New Device Helps Researchers Better Understand Vaping Usage


PuffPacket Attaches To E-Cigarettes To Learn Vaping Habits

Behavioral scientists are constantly striving to better understand what drives our thought and habitual patterns as individuals. In order to better understand vaping habits and what drives people to it, a team of researchers has designed an unobtrusive device that attaches to vaporizers to track usage.

Developed by engineers from Cornell, the PuffPacket attaches to most e-cigarettes and is designed to track when people vape, how deep they draw, and the amount of nicotine they’re consuming. This information is then shared into a smartphone app for the user, or possibly researchers, to review at a later time.

There are already similar functions available in select vaping devices and associated apps to track when a tank is running low, although they aren’t without their limits. Generally, when vaping habits are recorded, they rely on self-reporting, rather than raw data collected by direct use aggregated into a proprietary app.

Designers believe that the PuffPacket can help people better track their vaping habits and how much nicotine they’re actually consuming, something impossible for tobacco smokers. The design has been open-sourced, allowing anyone to create a PuffPacket for their device to track their own use.

Puff Packs

The team at the People-Aware Computing Lab at Cornell Tech has launched a new, unobtrusive monitor that can track vaping habits and usage. The PuffPacket is an open-sourced device that can be attached to a variety of e-cigarettes that was designed to fill gaps in understanding regarding overall vaping use and what triggers it for users.

The researchers behind the device have stated that it will allow them to better understand drug cravings and addicted behavior, and allow users to better understand their own habits and triggers. ‘We hope this can help individuals suffering from substance-use disorders on their paths to recovery,’ said senior author Tanzeem Choudhury, professor at the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute.

The device tracks signals from the vaporizer itself in conjunction with Bluetooth to track the intensity, duration, and frequency of inhalation. The data is then sent to a smartphone where it is logged in an app, capturing time, location, and current activity to help individuals and researchers alike better understand when and why people vape.

‘Research has shown that if you can keep people away from the paths of their normal habits, it can disrupt them. It creates opportunities for moments of intervention.’ said Alexander Adams, doctoral student at Cornell Tech. As an example, if a user skips or delays vaping in the morning, a key predictor for smokers in determining if they’ll smoke less throughout the day, the app might send a message of encouragement to motivate them to continue.

The team at Cornell Tech’s People-Aware Computing Lab hopes the inexpensive and open-source nature of the device allows for rapid and widespread adoption among the public. They believe that a better understanding of addictive behavior using a level of granular data collection not seen before will be greatly beneficial for both researchers and the public alike.

Vape Facts

Every year, millions of lives are preemptively taken from this planet due to the ongoing global smoking epidemic. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control, there are currently an estimated 38 million smokers in just the United States alone, 16 million of which currently face some form of smoking-related injury or illness.

Vaping offers great promise and potential to those currently suffering from an addiction to tobacco, being one of the most effective forms of smoking cessation to have ever been developed. Research published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that vaping is more effective than other nicotine-replacement therapies in helping adults both quit smoking and remain tobacco-free.

Not only is vaping one of the most effective smoking cessation aids available, but research has demonstrated it to be a reduced harm alternative to tobacco as well. Studies from both Public Health England and the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center each found that vaping is 95% and 93% safer than smoking, respectively.

Not only does vaping offer hope to those currently in the throws of tobacco addiction, but research has demonstrated a notable lack of long-term risk as well. A study published by the National Academy of Sciences found that vaping is not only significantly less harmful than smoking, but there are currently no known long-term health effects associated with prolonged usage.

Vaping’s Future

Those who vape and are currently addicted to nicotine may benefit greatly from affixing a PuffPacket to their device. The monitor appears to be a phenomenal way for those looking to gradually wean off both their nicotine consumption and overall vaporizer use.

Users will be able to have a deeper understanding of their habits and usage, allowing them to make better informed and conscious decisions regarding vaping. This will also help researchers better understand the habits behind nicotine addiction and vaporizer usage, informing an entire generation of research in new ways.

What are your thoughts regarding the PuffPacket? Do you believe it will help people and researchers better track and understand their vaping habits? Let us know what you think in the comments below, be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to receive all the latest vaping news!

(Image Credit – Pixabay –

Jimmy, lover, blogger, vaper and ex-smoker. I’ve been blogging about and supporting Vaping since 2009. They changed my life and I think history will show them as one of the most significant public health invention of the 21st century.

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