Dickon Ross, editor-in-chief

Editor's Letter

Shhh... don’t tell anyone, but we may have a way to help you back on track with those New Year’s resolutions

Every new year around three quarters of the adults in Britain make a resolution to change something in their lives. And every January most of those resolutions will be broken. In this issue we see how technology could help with two of the hardest.

Our cover shows Bill Wyman, former Rolling Stones bassist, brandishing an Ultimo Electronic Cigarette. E-cigarettes are growing in popularity so fast that the brands may one day be as famous – or infamous – as Marlboro or Silk Cut. Some smokers say the substitutes, which provide the nicotine without the tar, helped them to quit – yet some countries banned them. Mark Harris reports on the evidence, the issues and the sometimes surprising positions of industry, campaigners and government in his investigation.

Losing weight accounts for up to half of new year resolutions, according to surveys. Could technology help? Breathable foods come in little plastic capsules, which you put to your lips and inhale, rather like an asthma inhaler. They promise all the taste of real food without the calories. The idea comes from David Edwards, the Harvard University professor of biomedical engineering who pioneered inhaled insulin and whose day job is more concerned with how nanotechnology could help to deliver drugs and vaccines to the lungs and other organs. Christine Evans-Pugh investigates.

E&T starts the new year with a new design and brand new website. In the magazine, we're doing more pages in each issue, but to the more familiar monthly frequency rather than every three weeks or so as we published last year. So you'll still get all the in-depth features you expect but we've topped it off with some new elements here and there, including picture spreads, more graphics and new signposting based on the new IET sectors. Our regular columnists will now appear in every issue, as will our dispatch reports from the heart of America and Europe. There's a regular technical 'teardown' in our reviews section, which now brings together everything from books to software. And we bring you the engineering wonders of the world in our new 'Classic projects' series.

Following the interest in last issue's debate on the Young Woman Engineer of the Year Award in the pages of E&T and online, we're making it a regular feature in 2011. The first in this issue is 'This house believes TV reality shows contain good models for managers in the science, engineering and technology professions'. You can join the debate online.

We're beefing up E&T online with a brand new website of its own, with a fresh design and better functionality. We've made it easier for everyone to find E&T online in the first place, and easier to find your way around once you're there. We're investing in much better news coverage in the website, new blogs and more multimedia. Check it out when it goes live on 20 January at www.EandTmagazine.com.

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