I'll come clean. I vape.
I blame my wife, but don't we all. She switched to e-cigarettes a couple of years back, having been an occasional smoker. Last year, I tried a couple of puffs. And of course, now I'm totally addicted.
I gave up drinking in exchange. I know which vice feels healthier, and it doesn't involve downing a bottle of wine or sake each evening.
It doesn't help that my Juul device looks tech -- Wired magazine said the Pax Labs product "might just be the first great e-cig" -- and passes muster as a flash drive wherever I travel. The steam it emits has little to no odor. And it's a great little break as I sit here pondering the next keys to pound on my keyboard.
In Asia, cigarette makers hope to find plenty more instant customers like me. And eventually, I'm betting they'll get them. Like the moment of the next stock market crash, though, the timing is anyone's guess.
How fast that happens matters immensely to Big Tobacco. Asia is the world's biggest tobacco market, and last stand. At least two in five men in the region smoke, no matter the country, according to figures from the World Health Organization.
Japan is proving the savior of Philip Morris (PM) , as I wrote at the start of the month. Sales of its "heets," the tobacco sticks that go in its iQos device, make up for flagging sales of normal cigarettes. Sales of cancer sticks dropped a remarkable 25% in the second quarter of this year in Japan, but heets replaced that empty space.