With most Americans having to tighten their belts in a sputtering economy, taxpayers might be miffed to learn the government gave more than 400 grand to develop underwear that can detect cigarette smoke. The dough came in the form of two grants totaling $402,721 to the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, for researchers to create the Personal Automatic Cigarette Tracker or PACT.

According to the National Institute of Health, the device -- the prototype of which is sized like a vest; an underwear-sized garment is the goal -- is to better study when and how people smoke, as self evaluations are often inaccurate.