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Claims for Patent: 5,167,242

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Claims for Patent: 5,167,242

Title: Nicotine-impermeable container and method of fabricating the same
Abstract:The present invention relates to a nicotine-impermeable container and a method for fabricating same. Additionally, the invention relates to a nicotine inhaling device which allows a user to ingest nicotine vapors orally. The nicotine inhaling device of the present invention is primarily directed to a device which can be used as a smoking cessation aid.
Inventor(s): Turner; James E. (Atascosa, TX), Ellis; Michael P. (San Antonio, TX), Oldham; Ronald G. (San Antonio, TX), Hill; Ira (Locust, NJ), Malmborg; Bengt E. (Helsingborg, SE), Andersson; Sven-Borje (Od.ang.kra, SE)
Assignee: Kabi Pharmacia Aktiebolaq (SE)
Application Number:07/535,967
Patent Claims: 1. A cartridge for a nicotine inhaler, comprising:

a) a cartridge housing;

b) a passageway in said cartridge housing;

c) a nicotine reservoir in said passageway for holding a measured amount of nicotine in a form that will allow nicotine vapor to be released into a fluid stream passing around or through the reservoir;

d) said passageway comprising at least two openings communicating outside said housing for allowing a fluid stream to pass through said passageway;

e) said nicotine reservoir being sealed from the atmosphere and maintained in an effectively oxygen-free environment by a nicotine-impermeable barrier which includes passageway barrier portions for sealing the passageway on both sides of the reservoir, at least one said passageway barrier portions being penetrable for opening said passageway to the atmosphere; and

f) said passageway further having a portion inside said passageway barrier portions that is filled with inert gas.

2. The cartridge of claim 1, wherein the cartridge housing is an elongated member, the passageway being defined by the inner surface on the member and the passageway openings being located on opposite ends of the member.

3. The cartridge of claim 2, wherein the elongated member is cylindrical in shape.

4. The cartridge of claim 2 in combination with a mouthpiece, said mouthpiece comprising:

a) an elongated passageway section with openings at both ends;

b) one end of the passageway section adapted to be received in the mouth of the user;

c) the other end of the passageway section having an inner surface adapted to receive and hold said cartridge housing within the passageway section, and the mouthpiece, passageway section and cartridge communicating with each other; and

d) said other end of the passageway section includes a sharpened end around the periphery for penetrating said penetrable passageway barrier portions.

5. The cartridge of claim 4 in combination with a dispenser, said dispenser comprising:

(a) a molded plastic dispenser containing a number of compartments and a tray;

(b) said compartments are adapted to accommodate cartridges;

(c) said tray is adapted to accommodate a mouthpiece; and

(d) a sharpened tip, for penetrating the penetrable passageway barrier portions, is located at one end of the tray.

6. The cartridge of claim 1, wherein the nicotine reservoir comprises a porous polymer plug charged with nicotine free base.

7. The cartridge of claim 6, wherein the porous plug is formed of polyethylene.

8. The cartridge of claim 1, wherein said housing is formed of a copolymer of acrylonitrile and methyl acrylate.

9. The cartridge of claim 8 wherein the nicotine-impermeable barrier includes forming the passageway barrier portions of aluminum foil.

10. The cartridge of claim 9, wherein the aluminum foil includes a coating on at least one side of a copolymer of acrylonitrile and methyl acrylate with said coating being heat sealed to the housing.

11. The cartridge of claim 1, wherein said cartridge housing is covered with a layer of aluminum foil.

12. The cartridge of claim 11, wherein the aluminum foil includes a coating on at least one side of a copolymer of acrylonitrile and methyl acrylate with said coating being heat sealed to the housing.

13. The cartridge of claim 1, wherein said inert gas is nitrogen.

14. A nicotine delivery system with an extended shelf life, containing a measured amount of nicotine which can selectively be made accessible to a user, comprising:

(a) a container formed of a material which is effectively impermeable to nicotine and oxygen;

(b) a carrier in the container for carrying a measured amount of nicotine in a state which can supply nicotine in vapor form to a user, said carrier being maintained in the container in an effectively oxygen-free environment;

(c) access means for selectively providing the user with access to the interior of the container; and

(d) differential pressure means for allowing a differential pressure to be applied to the carrier for releasing nicotine in vapor form through said access means when the interior of the container is made accessible to the user.

15. The nicotine delivery system of claim 14, wherein the nicotine carrier comprises a porous polymer plug charged with a nicotine free-base.

16. The nicotine delivery system of claim 15, wherein the porous plug is formed of polyethylene.

17. The nicotine delivery system of claim 14, wherein said access means includes a selectively penetrable portion attached to the carrier by means of a nicotine-impermeable seal.

18. The nicotine delivery system of claim 14, wherein the container is tubular in shape and said access means and said differential pressure means includes penetrable seals at opposite ends of the container.

19. The nicotine delivery system of claim 14, wherein the container is formed at least in part of a polymer of acrylonitrile and methyl acrylate.

20. The nicotine delivery system of claim 19, wherein said access means is formed of an aluminum foil coated with a copolymer of acrylonitrile and methyl acrylate.

21. The nicotine delivery system of claim 20, wherein the coating of copolymer of acrylonitrile and methyl acrylate is heat sealed to the container.

22. The nicotine delivery system of claim 14, wherein the carrier is maintained in inert gas.

23. The nicotine delivery system of claim 22, wherein said inert gas is nitrogen.
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