What Is the History of E-Cigarettes?

September 19, 2022 12:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Electronic cigarettes have taken the nation by storm and become some of the most vastly used smoking methods. But where did e-cigarettes come from? Here’s a little backstory on these devices, in case you’re wondering. 

The History of E-Cigarettes

Numerous people tried to develop devices similar to the e-cigarettes we see today, but many of those efforts failed early in the process. For example, Joseph Robinson filed for a patent in 1930 but failed to commercialize it. Not much information is available on whether he even developed a prototype for it. 

Herbert A. Gilbert received a patent in 1965 to develop a product that looked similar to the devices we see today. He created prototypes that did not include nicotine, but his efforts didn’t go far. It’s been said that certain companies didn’t support his work enough for the device to make it to commercialization. 

Phil Ray partnered with some physicians to develop a version of the e-cigarette that fell short in 1979. The concept was created to allow users to "vape" their nicotine, but no working product came to fruition. Still, many people attribute research and development to this individual. 

Many companies filed for patents on nicotine inhalation devices from the 1990s to the early 200s. Unfortunately, none of those devices made it to the market because of opposition and FDA disapproval. 

Hon Lik created the first workable device in 2003 in Beijing. This individual created the device as a healthier alternative to smoking tobacco cigarettes to get nicotine. He was a smoker who had lost his father to lung cancer, and he wanted to contribute to a positive cause. His device went down in history as the first commercially successful e-cigarette, and it’s very similar to the devices we know and love today. 

Electronic cigarette sales have catapulted since they entered the industry in the mid-2000s, and people started flocking to them as a way of weaning off and quitting tobacco cigarettes. Unfortunately, many tobacco companies and organizations fought the sale of electronic cigarettes, and they continue to do so today.

The World Health Organization demanded that electronic cigarettes not be marketed as smoking cessation devices and that businesses remove all information deeming them safe and effective alternatives. Some studies showed significant proof that electronic cigarettes were much less harmful than their tobacco-based counterparts, but many large organizations and tobacco companies refuted the information. 

In 2009, the FDA and other organizations began to place various bans against selling and transporting e-cigarette devices. The president gave the FDA the authority to regulate the tobacco industry, and the e-cigarette sector has been in constant battle since then. 

Various groups are still targeting e-cigarettes to this day. They were even included in many indoor smoking bans and regulations. As you can see, these devices had a difficult time breaking through to customers, and they still face many restrictions and barriers today. Now that you know some of the history, you can appreciate your next vaping session even more.  

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