Who did invent the e-cigarette?
Mention the history of vaping and most people will tell you that Hon Lik invented the e-cigarette. But did you know there were quite a few inventors of the e-cigarette before him?
The first man said to have invented the e-cigarette is a gentleman called Herbert A Gilbert. It was back in 1963 that he filed a patent for his e-cigarette but, according to reports, his attempt to get backing for his e-cigarette failed because in the 1960’s everyone smoked, and no one really understood the harm it was doing.
The next man to invent the e-cigarette was a gentleman called J Phillip Ray.
He filed his patent in 1980. This time the device didn’t take off, allegedly because the tobacco industry was busy suppressing any alternatives to smoking, including Mr Ray’s e-cig.
So it was Hon Lik’s patent, filed in 2003, that was the one that succeeded. Hon Lik is a chemist and medical researcher who ironically now works for Imperial Tobacco. Fed up with his own 20 a day habit and the fact that his father was dying of lung cancer, Hon Lik set about inventing a less harmful cigarette. The story is that the idea came to him in a dream, where he was dying via drowning, his lungs were filling with water, and suddenly the water turned into a harmless vapour, and hence the idea for the e-cig.
By 2006 electronic cigarettes had made their way from China to the USA and Europe, and by 2008, we had the start of what is now the e-cigarette industry.
The e-cigarette industry has evolved into a $6 billion dollar global phenomenon, the power house still being China, but many manufacturers are now designing and creating their own devices in house, like Totally Wicked with our bespoke UK produced e-liquids and the UK designed and manufactured e-cigarettes.
It seems that Hon Lik, the inventor of the modern day e-cigarette, was in the right place, at the right time, and the world was eventually ready for his idea.
Want more Vaped? Check out our other Article – ‘Fundamentals of an Electronic Cigarette‘