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Who invented vaping?

Vaping is, for many people, the easy alternative to smoking. It cuts out almost all of the risks whilst providing all of the same benefits. Add in the fact that vapes can be both more pleasant to use and more socially acceptable, and switching to vaping feels like an obvious choice. Who, though, came up with the idea of vaping?

To most, vaping feels like a ‘new’ thing, but it has been around in some form or another since before the Second World War. Indeed, you can go back to the early 1930s to find the first vape of some form. Joseph Robinson was able to patent his own electronic cigarette, filing the patent in 1927. However, the product never took off, it was never commercially available, and there is not even any proof that a prototype was created!

This remained the case until the 1960s, when Herbert A. Gilbert created his own patent, filed in 1963 and satisfied in 1965, for an electronic smoking device. The prototypes were created this time, but like Robinson Gilbert never managed to commercialise the creation. Indeed, Gilbert believed parties were interested but waited until the patent expired to build their own as opposed to licensing his invention.

The next generation of vaping

Vaping became a bit of an afterthought for about twenty years – until Norman Jacobsen, a physician, created a commercially available e-cigarette. It did not use electricity, though, instead using an evaporation process. According to Jacobsen, the failure of this device was due to its inherent faults – it did, though, contribute to the creation of the term ‘vape’ – which has naturally stuck around ever since.

The 1990s was seen as a Wild West moment for the vaping industry, with many e-cigs appearing on the market. Few were anything like what we have today, but they followed similar enough methodologies. The main challenges came from a lack of market approval from regulators like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in America. This held back the industry, even in other countries.

The first e-cig that pairs up to anything like what we have today arrived in 2003, when Chinese pharmacist Hon Lik created his own device. His father had died of lung cancer, and it is believed that this device was hoped to provide a healthier option. The first official product of this was known as Ruyan, might means ‘like smoke’ – a fitting name.

By the mid-2000s, e-cigarettes were beginning to appear in Europe and elsewhere. So, if you want to find a ‘father’ of the e-cig industry, it could be Hon Lik. It could also be Mr. Robinson. It basically depends how far you want to go, and what you consider to be the ‘first’ vape.

Regardless of who – or when – the vape came to be, the modern equivalents blow away the first take on these smoking devices. Our own iGet Vapes are extremely popular, and would make a great choice for any Australian looking to see just how far along the technology has come. Whether you remember the first vapes or you want to try vaping for the first time, our excellent range of products will ensure you can find exactly what you are looking for.