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Gadgets

Tech is good for you: Quit smoking with ludicrous gadgets

Public smoking is illegal now -- but forget willpower, kick the habit with this crazy collection of gizmos. Yes, one addiction can cure another

Nobody likes smokers. Once they were trendy, twiddling their cigarettes with disdain, force-feeding innocent bystanders with carcinogenic death, but now look at them: since the public smoking ban of 1 July these outcasts are forced to huddle in urine-soaked alleyways with only rats, rain and respiratory illness for company.

But if you're a smoker there's no need to suffer alone. And there's no need to cover yourself in silly patches, either. Crave has been busy trawling the Internet for gadgets -- machines with batteries -- that can help you wean yourself off cancer sticks.

We've got silly coughing ashtrays, nannying permission givers, special vaporisers and even portable fag vaults that only give you cigarettes when you've been good.

Click the 'next photo' link below to proceed. -Rory Reid

NicoHale
First up is the NicoHale -- a sort of pipe that uses special magnets to help remove tar, smoke and nicotine from cigarettes. The idea is that it provides a healthier smoking experience.

It's based on the same digital vaporiser technology that certain individuals use to smoke cannabis. So once it's helped wean you off tobacco, you can, in theory, use it to 'inhale the pure essence of any herb or plant'.

The NicoHale comes with The Complete Genius's Guide to Quitting Smoking audio CD and book, has a 90-day manufacturer's warranty, and costs a whopping $399 (£200). There's also a couple of aromatic disc packs to go with it.

Grab one here, stinky breath.

Ruyan
The Ruyan is a battery-powered nicotine inhaler that looks and acts like a ciggy, but it won't melt holes in your lungs.

According to its makers, Golden Dragon Group, it's loaded with nicotine, which can be delivered to the lungs in 7 to 10 seconds. It even emits smoke-like vapour so it looks pretty authentic (from a distance) -- and you can legally use it indoors.

The Ruyan is pretty hard to get hold of, but you can import one from a number of European countries for around $208 (£103).

Nicostopper
The Nicostopper is a portable cigarette vault that hands out your fags at specific times. Once you've loaded it with up to 10 cigarettes it hands them back to you at pre-programmed intervals.

The screen will even flash a series of self-help messages during each dose to make you feel guilty about your filthy, disgusting habit. Yes, it's a bit like having a grandmother telling you what to do, but look on the bright side: at least it'll stop you dying an excruciating tar-related death.

It's made by the unfortunately named Fagor, and can be bought for around £300.

Coughing ashtray
Smoking left you out of pocket? Can't afford the other stuff we've shown you? You should probably go for this cheapo device -- an ashtray that coughs whenever you use it.

We've never had the pleasure of using one, but apparently it reacts quite violently to smoke and nicotine. Go anywhere near it with ash or smoke and it'll cough loudly (and in quite a disgusting manner) to remind you just how much of a loser you are.

It probably won't help you stop smoking, but you can grab one here for £7 and torment the revolting lung-killer in your life.

QuitKey
If the NicoStopper cigarette vault is just too ridiculous, you may want to consider the QuitKey. It's a sort of Tamagotchi-style device, but instead of prolonging the life of a virtual cat or dog, it's your own life that's on the line.

The device works by allowing you to smoke as often as you want to, with the proviso that you tell it when you're doing so. It then uses this information to form your personal quit plan, informing you via a series of beeps when it's okay for you to inhale death. It lets you smoke less and less each day -- the idea being that you'll give up entirely after about a month.

It's yours from Amazon for about $60 (£30).

Linkman
The Linkman is a dumb alternative to the QuitKey. It doesn't know how often you smoke -- it doesn't care. All it asks is that you double-press the 'permission' button every time you need a fag -- and it'll let you know whether it's okay to smoke.

If the light turns green, puff away. If it's red, you'll have to endure the pain a little longer. Non-smoking intervals start at 10 minutes, gradually increasing over time.

Get one here for a frankly ludicrous $100 (£50).

Aniti-Smoking Weird Baby Figure
If you've tried absolutely everything and still can't give up, then it's time to pull out the big guns. These weird smoking baby keyrings are so freaky, so weird and so preposterous they're almost guaranteed to wean you off the baccy.

Just look at them! Their cold, dead stares, oversize heads, disgusting yellowy skin and malformed bodies are all a consequence of smoking. If they don't weird you off the fags straight away, then you're beyond help.

Pick 'em up here for $5 (£2.50).