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Tobacco giant Philip Morris has invented an e-cigarette which can connect to the internet to enable users to buy puffing time online, in daily, weekly or monthly chunks.
E-cigarette smokers would have to pay as you puff as Morris patented a device which keeps a record of every inhalation.
The digital functionality would allow recording and uploading of smoking behavior information, something that could prove useful in the drive to kick the habit, as well as in clinical trials.
Morris, however, also identified the commercial potential of selling smoking credits.
Moreover, an accompanying mobile app could monitor when a user is about to run short of nicotine-related products and automatically pre-order additional smoking articles.
The inventor has suggested that its proposition was an altruistic initiative, with the device also able to connect users with an approved support-group internet site for assistance with smoking cessation.