With the popularity vaping has amassed in this current time, it is hard to believe that most people are unaware of the history of vaping. Many people don’t even know any name attached to the invention of vaping, and honestly, not so many people care to know. But if you are curious to know who invented vaping and all the exciting stories surrounding its invention, stick around to have a look-in on the history of vaping.
In this article, you will learn the basic history of vaping and the historical contributors that commercialized the invention. You will also learn some of the controversies surrounding vaping from way back, its current battle with governments all around the world, and what the future holds for vaping and vapers. Grab your vape and stay with us.
“The e-cigarette was invented in 2003 by Chinese pharmacist Hon Lik, who initially developed the device to serve as an alternative to conventional smoking.” – britannica.com
- Who Invented Vaping?
- Herbert Gilbert
- Hon Lik: Who is Hon Lik?
- The Evolution of Vaping
- What the Future Holds for Vaping
Who Invented Vaping?
There are two answers to this question, and they are both correct. Permit us to explain how two answers are right for one question. The first person on the list is Herbert Gilbert.
In his quest to find a better alternative to smoking tobacco, Gilbert invented a vaping device in 1963, which happened to be when the first vape gets invented. During his era, smoking tobacco was the order of the day, even though it was doing mind-blowing numbers in terms of sickening the smokers.
Herbert Gilbert’s burning desire to find a lasting solution to tobacco addiction pushed him to invent the first modern vape. The mechanism of the vape was very simple: it was a battery-powered device that converted water to inhalable vapor—which later became the inspiration for the name we know today.
From Scrap Dealer to Innovator
Even though Gilbert, who invented vaping, was a scrap dealer, that wouldn’t dissuade him from contributing to the combat against tobacco addiction and obesity. He intended to market the vaping device he created as a smoking cessation solution. He even ensured that there were different flavors of vape juice available to users to choose from in order to help them suppress their cravings for tobacco. Among the flavors are cinnamon, mint, rum, etc., and notable people and ardent vapers now consider these flavors the father of modern flavored vape juices, the Vapor Shoppe USA claims.
Gilbert could not strike a deal with any manufacturer to mass-produce and commercialize the vaping device he had created and patented. Perhaps, he was way ahead of his time. Due to his inability to get a manufacturing partner and his understandable frustration emanating from his 20-year stagnated invention, he folded his arms and watched his patent expire. Regardless of his failure, Gilbert has his name inscribed in history as the first person who invented vaping.
Gilbert’s invention almost vanished with the wind until some entrepreneurs picked interest in it after five decades with the objective of giving the invention a kiss of life.
Hon Lik: Who is Hon Lik?
Hon Lik was the savior of the day for Gilbert’s ideas and invention. If not for him, perhaps, vaping would have remained under the carpet till this very moment. For the same motivation and purpose as Gilbert, Hon Lik, in 2003, decided to champion the commercialization of the vape with the intent of helping tobacco smokers to quit the habit easily. Lik was a smoker, so he didn’t find it difficult to understand the plight of his fellow smokers trying to quit tobacco.
Lik revamped the old vape and transformed it into the modern vape that we have littered all over the world today. He made the vaping device very portable and fashionable for easy mobility. The first generations of Lik’s vape took a lot of inspiration from the traditional cigarette. You could even carry it on a plane, provided you follow all the guidelines of the airline you are flying with.
The breakthrough came when Lik successfully mass-produced his vape device in China. It didn’t take long before it spread to the neighboring countries, with the exceptions of European countries and the United States, which had to wait until 2009.
Perfect Timing Reason for Lik’s Success
Many people attribute Lik’s success in Europe and America to luck and perfect timing. Coincidentally, Lik, who invented vaping in 2003, pushed his device to the UK in 2009, about the same time the government vehemently prohibited the smoking of cigarettes in public places. Vaping was the closest substitute, and it was allowed in public, marking the beginning of the success story.
After doing good numbers in the UK and United States, it spread like wildfire to the rest of the world. Many vapers today believe that vaping is better than smoking cigarettes, but that is debatable.
Read more on smoking vs. vaping
So, Herbert Gilbert and Hon Lik were the two people who invented vaping. Herbert Gilbert is the father of the “olden” days vape, while Hon Lik is the father of the modern vape. Now, you know who invented vaping and why they did it.
The Evolution of Vaping
The story of vaping dates back to the 1960s when Gilbert formulated the first flavored vape juice, and Lik improved on the vape device to transform it into what we now know as the modern vape. Since then, many companies have hopped in to make customized designs. Some boast of more powerful batteries capable of producing more vapor at once. Apart from the device itself, the juice also has seen many more flavors which could contain different quantities and kinds of nicotine.
What the Future Holds for Vaping
It is pretty unclear what the future holds for vaping and vaping products. But from all indications, vaping is following the footsteps of cigarettes, the primary issue its existence is supposed to tackle. Many countries now categorize vaping products under tobacco, regulating them altogether. In the US, nicotine addiction is very prevalent among teenagers in high school. As expected, the government is very concerned and, as a response, imposed restrictions on the sales of vaping products to individuals younger than the age of 21.
In some countries, vaping is outrightly banned, while other countries have no restrictions on vaping products, including the seller and user. It’s too early to draw conclusions, but we predict governments worldwide will reach a consensus on the supply and use of nicotine.