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United States Patent Application 20160242461
Kind Code A1
RAWLINS; HANS August 25, 2016

CIGARETTE SMOKING CESSATION TOOL

Abstract

A cigarette smoking cessation tool can include a container, a first door, a biasing device, and a motor. The container can have a body defining a first cavity with a first opening to cigarettes. The first door can include grooves and be mounted to selectively rotate and close the first opening of the first cavity. The biasing device can be at least partially disposed in the first cavity to urge the at least one row of cigarettes against the first door. The motor can rotate the first door and thereby align one of the grooves with the first cavity and allow the biasing device to urge at least one of the cigarettes of the at least one row of cigarettes through the first opening and into the one of the grooves.


Inventors: RAWLINS; HANS; (SURREY, CA)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

RAWLINS; HANS

SURREY

CA
Family ID: 1000001760187
Appl. No.: 15/041289
Filed: February 11, 2016


Related U.S. Patent Documents

Application NumberFiling DatePatent Number
62118658Feb 20, 2015

Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: B65D 85/1009 20130101; A24F 15/005 20130101
International Class: A24F 15/00 20060101 A24F015/00; B65D 85/10 20060101 B65D085/10

Claims



1. A cigarette smoking cessation tool comprising: a container having a body defining a first cavity with a first opening and sized to receive at least one row of cigarettes and maintain the at least one row of cigarettes in a predetermined orientation; a first door mounted to said body in said container and operable to move and thereby selectively close said first opening of said first cavity, said first door being rotatable and having lands and grooves, said grooves sized to receive one cigarette of the at least one row of cigarettes; a biasing device at least partially disposed in said first cavity to urge the at least one row of cigarettes against said first door; and a motor operably mounted to said body in said container and positioned between said first door and said body to selectively rotate said first door and thereby align one of said grooves with said first cavity and allow said biasing device to urge at least one of the cigarettes of the at least one row of cigarettes through said first opening and into said one of said grooves.

2. The cigarette smoking cessation tool of claim 1 further comprising: a computing device positioned at least partially within said container and having one or more processors and a non-transitory, computer readable medium storing instructions that, when executed by said one or more processors, cause said computing device to perform operations comprising: executing a timer function for a predetermined period of time; and controlling said motor to rotate said first door after said executing.

3. The cigarette smoking cessation tool of claim 2 wherein said computing device is further defined as fully positioned within said container.

4. The cigarette smoking cessation tool of claim 2 wherein said container further comprises: a lid member, said lid member and said body selectively engageable with one another, said first cavity exposed to receive the at least one row of cigarettes when said lid member and said body are disengaged from one another and said first cavity closed when said lid member and said body are engaged together.

5. The cigarette smoking cessation tool of claim 4 further comprising: a display, wherein said non-transitory, computer readable medium further stores instructions that, when executed by said one or more processors, further cause said computing device to present a current value of the timer function on said display.

6. The cigarette smoking cessation tool of claim 5 wherein said display is mounted on said container.

7. The cigarette smoking cessation tool of claim 5 wherein said display is spaced from and moveable relative to said container.

8. The cigarette smoking cessation tool of claim 5 wherein said non-transitory, computer readable medium further stores a plurality of different motor operation plans for said motor, each of said plurality of different motor operation plans defined by a plurality of timer functions for different periods of time, said plurality of timer functions sequentially arranged in a predetermined pattern in each of said plurality of different motor operation plans such that each of said motor operation plans, when executed by said one or more processors, cause said computing device to perform operations comprising: said executing further comprises executing said plurality of different timer functions for each of the respective predetermined periods of time in the sequence of the predetermined pattern; and said controlling further comprises controlling said motor to rotate said first door at the end of each of the different timer functions.

9. The cigarette smoking cessation tool of claim 8 wherein said non-transitory, computer readable medium further stores instructions that, when executed by said one or more processors, cause said computing device to perform the operations comprising: receiving a selection input from a user, the selection input indicative of one of the plurality of different motor operation plans; and said controlling further comprises executing the one of the plurality of different motor operation plans in response to said receiving.

10. The cigarette smoking cessation tool of claim 9 wherein said non-transitory, computer readable medium further stores instructions that, when executed by said one or more processors, cause said computing device to perform the operations comprising: outputting a message on said display for the user to input a confirmation input, the confirmation input indicating said motor should be rotated to release one of the cigarettes of the at least one row of cigarettes through said first opening; and said controlling further comprising suspending movement of said first door until receipt of the confirmation input.

11. The cigarette smoking cessation tool of claim 10 further comprising: a second cavity at least partially separate from said first cavity, sized smaller than said first cavity, and having a second opening.

12. The cigarette smoking cessation tool of claim 11 wherein said second cavity is exposed for filling when said lid member and said body are disengaged from one another and is at least partially closed when said lid member and said body are engaged together.

13. The cigarette smoking cessation tool of claim 12 further comprising: a second door mounted to said body in said container and operable to move and thereby selectively and partially close said second opening of said second cavity.

14. The cigarette smoking cessation tool of claim 13 wherein said motor is further defined as positioned between said second door and said body to selectively move said second door.

15. The cigarette smoking cessation tool of claim 14 wherein said second door is further defined as being slidable is a groove defined in said body.

16. The cigarette smoking cessation tool of claim 14 wherein said motor is further defined as rotatable in first and second directions that are opposite to one another, said non-transitory, computer readable medium is further defined as storing instructions that, when executed by said one or more processors, cause said computing device to perform the operations comprising: receiving a selection input from the user, the selection input indicative of which of said first door and said second door to move to open said first opening or said second opening; and said controlling further comprising controlling said motor to move said second door instead of said first door at the end of at least one of the different timer functions in response to said receiving.

17. The cigarette smoking cessation tool of claim 16 wherein said non-transitory, computer readable medium is further defined as storing instructions that, when executed by said one or more processors, cause said computing device to perform the operations comprising: executing a secondary timer function for a period of time in response to said selection input being associated with said second door; and said controlling further comprising controlling said motor to rotate said second door after the secondary timer function.

18. The cigarette smoking cessation tool of claim 5 further comprising: a microphone mounted on an exterior surface of said body.

19. The cigarette smoking cessation tool of claim 18 wherein said non-transitory, computer readable medium is further defined as storing instructions that, when executed by said one or more processors, cause said computing device to perform the operations comprising: receiving a plurality of exhalation inputs from the user through said microphone including first and second exhalation inputs, each of the plurality of exhalation inputs being sound of a forced expiratory maneuver the user; generating respective audio file representative of each of the plurality of exhalation inputs; determining at least one numerical value associated with each of the first and second exhalation inputs based on the respective audio files, each of the numerical values associated with the pulmonary function of the user; determining a difference between the numerical value associated with the first exhalation input and the numerical value associated with the second exhalation input; and outputting the difference on said display.

20. The cigarette smoking cessation tool of claim 19 wherein said non-transitory, computer readable medium is further defined as storing instructions that, when executed by said one or more processors, cause said computing device to perform the operations comprising: comparing the difference to a predetermined value; and said controlling further comprises controlling said motor to rotate said first door at the end of each of the different periods of time only if the difference greater than the predetermined value.
Description



CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 62/118,658 for a CIGARETTE DISPENSER, filed on Feb. 20, 2015, which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND

[0002] 1. Field

[0003] The present disclosure relates to a device for dispensing cigarettes.

[0004] 2. Description of Related Prior Art

[0005] U.S. Pat. No. 3,860,144 discloses a CIGARETTE CONTROL DISPENSER. The time-controlled cigarette dispenser limits the frequency of availability thereof to a smoker, in order to decrease the amount of harm by nicotine to a person's body; the device consisting of a container from which one cigarette is dispensed at a time by a mechanism that is powered by a time-regulated motor.

[0006] The background description provided herein is for the purpose of generally presenting the context of the disclosure. Work of the presently named inventors, to the extent it is described in this background section, as well as aspects of the description that may not otherwise qualify as prior art at the time of filing, are neither expressly nor impliedly admitted as prior art against the present disclosure.

SUMMARY

[0007] A cigarette smoking cessation tool can include a container, a first door, a biasing device, and a motor. The container can have a body defining a first cavity with a first opening and can be sized to receive at least one row of cigarettes and maintain the at least one row of cigarettes in a predetermined orientation. The first door can be mounted to the body in the container and can be operable to move and thereby selectively close the first opening of the first cavity. The first door can be rotatable and have lands and grooves. The grooves can be sized to receive one cigarette of the at least one row of cigarettes. The biasing device can be at least partially disposed in the first cavity to urge the at least one row of cigarettes against the first door. The motor can be operably mounted to the body in the container and positioned between the first door and the body to selectively rotate the first door and thereby align one of the grooves with the first cavity and allow the biasing device to urge at least one of the cigarettes of the at least one row of cigarettes through the first opening and into the one of the grooves.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0008] The detailed description set forth below references the following drawings:

[0009] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of the present disclosure;

[0010] FIG. 2 is an exploded view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 1;

[0011] FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view through section lines 3-3 in FIG. 1;

[0012] FIG. 4 is a functional block diagram of an exemplary embodiment according to some implementations of the present disclosure;

[0013] FIG. 5 is a diagram of a computing system including an exemplary embodiment according to some implementations of the present disclosure;

[0014] FIG. 6 is an exploded view of another exemplary embodiment of the present disclosure;

[0015] FIG. 7 is a first view of a display of the exemplary embodiment of FIG. 6 displaying a user interface according to some implementations of the present disclosure;

[0016] FIG. 8 is a second view of the display of the exemplary embodiment of FIG. 6 displaying a user interface according to some implementations of the present disclosure;

[0017] FIG. 9 is a planar view of a locking arrangement associated with the exemplary embodiment of FIG. 6; and

[0018] FIG. 10 is a cross-sectional view of the locking arrangement associated with the exemplary embodiment of FIG. 6.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0019] A plurality of different embodiments of the present disclosure is shown in the Figures of the application. Similar features are shown in the various embodiments of the present disclosure. Similar features across different embodiments have been numbered with a common reference numeral and have been differentiated by an alphabetic suffix. Similar features in a particular embodiment have been numbered with a common two-digit, base reference numeral and have been differentiated by a different leading numeral. Also, to enhance consistency, the structures in any particular drawing share the same alphabetic suffix even if a particular feature is shown in less than all embodiments. Similar features are structured similarly, operate similarly, and/or have the same function unless otherwise indicated by the drawings or this specification. Furthermore, particular features of one embodiment can replace corresponding features in another embodiment or can supplement other embodiments unless otherwise indicated by the drawings or this specification.

[0020] The present disclosure, as demonstrated by the exemplary embodiments described below, can provide a cigarette smoking cessation tool. Millions of consumers smoke cigarettes on a daily basis around the world today and probably most of them would love to quit this bad habit. Society is aware of the serious health issues involved with the tobacco as well as the expense of tobacco. Quitting anything "cold turkey" is difficult, but especially smoking cigarettes. The present disclosure provides a device that can help a smoker slow down gradually the amount of cigarettes consumed to assist the smoker quit smoking permanently.

[0021] Referring now to FIGS. 1-3, a cigarette smoking cessation tool 10 can include a container 12, a first door 14, a biasing device 16, and a motor 18. The container 12 can have a body 20 defining a first cavity 22 with a first opening 24. The first opening 24 can be sized to receive at least one row of cigarettes and maintain the at least one row of cigarettes in a predetermined orientation.

[0022] The body 20 can also define a chute portion 26 adjacent to the first cavity 22. The first door 14 can be mounted for rotation within the chute portion 26. The first opening 24 can be positioned between the first cavity 22 and the chute portion 26. The body 20 can also define a funnel portion 28 between first cavity 22 and the chute portion 26 and the first opening 24 can be defined at the narrowest gap in the funnel portion 28. An aperture 30 can be defined in the body 20 in communication with the chute portion 26. The aperture 30 can be sized to correspond to the diameter of a cigarette.

[0023] The container 12 can also include a lid member 32. The lid member 32 and the body 20 can be selectively engageable with one another. The first cavity 22 can be exposed to receive cigarettes when the lid member 32 and the body 20 are disengaged from one another. The first cavity 22 can be closed when the lid member 32 and the body 20 are engaged together. The first cavity 22 can be shaped and sized so that one or more rows of cigarettes are arranged to stay in an orientation wherein the length of each cigarette is parallel to the first opening 24 and the diameter of each cigarette is transverse to the first opening 24. It is noted that the body 20 and the lid member 32 can be connected through a partial interference fit so that the two components can be connected and released from one another by hand, but can remain connected without a lock or clip. The body 20 and the lid member 32 can be formed from any rigid material such plastic or metal.

[0024] As set forth above, the first door 14 can be mounted to the body 20 in the container 12, enclosed in the container 12 when the lid member 32 and the body 20 are engaged together. The first door 14 can be operable to move and thereby selectively close the first opening 24 of the first cavity 22. The first door 14 can be rotatable and have a generally barrel-like shape. The first door 14 can have lands and grooves, such as land 34 and groove 36 referenced in FIG. 3. The grooves can be sized to receive one cigarette of the at least one row of cigarettes.

[0025] The exemplary cigarette smoking cessation tool 10 can have a pair of biasing devices 16, 116, substantially similar to one another. Each of the biasing devices 16, 116 can be at least partially disposed in the first cavity 22 to urge the at least one row of cigarettes against the first door 14. The biasing devices 16, 116 can act on a blade 38 positioned in the first cavity 22. The blade 38 can be sized to extend almost across a majority of the width and height of the first cavity 22. Through the blade 38, the biasing devices 16, 116 can urge the cigarettes against the funnel portion 28 and toward the first opening 24.

[0026] The motor 18 can be operably mounted to the body 20 in the container 12, enclosed in the container 12 when the lid member 32 and the body 20 are engaged together. The motor 18 can be positioned between the first door 14 and the body 20 to selectively rotate the first door 14. The motor 18 can rotate the first door 14 to align one of the lands of the first door 14 with the first opening 24 to close the first cavity 22. The motor 18 can rotate the first door 14 to align one of the grooves of the first door 14 with the first opening 24 to open the first cavity 22. When one of the grooves of the first door 14 is aligned with the first opening 14, the biasing devices 16, 116 can urge at least one of the cigarettes of the at least one row of cigarettes through the first opening 24 and into the one of the grooves.

[0027] In operation, in a "stand-by" mode, one of the grooves of the first door 14 can be aligned with the first opening 14 with a cigarette positioned in the groove. When a cigarette is to be dispensed in the exemplary embodiment, the motor 18 can rotate the first door 14 around one hundred and eighty degrees. At the end of rotation, the groove with the cigarette can be aligned with the aperture 30 and the cigarette can drop through the aperture 30. A cigarette passing through the aperture 30 is referenced at 52 in FIG. 1. At the same time, the opposite groove can move into position in front of the first opening 24 and receive another cigarette.

[0028] The motor 18 can include a shaft 40. The motor 18 can be electric and be operable to rotate the shaft 40 in first and second directions that are opposite to one another (clockwise and counter-clockwise). The exemplary motor 18 can be a Nano Planetary 12 mm DC Gearmotor--22 mm Type, sold by Precision Microdrives as model number 212-108. The cigarette smoking cessation tool 10 can also include a first gear 42 mounted on the shaft 40 for concurrent rotation with the shaft 40. The cigarette smoking cessation tool 10 can also include a second gear 44 mounted on the first door 14 for concurrent rotation with the first door 14. The first and second gears 42, 44 can be meshed together such that rotation of the shaft 40 results in rotation of the first door 14. The motor 18 can be powered by a battery 46. The battery 46 can be a Lithium Ion Polymer Battery--3.7 v 500 mAh, sold by Adafruit (https.//www.adafruit.com), as part number 1578. The battery 46 can be recharged through a port 48, which can be a USB port. Charging of the battery 46 can be controlled by a module 50. The module 50 can be a PowerBoost 500 Charger--Rechargeable 5V Lipo USB Boost @ 500 mA+, sold by Adafruit as part number 1944.

[0029] The cigarette smoking cessation tool 10 can also include a computing device 54. The computing device 54 can be disposed in the container 12, enclosed in the container 12 when the lid member 32 and the body 20 are engaged together. Referring now to FIG. 4, a functional block diagram of one example computing device 54 is illustrated.

[0030] The computing device 54 can include a communication device 56, one or more processors such as processor 58, and memory 60. In other implementations of the present disclosure, the computing device 54 can also include other structures such as a display, a microphone, a speaker, and a camera. The communication device 56 is configured for communication between the processor 58 and other devices, e.g., a user's other computing device, via a network 62. The network 62 can include a local area network (LAN), a wide area network (WAN), e.g., the Internet, or a combination thereof. The communication device 56 can include any suitable communication components, such as a transceiver. Specifically, the communication device 56 can transmit requests for input to a user 64 from the processor 58, can provide response(s) to these requests to the processor 58.

[0031] The memory 60 can be configured to store information at the computing device 54. The memory 60 can be any suitable storage medium (flash, hard disk, etc.). Memory 60 can include computer readable storage media and communication media. Memory 60 can be non-transitory in nature, and may include volatile and non-volatile, and removable and non-removable media implemented in any method or technology for storage of information, such as computer-readable instructions, data structures, program modules or other data. Memory 60 can further include RAM, ROM, erasable programmable read-only memory (EPROM), electrically erasable programmable read-only memory (EEPROM), flash memory or other solid state memory technology. In various implementations of the present disclosure, computing devices that take other forms can include memory in the form of CD-ROM, digital versatile disks (DVD), or other optical storage, magnetic cassettes, magnetic tape, magnetic disk storage or other magnetic storage devices, or any other medium that can be used to store the desired information and which can be accessed by the processor 58. Memory 60 can store computer readable instructions, data structures or other program modules.

[0032] The processor 58 can be configured to control operation of the computing device 54. It should be appreciated that the term "processor" as used herein can refer to both a single processor and two or more processors operating in a parallel or distributed architecture. The processor 58 can operate under the control of an operating system, kernel and/or firmware and can execute or otherwise rely upon various computer software applications, components, programs, objects, modules, data structures, etc. Moreover, various applications, components, programs, objects, modules, etc. may also execute on one or more processors in another computing device coupled to processor 58, e.g., in a distributed or client-server computing environment, whereby the processing required to implement the functions of embodiments of the present disclosure may be allocated to multiple computers over the network 62. The processor 58 can be configured to perform general functions including, but not limited to, loading/executing an operating system of the computing device 54, controlling communication via the communication device 56, and controlling read/write operations at the memory 60. The processor 58 can also be configured to perform specific functions relating to at least a portion of the present disclosure including, but not limited to, loading/executing a cigarette cessation plans that are defined by timed delayed release of cigarettes.

[0033] In the exemplary embodiment of the present disclosure, the computing device 54 can be a BC04-C Bluetooth Module GPIO Enabled, sold by Electrodragon (www.electrodragon.com).

[0034] The computing device 54 can be operated by a user 64 through another computing device 154. Examples of the computing device 154 can include desktop computers, laptop computers, tablet computers, smart phones, smart watches, and smart televisions. In some embodiments, the computing device 154 can be a mobile computing device associated with the user 64. In some embodiments, the computing device 154 can be a server, wherein input from the user 64 is received by the computing device 154 from still another computing device associated with the user 64. It should be appreciated that a computing device according to one or more implementations of the present disclosure can be cooperatively defined by structures that are physically remote from one another, such, for example, a server, a smart phone, and computing device 54.

[0035] As shown in FIG. 4, in one or more implementations of the present disclosure, the computing device 54 can communicate with remote user interface devices through the network 62 such as computing device 154. The computing device 154 can include a communication device 156, one or more processors such as processor 158, and memory 160. The computing device 154 can also include a display 66, a keyboard 68, a microphone 70, a speaker 72, and a camera 74. In the exemplary embodiment, the display 66 can be a touch screen display and the keyboard can be presented to the user 64 on the display 66. The computing device 154 can direct outputs to control video images displayed on the display 66 and sounds emitted by a speaker 72.

[0036] The memory 60 and memory 160 can store instructions that permit the user 64 to operate a plurality of different operations, such as selecting and implementing a motor operation plan in which cigarettes are dispensed over time, identifying the time remaining until another cigarette is dispensed, extending the period until the next cigarette is dispensed, choosing between a cigarette and an alternative product, and monitoring health improvements. Upon first use or subsequent uses, the user 64 can select one of a plurality of different motor operation plans for the motor 18. Each of the plurality of different motor operation plans defines a cigarette smoking cessation plan. Each of the plurality of different motor operation plans is defined by a plurality of timer functions for different periods of time. In one non-limiting example, a timer function can be a four hour period of time and, four hours after engagement of the timer function, the processor 58 will control the motor 18 to rotate the first door 14 and a cigarette will be dispensed.

[0037] For a particular motor operation plan, the plurality of timer functions can be sequentially arranged in a predetermined pattern. In one non-limiting example, a first timer function that is executed can last four hours and a subsequent, second timer function that is executed can last three and one-half hours. The processor 158 can execute the timer functions or the processor 58 can execute the timer functions. If the processor 158 executes the timer functions, at the end of each timer function the processor 158 can communicate to the processor 58 that the current timer function has elapsed and that the motor 18 can be engaged to dispense a cigarette.

[0038] The predetermined pattern of timer functions can be linear in that each successive timer function is more than the previous timer function by the same amount of time. Alternatively, the predetermined pattern of timer functions can be exponential such that the length of time increases slowly initially and then increases more significantly. Alternatively, the predetermined pattern of timer functions can be a step function in which the length of time for a first series of successive timer functions is the same and then a length of time for a next, second series of successive timer functions is the same but less than the length of time of the first series of successive timer functions.

[0039] The instructions stored in memory 60 can complement the instructions stored in memory 160. For example, the memory 160 can store instructions that allow the computing device 154 to present the user interface to the user 64 and receive the selection input indicative of the particular plan chosen by the user 64. The memory 160 can also store instructions that allow the computing device 154 to communicate the chosen plan to the computing device 54, through the communication devices 56, 156 and the network 62. The memory 60 can store instructions that allow the computing device 54 to execute the chosen plan; in other words, the computing device 54 can execute the predetermined pattern of timer functions. Alternatively, the memory 160 can store instructions that allow the computing device 154 to execute the predetermined pattern of timer functions and communicate messages to the computing device 54 indicating when the motor 18 should be engaged.

[0040] Referring now to FIG. 7, the computing device 154 can execute an app stored in memory and present the user 64 with a user interface displayed in the display area 78 of the display 66. The app facilitating use of the cigarette smoking cessation tool may not occupy the entire display 66, e.g., due to toolbars or other borders (not shown). The app can be configured to initiate a parameter input session, which includes displaying prompts to the user 64.

[0041] The app facilitating use of the cigarette smoking cessation tool can be executed by the processor 158 and can control the display 66 to display a prompt 78 in the form of text 80, 180 and pull down menus 82, 182, 282, 382. The prompt 78 can solicit inputs from the user 64 indicative of the age and gender of the user 64. The text 80, 180 can communicate the nature of the inputs sought. The pull down menu 82 can provide a list of possible ages and the pull down menu 182 can provide alternative genders. Other demographic information can be acquired from the user as well. The demographic information can be utilized to determine appropriate motor operation plans.

[0042] The app facilitating use of the cigarette smoking cessation tool executed by the processor 158 can control the display 66 to display the text 180 and pull down menus 282, 382. The text 180 can solicit inputs from the user 64 indicative of the current rate of smoking and the period of cessation desired by the user 64. The text 180 can communicate the nature of the inputs sought. The pull down menu 282 can provide various smoking rates for the user 64 to choose, such as one pack/day or one cigarette/hour. The pull down menu 382 can provide various cessation periods for the user 64 to choose, such as one week or twenty-five days or two months.

[0043] The processor 158 can determine the motor operation plan based on the inputs communicated through menus 282 and 382. These inputs can define selection inputs. In one non-limiting example, a user 64 smoking sixteen cigarettes per day can desire to cease smoking in approximately one and one-half months. The processor 158 can determine a linear motor operation plan based on sixteen waking hours per day, wherein the intervals between the operation of the motor 18 to dispense a cigarette increase from one hour initially to sixteen hours by the final day (such as day forty-eight). The initial timer function would be one hour. The final timer function would be sixteen hours. Timer functions occurring at the end any day would be eight hours to correspond to the sleeping hours of the user 64. Timer functions during the day would vary over the forty-eight days. For example, the timer functions on day twenty-four can be two hours. Timer functions on day thirty-six can be twelve hours. Timer functions can carry-over into the next day, suspended by the eight hours of sleeping time of the user 64. It is noted that timer functions can be even more complex wherein timer functions executed on the same day are different from one another. For example, a timer function executed early in the day can last one hour while a timer executed early in the day can last two hours. In one or more implementations of the present disclosure, the processor 158 can cause the display 66 to allow the user 64 to select the nature of the motor operation plan, such as linear, step, or exponential.

[0044] The app facilitating use of the cigarette smoking cessation tool executed by the processor 158 can control the display 66 to also display text 280 and a button 84. When the user 64 has provided the inputs requested and entered by the pull down menus 82, 182, 282, 382, the user 64 can select the button 84 to transmit the inputs to the processor 158. It is noted that in one or more implementations of the present disclosure, the user 64 can input selections through voice commands transmitted through the microphone 70. In one or more implementations of the present disclosure, the processor 158 can promptly display the details of the motor operation plan to the user 64 after the user 64 has selected the button 84.

[0045] It is noted that in one or more implementations of the present disclosure, in response to the inputs entered by the pull down menus 82, 182, 282, 382, the processor 158 can display a plurality of alternative motor operation plans and the user 64 can select one of the plans. This selection can also define a selection input.

[0046] Referring now to FIG. 8, the app facilitating use of the cigarette smoking cessation tool executed by the processor 158 can control the display 66 to also display text 380, 480, 580 and a button 184. The text 380 can inform the user 64 of the nature of text 480 and the text 480 can be the current value of the current timer function. As represented by the exemplary text 480, the current timer function has expired or been completed or been fully executed. These feature can allow the user 64 to forego a cigarette longer than the schedule of the current motor operation plan.

[0047] The text 580 can define a message on the display 66 for the user 64 to input a confirmation input. The confirmation input, upon receipt by the processor 158, can indicate that the motor 18 should be rotated to release one of the cigarettes of the at least one row of cigarettes through the first opening 24. In other words, the confirmation input can be indicative that the current motor operation plan should be continued and maintained. The processor 158 can suspend the current motor operation plan and suspend movement of the first door 14 until receipt of the confirmation input.

[0048] It is noted that memory 60 and/or 160 can include instructions, when executed by the processor 58 and/or 158, can cause the processor 158 to control the display 66 to present messages of encouragement to the user 64. For example, the processor 158 can control the display 66 to present to the user 64 the progress of the user 64 in reducing the rate of smoking of cigarettes, such "You are half-way through the cessation plan, congratulations." The processor 158 can control the display 66 to present to the user 64 information about the benefits of improved health upon the cessation of cigarette smoking. These messages can be displayed when the user 64 opens the app, or can be generated randomly. A random message can include a sound prompt through the speaker 72, causing the user 64 to check the display 66.

[0049] In one or more implementations of the present disclosure, memory (60 or 160) can store instructions, that when executed by the processor (58 or 158), configure the processor to monitor the rate of cigarette smoking of the user over a predetermined time period and then derive a motor operation plan in response. By way of example and not limitation, the cigarette smoking cessation tool 10a can initially display to the user on the display 66a a button allowing the user to discharge a cigarette from the container 12a as often as desired. The period in which the user can freely discharge cigarettes can last any desired time period. During this period, every release of a cigarette can be stored in memory.

[0050] The processor can then determine a customized motor operation plan in response to the particular user's smoking habits to be variable over the course of each day, or the week. The processor can be configured, through appropriate instructions stored in memory, to determine a motor operation plane that requires different time periods of delay between cigarettes at different times during the day or during the week. The motor operation plan determined by the processor can require the user to wait for another cigarette an increasing period of time and further in response to the user's typical rate of smoking.

[0051] In one, non-limiting example, a first smoker may smoke at a relatively higher frequency during evening hours than during the morning hours. Prior to the implementation of a motor operation plan, the first smoker can be monitored to smoke at a rate of one cigarette every ninety minutes during the hours from waking to 5:00 p.m. During the hours from 5:00 p.m. until retiring, the first smoker can be monitored to smoke at a rate of one cigarette every forty-five minutes. In response to this pattern of cigarette smoking, the processor can be configured to determine a motor operation plan in which, during the hours from waking to 5:00 p.m., the user will initially be permitted to receive a cigarette every one hundred and twenty minutes on the first day, every one hundred and fifty minutes on the second day, every one hundred and eighty minutes on the third day, etc., with the period between cigarettes linearly increasing every day. In this same motor operation plan, during the hours from 5:00 p.m. to retiring, the user will initially be permitted to receive a cigarette every fifty minutes on the first day, every sixty minutes on the second day, every eighty minutes on the third day, etc., with the period between cigarettes increasing more exponentially daily.

[0052] It is noted that the processor can also be configured to determine a motor operation plan based on different intensities of smoking during different periods of the week.

[0053] Referring now to FIG. 5, it is noted that other implementations of the present disclosure can include a computing device 258 in the form of a server. The server computing device 258 can communicate with the computing device 154 to provide updates for the app, to store data about the user 64, and to assume processing operations if desired. For example, the computing device 154 can communicate the inputs entered by the pull down menus 82, 182, 282, 382 to the server computing device 258 and the server computing device 258 can determine one or more possible motor operation plans to present for choosing by the user 64.

[0054] Another embodiment of the present disclosure is shown in FIG. 6. A cigarette smoking cessation tool 10a can include a container 12a, a first door 14a, a biasing device 16a, and a motor 18a. The container 12a can have a body 20a defining a first cavity 22a with a first opening 24a. The first opening 24a can be sized to receive at least one row of cigarettes and maintain the at least one row of cigarettes in a predetermined orientation.

[0055] The body 20a can also define a chute portion 26a adjacent to the first cavity 22a. The first door 14a can be mounted for rotation within the chute portion 26a. The first opening 24a can be positioned between the first cavity 22a and the chute portion 26a. The body 20a can also define a funnel portion 28a between first cavity 22a and the chute portion 26a and the first opening 24a can be defined at the narrowest gap in the funnel portion 28a. An aperture 30a can be defined in the body 20a in communication with the chute portion 26a. The aperture 30a can be sized to correspond to the diameter of a cigarette.

[0056] The container 12a can also include a lid member 32a. The lid member 32a and the body 20a can be selectively engageable with one another. The first cavity 22a can be exposed to receive cigarettes when the lid member 32a and the body 20a are disengaged from one another. The first cavity 22a can be closed when the lid member 32a and the body 20a are engaged together. The first cavity 22a can be shaped and sized so that one or more rows of cigarettes are arranged to stay in an orientation wherein the length of each cigarette is parallel to the first opening 24a and the diameter of each cigarette is transverse to the first opening 24a. It is noted that the body 20a and the lid member 32a can be connected through a partial interference fit so that the two components can be connected and released from one another by hand, but can remain connected without a lock or clip. The body 20a and the lid member 32a can be formed from any rigid material such plastic or metal. A display 66a and a microphone 70a can also be mounted on the lid member 32a. The display 66a is thus mounted on the container 12a, in contrast to the first embodiment, wherein the display 66 is spaced from and moveable relative to the container 12.

[0057] As set forth above, the first door 14a can be mounted to the body 20a in the container 12a, enclosed in the container 12a when the lid member 32a and the body 20a are engaged together. The first door 14a can be operable to move and thereby selectively close the first opening 24a of the first cavity 22a. The first door 14a can be rotatable and have a generally barrel-like shape. The first door 14a can have lands and grooves, such as land 34 and groove 36 referenced in FIG. 3. The grooves can be sized to receive one cigarette of the at least one row of cigarettes.

[0058] The exemplary cigarette smoking cessation tool 10a can have a pair of biasing devices 16a, 116a, substantially similar to one another. Each of the biasing devices 16a, 116a can be at least partially disposed in the first cavity 22a to urge the at least one row of cigarettes against the first door 14a. The biasing devices 16a, 116a can act on a blade 38a positioned in the first cavity 22a. The blade 38a can be sized to extend almost across a majority of the width and height of the first cavity 22a. Through the blade 38a, the biasing devices 16a, 116a can urge the cigarettes against the funnel portion 28a and toward the first opening 24a.

[0059] The motor 18a can be operably mounted to the body 20a in the container 12a, enclosed in the container 12a when the lid member 32a and the body 20a are engaged together. The motor 18a can be positioned between the first door 14a and the body 20a to selectively rotate the first door 14a. The motor 18a can rotate the first door 14a to align one of the lands of the first door 14a with the first opening 24a to close the first cavity 22a. The motor 18a can rotate the first door 14a to align one of the grooves of the first door 14a with the first opening 24a to open the first cavity 22a. When one of the grooves of the first door 14a is aligned with the first opening 14a, the biasing devices 16a, 116a can urge at least one of the cigarettes of the at least one row of cigarettes through the first opening 24a and into the one of the grooves.

[0060] The motor 18a can include a shaft 40a. The motor 18a can be electric and be operable to rotate the shaft 40a in first and second directions that are opposite to one another (clockwise and counter-clockwise). The exemplary motor 18a can be a Nano Planetary 12amm DC Gearmotor--22amm Type, sold by Precision Microdrives as model number 212a-10a8. The motor 18a can be powered by a battery 46a. The battery 46a can be a Lithium Ion Polymer Battery--3.7 v 50a0 mAh, sold by Adafruit (https://www.adafruit.com/), as part number 1578. The battery 46a can be recharged through a port, such as a USB port. Charging of the battery 46a can be controlled by a module 50a. The module 50a can be a PowerBoost 50a0 Charger--Rechargeable 5V Lipo USB Boost @ 50a0 mA+, sold by Adafruit as part number 1944.

[0061] The cigarette smoking cessation tool 10a can also include a computing device 54a. The computing device 54a can be positioned in the container 12a, enclosed in the container 12a when the lid member 32a and the body 20a are engaged together. The computing device 54a can include a communication device, one or more processors, and memory. The description of these components relative to the computing device 54 is applicable to computing device 54a. The computing device 54a can electronically communicate with the display 66a and microphone 70a. The computing device 54a can allow the cigarette cessation tool 54a to operate as a stand-alone device. The computing device 54a can thus be fully positioned within the container 12.

[0062] The cigarette smoking cessation tool 10a can also include a second cavity 122a at least partially separate from the first cavity 22a. The second cavity 122a can be sized smaller than the first cavity 22a and having a second opening 124a. The second cavity 122a can receive and hold a product alternative to cigarettes, such a nicotine gun or a container of nicotine spray. The second cavity 122a can be exposed for filling when the lid member 32a and the body 20a are disengaged from one another and is at least partially closed when the lid member 32a and the body 20a are engaged together.

[0063] Referring now to FIG. 9, the cigarette smoking cessation tool 10a can also include a first gear 42a mounted on the shaft 40a for concurrent rotation with the shaft 40a. The cigarette smoking cessation tool 10a can also include a second gear 44a mounted on the first door 14a for concurrent rotation with the first door 14a. The first gear 42a can be a spur gear and the second gear 44a can be a ratchet gear. The first and second gears 42a, 44a can be meshed together such that rotation of the shaft 40a in a first rotational direction (clockwise based on the perspective of FIG. 9) results in rotation of the second gear 44a and thus the first door 14a. The first and second gears 42a, 44a can be meshed together such that rotation of the shaft 40a in a second rotational direction (counter-clockwise based on the perspective of FIG. 9) results in no rotation of the second gear 44a and thus no rotation of the first door 14a.

[0064] The cigarette smoking cessation tool 10a can also include a second door 114a mounted to the body 20a in the container 12a and be operable to move and thereby selectively and partially close the second opening 124a of the second cavity 122a. The motor 18a can be positioned between the second door 114a and the body 20a to selectively move the second door 114a. The second door 114a can be slidable is a groove 86a (referenced in FIG. 6) defined in the body 20a.

[0065] The cigarette smoking cessation tool 10a can also include a third gear 88a mounted to the second door 114a for concurrent movement with the second door 114a. The third gear 88a and the second door 114a can be interconnected through a link 90a such that rotation of the third gear 88a results in reciprocating, back and forth movement of the second door 114a. The link 90a is arrangement to be pivotally connected to both of the third gear 88a and the second door 114a. At a first end limit of travel, the second door 114a can be recessed from the second opening 124a, leaving the second opening 124a unblocked. At a second end limit of travel that is opposite to first end limit of travel, the second door 114a can be protruding across at least part of the second opening 124a, leaving the second opening 124a partially blocked.

[0066] The third gear 88a can be a ratchet gear and can be mounted on the body 12a for rotation. The first and third gears 42a, 88a can be meshed together such that rotation of the shaft 40a in a first rotational direction (clockwise based on the perspective of FIG. 9) results in no rotation of the third gear 88a and thus no movement of the second door 114a. The first and third gears 42a, 88a can be meshed together such that rotation of the shaft 40a in a second rotational direction (counter-clockwise based on the perspective of FIG. 9) results in rotation of the third gear 88a and thus movement of the first door 14a.

[0067] Referring now to FIG. 10, in operation in a "stand-by" mode, the second door 114a can partially block the second opening 124a. The second door 114a can be positioned to block a plunger 92a of a container 94a of nicotine spray. The second door 114a can be positioned to block a plunger 92a from moving downward and preventing nicotine spray from being sprayed out of a nozzle 96a. When the user 64 desires a spray of nicotine, the motor 18 can rotate the third gear 88a and cause the second door 114a to be pulled back from the second opening 124a, allowing the plunger 92a to be pressed downward. After some predetermined period of time, the computing device 54a can control the motor 18a to return the second door 114a to a position partially blocking the opening 124a.

[0068] The computing device 54a can control the display 66a so that the user is asked to indicate which product is to be dispensed, a cigarette or the product in the second cavity 122a. The selection input would be indicative of which of the first door 14a and the second door 114a to move to open the respective first opening 24 or the second opening. The motor 18a can be controlled to move the second door 114a instead of the first door 14 at the end of at least one of the different timer functions in response to receiving the selection input if the selection input is indicative of the user desiring the product other than a cigarette. The computing device 54a can also be configured to execute a secondary timer function for a period of time in response to the selection input being associated with the second door 114a and control the motor 18a to rotate the second door 114a after the secondary timer function. For example, it can be desirable to control the use of the product in the second cavity 122a.

[0069] In one or more implementations of the present disclosure, the cigarette smoking cessation tool 10a can monitor the user's health and control the dispensing of cigarettes based on improvements, or lack thereof, to the user's health. U.S. Pat. Pub. No. 20150126888 is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety. The computing device 54a can receive a plurality of exhalation inputs from the user through the microphone 70a. As disclosed in the '888 publication, an exhalation input can be converted into a numerical value associated with the user's pulmonary function. Each of the exhalation input is received by the microphone 70a as the sound generated by a forced expiratory maneuver the user. An audio file can be generated by the computing device 54a that is representative of each of the plurality of exhalation inputs. The computing device 54a can determine at least one numerical value associated with each of the exhalation inputs from the respective audio file. Each of the numerical values can be associated with the pulmonary function of the user. Examples of numerical values include (1) Forced Vital Capacity (FVC), (2) Forced Expiratory Volume in one second (FEV.sub.1), (3) FEV.sub.1/FVC, (4) Peak Expiratory Flow (PEF), and (5) Forced Expiratory Flow between 25% and 75% of FVC (FEF(25-75)). The computing device 54a can determine a difference between the numerical values associated with different exhalation inputs and output the difference on the display 66a.

[0070] In one or more implementations of the present disclosure, the computing device 54a can compare the difference between the numerical values associated with different exhalation inputs to a predetermined value. Further, the computing device 54a can control the motor 18a to rotate the first door 14a at the end of a particular time function only if the difference greater than the predetermined value. For example, if the pulmonary function of the user is not increasing as expected or as desired, the computing device 54a can determine that the first door 14a should not be moved until the user's pulmonary function improves to the predetermined level.

[0071] Example embodiments are provided so that this disclosure will be thorough, and will fully convey the scope to those who are skilled in the art. Numerous specific details are set forth such as examples of specific components, devices, and methods, to provide a thorough understanding of embodiments of the present disclosure. It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that specific details need not be employed, that example embodiments may be embodied in many different forms and that neither should be construed to limit the scope of the disclosure. In some example embodiments, well-known procedures, well-known device structures, and well-known technologies are not described in detail.

[0072] The terminology used herein is for the purpose of describing particular example embodiments only and is not intended to be limiting. As used herein, the singular forms "a," "an," and "the" may be intended to include the plural forms as well, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise. The term "and/or" includes any and all combinations of one or more of the associated listed items. The terms "comprises," "comprising," "including," and "having," are inclusive and therefore specify the presence of stated features, integers, steps, operations, elements, and/or components, but do not preclude the presence or addition of one or more other features, integers, steps, operations, elements, components, and/or groups thereof. The method steps, processes, and operations described herein are not to be construed as necessarily requiring their performance in the particular order discussed or illustrated, unless specifically identified as an order of performance. It is also to be understood that additional or alternative steps may be employed.

[0073] Although the terms first, second, third, etc. may be used herein to describe various elements, components, regions, layers and/or sections, these elements, components, regions, layers and/or sections should not be limited by these terms. These terms may be only used to distinguish one element, component, region, layer or section from another region, layer or section. Terms such as "first," "second," and other numerical terms when used herein do not imply a sequence or order unless clearly indicated by the context. Thus, a first element, component, region, layer or section discussed below could be termed a second element, component, region, layer or section without departing from the teachings of the example embodiments.

[0074] The techniques described herein may be implemented by one or more computer programs executed by one or more processors. The computer programs include processor-executable instructions that are stored on a non-transitory tangible computer readable medium. The computer programs may also include stored data. Non-limiting examples of the non-transitory tangible computer readable medium are nonvolatile memory, magnetic storage, and optical storage.

[0075] Unless specifically stated otherwise as apparent from the above discussion, it is appreciated that throughout the description, discussions utilizing terms such as "processing" or "computing" or "calculating" or "determining" or "displaying" or the like, refer to the action and processes of a computer system, or similar electronic computing device, that manipulates and transforms data represented as physical (electronic) quantities within the computer system memories or registers or other such information storage, transmission or display devices.

[0076] The present disclosure also relates to an apparatus for performing the operations herein. This apparatus may be specially constructed for the required purposes, or it may comprise a general-purpose computer selectively activated or reconfigured by a computer program stored on a computer readable medium that can be accessed by the computer. Such a computer program may be stored in a tangible computer readable storage medium, such as, but is not limited to, any type of disk including floppy disks, optical disks, CD-ROMs, magnetic-optical disks, read-only memories (ROMs), random access memories (RAMs), EPROMs, EEPROMs, magnetic or optical cards, application specific integrated circuits (ASICs), or any type of media suitable for storing electronic instructions, and each coupled to a computer system bus. Furthermore, the computers referred to in the specification may include a single processor or may be architectures employing multiple processor designs for increased computing capability.

[0077] The algorithms and operations presented herein are not inherently related to any particular computer or other apparatus. Various general-purpose systems may also be used with programs in accordance with the teachings herein, or it may prove convenient to construct more specialized apparatuses to perform the required method steps. The required structure for a variety of these systems will be apparent to those of skill in the art, along with equivalent variations. In addition, the present disclosure is not described with reference to any particular programming language. It is appreciated that a variety of programming languages may be used to implement the teachings of the present disclosure as described herein, and any references to specific languages are provided for disclosure of enablement and best mode of the present invention.

[0078] The present disclosure is well suited to a wide variety of computer network systems over numerous topologies. Within this field, the configuration and management of large networks comprise storage devices and computers that are communicatively coupled to dissimilar computers and storage devices over a network, such as the Internet.

[0079] The foregoing description of the embodiments has been provided for purposes of illustration and description. It is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the disclosure. Individual elements or features of a particular embodiment are generally not limited to that particular embodiment, but, where applicable, are interchangeable and can be used in a selected embodiment, even if not specifically shown or described. The same may also be varied in many ways. Such variations are not to be regarded as a departure from the disclosure, and all such modifications are intended to be included within the scope of the disclosure.

[0080] While the present disclosure has been described with reference to an exemplary embodiment, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes may be made and equivalents may be substituted for elements thereof without departing from the scope of the present disclosure. In addition, many modifications may be made to adapt a particular situation or material to the teachings of the present disclosure without departing from the essential scope thereof. Therefore, it is intended that the present disclosure not be limited to the particular embodiment disclosed as the best mode contemplated for carrying out this present disclosure, but that the present disclosure will include all embodiments falling within the scope of the appended claims. The right to claim elements and/or sub-combinations that are disclosed herein as other present disclosures in other patent documents is hereby unconditionally reserved.

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