The Premise. Quitting smoking is challenging because the body learns to depend on nicotine. Gums and patches exist, but can be difficult to self-regulate, and the same goes for e-cigarettes, which sometimes reinforce the habit more than they help reduce intake.
The Product. Mynus is a small-flask sized device that smokers might not expect to be able to smoke with. Not only does it let them smoke, though, it’s designed to help them quit by reducing their nicotine intake over time. The product uses a series of step-down filters that progress from allowing 100% of the smoke through down in 10% increments to 10% itself. This creates a way that smokers can gradually wean themselves off of the bad stuff while also increasing the value of their cigarettes because the smoke stays in the Mynus chamber. Additionally, there’s almost no second-hand smoke or cigarette smell, and by having the device on-hand at all times, a fix is just a mouthpiece and a filter away.
The Pitch. CEO of Epuphany and Mynus inventor Kelly Adamic explains how the product began as a way for his hospital bed-ridden friend to have a smoke in a place he certainly wouldn’t be allowed to. From there, Kelly’s passion for a world without smokers took shape, and Mynus was adapted to allow smokers to quit gradually and on their own terms. Unlike many other anti-smoking campaigns, Mynus keeps the heavy-handedness of statistics to a minimum, and stresses that it allows smokers to still enjoy a cigarette at a level that’s satisfying for them. Mynus wants to raise $500,000 to hit the market and hopefully revolutionize the process of quitting smoking.
The Perks. Mynus is expected to start helping smokers quit in November 2014, and backers can get one for $165, with a Platinum-plated Founders edition available for $375. There’s even a almost ludicrous tier that offers 25 Mynus devices for $3,995.
The Potential. Anything that can help people quit smoking is definitely going to attract attention, but Mynus is a double-edged sword. By having a device that eliminates virtually all over the smoke and odor, desperate smokers might be inclined to use it to sneak smokes in places they would normally not be able to. And let’s not even get into what the citizens of Washington and Colorado might try to pull off with this. Ultimately, it’s up to the owner how Mynus is used, and that’s why it could both be a huge success or failure when it comes to helping people actually quit.