Nowadays, vapor products are the fastest-growing form of tobacco use. Millions across the globe are using them either to smoke or replace cigarettes.
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- Joseph Robinson
In the Twenties, Joseph Robinson filed a patent for an electronic vaporizer. Although he never released a prototype, his concept of using a device to inhale nicotine without combustion was groundbreaking at the time.
At this time, modders began creating mechanical box mods, Genesis atomizer tanks, and RDAs – innovations that would later become common commercial products. While these creations weren’t quite like what we use today, they set the foundation for future advancements in this space.
- Herbert A Gilbert
Vaping has its roots much further back than the modern e-cigarette. In America during the Twenties, a device that looked similar to what we now know as a vape was invented.
Herbert A Gilbert, a scrap metal dealer and two-pack-a-day smoker himself, created an innovative alternative to the then-record 523 billion cigarettes consumed annually in America. His invention utilized similar technology used in today’s vaping devices.
Gilbert’s patented device was a smokeless non-tobacco cigarette designed to replace nicotine with flavored chemicals (which would be less addictive than tobacco). He received his patent in 1965, created prototypes, and worked toward the commercialization of his invention.
- Hon Lik
Hon Lik, a Chinese pharmacist, pioneered the electronic cigarette: it’s an innovative device that heats the nicotine-laced liquid to create vapor. This innovation has rocked the Big Tobacco industry to its core and now accounts for $7 billion worldwide in sales.
Before inventing the e-cigarette, He was also an entrepreneur working on simpler ways to take Chinese remedies such as ginseng and deer antler. In 2013, he sold his patents to Imperial Tobacco but continued to serve as a consultant.
After years of searching, he finally found a solution to helping people kick their smoking habits without nicotine patches. But it took him 13 years to find this solution, and it’s still not perfect.
- Phil Ray
In 1979, computer pioneer Phil Ray joined forces with his doctor Norman Jacobson to develop the first commercial electronic cigarette. To perfect their product for market availability, they conducted extensive research into nicotine delivery mechanisms.
After years of trial and error, Ray and Jacobson finally developed a device that relies on evaporation rather than combustion. Unfortunately, it proved difficult for them to get their devices approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, so this method was ultimately abandoned.