THE BLOG

The Future of Cigarettes

03/28/2014 05:21 pm ET | Updated May 28, 2014

Calling all chemists and engineers, marketers, retailers, investors, visionaries, REVOLUTIONARIES - if we're going to smoke, let's make damn well sure it makes us live longer.

So publishing this may or may not get me killed, but this has been in the works for a while.

After Stream Asia and chatting with many brilliant individuals about the future of cigarettes, and then conversations with the group and new friends on Wechat that are already starting the snowball effect of "let me introduce you to this world-famous chemist" or "I love this let's do this", I'm motivated to stick my neck out (literally) and put this into the public realm. We need everyone to make this revolution happen.

Worldwide, tobacco use causes more than 5 million deaths per year, and by 2030 that number will reach 8 million annually (CDC).

Contrary to popular (government) opinion, the solution is NOT to tell smokers to quit. It's to design an experience that fulfils all the reasons WHY WE LOVE SMOKING.

The social bit, "hey, can I have a cig?" or "do you have a lighter?", the quintessential and oh-so-natural icebreaker with any stranger.

The burning-face it, we've loved lighting things on fire since Prometheus.

The excuse of taking a 5-minute break in this breathless world of WORK WORK WORK WORK WORK WORK.

Want to know a secret? It's not about the nicotine. It's about the experience. So no, e-cigs aren't good enough (do they fulfil the experiential part of any of the above?).

And anyway, it's not the nicotine that kills you. IT'S THE SMOKE.

In a world of Google Glass, flying cars, and astronautics-how is it possible that we haven't been innovative enough to design a healthy cigarette that does everything current day cigarettes do but BETTER? Maybe something double-chambered, smoke out one chamber, pure oxygen inhaling in through the other. O2, sweeter than nicotine. And you still light it, but the smoke never reaches your lungs.

Calling all chemists and engineers, marketers, retailers, investors, visionaries, REVOLUTIONARIES - anyone who has ever known anyone who has died because of cigarettes, anyone who loves and hates cigarettes. Let's go take on the tobacco industry, because if we're going to smoke, let's make damn well sure it makes us live longer.

PS - For those that aren't motivated by the millions dying from cigarette smoking (and projected worldwide future increase), last time I checked it's a $747 billion industry. That's our market cap. You know you want a piece of that pie.