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Smoking in the age of Artificial Intelligence

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Think about a cigarette that knows its owner, refuses to be smoked in public, and alarms the parents if it identifies that their children are smoking. How about cigarettes that identify the health of a person, his behaviour and alarm them to not smoke when it is dangerous. Does it sound interesting? This is the power of AI in smoking.

Let us explore some of the possibilities that might become realities in the future of smoking.

As of the year 2019, there were more than 1 billion smokers in the world and I am sure the number would have increased today. Sadly, there were nearly 7.7 million deaths due to smoking alone. You will think, with such a high number of deaths, why aren’t companies doing anything? Well, they are actually doing. There is a lot of research that is happening in the domain and if things remain good you will soon see AI in action for controlling a lot of these things.

Data collection for profiling

The ajority of companies are shifting toward electronic cigarettes. The amount of money that is currently spent on research of Electronic cigarettes is huge. With electronic cigarettes, there is a possibility to collect user data such as “who is smoking?”

The research includes integration of sensors for breath pattern, sucking force, biometrics, and integration with the phone to identify the user. These sensors would enable the device to identify the user, their age group and profile them. Recently there were patents for sensing stress and heart characteristics of the smoker to see the medical condition of the smoker during smoking.

Keeping a tab on User’s health

AI can identify possible health issues by continuously evaluating the data collected. Moreover, the available data from users’ medical checkups can be combined and used to alter smoking patterns.

The use of data collected by the smoking device to identify stress, blood pressure, heart health issues is already researched topic but the power of AI comes in combining data obtained from various sources. Further, the repository of such data can be used in the future to alert/ warn users of potential health hazards.

Nicotine delivery, drug abuse, over intake of drugs can be limited by programmed chips which will be able to identify the smoking substance.

“No” to Public smoking

It is irritating to see people smoke in public and mostly in front of children and pregnant women. For a conventional cigarette, it is impossible to stop the smoker without entering into an argument. But AI can do it very effectively, the cigarettes will use the power of geofencing to restrict users from smoking within certain zones. Moreover, the cigarettes can be tracked and smokers violating the geofencing rules can be identified effectively.

Cigarettes combined with the power of IoT will be able to sense children and pregnant ladies by using the cameras, advanced algorithms, and centralised servers containing rules to control smoking. The device would stop smoking once it senses the public network, presence of the school, no-smoke zone, etc.

Cigarettes as tools of authentication

Cigarttes would replace RFID as unlock keys

The use of RFID cards, ID cards, and biometrics is common for authentication. How about using cigarettes as means of authentication?

I am not sure if that’s a good idea or bad but the researchers surely find it to be good enough for exploring. There are patents that indicate that cigarettes would be able to authenticate payments.

We can expect the authentication to be extended for metro travels, unlocking doors, smoking devices acting as keys, etc.

Cigarettes for anti-theft & anti-counterfeits

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There is a lot of research that indicates that future cigarettes will be able to identify the consumables. Gone are the days of counterfeit consumables, altering the consumables with illegal drugs, etc. The future cigarettes will comprise sensors capable of identifying the consumables. The cigarettes will stop smoking and mark the consumable as illegal so it won’t be used in other cigarettes also.

The anti-theft function of cigarettes would be realised by using the integrated GPS and biometrics. The cigarettes would know that they are operating in a different area and prompt the user on their mobile apps to authenticate if it is right or the cigarette has been stolen. Remote unlocking and locking of smoking would enable the user to block the device and make it unusable. The “find my cigar” function would work like “find my phone” and help users locate their stolen devices.

Cigarettes would help authorities nab the perpetuators

Further, the AI will predict which users and which locations are facing these issues and alert the authorities to take actions.

The user is a non-smoker and the entire article is based on observations from various research articles and patents.

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