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Cyberbooth #239
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TaperAide Cigarette Rationing System

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The Problem To Be Solved:

There currently exist aggressive anti-smoking campaigns and "smoking cessation" programs that are geared at completely quitting smoking.

They promote an "all or nothing" approach. These programs also treat smoking as strictly a physical addiction and include pharmaceutical products like the nicotine patch, gum and nasal sprays, and anti-depressant therapy.

What isn't traditionally acknowledged is that the tobacco industry has existed for centuries around the world - with pipe smoking in the 1600's, then "snuff" by the aristocratic classes in the 1700's, and cigars in the 1800's. Smoking cigarettes was ultimately popularized with the masses in the 1880's when the industrial revolution enabled the production and distribution of cigarettes nationwide.

Since then, smoking cigarettes has been deeply ingrained as a part of the popular culture and mass consciousness through heavy advertising campaigns by the tobacco companies for many decades. Virtually an entire generation returned from World War I addicted to cigarettes. In 1929, the Easter Parade on Fifth Avenue was dubbed the "Freedom March" due to women who were dressed as Statues of Liberty holding cigarettes as torches of freedom. In 1934, Eleanor Roosevelt was named the "first lady to smoke in public". In 1951, the "I Love Lucy" TV show was sponsored by Philip Morris.

As a result, many smokers have been smoking for decades since their youth, during periods when smoking was socially acceptable and even encouraged. Therefore smoking isn't just a physical addiction. For these and other psychological reasons including fear of withdrawal and fear of side effects from existing products, many people who would like to quit smoking, are just not able to quit smoking cold turkey, and continue to smoke despite feelings of guilt.

According to information in the Gallup Polls conducted in October 1998 and September 1999, 76% of American smokers said that they would like to quit smoking, and 56% said that it was likely that they would be ex-smokers in a year. These polls indicate the existence of a vast pool of fence sitters who desire to quit but who will continue to smoke.

Within this group, due to steep cigarette price increases, as well as the negative health warnings, there is a market of people who are willing to take steps to reduce potential future health risks by at least reducing their consumption of tobacco. These people realize that controlling their smoking habit will help reduce the negative health effects as well as save them money.

Yet there are no systems to help people cut down on smoking. When individuals attempt to cut down smoking without outside help, the effort usually fails because it is either done in an unstructured manner, or the smoker often tries to cut down on smoking too fast, which reinforces the cravings, and creates the opposite effect.

Features And Benefits of TaperAide:

TaperAide is a behavorial and psychological method as opposed to a pharmaceutical approach. It is a cigarette self-rationing system based on a specially designed cigarette case which has individual spaces for each cigarette. These spaces can be reduced over time according to the smoker's own comfort level.

Since smoking is more often an unconscious act, for example, when smoking while on the phone, the TaperAide system is a tangible visible guide to assist the smoker in becoming aware of his smoking habit. The cigarette case helps the user determine how many cigarettes have been smoked throughout the day, and how many must be made to last until evening.

Key Benefits Include:

  • the product is chemical free
  • there is nothing to apply, put on, or take orally, etc.
  • there are no regulatory issues to deal with
  • there are no potential side effects to be worried about
  • it is simple to use - there are no mechanical parts
  • the system is inexpensive to manufacture
  • the case can be imprinted with sponsor's messages, logos, etc.
  • just slightly larger than a regular pack of cigarettes, the case fits in any coat, shirt or pants pocket as well as in women's purses

The user loads the case each morning and smokes normally throughout the day, meanwhile practicing various smoking reduction techniques. Rules include filling the case once per day, and not accepting cigarettes from any other sources.

Periodically he or she seals off a cigarette space, thus reducing the daily ration by one. The process continues until the user has either reached a desired goal, lowered the daily consumption level, or has quit entirely.

This encourages the individual to start declining cigarettes offered by others, and makes him aware of the habit of impulsively smoking cigarettes found in drawers or coat pockets, etc.

The system includes a manual which has important information and new strategies to help the smoker. For example, the smoker is encouraged not to go too fast, to be comfortable with the pace to avoid cravings or discomfort. There is no built-in time limit with the method. Instead it is developed to create self esteem in terms of making progress in cutting down smoking, and improves the user's health and economics.

Target market:

According to a report by Decision Resources, Inc., the smoking cessation market was valued at $450 million in 1998, and was dominated by nicotine replacement and anti-depressant methods. The organization predicted that combination therapies, novel agents, and other therapies will help triple the market to nearly 1.5 billion by 2007.

Inventor is seeking:


Note: Product is patented.

Contact information
Contact: Dennis (Ole) Wik Title: Inventor/Patent Holder
Organization: TaperAide Dot Com
Address: Box 298 Potter Valley, CA 95469
Phone: 800 763-7466
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