow wrapped in a porous plug wrap. Filter cigarettes with multi-component filters that comprise two or more segments of filtration material for the removal of particulate and gaseous components of the mainstream smoke are also known.

A number of smoking articles in which an aerosol forming substrate, such as tobacco, is heated rather than combusted have also been proposed in the art. In heated smoking articles, the aerosol is generated by heating the aerosol forming substrate. Known heated smoking articles include, for example, smoking articles in which an aerosol is generated by electrical heating or by the transfer of heat from a combustible fuel element or heat source to an aerosol forming substrate. During smoking, volatile compounds are released from the aerosol forming substrate by heat transfer from the heat source and entrained in air drawn through the smoking article. As the released compounds cool, they condense to form an aerosol that is inhaled by the consumer. Also known are smoking articles in which a nicotine- containing aerosol is generated from a tobacco material, tobacco extract, or other nicotine source, without combustion, and in some cases without heating, for example through a chemical reaction.

It is known to incorporate additives, such as flavourants, into smoking articles in order modify the smoking experience for a consumer. One known way to incorporate additives, such as flavourants, into a smoking article is in the form of a crushable capsule. The capsules typically comprise a frangible wall enclosing a liquid additive. A consumer can apply a force to the capsule to rupture the wall and thus release the additive, thereby allowing a consumer to modify their smoking experience.

However, such capsules are incorporated into a smoking article during manufacture, for example, by embedding them in a segment of fibrous filtration material, such as cellulose acetate tow. Consequently, a consumer is restricted to additives that are already provided as part of the manufactured smoking article. It would therefore be desirable to improve the means by which a consumer can customise their smoking experience, and in particular, customise the type of additive orflavour that they can use when smoking a smoking article.

According to a first aspect of the invention, there is provided a dispenser for dispensing a filter component. The dispenser comprises a housing defining an exit orifice and a rod at least partially disposed within the housing. The rod has a first end face, and the rod is movable between a retracted position in which the first end face of the rod is fully disposed within the housing, and an extended position in which the first end face of the rod is disposed outside the housing. When the rod is moved between the retracted position and the extended position, the first end face of the rod passes through the exit orifice. The dispenser further comprises a first helical storage zone for storing a plurality of filter components that can be dispensed from the dispenser by the rod. The first helical storage zone is disposed within the housing and extends along and around a length of the rod.

The dispenser of the present invention allows a consumer to insert a filter component into a filter of a smoking article, and thereby provides the consumer with the ability to customise the smoking experience obtained from said smoking article. For example, if the filter component is a flavour capsule, the dispenser can allow a consumer to choose a specific flavour capsule that they wish to use with a specific smoking article depending on the desired customised experience they wish to obtain.

The ability of the rod to be disposed outside the housing when the rod is in the extended position allows the rod to continue to push a filter component even when the filter component has passed out of the dispenser. This is particularly advantageous where the filter component is to be inserted into a smoking article. For example, the smoking article filter may include a mouth end recess into which the filter component needs to be inserted. The fact that the rod is able to extend beyond the exit orifice of the dispenser means that the rod can push the filter component directly into the recess. This is particularly advantageous where the recess includes a narrow mouth end portion which the filter component must pass through as it enters the recess. In such circumstances, the rod is able to push the filter component through the narrow mouth end portion of the recess as it moves towards its fully extended position.

The provision of a rod that extends outside the housing also means that a single filter component is able to be pushed out of the dispenser and continue to be pushed into a recess of a smoking article without necessarily requiring any other filter components to leave the dispenser at the same time. This is advantageous where there may only be space in the smoking article for a single filter component. Where there is space for more than one filter component in the recess, this provision gives the user the opportunity to choose how many filter components they wish to insert into said recess.

The dispenser of the first aspect of the present invention advantageously comprises a first helical storage zone for storing a plurality of filter components. The first helical storage zone is disposed within the housing and extends along and around a length of the rod. The first helical storage zone has a front end located towards the exit orifice and the front end face of the rod, and a rear end located towards the rear end of the dispenser. In use, a filter component can pass from the front end of the first helical storage zone to a position in front of the front end face of the rod, as the rod is moved to a fully retracted position. This position may be referred to as a loading zone. The remainder of the filter components may then be retained in the first helical storage zone until the loaded filter component has been dispensed.

The provision of the first helical storage zone advantageously allows more than one filter component to be stored in the dispenser at any one time. Arranging for the first helical storage zone to extend around the rod, and along a length of the rod, advantageously allows the rod to be moved from the retracted position to the extended position without passing through the first storage zone. That is, the rod and the first helical storage zone never occupy the same space. This means that the rod can move from the retracted position to the extended position without pushing more than a desired number of the filter components out of the dispenser, at any one time. This advantageously allows the dispenser to store multiple filter components whilst still enabling a single filter component to be dispensed at a time.

Providing the first storage zone with a helical shape is particularly advantageous. For example, a helical shaped storage zone advantageously allows the dispenser of the invention to accommodate more filter units over a given length, when compared to other dispenser designs, such as those having a storage zone that extends along a straight line in the longitudinal direction of the dispenser. Furthermore, a helical shaped storage zone can also advantageously help to keep filter components towards the front end of the storage zone and thus towards the front end of the rod. This can help the functioning of the dispenser to be less susceptible to the effects of gravity, and thus reduce the need for the dispenser to be in one or more specific orientations during use. This is particularly beneficially in cases where the filter components are substantially spherical, since such shapes can be more prone to moving within the dispenser as a result of gravity.

The first helical storage zone may be configured to store a plurality of aligned filter components such that once the filter components are introduced into the first helical storage zone, their order cannot be changed. This may be advantageous if various different filter components are to be stored in the first helical storage zone and it is desirable to dispense them in a predetermined order. The first helical storage zone may be configured to accommodate any number of filter components. The first helical storage zone may accommodate between about 1 and about 30 filter components, preferably between about 5 and about 20 filter components, more preferably about 10 filter components.

The first helical storage zone may be at least partially defined by the inner surface of the housing.

The filter component may be any component that can be added to a smoking article filter. The filter component may alter at least one characteristic of the smoking experience. For example the filter component may act as a filter. In this case, the filter component may reduce the quantity of certain constituents of the mainstream smoke or vapour. The filter component in this case may comprise filtration material, for example cellulose acetate tow. The filter component may comprise activated carbon.

The filter component may alter the flow of the mainstream smoke or vapour through the filter. For example, the mainstream smoke or vapour may preferentially flow through the filter component or the filter component may act as a flow restrictor. The filter component in this case may have a higher or a lower resistance to draw than other components of the filter. The filter component may be substantially impermeable to the mainstream smoke or vapour.

The filter component may impart a flavour into the mainstream smoke or vapour. The filter component may be, for example, a flavour capsule; a flavour bead; or a flavour thread. Where the filter component is a flavour capsule, the flavour capsule may be a crushable flavour capsule, designed to be ruptured by the user compressing the smoking article filter with their fingers, lips or teeth. Such capsules may comprise a frangible wall enclosing a liquid additive. A consumer can apply a force to the capsule to rupture the wall and thus release the additive, thereby allowing a consumer to modify their smoking experience.

The dispenser may be configured to dispense filter components of any shape. The filter component may have a circular cross sectional shape. For example, the filter component may be cylindrical or spherical. Preferably, the filter component is spherical.

The dispenser is configured to dispense filter components into the filter of smoking articles. The filter of the smoking articles may be configured to receive the filter components. The filter of the smoking articles may have a recess for receiving at least one filter component. The recess may be anywhere on the smoking article filter, but is preferably a mouth end recess. A particularly suitable smoking article for use with the dispenser of the invention comprises a mouthpiece comprising a first hollow tubular segment at the downstream end of the mouthpiece; and a second hollow tubular segment adjacent to and upstream of the first hollow tubular segment, the second hollow tubular segment defining a chamber for receiving a filter component. The first hollow tubular segment defines an opening through which a filter component can pass from the exterior of the mouthpiece into the chamber of the second hollow tubular segment. At least a portion of the first hollow tubular segment inwardly projects into the opening to retain the filter component in the chamber of the second hollow tubular segment.

The housing may be any shape. Preferably, the housing is generally cylindrical in shape. The exit orifice may be located at a planar end face of the cylindrical housing. The exit orifice may be shaped to allow any number of filter components to pass through it at a time. Preferably, the exit orifice is shaped to allow only one filter component to pass through it at a time.

As used herein, the terms "front" and "rear" refer to ends of the dispenser or components of the dispenser that are proximal and distal to the exit orifice respectively.

As used herein, the terms "forward" and "rearward" refer to directions from the rear end of the dispenser to the front end of the dispenser and from the front end of the dispenser to the rear end of the dispenser respectively.

The dispenser may further comprise an internal curved portion, preferably formed by the housing, and located proximate to the loading zone.. Such an internal curved portion may advantageously help to encourage filter components to move towards the loading zone. Preferably, the internal curved portion is a wall forming part of the inner surface of the housing. Preferably, the internal curved portion is integral with the housing.

Preferably, the dispenser further comprises a second helical storage zone disposed within the housing for storing a plurality of filter components. The second helical storage zone extends around and along a length of the rod. The second helical storage zone is discrete from the first helical storage zone.

The provision of a second helical storage zone allows more filter components to be stored in the dispenser without the need to lengthen the first helical storage zone which could make the dispenser unacceptably long. The provision of a second helical storage zone may also advantageously allow different types of filter components to be stored separately in the dispenser. In this way, the user could use a single dispenser to dispense different types of filter components, at different times, depending on their preferences. For example, the first helical storage zone may contain a plurality of crushable capsules having a first flavour, and the second helical storage zone may contain a plurality of crushable capsules having a second flavour, that is different from the first flavour.

Preferably, the second helical storage zone is able to accommodate the same number of filter components as the first helical storage zone. The second helical storage zone may accommodate a different number of filter components as the first helical storage zone. The dispenser may comprise further helical storage zones, in addition to the first and second helical storage zones. The second or any further helical storage zones may include any of the features described in relation to the first helical storage zone. In particular, the second helical storage zone may comprise a second hard stop and may be partially defined by an inner surface of the housing.

As used herein, the term "advance" refers to a movement of a component of the dispenser or a filter component in the forward direction.

Preferably, the dispenserfurther comprises a loading zone for accommodating a single filter component when the rod is in the retracted position, the loading zone being disposed between the exit orifice and the first end face of the rod when the rod is in the retracted position.

The loading zone is configured to receive filter components from the front end of the first helical storage zone. The filter component may enter the loading zone from the first helical storage zone as the rod moves from the extended position to the retracted position. The loading zone is disposed along the longitudinal axis of the rod.

In embodiments where a second or further helical storage zones are provided, the loading zone is also configured to receive filter components from the respective front ends of said further helical storage zone. In such embodiments, a selecting mechanism is preferably provided to enable a consumer to choose which storage zone they wish to source their filter component from, each time the dispenser is used to dispense a filter component.

In some embodiments it may be desirable to provide a pre-loading zone between the front end of the first helical storage zone and the loading zone. Such a pre-loading zone is preferably axially misaligned with the rod and the loading zone. The pre-loading zone may be sized to accommodate a single filter component when the rod is in the extended position. The pre-loading zone may be defined on its longitudinal sides by the rod and the housing. The provision of a pre-loading zone can help to facilitate passage of a filter component from the first helical storage zone to the loading zone.

As used herein, the term "axially misaligned" is used to mean that the longitudinal axis of the rod is distinct from the volume of space occupied by the preloading zone. The result of this is that the preloading zone never occupies the same space as the rod or the loading zone.

In some preferred embodiments, a viewing window is provided in the housing to permit a consumer to view the interior of the housing. The viewing window may be formed by a substantially transparent material, which may be distinct or integral with the remainder of the housing. Alternatively, the viewing window may be provided in the form of a hole in the housing. In such embodiments, the hole should be sized to prevent the one or more filter components from exiting the dispenser through the hole. For example, if the filter components are spherical, the hole should have at least one cross-sectional dimension that is smaller than the diameter of the filter components.

The viewing window may be provided at any point along the housing, such as at a point along the first helical storage zone. Preferably, the viewing window is provided at least about the front end of the first helical storage zone. This can provide a user with an indication of whether or not the dispenser is empty. Alternatively or additionally, if a pre-loading zone or loading zone are present then the viewing window may preferably also be provided about one or both of said pre-loading zone and loading zone. In embodiments where the dispenser has a viewing window and is configured to dispense one or more capsules, the viewing window is preferably formed by a substantially transparent material, rather than by a hole in the housing. This can better help to preserve the capsules when they are in the dispenser.

Preferably, the dispenser further comprises a sealing member for sealing at least the exit orifice. The present inventors have appreciated that it can be particularly important to preserve certain types of filter components before the dispenser is used, or while the dispenser is not in use. For example, the characteristics of some filter components can change over time, for example by losing moisture or as a result of a change of temperature. One such filter component is a breakable capsule comprising a frangible wall enclosing a liquid additive. If left exposed over time, such capsules may lose moisture, which can result in their frangible walls becoming undesirably too brittle. This could be problematic if such capsules are contained within a dispenser according to the present invention, since they could unintentionally rupture prior to exiting the dispenser through the exit orifice. Accordingly, the present inventors have appreciated that it can be particularly advantageous to provide a sealing member for sealing at least the exit orifice of the dispenser, since this can reduce the ingress or egress of air or material between the interior and exterior of the dispenser.

The sealing member may comprise a cap configured to cover the exit orifice. The cap may be completely removable from the housing. Alternatively, the cap may be hinged to the housing, such that it can pivot from an open position where the exit orifice is uncovered, to a closed position where the cap covers the exit orifice. In such embodiments, the cap may be sized and shaped to fit within the receiving section of the housing, if a receiving section is present.

The sealing member may be configured to additionally seal one or more other parts of the dispenser, such as joints between two or more parts of the housing (if present) or between any gaps that exist between the rear of the housing and a button (if present). Alternatively, one or more additional sealing members may be provided for sealing said other parts of the dispenser. The rod may have any suitable cross-sectional shape, such as a substantially circular, ovoid, square, rectangular or triangular shape. In preferred embodiments, the rod has a substantially circular cross-sectional shape. In such embodiments, the diameter of the rod is preferably between about 40 percent and about 60 percent of a cross sectional dimension of the first helical storage zone. Since the filter components to be housed in the first helical storage zone may generally be sized to fill the majority of the cross-sectional area of the first helical storage zone, such sizing of the rod can result in the rod having a diameter that is about half of the cross-sectional dimension of the filter component that it is configured to push through the exit orifice. The inventors of the present invention have found that this provides a desirable balance between the rod not being too small relative to the filter component to the extent that the rod could potentially damage to the filter component, and the rod not being too large such that it occupies an undesirably large space within the dispenser.

In some embodiments, such as those where the dispenser is configured to dispense one or more capsules, the diameter of the rod is preferably between about 1 millimetre and about 2 millimetres.

Preferably, the exit orifice is sized and shaped to restrict the exit of filter components from the dispenser, until they are pushed through the exit orifice by the rod. This can advantageously prevent filter components unintentionally falling out of the exit orifice. For example, the exit orifice preferably has at least one cross-sectional dimension that is smaller than at least one cross-sectional dimension of a filter component to be dispensed, more preferably smaller than all cross-sectional dimensions of the filter component to be dispensed. For example, if the filter component is substantially spherical, the exit orifice preferably has as at least one cross-sectional dimension that is smaller than the diameter of the substantially spherical filter component.

In such embodiments, preferably the exit orifice, the filter component to be dispensed, or both the exit orifice and the filter component to be dispensed comprise a deformable material. This can allow one or both of the exit orifice and the filter component to deform as the filter component is being pushed through the exit orifice by the rod, and thus enable the filter component to exit the housing when desired. Preferably, the deformable material is elastically deformable so that one or both of the exit orifice and the filter component can revert to its previous state after the filter component has passed through the exit orifice.

In some preferred embodiments, the exit orifice can restrict the exit of filter components from the dispenser, simply by virtue of its geometric shape. For example, in some preferred embodiments, the exit orifice has a substantially oval shape, with the minor axis of the oval shape being is smaller than at least one cross-sectional dimension of a filter component to be dispensed, more preferably smaller than all cross-sectional dimensions of the filter component to be dispensed. Alternatively or additionally, in some preferred embodiments, the exit orifice comprises an exit orifice restricting element for restricting the exit of filter components from the dispenser. The exit orifice restricting element retains filter components in the loading zone unless they are pushed by the rod, in which case the filter component is able to pass the restricting element and exit the exit orifice. The exit orifice restricting element may partially occlude the exit orifice.

The exit orifice restricting element preferably comprises a rigid element. This is particularly appropriate where the filter components are resiliency deformable such that they can be compressed as they pass through the exit orifice. The use of a rigid element is advantageous since it is likely to be more durable than a non-rigid element. This may advantageously extend the life of the dispenser enabling it to be used repeatedly.

Preferably, the exit orifice restricting element comprises a resiliency deformable element. This is preferable where the filter components are hard and undeformable or otherwise where they are delicate and would likely be damaged if they were deformed. For example, the exit orifice restricting element may be a protrusion from the circumference of the exit orifice.

The exit orifice restriction may arise from the fact that the width of the exit orifice is smaller than the diameter of the filter component. In this case, the height of the exit orifice is greater than the diameter of the filter component to allow the filter component to fit through the exit orifice. For example, where the filter components are spherical, the exit orifice may have a subtantially ovoid shape. Alternatively, the exit orifice may be substantially circular in shape with at least one protrusion forming the exit orifice restricting element. The protruding element may be disposed on an inner surface of the loading zone.

As used herein, the terms "width" and "height" refer to the minor and the perpendicular major axes of the exit orifice, with the width being the minor axis and the height being the major axis. For example, if the exit orifice has a substantially oval cross sectional shape, then the width forms the narrowest part of the exit orifice and the height forms the widest part of the exit orifice.

The exit orifice restricting element may be attached to the housing of the dispenser. The exit orifice restricting element may be integrally formed with the housing of the dispenser.

Preferably, the first helical storage zone is at least partially defined by a surface portion of the rod. Since the rod and the first helical storage zone do not occupy the same space, the rod is able to define at least part of the longitudinal side of the first helical storage zone. This advantageously removes the need to include separate portions of material for defining this side of the first helical storage portion.

The rod is preferably formed of a rigid material, such as metal or plastic. Preferably, the dispenserfurther comprises a spring configured to urge the rod towards the retracted position. The spring is configured to move the rod from the extended position to the retracted position once a filter component has been dispensed. The spring may be any type of spring. For example the spring may be a tension spring, a compression spring or a torsion spring. Preferably the spring is a helical compression spring. The spring may act between a portion of the housing and a portion of the rod. The spring may be attached at one end to a portion of the housing and at another end to a portion of the rod. Where the spring is a compression spring, the spring acts on a portion of the housing at the front end of the spring and on a portion of the rod at the rear end of the spring. The spring may act on an annular projection on the inner surface of the housing and on an annular projection on the rod. The rod may pass through the centre of the spring. There may be more than one spring. Where there is more than one spring, the springs may be disposed either side of the rod.

Preferably, the dispenser further comprises a receiving section for receiving an end of a smoking article and aligning said end with the exit orifice. The receiving section can be used by the consumer to conveniently align the buccal end of a filter of a smoking article with the exit orifice.

The receiving section may temporarily retain at least a portion of the filter of a smoking article, thereby reducing or eliminating the need for the smoking article to be held by the user, whilst the dispenser is being used. The receiving section may be integrally formed with the housing. The receiving section may be removably attached to the housing allowing the user to change the receiving section depending on the diameter of the smoking article filter being used.

The receiving section may comprise an open ended tube in axial alignment with the exit orifice. The interior walls of the receiving section may be substantially parallel. The interior walls of the receiving section may be angled such that the inner diameter of the receiving section is smaller at the end nearest the exit orifice.

The dispenser may comprise a button to advance the rod from a retracted position to an extended position. The button may be activated by the user when they wish to dispense a filter component from the dispenser.

The button may be located at a position that makes it convenient for the user to both hold the dispenser and actuate the button with one hand. The button may be located on the side of the container. The button may be located at the rear end of the dispenser. The button may be axially aligned with the rod. This advantageously simplifies the construction of the dispenser and endures the rod is loaded evenly when the button is actuated. This will also make the dispenser more intuitive to use. The button may be a distinct component from the rod. In this case, the button may be attached to the rod. The button may be permanently attached to the rod. The button may be removably attached to the rod. The provision of the button being removably attached to the rod may enable the user to refill the first storage zone, or any other storage zones, with filter components. The button may be integrally formed with the rod. The button may be have a smaller diameter than the internal diameter of the housing such that the button may be at least partially circumscribed by the housing.

The button may have a larger diameter than the rod. Where this is the case, the button may comprise at least one rearwardly extending recess on the front surface of the button. The at least one rearwardly extending recess may partially accommodate the spring configured to move the rod from the extended position to the retracted position once a filter component has been dispensed.

The dispenser may further include at least one stop to limit the forward movement of the rod in the axial direction. It may be unnecessary or even undesirable for the rod to move forward beyond predetermined position. Accordingly, a stop may prevent the rod from moving forward beyond this position. The stop may be a projection on the inner surface of the housing that that engages with a corresponding projection of the rod when the rod has reached the furthest forward position. The button may have an annular projection at its rear end, the diameter of which is larger than the internal diameter of the housing such that annular projection cannot pass into the housing as the button is depressed. This may act as the stop.

The positions of the portions of the rod and the housing on which the spring acts may be configured such that they may also act as the stop to limit the forward movement of the rod.

The dispenser may further comprise at least one stop to limit the rearward movement of the rod in the axial direction. It may be unnecessary or even undesirable for the rod to move rearward beyond predetermined position. For example, if the front face of the rod moves too far rearwards, then more than one filter component stored within the storage zones may move into the loading zone. This may lead to the dispenser failing to operate.

The dispenser may further comprise at least one rod support. The at least one rod support helps to guide the rod as it moved between the fully extended position and the fully retracted position. The at least one rod support may also prevent the rod from bending. The at least one support may be disposed at a front end portion of the dispenser. The at least one support may be attached to the inner surface of the housing. The at least one support may be integrally formed with the housing. There may be more than one support in some embodiments, the supports may be spaced apart to provide support for the rod at different points within the dispenser. The most rearward rod support may also act as a stop to limit the forward movement of the rod in the axial direction. The spring may also act on the most rearward rod support.

In a second aspect of the invention, there is provided a kit of parts comprising a dispenser and a smoking article. The smoking article comprises a filter section having a mouth end recess wherein the recess in configured to retain at least one filter component.

The provision of a kit of parts advantageously allows consumers to conveniently customise their smoking experience without the need to purchase several different types of smoking article. For example, if the filter component is a flavour capsule, the kit of parts can allow a consumer to choose a specific flavour capsule that they wish to use with a specific smoking article depending on the desired customised experience they wish to obtain.

The kit of parts may further comprise a set of instructions that describe how the dispenser and the smoking article should be used together in order to insert a filter unit into the mouth end recess of a filter section of the smoking article.

In use, a dispenser according to an embodiment of the invention can be operated as described below. The description is of the operation of a dispenser comprising only one helical storage zone. However, it will be appreciated that much of the described operation is equally applicable to the operation of a dispenser according the invention comprising two or more helical storage zones.

Considering the movement of the rod, the operation of the dispenser comprises an extending phase, where the rod moves from the fully retracted position to the fully extended position, and a retracting phase, where the rod moves from the fully extended position to the fully retracted position.

Beginning with the extending phase, when the rod is in the fully retracted position, the first end face of the rod is fully disposed within the housing and is spaced away from the exit orifice to form a loading zone therebetween. In the fully retracted position, there is a single filter component disposed within the loading zone. A plurality of additional filter components are held in the first helical storage zone.

In the extending phase, the user depresses the button, causing the rod to advance towards the exit orifice. As the rod advances, the first end face of the rod engages with the filter component disposed in the loading zone and begins to push the filter component towards the exit orifice. Once the filter component reaches the exit orifice, the first face of the rod pushes the filter component past the exit orifice restricting element and through the exit orifice. The first end face of the rod passes through the exit orifice behind the filter component and continues to push the filter component. The rod pushes the filter component through the narrow mouth end portion of a recess of a smoking article. Eventually, the rod reaches its fully extended position and is prevented from advancing further by a stop which limits the forward movement of the rod. At this point, the user releases the button and the retracting phase begins.

Once the user has released the button, the spring begins to move the rod from the fully extended position to the fully retracted position. The spring also moves the button rearwards. As the rod moves rearwards, the first end face of the rod passes back through the exit orifice and continues to move rearwards to form the loading zone between the first face of the rod and the exit orifice.

Once the first end of the rod passes the furthest forward filter component in the first helical storage zone, the furthest forward filter component in the first storage zone is guided by a curved portion of the inner wall of the housing into the loading zone. The rod continues to move rearward until it reaches the fully retracted position determined by a stop to limit the rearward movement of the rod. The dispenser may be stored in this condition until the user wishes to use it again.

The next time the button is pressed, the operation is very similar to the operation described above.

The invention will now be further described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

Figure 1 shows a perspective view of a dispenser in accordance with a first embodiment of the present invention;

Figure 2A shows a side view of the dispenser of Figure 1

Figure 2B shows a side view of the dispenser of Figure 1 , with sealing caps;

Figures 3A to 3C show views of one half of the housing of Figures 1 and 2;

Figure 4 show a cross-sectional view of the dispenser of Figures 1 and 2;

Figure 5 shows an end-view of the dispenser of Figures 1 and 2;

Figure 6 shows an enlarged cross-sectional view of a portion of the dispenser of Figures 1 and 2; and

Figures 7A and 7B show how the dispenser of Figures 1 and 2 is able to insert a filter component into a smoking article having a mouth end recess.

Figure 1 shows a perspective view of a dispenser 1 according to an embodiment of the present invention. A side view of the dispenser 1 is also shown in Figure 2.

The dispenser 1 is configured to dispense spherical filter components (not shown in Figure 1 ), such as flavour capsules, into recessed filters of smoking articles. The dispenser 1 comprises a housing 2. A viewing window 40 is provided in the housing to permit a consumer to view the interior of the housing. The viewing window 40 is provided in the form of a substantially transparent material, such as transparent plastic, in a portion of the housing 2. Figure 2A shows a side view of the dispenser of Figure 1 . Figure 2B, shows the view of Figure 2A, where two sealing members in the form of first and second caps 52, 54 are provided. In particular, a first sealing cap 52 is provided to cover the front of the housing 2, and a second sealing member is provided to cover the rear end of the housing 2 and the button 307. This can help to preserve any filter components in the dispenser 1.

The housing 2 is formed from two halves 2a, 2b, each of which runs the full length of the housing. Each half 2a, 2b of the housing has one or more interlocking portions, which are configured to interlock with corresponding portions of the other half of the housing. Different views of one half of the housing is shown in Figures 3A to 3C.

As best seen from the cross-sectional view of Figure 4, the housing contains a rod 3 and a spring 6. Within the housing 2 is a first helical storage zone 7 for storing a plurality of filter components that can be dispensed from the dispenser by the rod. The first helical storage zone 7 is disposed within the housing and extends around and along a length of the rod 3. The boundary of the first helical storage zone 7 is defined by portions of the inner surface of each of the two halves 2a, 2b of the housing, as well as portions of the surface of the rod 3.

The dispenser further comprises a button 307 at the rear end of the rod. The button 307 comprises an internal recess in which the rear end of the rod 3 is disposed. The internal recess is divided into two parts 308, 309. The rod 3 extends into both parts of the recess and the rear end of the rod 3 abuts a base surface 310 of the recess. The spring 6 only extends into the first part 308 of the recess and the rear end of the spring 6 abuts against a ledge 31 1 that divides the first part 308 of the recess from the second part 309 of the recess. The front end of the spring abuts the base surface of a rear recess 21 of the housing. A flange on the button 307 engages with a flange on the edge of the rear recess 21 of the housing 2 to ensure that at least a portion of the button 307 is always retained within the rear recess 21 of the housing 2. For illustration purposes several filter components are shown in Figure 4 towards the front of the housing 2.

Figure 5 shows the dispenser 1 when viewed from the front end. As best seen from the Figure 5, the dispenser 1 comprises an exit orifice 5 at the front end of the dispenser 1. The dispenser 1 also comprises a receiving section 8 for receiving an end of a smoking article and aligning said end with the exit orifice 5. The receiving section comprises an open ended tube that extends forward of the exit orifice 5 having an inner diameter similar to that of a smoking article. The exit orifice 5 is centrally located and has the shape of an oval. The distance w along the minor axis of the oval shape of the exit orifice 5 is less than the diameter of a filter component. This prevents filter components unintentionally falling out of the exit orifice 5. The distance h along the major axis of the oval shape of the exit orifice 5 in a perpendicular direction to distance w is greater than the diameter of a filter component. As best seen from the enlarged view in Figure 6, the dispenser 1 comprises a loading zone 9 disposed between the front end face of the rod 3 and the exit orifice 5. The loading zone 9 is sized to accommodate a single filter component 601 . Adjacent to the loading zone 9 is a pre-loading zone 12 that accommodates the filter component 602 that is to be dispensed after the filter component 604 in the loading zone 9 has been dispensed. The pre-loading zone 12 extends between the front end 71 of the first helical storage zone 7 and the loading zone 9. The pre-loading zone 12 is axially misaligned or offset from the longitudinal axis of the rod 3. A curved portion 14 of the inner surface of the housing 2 is provided to facilitate movement of a filter component 602 from the pre-loading zone 12 into the loading zone 9.

To use the dispenser of Figures 1 and 2, a user pushes the button 307 towards the housing 2 so that the button 307 slides into the rear recess 21 of the housing 2. The spring 6 will become compressed between the ledge 31 1 of the button and the base of the rear recess 21 of the housing 2. Forward movement of the button 307 also results in forward movement of the rod 3, due to engagement between the base 310 of the button recess and the rear end of the rod 3. As the rod 3 moves forward, its front end begins to push the filter component 601 disposed in the loading zone 9 towards the exit orifice 5. As the filter component 601 passes through the exit orifice 5 it elastically deforms along at least one axis in order to pass through the distance w along the minor axis of the oval shape of the exit orifice 5.. The filter component 601 can then be further pushed by the rod 3 into a recessed section of a smoking article filter that resides in the receiving section 8 of the dispenser 1.

After the filter component 601 has been dispensed, the user releases the pushing force that they have been applying to the button 307, so that the compressed spring 6 can expand and move the button 307 back to the position shown in Figure 3. The dispenser is configured so that the rod 3 is also moved back to the position shown in Figure 3, either directly or indirectly, by the expansion of the spring 6. In the embodiment of Figure 3, this is achieved by affixing the rear end of the rod to the recess of the button by an adhesive. Alternatively or additionally, the rod 3 may include one or more protrusions that engage with a part of the spring 6.

Figures 7A and 7B show how a dispenser in accordance with the present invention is able to insert a filter component into a smoking article having a mouth end recess. The numbered features in Figures 7A and 7B correspond to the same numbered features labelled in Figure 6. In addition, Figures 7A and 7B show the mouth end of a smoking article 701 , which has been located in the receiving section 8. The mouth end of the smoking article 701 is formed from a flexible filtration material, for example cellulose acetate. The mouth end of the smoking article comprises a two part recess extending from its mouth end. The recess comprises a wider section 702 and a narrower section 703. The wider section 702 has an internal diameter greater than the diameter of a single filter component 601. The narrower section 703 has an internal diameter less than the diameter of a single filter component 601 . The wider section 702 and the narrower section 703 of the recess are formed by two aligned hollow tubes having different internal diameters.

Figure 7A shows the dispenser in a configuration immediately before the filter component 601 is pushed by the rod 2 through the exit orifice 5. At this stage, the rod 3 is in its retracted position.

Figure 7B shows the dispenser in a configuration immediately after the filter component 601 has been inserted into the recess of the smoking article 701 . At this stage, the rod 3 is in its extended position.

The filter component 601 is pushed through the narrower section 703 of the recess by the rod 3. As this occurs, the filter component 601 and the hollow tube defining the narrower section 703 of the recess deform to allow the filter component 601 to pass through the narrower section 703 of the recess and into the wider section 702 of the recess where it is retained. As this happens, the rod 2 also passes through the narrow section 703 of the recess and eventually into the wider section 702 of the recess where it reaches its most extended position. The rod 3 can then be retracted from the recess of the smoking article 701 by releasing the button, and revert to its retracted position. When in the retracted position, the next filter component to be dispensed 602 can move into the loading zone 9 so that it is ready to be dispensed.

Claims

Claims
1 . A dispenser for dispensing a filter component, comprising, a housing defining an exit orifice; a rod at least partially disposed within the housing, the rod having a first end face, wherein the rod is movable between a retracted position in which the first end face of the rod is fully disposed within the housing, and an extended position in which the first end face of the rod is disposed outside the housing and wherein when the rod is moved between the retracted position and the extended position, the first end face of the rod passes through the exit orifice; and a first helical storage zone for storing a plurality of filter components that can be dispensed from the dispenser by the rod, the first helical storage zone being disposed within the housing and extending around and along a length of the rod.
2. A dispenser according to claim 1 , further comprising a second helical storage zone for storing a plurality of filter components, the second helical storage zone being distinct from the first helical storage zone, and being disposed within the housing and extending around and along a length of the rod.
3. A dispenser according to claim 1 or claim 2, wherein the housing further comprises a viewing window to permit a consumer to view the interior of the housing.
4. A dispenser according to claim 3, wherein the viewing window overlies at least a portion of the first helical storage zone.
5. A dispenser according to claim 3 or claim 4, wherein the viewing window is formed of a substantially transparent material that forms at least part of the housing.
6. A dispenser according to any preceding claim, further comprising a sealing member for sealing at least the exit orifice of the dispenser.
7. A dispenser according to claim 6, wherein the sealing member comprises a cap configured to cover the exit orifice.
8. A dispenser according to claim 7, wherein the cap is connected to the housing by a hinge line, and wherein the cap is configured to pivot about the hinge line from an open position where the exit orifice is uncovered, to a closed position where the cap covers the exit orifice.
9. A dispenser according to any one of the preceding claims, further comprising a loading zone for accommodating a single filter component when the rod is in the retracted position, the loading zone being disposed between the exit orifice and the first end face of the rod when the rod is in the retracted position.
10. A dispenser according to claim 9, further comprising a pre-loading zone disposed between the front end of the first helical storage zone and the loading zone.
1 1 . A dispenser according to claim 10, wherein the pre-loading zone is axially misaligned with the rod and the loading zone.
12. A dispenser according to any preceding claim, wherein the rod has a substantially circular cross-sectional shape.
13. A dispenser according to any preceding claim, wherein the exit orifice has a substantially ovoid shape.
14. A dispenser according to any preceding claim, further comprising a receiving section for receiving an end of a smoking article and aligning said end with the exit orifice.
15. A kit of parts comprising a dispenser according to any preceding claim, and a smoking article, the smoking article comprising a filter section having a mouth end recess,
wherein the recess is configured to retain at least one filter component.
PCT/EP2018/050784 2017-01-13 2018-01-12 Dispensing device WO2018130664A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
EP17151500 2017-01-13
EP17151500.0 2017-01-13

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
WO2018130664A1 true WO2018130664A1 (en) 2018-07-19

Family

ID=57796272

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
PCT/EP2018/050784 WO2018130664A1 (en) 2017-01-13 2018-01-12 Dispensing device

Country Status (1)

Country Link
WO (1) WO2018130664A1 (en)

Cited By (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20190009974A1 (en) * 2012-04-21 2019-01-10 Paraterm Pty Ltd Apparatus for Plugging Holes
EP3692844A1 (en) * 2019-02-07 2020-08-12 Nerudia Limited Smoking substitute apparatus

Citations (5)

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Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3398857A (en) * 1966-03-11 1968-08-27 Alio Peter Container and dispenser with trap means
WO2000064783A1 (en) * 1999-04-23 2000-11-02 Pentapharm Ag Granule dispenser with helical ramp
KR200415343Y1 (en) * 2006-02-17 2006-05-02 임효빈 Container for keeping articles
WO2013045265A2 (en) * 2011-09-29 2013-04-04 British American Tobacco (Investments) Limited Dispenser
CA2916837A1 (en) * 2013-07-05 2015-01-08 Medicodose Systems Dispenser for dispensing unit doses of an active drug substance in a solid dosage form

Patent Citations (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3398857A (en) * 1966-03-11 1968-08-27 Alio Peter Container and dispenser with trap means
WO2000064783A1 (en) * 1999-04-23 2000-11-02 Pentapharm Ag Granule dispenser with helical ramp
KR200415343Y1 (en) * 2006-02-17 2006-05-02 임효빈 Container for keeping articles
WO2013045265A2 (en) * 2011-09-29 2013-04-04 British American Tobacco (Investments) Limited Dispenser
CA2916837A1 (en) * 2013-07-05 2015-01-08 Medicodose Systems Dispenser for dispensing unit doses of an active drug substance in a solid dosage form

Non-Patent Citations (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Title
None

Cited By (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20190009974A1 (en) * 2012-04-21 2019-01-10 Paraterm Pty Ltd Apparatus for Plugging Holes
EP3692844A1 (en) * 2019-02-07 2020-08-12 Nerudia Limited Smoking substitute apparatus
WO2020161324A1 (en) * 2019-02-07 2020-08-13 Nerudia Limited Smoking substitute apparatus

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