History of Electronic Cigarettes

Courtesy of Google

Courtesy of Google

Chinese pharmacist Hon Lik is credited with today’s invention of the electronic cigarette. After losing his father to smoking-induced lung cancer, Mr. Lik began to break his pack-a-day habit with nicotine patches. Unfortunately for the inventor, the nicotine patches only gave him nightmares when he forgot to take the patches off before going to bed. Yet those restless nights gave him the idea for a device that would solve his nicotine addiction. In 2003, Mr. Lik came up with the idea of using a device that vaporized liquid nicotine diluted in propylene glycol solution. The device would produce a smoke-like vapor that can be inhaled and provide delivery of nicotine into the bloodstream via the lungs. That device became known as the electronic cigarette.

In the vaping community, the Mr. Lik is considered the father of the electronic cigarette. But is he really? The history of electronic cigarette did not begin in 2003, but in 1963. Forty years ago. The earliest electronic cigarette was patented by Herbert A. Gilbert on April 17, 1963. Mr. Gilbert patented the device as a “smokeless non-tobacco cigarette.” The device involved replacing burning tobacco and paper with flavored air. But during that time, the dangers of analog cigarettes was unknown so there wasn’t a demand for an alternative to smoking. The device was never commercialized.

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