Only in Paris: Smoking and chocolate combined

Chocolate lovers have a reason to celebrate. David Edwards, a professor of biomedical engineering at Harvard University, has developed an alternative to the pesky wrappers keeping chocoholics from enjoying a delicious indulgence: "Le Whif."

Edwards' "Whif" is an inhaler that puffs micro-particles of calorie-free cocoa bliss into your mouth that's exceeded the inventor's wildest expectations. Le Whif isn't lasting long on stores shelves, with its initial production run of 25,000 selling out in a few weeks last May in Paris.

"We did not imagine the reaction that we got at the end of the spring," Edwards said in a Reuters story on CNBC. Women seem to be "Whif's" biggest fans, stashing the inhaler in their purses to satisfy anytime chocolate cravings.

Edwards and the LeWhif team who work on Paris' Rue du Bouloi as the "Labo Group" are now working on making LeWhif a global brand. Edwards is hoping LeWhif will be on U.S. store shelves by the end of 2010.

Until then, consumers can hop the pond and pop in on the Galeries Lafayette department store in Paris where mint, raspberry and dark chocolate flavored LeWhif inhalers have been sold for about $9 since Oct. 26.

There is one drawback to LeWhif: sucking on it produces nothing more than a mouth full of powder. A design flaw Edwards hopes to correct before bringing the puffer to the U.S.

Edwards isn't stopping at chocolate inhalers, either. He's hoping to someday expand his inhaler loine to other savory snack flavors.

Sound off. Would you inhale chocolate flavored powder to satisfy a craving? How much would you spend on a LeWhif?

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