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A Trip Down Vaper's Lane: Who Invented the Electronic Cigarette?

Smoking tobacco leaves has been a guilty pleasure for thousands of years, but doctors and health buffs alike realized how the enjoyable rush it gives can wreak havoc to your health in more ways than one.

Dr. Benjamin Rush was one of the first professionals in the industry to point out tobacco’s detrimental effects in 1798, paving the way for the centuries-long battle against smoking addiction.

This also prompted innovators to find innovative ways to take the satisfying hit you would get from smoking tobacco, minus the health risks that come with it. That’s where the first electronic cigarette came into light, though it didn’t go under the public radar until much later.

Chasing the History of the First Vapers

The first concept of an electronic vaporizer first came to fruition in 1927, but it didn’t spread its roots into reality or into the market since the majority preferred cigarettes until the late ‘60s. By 1963, Herbert Gilbert was able to push through with the idea by patenting a “smokeless non-tobacco cigarette,” which aimed to be a healthier alternative to your usual pack of tobacco cigarettes.

While the concept is close to what you know as vaping devices today, his quest to commercialize his invention took a turn for the worse as it gradually fell into obscurity. It was only in 2003 wherein the first electronic-based cigarette first came to the spotlight, and it changed the game forever.

The Rise of Electronic Cigarettes in 2003 Going Forward

In 2003, a Chinese pharmacist called Hon Lik was the first inventor to manufacture and successfully sell the first vaping device, which took the Chinese market by storm within its first few months. More than just a novelty, Hon Lik took this passion project on in hopes of helping smokers quit since his father died due to smoking.

Being a smoker himself, he thought of the habit as something that would end up drowning him in the end. But in his desperation, he managed to break up for air, seeing the misty air surrounding the water. That’s where the idea of vapour came to reality, though it serves more as an inspiration.

The Modern E-Cigarette You Know and Love Today

It copied the look, size, and feel of a normal cigarette, except that it’s electronic and transformed different flavoured e-juice into vapour.

It expanded into international markets in 2006, and in the following year, it filled the top shelves of various stores in America as smokers saw it as an exceptional opportunity to quit without going cold turkey.

The Bottom Line: Looking Back at the First Innovator that Built the Foundation of Today’s Vaping Community

The vaping community is constantly evolving as new tips, tricks, and technologies change the game for beginners and veteran vapers alike. If you want to stay up-to-date with the latest vape trends or news in the UK, check us out at V8PR.

Our comprehensive articles explore everything you can think about vape under the sun - from busting myths, a rundown on how-tos, and the best reviews to enrich your cloud chasing adventures moving forward. You can also explore our vape kits for rookies looking to get started on the right foot!