Tag Archives: nose

Medical insurers impressed by electronic smoker detector

cigarette buttsNot, that’s not a typo. A team of Australian scientists have built a device that can identify tobacco smokers without the need for bodily fluid samples:

[They] tweaked a commercially available e-nose so that it would detect the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the breath of a person who had smoked a cigarette.

The e-nose uses an array of 32 sensors whose electrical resistance changes as different VOCs are detected. The resultant “smellprint” correctly identified 37 out of 39 volunteers as either smokers or non-smokers.

Obviously the insurance companies are pretty interested in this little development – it would allow them to weed out those smokers who try to keep their premiums down by concealing their habit. There’s no news yet on devices that can detect the “pre-existing condition” of domestic abuse, though. [image by Saudi…]