The Interesting History of The Vaping Device


Vaping is now firmly established as a part of mainstream life, with vaping devices gracing the shelves of many retail stores and a host of online outlets. But how and where did this revolution start? Who created the first electronic cigarette? How has it spread into the multi-billion-dollar industry it is today? This short article will answer these questions to give you a great layman’s understanding of how vaping began.

The Earliest Vaping Delivery Systems

As early as 1927, inventors in the USA were working on electronic devices to vaporise different medical compounds to provide relief to patients. From these earliest devices evolved the first electronic cigarette, Herbert A Gilbert applied for a patent in 1963 for a smokeless cigarette which burned tobacco with warm, moist air. But, being so far ahead of its time, this invention garnered little attention and was not developed commercially. It was another twenty years until a public company called Advanced Tobacco Products introduced a further product called the ‘Favor’ cigarette. This was essentially a tube containing a paper soaked in liquid nicotine, which used no electricity or combustion; again, it was not a success.

The Father of The Electronic Cigarette

It is generally thought that the disposable vapes and vape devices of today all spawned from the creations of a Chinese pharmacist and inventor called Hon Lik. In 2001 after recently giving up smoking, he had the idea to use a high-frequency electric element to heat a pressurised jet of liquid containing nicotine. His further developments used resistance heating, and he applied for patents for his designs in 2003. They became the first commercially successful vaping device and were initially sold via the internet by small companies. The company Hon Lik worked for was called Golden Dragon Holdings, which was granted an international patent and started to export its products in 2007. Despite their patent, their designs were extensively and illegally copied in both China and the USA.

Further Developments in Quality

It can be said that the early devices did not meet users’ expectations, but further advancements would change this. In 2007 two British inventor brothers called, Umer and Tariq Sheikh, developed the Cartomizer, a device that integrates the heating element into the chamber containing the nicotine liquid. The majority of early vaping devices resembled a cigarette in shape and form, and they quickly adopted this new invention. From here, it was a short leap to replace the components of the ‘cigalike’ designs with improvements like a longer-lasting battery or a larger tank containing a larger amount of the nicotine based liquid. By 2008/9, many different vaping devices were entering the marketplace with continually improving elements like the user-activation switch.

The Growth of International Vaping

Initially, international tobacco companies were dismissive of e-cigarettes, saw them as no threat and considered them a fad that would pass in time. But by 2012, they were unable to ignore the meteoric rise of vaping and started to gain controlling interests in many of the larger companies at the forefront of the vaping revolution. In just three years, hundreds of millions of dollars changed hands, and by 2015 all the major vaping brands were owned by large international tobacco producers, such as Imperial tobacco in the USA and Japan tobacco international in Asia.

So, there we are, how vaping evolved from an idea to the billion-dollar industry today. If you are looking for a viable means to quit smoking, it may be just what you are looking for.

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