Title:
Cigarette extinguishing system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A cigarette extinguishing device including a body having a generally flat bottom surface, a top surface, and a frustoconical bore extending between the top and bottom surfaces, and an interest feature on the exterior of the body, where the bore is sufficiently long to support a cigarette which is axially inserted therein.



Inventors:
Robertson, Alexander B. (Highland Park, IL, US)
Application Number:
10/651369
Publication Date:
03/03/2005
Filing Date:
08/29/2003
Assignee:
Adams Apple Distibuting L.P. (Glenview, IL, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
131/256
International Classes:
A24F13/18; (IPC1-7): A24F13/18
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MAYES, DIONNE WALLS
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MICHAEL BEST & FRIEDRICH LLP (Chi) (MILWAUKEE, WI, US)
Claims:
1. A cigarette extinguishing device comprising: a body having a generally flat bottom surface, a top surface, and a frustoconical bore extending between the top and bottom surfaces.

2. The cigarette extinguishing device of claim 1 including an interest feature on the exterior of the body.

3. The cigarette extinguishing device of claim 1 in which the interest feature is chosen from the group consisting of a recognizable utilitarian object, an imaginary object, a human, animal or insect, or a cartoon, movie, or other imaginary character.

4. The cigarette extinguishing device of claim 1 in which the body is made of a material chosen from the group consisting of metal, wood, and plastic.

5. The cigarette extinguishing device of claim 1 in which the bore is sufficiently long to support a cigarette which is axially inserted therein.

6. The cigarette extinguishing device of claim 1 in which the bore includes a circular top opening and the diameter of the top opening is sized to allow a cigarette to be freely moved axially into the bore while limiting air flow while the cigarette is disposed therein.

7. A cigarette extinguishing system including a body having a generally flat bottom surface, a top surface, and a frustoconical bore extending between the top and bottom surfaces; and an ashtray including an upstanding member of a height and diameter sufficient to extend part way into the bore when the body member is placed thereon.

8. The cigarette extinguishing system of claim 7 in which the upstanding member includes a top generally flat extinguishing surface.

9. The cigarette extinguishing system of claim 7 in which the upstanding member is frustoconical in shape.

10. The cigarette extinguishing device of claim 7 including an interest feature on the exterior of the body.

11. The cigarette extinguishing device of claim 7 in which the interest feature is chosen from the group consisting of a recognizable utilitarian object, an imaginary object, a human, animal or insect, or a cartoon, movie, or other imaginary character.

12. The cigarette extinguishing device of claim 7 in which the bore is sufficiently long to support a cigarette which is axially inserted therein.

13. The cigarette extinguishing device of claim 7 in which the bore includes a circular top opening and the diameter of the top opening is sized to allow a cigarette to be freely moved axially into the bore while limiting air flow while the cigarette is disposed therein.

14. A cigarette extinguishing system including an ashtray including an upstanding member; and a plurality of bodies having a variety of different interest features which may be interchangeably mounted on the upstanding mounting member, each body having a generally flat bottom surface, a top surface, and a frustoconical bore extending between the top and bottom surfaces.

15. The cigarette extinguishing system of claim 14 in which the upstanding member includes a top generally flat extinguishing surface.

16. The cigarette extinguishing system of claim 14 in which the upstanding member is frustoconical in shape.

17. The cigarette extinguishing device of claim 14 including an interest feature on the exterior of the body.

18. The cigarette extinguishing device of claim 14 in which the interest feature is chosen from the group consisting of a recognizable utilitarian object, an imaginary object, a human, animal or insect, or a cartoon, movie, or other imaginary character.

19. The cigarette extinguishing device of claim 14 in which the bore is sufficiently long to support a cigarette which is axially inserted therein.

20. A cigarette extinguishing device comprising: a body having a generally flat bottom surface, a top surface, and a frustoconical bore extending between the top and bottom surfaces; and mounting means for removably attaching the body to a surface.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates generally to devices for extinguishing burning cigarettes and, more particularly, to devices and systems for extinguishing burning cigarettes which are particularly convenient, effective, and economical.

Cigarettes are conventionally snubbed out or extinguished in an ashtray by crushing the burning tip of the cigarette to break up and scatter the ashes and burning cigarette embers while smothering the remaining burning residue. This often involves repeated tamping to achieve complete extinguishing.

Various devices have been developed to snub out burning cigarettes. Among these, there have been a number of devices in which a confined cavity is provided for receiving the burning tip of the cigarette. Oxygen flow into the confined cavity is limited, so that as the cigarette tip is pressed home, the crushing action along with the restricted oxygen flow tends to produce a simpler and more certain extinguishing effect.

Such devices often nevertheless permit undesirable smoldering as the cigarette is extinguished. Additionally, these prior art snubbing devices have not been generally convenient to use and oftentimes are not as effective as may be desired. Therefore, a need exists for a new and improved cigarette extinguisher which overcomes the problems and shortcomings of the prior art.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with the present invention, a cigarette extinguishing device is provided with a body having a generally flat bottom surface, a top surface, and a frustoconical bore extending between the top and bottom surfaces. Preferably, the cigarette extinguishing device includes an interest feature on the exterior of the body such as a recognizable utilitarian object, an imaginary object, a human, animal or insect, or a cartoon, movie, or other imaginary character. Also, the bore should be sufficiently long to support a cigarette which is axially inserted therein. Finally, the body of the device may be provided with means for removable attachment to a surface, such as the dashboard of a car.

In one important alternate embodiment, the invention comprises a cigarette extinguishing system including a cigarette extinguishing device as described above and an ashtray with an upstanding member of a height and diameter sufficient to extend part way into the bore of the cigarette extinguishing device when it is placed on the ashtray.

In another important embodiment of the invention, a single ashtray with an upstanding member of a height and diameter sufficient to extend part way into the bore of the cigarette extinguishing device is provided along with a collection of cigarette extinguishing device bodies having a variety of different interest features. These bodies may be interchangeably mounted on the upstanding mounting member.

Finally, the body of the cigarette extinguishing device may be provided with means for removable attachment to a surface such as the dashboard of a car.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a cigarette extinguishing device in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the bottom of the cigarette extinguishing device of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a cigarette extinguishing device in accordance with the present invention in a conventional ashtray;

FIGS. 4 and 5 are, respectively, perspective views of a specially adapted ashtray cigarette extinguishing device and a system including the specially adapted ashtray and a cigarette extinguishing device mounted thereon, all in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a collection of cigarette device bodies in accordance with the present invention, having a plurality of different interest features; and

FIGS. 7, 8A and 8B are, respectively, a perspective view of a bayonet mountable cigarette extinguishing device, a bottom view of the bayonet mountable cigarette extinguishing device showing the mounting lugs, and the bayonet mount receptacle.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION

Referring first to FIGS. 1 and 2, a cigarette extinguishing device in accordance with the present invention is indicated by reference number 10. Extinguisher 10 includes a body 12 having an exterior configuration in the form of a recognizable utilitarian object, an imaginary object, a human, animal or insect, or a cartoon, movie, or other imaginary character. In the illustrated embodiment, the exterior body 12 is in the form of a frog. I refer to this exterior configuration as the “interest feature,” with the frog interest feature designated 13 in FIG. 1.

Body 12 includes a generally flat bottom surface 14 and a top surface 16. A bore 18 extends between the top and bottom surfaces.

Bore 18 is preferably in the frustoconical form of a truncated cone having a generally annular wall 22 which slopes outwardly from its top circular opening 24 to its bottom circular opening 26. This frustoconical shape permits the cigarette tip to spread out as it is pressed home in the bore. The circumference of top opening 24 should be slightly larger than the outer circumference of a cigarette to allow the cigarette to be freely moved axially into the bore while limiting air flow while the cigarette is disposed therein. The length of the bore should be sufficient to support a cigarette which is axially inserted therein.

The body of the extinguisher device may be made of any material capable of being formed into the desired configuration. For example, it may be formed of metal, wood, etc. In a preferred embodiment, the device is formed of a suitable plastic, such as polycarbonate, polyvinylchloride, etc. The material used should resist burning or melting when exposed to the burning tip of a cigarette inserted into bore 18. If desired, the bore may be coated or lined with a fire-resistant material.

Cigarette extinguishing device 10 may be placed in any conventional ashtray 30 which has a sufficiently large flat surface to support body 12, as illustrated in FIG. 3. Alternatively, a specially adapted ashtray 32 may be provided as illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4. Ashtray 32 includes an upstanding member 34 with a top generally flat extinguishing surface 36 which is of a height “A” and a diameter sufficient to extend part way into and substantially close off a bottom portion of bore 18 when body member 12 is placed thereon. It is preferred that the upstanding member be of a frustoconical shape corresponding to that of bore 18. Whether the cigarette extinguishing device is used with a conventional ashtray or with a specially adapted ashtray as illustrated, the body portion is removable from the ashtray to clean ash build-up either on the flat surface of the conventional ashtray or on the extinguishing surface 36 of member 34 in the specially adapted ashtray.

The invention also comprises a system including a single ashtray with upstanding mounting member 34, as illustrated in FIG. 4, and a collection of different bodies 12A-12L, each having a frustoconical bore 18 and a different interest feature, as shown in FIG. 6. The interest features add attraction to the use of the system, encouraging the user to snuff out his or her cigarette more often, thereby reducing the user's smoking generally and also reducing second-hand smoke produced by cigarettes that have not been completely extinguished. Additionally, it has been found that cigarettes snuffed out in this system can be relit with minimal after-taste of the sort experienced when cigarettes are snuffed out in the conventional way. This is believed to result from the frustoconical shape of bore 18 which facilitates the compacting or compressing of the ashes at the tip of the cigarette while maintaining minimal air flow to that area, thereby improving the extinguishing effectiveness.

Turning lastly to FIGS. 7, 8A and 8B, a bayonet mountable cigarette extinguishing device 40 is shown in which the interest feature 42 is a bearded motorcyclist with helmet and goggles on his head. The bayonet mountable cigarette extinguishing device includes a frustoconical bore 44 as described above in connection with FIGS. 1 and 2. The bottom 46 of the device has a bayonet mount device 48 including mounting lugs 50. The bayonet mounting device closes off the bottom of bore 44 which therefore cannot be seen in this figure. In a preferred embodiment, a metal insert (not shown) in interposed between the bottom of the bore and the top of the bayonet mount device to help dissipate heat from the burning tip of the cigarette inserted therein. Finally, a bayonet mount receptacle 52 is also provided with a bayonet opening 54 for receiving and locking bayonet mount device 48 to the bayonet mount receptacle. The bayonet mount receptacle 52 is intended to be fixed to a surface such as the dashboard of a car by a self-stick adhesive strip (not shown) on its bottom 56 or by other mounting means. This permits cigarette extinguishing devices to be mounted wherever needed or desired.

Preferred embodiments of this invention are described herein, including the best mode known to the inventor for carrying out the invention. Variations of those preferred embodiments may become apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art upon reading the foregoing description. The inventor expects skilled artisans to employ such variations as appropriate, and the inventor intends for the invention to be practiced otherwise than as specifically described herein. Accordingly, this invention includes all modifications and equivalents of the subject matter recited in the claims appended hereto as permitted by applicable law. Moreover, any combination of the above-described elements in all possible variations thereof is encompassed by the invention unless otherwise indicated herein or otherwise clearly contradicted by context.