Electronic cigarettes are quickly becoming a popular alternative to smoking, as well as being a quitting aid for many. They work by vaporizing a mixture of propylene glycol, flavor and nicotine, which is supposed to be less lethal than their analogue counterparts. But anyone who’s ever tried one knows that they’re quite far from the real thing, both in taste and “feel”. It’s a small price to pay for a “healthier vice”, however the ModelTwo from Ploom might represent a decent compromise for those that just can’t get used to it. Instead of flavoured propyene glycol, the ModelTwo uses actual tobacco pods, which it vaporizes, but doesn’t combust. You’re meant to smoke these over a period of 5 to 10 minutes, like a normal cigarette, instead of puffing on them non-stop like most people end up doing with traditional e-cigs. And the smoke that is produced is allegedly much closer to the real thing, while still not carrying the carcinogenic combustion by-products.
Fully charged, the ModelTwo can go through around 5 pods, and the unit charges upright on a USB-connected dock. The pods come in several flavors, ranging from honey cognac, to mint, to straight up tobacco. $6 will get you 12 pods, so this isn’t necessarily cheaper than cigarettes, but it is arguably healthier. It’s $40 for the device itself, though a starter kit with 4 pod packs and a carrying case will set you back $66. Finally, shipping starts in August.