While enjoying my dinner in a nearby Tokyo food court, I spied an older gentlemen smoking what appeared to be a conspicuous metallic cigar. Upon further introspection I ascertained this to be 「電子タバコ」--better known as electronic cigarettes to English-speakers. I had heard of ecigs before, but always thought they simply burned the tobacco using an electric heating element. Instead, this man was exhaling rapidly-evaporating fog--giving off a contradictory image of both James Bond the cool smoker and James Bond the medical device-using asthma patient. What entranced me the most was that he wasn't polluting the surrounding area with cigarette smoke. His foggy respiration was virtually scentless and dissipated almost instantly, which is why "smoking" ecigs is more accurately called "vaping." I personally don't share in Japan's affection for smoking, as the fumes bother others in the area. However, ecigs appear to be a welcome compromise for this tobacco-loving country. If the fine people of Japan could smoke to their hearts' content without bedeviling adjacent non-smokers (like me), then everybody wins. We'd be one step closer to achieving that utopian fantasy we've always dreamt about.