US 3521643 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
July 28, 1970 E- TOTH CIGARETTE-SIMULATING INHALER Filed Feb. 26, 1968 WIN - INVENTLFZ. [FA/57 7pm United States Patent 3,521,643 CIGARETTE-SIMULATIN G INHALER Ernest Toth, 230 Fair Oaks Ave., No. 3, South Pasadena, Calif. 91030 Filed Feb. 26, 1968, Ser. No. 708,241 Int. Cl. Afilm /06 US. Cl. 128-201 4 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A cigarette-simulating inhaler having a hollow tube with an inner surface defining a set of integrally formed, inwardly extending and longitudinally elongated rigid ribs. The inner ends of the ribs are relatively sharp, and a resilient insert is positioned within the tube and gripped by the ribs to be held in place. The insert is charged with a flavoring agent which imparts a flavor to air drawn through the tube. A mouthpiece and an ash-simulating plug are secured at opposite ends of the tube. A stop member is integrally formed within the tube between the mouthpiece and insert.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to an inhaler which generally corresponds in size and external appearance to a cigarette. A tubular insert within the inhaler carries a liquid or crystalline flavoring agent which imparts a pleasant flavor and aroma to air drawn through the inhaler. The function of the inhaler is to assist the user in breaking the habit of smoking tobacco.
It is known that part of the satisfaction derived from cigarette smoking arises from the physical manipulation of the cigarette in the hands and mouth. The inhaler of this invention assists in dropping the smoking habit as it provides these manipulative satisfactions while substituting pleasantly flavored air for the tobacco smoke obtained from a conventional cigarette.
Inhalers of this general type are known, and have been disclosed in several different forms. These known designs, however, are characterized by a relatively complex structure which is expensive to manufacture and awkward to use. A particular short-coming of such units is the manner in which the flavor-imparting insert is held within the inhaler.
The insert must be replaced by the user when the flavor-imparting substance is depleted, and some means must be provided within the inhaler to position the insert properly and to insure that the insert does not block internal air passages such that air cannot drawn through the device. It is also desirable that the insert be held in a substantially fixed position so it will not be displaced with an annoying rattle or thump when the inhaler is moved. Known designs have used rather elaborate spring suspensions to overcome these problems, and have not been widely used due to the resulting high cost of manufacture and to the awkward operations involved in replacing the insert.
The inhaler of this invention overcomes these problems by providing a set of integrally formed, inwardly extending ribs along the interior of the inhaler body. The flavor-imparting insert is formed of a slightly resilient material, and is pressed between the ribs to be held securely in position. My design is characterized by production simplicity and low manufacturing cost, and replacement of the insert is a simple and quick operation for the user.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Briefly stated, the invention contemplates a cigarettesimulating inhaler having a hollow, generally cylindrical 3,521,643 Patented July 28, 1970 "ice tube with an inner surface defining a plurality of inwardly extending and longitudinally elongated rigid ribs, the ribs being integral with the tube. An ash-simulating plug is secured at one end of the tube and has at least oneopening therethrough. A mouthpiece is secured at a second end of the tube opposite the plug, and the mouthpiece also has an opening therethrough. A resilient insert is disposed in the tube and is gripped by the rigid ribs to be positioned between the plug and the mouthpiece. The insert incorporates a flavoring agent which imparts a flavor to air drawn through the tube.
Preferably, the inhaler also includes a tapered lateral stop member which is integral with the tube and extends laterally across the interior of the tube between the mouthpiece and the insert. The inwardly extending ribs preferably have intersecting side surfaces defining a relatively sharp inner edge which extends slightly into the resilient insert. The ribs also preferably have beveled or chamfered ends to simplify the installation of the insert in the inhaler. In one form, the inhaler mouthpiece has an enlarged lip which is convexly curved toward the tube, the lip curvature providing a comfortable fit against the teeth of the user.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The invention will be described in detail with reference to the attached drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is an elevation, partly in cross section, of a cigarette-simulating inhaler constructed according to the invention;
FIG. 2 is a plan view of a mouthpiece used in the inhaler;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged end view of the mouthpiece taken on line 33 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged cross-sectional view taken on line 44 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 5 is an enlarged end view taken on line 55 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 6 is an elevation of an alternative form of a mouthpiece for the inhaler; and
FIG. 7 is an enlarged end view of the mouthpiece shown in FIG. 6.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring to FIGS. l-5, a cigarette-simulating inhaler '10 according to the invention includes an elongated, generally cylindrical tube -11. The tube is hollow, and has an inner surface 12. Projecting from the inner surface of the tube are a plurality of inwardly extending rigid ribs 13 which are integrally formed with the tube. The ribs are longitudinally elongated to extend along a major part of the length of the tube inner surface, but are terminated slightly short of the opposite ends of the tube.
Each rib 13 has a chamfered or beveled end 15 extending toward a forward end of tube 11. As best seen in FIG. 4, each rib has intersecting side surfaces '16 which converge toward each other to define a relatively sharp inner edge 17. A cross-shaped stop member 18 is positioned at the rear end of the ribs, and extends laterally across the inside of the tube. The stop member is integrally formed with the tube, and preferably has a triangular cross section (see FIG. 1) which tapers toward the front of the tube.
An ash-simulating plug 20 is removably secured at the front end of tube 11, and has a plurality of holes 21 formed longitudinally therethrough. The plug is formed from a grey-colored material and has a roughened end 22 to provide the general appearance of a cigarette ash. An annular, inwardly extending shoulder 23 is formed midway along the length of the plug, and a cylindrical portion 24 of decreased cross section makes a snug slip 3 fit within the front end of tube 11. Alternatively, the front end of the tube and the end of cylindrical portion 24 can be formed with mating threads .(not shown) to provide a threaded engagement of the tube and plug.
A mouthpiece 27 is secured at the rear end of tube 11. The mouthpiece has an inwardly extending annular shoulder 28 from which a cylindrical portion 29 extends forwardly to make a snug press fit within the rear end of the tube. Alternatively, the cylindrical portion of the mouthpiece and the inner surface of the rear end of the tube can be threaded to hold these elements together. The mouthpiece has a rearwardly tapered bore 30 extending therethrough, and the outer surface of the mouthpiece tapers rearwardly to terminate in a flared lip 31 which is convexly curved (see FIG. 2) toward tube 11. The curvature of the lip provides a smooth, comfortable fit when the mouthpiece is gripped between the users teeth.
An insert 34 is centrally positioned within tube 11, and includes an elongated plug 35 of an absorbent material such as cotton, and an outer wrapper 36 aroundthe periphery of the plug. The wrapper is preferably formed from a material such as porous paper. The plug is saturated with a flavoring agent such as oil of Wintergreen to impart a pleasant flavor to air drawn through the inhaler. A variety of other conventional flavoring agents can also be used in the plug to provide flavors such as cinnamon, menthol, pine, etc. Flavors can alternatively be derived from crystalline substances which are most conveniently packaged in an insert formed as a hollow perforated plastic tube (not shown) and having the same dimensions as insert 34.
In use, plug 20 is removed from tube 11, and insert 34 carrying the flavoring agent is slipped into the forward end of the tube. Beveled ends 15 of the ribs guide the end of the insert into a central position within the tube, and the insert is then forced between the ribs into the position shown in FIG. 1. As best seen in FIG. 4, the ribs slightly compress and extend into the periphery of the insert. The ash-simulating plug is then replaced, and the inhaler is ready for use.
Integrally formed ribs 13 hold the insert securely in place, and also insure that passagewalys are provided between the outer surface of the plug and the inner surface of the tube to permit a relatively free flow of air through the inhaler. Stop member 18 prevents the insert from moving rearwardly within the tube to clog bore 30 in the mouthpiece in the event the inhaler is subjected to a sharp jarring force. The forwardly tapered cross section of the stop member minimizes resistance to air flow through the inhaler.
Tube 11 and plug 20 are preferably formed from a. thermoplastic material such as polypropylene, and the plug is given a grey color as mentioned above to simulate a cigarette ash. Mouthpiece 27 is preferably formed from a slightly elastic and resilient thermoplastic material such r as polyethylene. This slightly resilient material is more comfortable when the inhaler is held between the users teeth, and is sufliciently rugged to withstand moderate chewing forces. The inhaler typically has an overall length of about 4 /2 inches, an outside diameter of about inch, and an inside diameter of about inch. The flavoring insert is 1% inches long and /1. inch in diameter.
An alternative form of a mouthpiece 40 for the inhaler is shown in FIGS. 6-7. This mouthpiece is generally similar in construction to mouthpiece 27 in that it has an inwardly extending annular shoulder 41 and a cylindrical portion 42 which fits within the rear end of tube 11. A bore 43 extends longitudinally through the mouthpiece. The rear portion of the mouthpiece which is held in the users teeth can have a constant circular cross section, or a slightly rearwardly tapering cross section as shown in FIG. 6. The outer surface of the mouthpiece has a simulated cork finish to enhance the illusion that the inhaler is a real cigarette.
There has been described a novel cigarette-simulating inhaler which is useful to persons attempting to discontinue cigarette smoking. The inhaler is characterized by simplicity of use and manufacture, and is readily fabricated from plastic materials using conventional molding techniques. The use of inwardly extending integral ribs within the inhaler tube or barrel provides an economical and highly effective means for suspending the flavoring insert within the barrel. The insert is readily replaced when the flavoring agent is exhausted, but is securely held by the ribs in the barrel when in use such that it cannot shift in position to block air flow through the inhaler.
I1. A cigarette-simulating inhaler, comprising a hollow, generally cylindrical tube having an inner surface defining a plurality of inwardly extending and longitudinally elongated rigid-ribs, the ribs being integral with the tube;
an ash-simulating plug secured at one end of the tube and having an opening therethrough;
a mouthpiece secured at a second end of the tube opposite the plug, the mouthpiece having an opening therethrough;
a resilient elongated insert of substantially constant cross section and disposed in the tube against the rigid ribs to be positioned between the plug and mouthpiece, the ribs being coextensive with a major portion of the insert length, the insert incorporating a flavoring agent whereby a flavor is imparted to air drawn through the tube; and
a lateral stop member integral with the tube and extending radially inwardly beyond the ribs between the mouthpiece and the insert to prevent the insert from moving against and blocking the mouthpiece opening.
2. The inhaler defined in claim 1 in which each rib has intersecting side surfaces to define a relatively sharp inner edge which extends slightly into the resilient insert.
3. The inhaler defined in claim 2 in which the ribs have beveled ends to provide a self-centering guiding action when the insert is installed in the tube.
4. The inhaler defined in claim 3 in which the monthpiece has an end remote from the tube, the end being formed to define an enlarged lip which is convexly curved toward the tube, the mouthpiece being formed from a resilient material; in which the stop member is tapered toward the insert.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,470,296 5/1949 Fields 128-208 X 2,702,033 2/1955 Pardeman 128201 2,705,007 3/1955 Gerber 128200 3,320,953 5/1967 Rindner 128201 WILLIAM E. KAMM, Primary Examiner