A brief history of the electronic cigarette

By the end of 2013 electronic cigarettes had grown into a billion dollar industry with millions of smokers across the globe stubbing out tobacco cigarettes and making the switch to vaping. Interestingly e cigarettes are not a new invention; they were first developed in the 1960’s, but it seemed that the world wasn’t quite ready for them then.

Ahead of the times

In 1963 Herbert A. Gilbert filed a patent for an electronic smoking device and to this day he is credited with being the first person to have thought up the idea of an alternative to smoking tobacco cigarettes. Unfortunately for Gilbert, who was very aware of the dangers of tobacco, the world wasn’t ready for his invention. Cigarettes were so accepted by 1960s society that they were even smoked in schools, hospitals and universities. The technology to build these devices was also lacking somewhat and an alternative to tobacco cigarettes just wasn’t considered a priority so the idea was shelved.

Right time, right place

40 years later, in 2003 electronic cigarettes returned to the spotlight when Han Lik, a Chinese pharmacist and smoker himself, set out to develop a device that would allow us to enjoy nicotine through inhalation without tobacco, smoke or any of the chemicals produced by a traditional cigarette. Lik’s product development came at the right time and the Chinese market fast caught on to this an alternative to smoking, or as its now known, vaping.

Consumer acceptance of the electronic cigarette rapidly spread across Asia and on to Europe. In 2007 these smart smoking devices entered the American market. With no pungent smell, no intrusive smoke and no match or lighter required, e cigarettes quickly changed the way in which we enjoy our nicotine. The positive press that these cigarettes have attracted has also had a huge influence on their popularity, with the benefits of these devices becoming evident to all who use them. With some studies suggesting that e cigarettes are between one hundred and one thousand times less harmful to your health than a tobacco cigarette, the incentive to make the switch has, for millions, been too good to resist.

E cigarettes have taken the world by storm and the market has grown exponentially over the last few years. The proof of their success is clearly evident as the demand for electronic cigarettes, e juice and other associated items continues to soar and millions of smokers continue to make the switch.