US 3424123 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
J. A. GIFFARD STOP-SMOKING CASE Filed March 24, 1967 Jan. 28, 1969 w a H l I I I n ma H A E T E C TGDN EA mmmwm ABS C0 m AINVEN'TOR. JUUE H. GIF'FHRD HTTORNEY United States Patent Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A cigarette case having a first compartment to accommodate a plurality of cigarettes which are always available to the user, and a second compartment enclosing a timing mechanism and an audible signal control knob exterior of the case to be manually set to any desired time interval up to a limit, such as one hour. The purpose of the invention is to assist the user in breaking the smoking habit by delaying the actual lighting of a cigarette for a selected time interval after the impulse or reflexaction has moved the user to smoke. An appropriate sign warning of the dangers of smoking is included on the case to be read by the user during the delaying time interval.
This invention pertains to cigarette cases and is more particularly directed to a cigarette case, the purpose of which is to assist in breaking the smoking habit completely or to assist an individual in substantially reducing the number of cigarettes he or she smokes.
In the past, most cigarette cases intended for this purpose were designed to serve the broad purpose of preventing access to, or the dispensing of, cigarettes except at timed intervals by providing various locking means to make it impossible to remove a cigarette except at such timed intervals when a cigarette or cigarettes would become available. Cigarette cases of this type have not proven satisfactory because cigarettes are so readily available in many stores, vending machines, from friends and associates, etc., that a smoker when moved by the desire for a cigarette can usually avail himself of one in a very short period of time without giving it much forethought.
The main object of the instant invention is, therefore, not to make a cigarette unavailable when a smoker has the desire or is moved by a reflex-action or impulse to reach for a cigarette, but rather to keep the cigarettes readily available at all times and to cause the smoker to stop and think and to delay lighting the cigarette for a predetermined period of time. Any person attempting to cut down or stop smoking entirely must, in the first place, have a real desire to do so and it has been found that by delaying such a person in actually lighting a cigarette and in getting that person past the time of the initial reflexaction, it is possible to reduce the number of cigarettes he or she smokes by a large percentage, sometimes as high as 75% in several days.
A principal object of the present invention is to provide a cigarette case containing a plurality of readily available cigarettes which also includes a timing device arranged to actuate an audible signal means, when set by the user to be heard at the expiration of a predetermined time of delay before actually lighting a cigarette. All smokers have their own personal reflex-actions when they feel they must have a cigarette such as while drinking coffee, answering the telephone, writing letters, after dinner, etc. The purpose of the timer is to break the cigarette association habit. When the urge to smoke presents itself, the smoker simply sets the timer to the length of time that he or she wishes to delay lighting up. During this interval the smoker may actually light a match, pretend to light a cigarette and then blow the match out or actually smoke an unlit cigarette and then put it back 3,424,123 Patented Jan. 28, 1969 into the case. It has been found that by using this method, when the signal device sounds to indicate the end of the preset waiting period, in most cases, the signal will actually surprise the user as the desire for a cigarette has been forgotten or substantially diminished.
Another object of the invention is to provide a time interval control knob exterior of the cigarette case of the instant invention, to enable the user to quickly and readily set the timer mechanism to the desired period of time he or she wishes to delay lighting the cigarette.
Still another object of the invention is to provide an appropriate warning sign or message on the face of the cigarette case which normally faces the smoker when the lid or closure means is opened.
For a better understanding of the instant invention, together with further objects and advantages, reference is made to the following description of the accompanying drawings, in which there is illustrated a preferred embodiment in accordance with the invention.
FIGURE 1 is a front perspective view of the cigarette case of the instant invention incorporating the timing mechanism and audible signal means;
FIGURE 2 is a vertical sectional view through the cigarette case illustrating the timing and signal means therein;
FIGURE 3 is a vertical cross-sectional view taken along the line 33 of FIGURE 2 and looking in the direction of the arrows; and
FIGURE 4 is a fragmentary perspective view of a somewhat modified form of the invention in which the timing mechanism and audible signal means are located longitudinally across the bottom thereof.
In the drawings, in which like reference numerals are employed to designate like parts throughout the various views, 10 generally designates a cigarette case in accordance with the instant invention and includes a first or main compartment 12 to accommodate a plurality of cigarettes, an opening 14 into said first compartment, a closure means 16 arranged to be moved to cover or uncover the opening 14, and a second compartment 18 enclosing a timing mechanism 20 and an audible signal means such as a bell 22.
As best illustrated in FIGURES 1 and 2 the first or main compartment 12 includes a floor 26, front and back walls 28 and 30 and a pair of side walls 32 and 34.
As illustrated in phantom in FIGURE 2, a false floor 38 may be provided to accommodate the shorter cigarettes, by simply inserting the floor into the first or main compartment through the opening 14 and moving it vertically through the compartment to a position of rest against the floor 26 of the main compartment 12.
The second compartment 18- is preferably completely enclosed by the front and back walls 28 and 30, common to both compartments, side walls 34 and 40, a roof 42 and a floor 44 immediately adjacent the main floor 26. The timing mechanism may be of any conventional mechanical type including appropriate gears and a power source such as a spring to store energy, not illustrated in detail. A drive shaft 48 extends outwardly from the timing mechanism and has its distal end extending through the wall 40 to carry a time interval control knob 50, exterior of the case to be manually set to any desired time interval up to a limit, such as one hour. When the control knob 50, FIGURE 3, is moved in a counterclockwise direction, energy is stored in the timing mechanism spring to return the knob through appropriate gearing, clockwisely, to its off position. However, interiorly of the second compartment, the drive shaft 48 includes a lug 52 extending radially outwardly therefrom to contact the lower distal end 54 of a striker arm 56 which is centrally pivoted as at 58 to the timing mechanism housing. The upper distal end 60 of the striker arm 56 is adapted to strike the bell 22 as the lug 52 disengages the lower distal end 54 of the striker arm coincident with the return to the off position of the control knob 50. A spring 62 fixed to the timing mechanism housing as at 64 engages the striker arm 56 intermediate the pivot 58 and the lower distal end 54. The lug 52 engages the distal end 54 of the striker arm, as the timer approaches its oil position, moving the striker arm 56 into engagement with, and flexing said spring, to store energy in the spring to be released as the lug 52 clears the distal end 54, upon reaching the off position, to cause the striker to sound the bell. However, other satisfactory audible signal means may be employed such as a buzzer or the like.
The lid or closure means 16 extends across the opening 14 and the roof 42 of the second compartment to form coplanar front, back and side panels, respectively, and said lid may be hinged along the back Wall as shown at 68 and may be provided with any appropriate means to hold it closed such as a snap, spring means, etc., not shown. Other types of lids either hinged or slip-on may be employed if desired.
In the modification illustrated in FIGURE 4, the second compartment 18a. is provided longitudinally across the bottom of the first compartment and is provided with a timing mechanism, audible signal means, not shown, and an exterior control knob 50a.
The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of a preferred form of the instant invention. Since numerous modifications and changes will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction or configuration shown and described, and accordingly all suitable modifications and substitutions of equivalents may be made therein without departing from the true scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A cigarette case comprising: a casing including partition means to define a first and a second compartment, said first compartment being sized for storing a plurality of cigarettes and having an opening for passage of cigarettes; a closure means arranged to be moved to cover or uncover said opening; a timing mechanism and an audible signal means in said second compartment; and means for controlling said timing mechanism and audible signal means, said mechanism including an operator button for selecting a time indicia from a range of time indicia; said timing control mechanism provided with a time interval control knob exterior of said cigarette case, and said signal means includes a bell and striker means; a shaft with an outer distal end extending outwardly from said timing mechanism to carry said operator button; a lug projecting radially outwardly from said shaft interior of said second compartment; said striker means having a first and a second distal end portions; said lug on said shaft to be moved by said timing mechanism to engage said first distal end of said striker means to move said second distal end of said striker means into engagement with said bell; said striker means having a centrally disposed pivot intermediate said first and second distal ends thereof and a spring means fixed to said timing mechanism intermediate said pivot and said first distal end of said striker; said lug on said timing mechanism engaging said first distal end of said striker means to move said second distal end of said striker means away from said bell in one direction of rotation, and engaging said first distal end of said striker means and moving said striker means into engagement with said spring; said spring moving said second distal end of said striker means into engagement with said bell at the terminus of the other direction of rotation.
2. A cigarette case as set forth in claim 1 in which said second compartment enclosing said timing mechanism and audible signal means is disposed vertically along one side wall of the cigarette case.
3. A cigarette case as set forth in claim 1 in which said second compartment enclosing said timing mechanism and audible striker means is disposed longitudinally across the bottom of the cigarette case.
4. A cigarette case as set forth in claim 1 having a removable false bottom to be inserted into said first compartment to accommodate cigarettes of a shorter length.
5. A cigarette case as set forth in claim 1 in which an appropriate Warning sign is applied to the exterior of the case to cooperate with said timing mechanism and said audible signal means to help in accomplishing the purpose for Which the cigarette case is intended.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 875,112 12/1907 Sanders 11625 XR 2,658,468 11/1953 Enfield 116133 2,853,182 9/1958 Barnett 206-42 XR 3,206,957 9/1965 Reitzes 206-4l.2 XR
FOREIGN PATENTS 893,291 1/1944 France.
LOUIS J. CAPOZI, Primary Examiner.
U.S. Cl. X.R.