Title:
Room second hand smoke eliminator
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A portable system vents smoke from tobacco products to the outdoors. The system has at least:
    • a) a frame defining a volume;
    • b) a support for an ashtray in the volume at forward in the frame;
    • c) a rearward opening in the frame; and
    • d) a fan located adjacent or within the opening with its blades positioned to draw smoke away from the ashtray when the fan blades are turning.



Inventors:
Davis, Josie L. (Bloomington, MN, US)
Application Number:
12/008366
Publication Date:
07/16/2009
Filing Date:
01/10/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A24F19/10
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MAYES, DIONNE WALLS
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Mark A. Litman & Associates, P.A. (Edina, MN, US)
Claims:
What is claimed:

1. A portable system for venting smoke from tobacco products outdoors comprising: a) a frame defining a volume; b) a support for an ashtray in the volume at forward in the frame; c) a rearward opening in the frame; and d) a fan located adjacent or within the opening with its blades positioned to draw smoke away from the ashtray when the fan blades are turning.

2. The portable system of claim 1 wherein the fan is removable from within the frame without damage to the frame.

3. The portable system of claim 1 wherein the volume is defined by a rear section and four panels projecting perpendicularly from the rear section to form a rectangular volume.

4. The portable system of claim 3 wherein two additional panels in the portable system are able to slide parallel to the rear section to expand the dimensions of the portable system.

5. The portable system of claim 3 wherein the four panels are able to fold flat against the rear panel.

6. The portable system of claim 1 wherein a support for the ashtray is on a lower element of the portable system.

7. The portable system of claim 3 wherein the frame comprises cardboard.

8. The portable system of claim 4 wherein the two additional panels are able to cover the rearward opening when moved together.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to the field of room air cleansing and particularly to removing tobacco product smoke from rooms with a convenient and even portable device.

2. Background of the Art

Even if the well-documented and hard scientific evidence of direct health risks from smoking tobacco products were not sufficient reason, and even if the risks from second hand smoke weren't intuitively obvious (even if pockets of resistance to that cause and effect still persist), the offensive smell and contamination to residences, furniture and clothing should be sufficient reason to attempt to reduce persistent smoke residue from rooms.

Regulation of smoking has progressively diminished the number of sites available for smoking and relegated them to inconvenient locations. Secondhand smoke is a mixture of the smoke given off by the burning end of a cigarette, pipe, or cigar, and the smoke exhaled from the lungs of smokers. This mixture contains more than 4,000 substances, more than 40 of which are known to cause cancer in humans or animals and many of which are strong irritants. Exposure to secondhand smoke is called involuntary smoking or passive smoking. To avoid exposure of nonsmokers to secondhand smoke, smoking is prohibited in most indoor public spaces, and regulation of smoking in outdoor public spaces is increasing.

Among the results of the such regulation is that smokers are more acutely aware than ever of where they are allowed to smoke, and the population of smokers is more and more dense in sites where smoking is allowed. The segregation and isolation of smokers can be exploited commercially through, for example, providing attractive locations for smoking for a fee and therein offering goods, services, and marketing messages tailored specifically for smokers (“targeted marketing”).

Published U.S. Patent Application No. 20070243809 discloses a Automobile Smoke Vent allows smoke from cigarettes, pipes, and cigars to exit the vehicle without letting conditioned air out (heated or cooled). It also allows the smoke to escape without letting rain or snow in. The invention allows minute amounts of condition air out along with the smoke. The adjustable swing arm is a dramatic help in limiting the size of the opening between the window and the invention. The swing arm is important, in the fact that it makes the invention adjustable to fit many different make and models of cars and trucks. The adjustable swing arm takes the guess work out of fitting the invention to car and trucks. When constructed of clear plastic the invention will not hinder the vision of the people in the vehicle. The invention can be used for advertising by various related manufactures, such as cigarette makers, cigar makers, pipe makers, radio stations etc . . . . It is compact and folds for easy storage.

Published U.S. Patent Application No. 20070181000 air quality device includes a housing defining an airflow path, a humidity control module in flow communication with the airflow path, and an air contaminant removal module. The air contaminant removal module comprises at least one of a particle removal module arranged within the housing, an odor removal module arranged within the housing, and an anti-microbial module arranged within the housing.

Published U.S. Patent Application No. 20060027242 surrounds the smoking product itself, such as where a cigarette or cigar is contained within an enclosure. The enclosure comprises filters that reduce tar output to the surrounding atmosphere. The device has a mouthpiece that collects and introduces additional oxygen into smoke prior to the smoke being ingested by the smoker, thereby reducing levels of carbon monoxide, and oxidizing components of the tar.

Published U.S. Patent Application Nos. 20030186641 and 20030129936 discloses a room ventilator for venting smoke exhaled by a smoker from a room to an exterior location. The room ventilator has an intake unit located in the room for drawing in smoke exhaled by the smoker, an air pump for producing an air flow to draw the smoke into the intake unit and exhausting the smoke to the exterior location, a connecting tube for connecting the intake unit to the air pump, and a window outlet adjuster for mounting in a window which enables a connecting tube to pass from the room to the exterior location. The window outlet adjuster has adjustable flaps for forming a barrier between the room and the exterior. Another embodiment is a ventilating unit having first and second sensors for respectively detecting the presence of first and second air pollutants at an interior location and starting an air pump when at least one of the first and second air pollutants is detected, an intake unit for drawing in the detected air pollutants, and a duct connecting the intake unit to the exterior for venting the detected air pollutants.

Published U.S. Patent Application No. 20010049927 describes a modular air circulation and filtration unit, which can be conveniently installed in any conventional drop ceiling, as well as, other types of ceilings is disclosed. The circulation and filtration unit includes a housing, an electric rotary blade fan assembly, and one or more air filters. The sealed housing is shaped and dimensioned to approximate the panel space of a conventional drop ceiling or the joist spacing of conventional joist ceilings.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,523,544 discloses a fan-assisted ashtray includes a hollow body having a lid for closing an open top thereof; a tray member for containing ash from a smoker's article; a filter member located below the tray member; and an electric fan located below the filter member for drawing air and smoke into the filter member and for exhausting air to the exterior of the body through a vent. The filter member extends across an entire horizontal sectional area of the body. Other “smokeless” ashtrays are described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,542,438; 5,259,400; 4,996,995; 4,883,224; and 4,671,300.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,775,987 discloses a system of casino tobacco smoke elimination based around a series of slot-like air intakes in which slot length is at least twice as great as slot height. In a preferred embodiment air velocity measured at the slot mouth should be about 1300 feet per minute, and a properly operating slot intake should provide a critical air capture velocity of about 50 feet per minute measured six inches from the slot mouth. A screen is preferably placed over the intake vents to prevent unwanted items from being pulled into the system. The suction system powering the slot-like intakes can end in a fan/filter unit that removes smoke pollutants and returns the cleaned air to the room, or the smoke laden air may be exhausted to the outside by the buildings air conditioning-ventilation system which also provides conditioned fresh air to replace the exhausted smoke. The configuration of the present system may be used in connection with numerous gaming devices, such as gaming tables, slot machines, video bars and nongaming structures such as restaurant booths and bars. When configured for slot machines, the intake vents are placed above and to the sides of the slot machines.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,048,545 discloses a portable smoke removal device wherein major and minor smoke streams given out during smoking are temporarily stored in a storage section by means of a forcible sucking device. The storage section is taken out to the outdoors later, and the stored smoke is exhausted. The forcible sucking device comprises fans, a pump, or the like, or it utilizes the gravitational force or spring force.

In spite of these many efforts at providing products that reduce persistence of smoke within a room, it is desirable to find more convenient and alternative structures for removing smoke from tobacco products from rooms.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A window placement carrying system is provided that can be set into room windows. The system will contain at least a holder for an ashtray and a motor vent carrying air and smoke from the room and ashtray outside of the window. The system may be collapsible and may be adjustable to fit different size windows.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

FIG. 1 shows a partially collapsed system for removing smoke.

FIG. 2 shows a system for removing smoke from a wall that has been installed in a room window.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The technology described herein includes a smoke venting system comprising a surrounding frame, a vent hole for a fan, a support for an ashtray wherein the frame can fit or be adjusted to fit into an open window and the fan is either removable from the frame or built into the frame. It is preferred that the frame be collapsible to facilitate transportation of the smoke venting system from window to window, room to room and house to house.

It is also desirable to have a frame that has adjustable extensions in vertical and horizontal directions so that the system can be used with windows of different sizes. The composition of the frame should similarly be made of a light weight material and preferably a fire resistant material. There is no need for smoke filters in the system as the objective is for direct emission or venting of the smoke from the tobacco product to the outdoors, with as little persistence as possible within a room. To this end, an ashtray is preferably placed within a volume defined by the frame and, with the fan motor running, smoke is immediately vented from the volume to the outdoors with as little technical complexity as is possible. A smoker would likely position himself near a window where the system was installed, and repeatedly place the cigarette within the volume, on an ashtray when not inhaling. This minor inconvenience would be a courtesy to the people in the room and would reduce the persistent smoke emission into the room. This would significantly reduce second hand smoke effects and reduce smoke odors in the room.

Reference to the Figures will assist in an appreciation of the technology described herein. Identical numbers in the different figures represent the same or similar elements of the system.

FIG. 1 shows a partially collapsed frame 2 for insertion and fitting into a window. The partially collapsed frame 2 is shown as having two opposed horizontal moving flaps 10 and 12, two vertical moving flaps 6 and 8 and a back layer 11 that will be positioned closes to the outside of the window opening. This embodiment of FIG. 1 is shown with an opening 14. Into which the blades and frame of a circular fan (not shown) would be fixed or removably inserted. A support 16 for the fan is also shown. An ashtray support 18 is shown where an ashtray would be placed and cigarettes (or other smoking items) would be placed. The fan would be positioned in the frame 2 so that smoke was drawn from the ashtray out of the window, through opening 14.

The frame 2 is shown with two slidable (they may also be foldable or accordion in function) panels 20 and 22 that slide from within or along the back layer 11 so that the frame will better fill a window opening or frame. Vertically slidable panels (not shown) inside or along the back layer 11 may also or alternatively be used to provide a better vertical fit into a window.

The two slidable panels 20 and 22 are shown closing the hole 14 by abutting along area 24. That area 24 is shown with a gap, but the gap may be closed so that the opening may be closed between the room and the outdoors. When the panels 6, 8, 10 and 12 are fully extended, they will form a rectangular (approximately) volume with the back side 11. There may be additional flaps or extensions (not shown) adjacent the panels 6, 8, 10 and 12 to provide additional structural support to the frame, acting as struts.

The structural material used for the frame my be any structural material, with cost and weight being a primary concern. To that end, cardboard, polymeric foam, paper board, plastic and composites are preferred. Coatings may be placed on the cardboard and paper board (especially) so that residual smoke deposits can be wiped from the surface. This would reduce the level of smell of the smoke from being carried around with a portable frame.

FIG. 2 shows a window 30 and frame 32 having a system 2 of FIG. 1 installed therein. A fan 24 is positioned within the frame so that its blades 26 drive smoke and air outside. The base 28 of the fan 24 is seated against a floor 34 of the frame, rather than on a special support (16) as shown in FIG. 1. The ashtray 36 is positioned between the room and the fan 24 so that smoke is drawn away from the ashtray and directed outdoors. The panels 20 and 22 are shown extended so that they better seal the window 30.

The technology described herein may be generally described as a portable system for venting smoke from tobacco products to the outdoors. The system may be generally described as:

a) a frame defining a volume;

b) a support for an ashtray in the volume at forward in the frame;

c) a rearward opening in the frame; and

d) a fan located adjacent or within the opening with its blades positioned to draw smoke away from the ashtray when the fan blades are turning.

The fan may be removable from within the frame without damage to the frame. The volume is defined by a rear section and four panels projecting perpendicularly from the rear section to form a rectangular volume. Two additional panels in the portable system may be able to slide parallel to the rear section to expand the dimensions of the portable system. The four panels may be able to fold flat against the rear panel. A support for the ashtray is on a lower element of the portable system. The frame preferably comprises cardboard. The two additional panels may be able to cover the rearward opening when moved together.

Although specific descriptions are provided in the disclosure of this technology, the concepts claimed herein are to be regarded as generic descriptions that are not specifically limited by any specific disclosures. The size of the system, the power of the fan, the materials used to construct the system may be varied by one skilled in the art.

Additional features may be present in the system such as an intelligent control of the use of the fan motor. For example, a particle/smoke detector may be present to adjust the speed/rate of the fan such that when a cigarette is not present the fan may operate at a first speed that is slower than a speed when smoke is sensed in the vicinity of the detector and the system. The first speed may be an OFF function if the absence of smoke occurs over a predetermined length of time. The rate of gas movement by the fan may change by at least 25% from a condition where little or no smoke is detected to a condition where smoke is detected above a certain level. The smoke detection element of a smoke alarm can be used for the sensing of the level of smoke, and a typical rheostat or energy control device can be used to control power to the motor of the fan. Either electrical outlet connections (preferred), battery operation and/or solar power (as the device is in a window) may be used with the system.