US Fed Ponies up for Smoke Detecting Underwear Research

We always knew underwear could save lives—researchers at the University of Alabama have just received a sizable government grant of over $400,000 for continued work on their smoke detecting underwear.

Now, we’re not talking about underwear that beeps and flashes red when it senses smoke (but how awesome would that be?!), these researchers are developing high-tech sensory garments to track people’s smoking habits in order to help gather data for cessation strategies. Up until now, data about how often test subjects smoke, how deeply they inhale, and other specifics were gathered by self reporting. With the help of these very special undies, researchers could potentially gather all these details with far more regularity and accuracy.

The grant was awarded by the National Institute of Health (NIH), with which the research team hopes to improve upon their early prototype of the Personal Automatic Cigarette Tracker. The PACT currently includes a strap-on vest in addition to underwear. Their hope is to make these items as simple and wearable as possible, similar to the minimal strap of a heart monitor.

While we’ll admit that more than a few models look damn fine smoking in underwear, we’re all for a move towards more healthy living. What do you think, is smoke detecting underwear worth hard-earned tax dollars?

Photo Credits: Steven Chevrin, CNS News

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