Vaping is popular and common in today's world, but it's easy to forget that vaping has only been in mainstream culture for about 20 years. While its rise has been meteoric, many are quite unaware of the history of vaping or even where it first took root.
In this article, we'll take you through the basic history of vaping, including historical figures that contributed to some of the qualities we like most about vaping! We'll also take a look at how vaping has quickly changed, and what you can expect to see from vaping in the future!
Who Invented Vaping?There are two possible answers to this question, and both are actually correct. The first person we have on record who made a vaping device was Herbert Gilbert. In 1963, when tobacco smoking was extremely popular, Gilbert was looking for an alternative away from traditional smoking.
Though a scrap dealer by trade, Gilbert created the first modern vape. It was a device that used a battery in order to vaporize a liquid that the user would inhale. He intended to market this device as a smoking cessation solution and even a weight-loss solution (users could choose a flavor of vape juice and vape to suppress their appetite).
Gilbert created ten flavors, which included mint, rum, and cinnamon, and these flavors are considered the father of modern flavored vape juices. Unfortunately, as with many forward thinkers, Gilbert was unable to find a manufacturing partner to mass-produce his patented vaping device.
Unable to bring his product to the mainstream, Gilbert was forced to let his patent expire after 20 years. It wouldn't be until about 50 years later that other entrepreneurs would take a look at his designs and attempt to bring vaping to the world stage.
Hon Lik: The Modern Father of Vaping
Gilbert's invention would go largely unnoticed until 2003, when Hon Lik took to the scene. A pharmacist by trade, Lik was searching for a way for smokers to more easily quit smoking. Lik himself was a life-long smoker, and he understood the difficulty smokers had in kicking the habit.
Lik crafted the first modern vape, with the intent of vaping a nicotine-infused juice. Unlike Gilbert, Lik focused on making the device small and travel-friendly. In fact, the first modern e-cigarette looked very much like a cigarette, and the basic design and function aren't that much different from how disposable vapes work today.
Lik was able to manufacture his product in China, where it became a success. His vape device spread to surrounding countries, but it wouldn't be until 2009 when Lik decided to begin to export his product to the United States and Europe.
Many expect that timing was a huge reason that vaping took off in the Western world. Close to the time that Lik introduced his vaping device, places like the U.K. were introducing strict smoking limitations (for example, prohibiting smoking in public places). Customers flocked to a nicotine device that could be used in public spaces, and from there, vaping exploded.
The Evolution of VapingVaping has come a long way since Gilbert made his first flavored juices and Lik introduced the first modern vape. Devices have evolved from simple, draw-fire vapes to large, powerful batteries capable of producing huge amounts of vapor at once. The library of vape flavors has also grown exponentially, and you can even different kinds of nicotine in vape juice today.
It's still easy to find basic disposable vaporizers, but it's easier than ever to find high-end box mods that take vaping to a whole new level. If you're not interested in investing in a powerful, reusable device, you'll be happy to hear that the quality of disposable vapes has increased dramatically since Lik's design (we've even ranked the best disposables of 2021!)
Nicotine e-liquids aren't the only juices on the market, either. When the 2018 Farm Bill passed in the United States, hemp was made federally legal, which opened the door for hemp products to be sold. This includes liquid infused with hemp oil that can be used in a typical vaping device. THC vape oils can now be bought in many states where legal dry herb is available.
While he never received any kind of financial success, Gilbert's patent is repeatedly referenced in new, modern vapes. Without his work, the modern vape scene would be very different than it is today.
The Future of VapingThe future of vaping is a complex one. Like cigarettes before it, vaping is now coming under heavy scrutiny by governments concerned about children getting addicted to nicotine at a young age. For example, the USA banned flavored, prefilled vape cartridges in February, While this didn't affect refillable vape tanks, similar bans may be on the horizon.
We're likely to see a shift in product availability, with less nicotine-infused flavors being available but more alternative vape products as the legal status of dry herb continues to loosen. For now, vapers can enjoy an enormous library of nicotine-infused and nicotine-free e-liquids!
As new breakthroughs in the vaping industry occur, you can expect the experts at the Vapor Shoppe to be on top of it! We'll keep you up to date with new products, exciting devices, and even new regulations that may impact your ability to buy products. We look forward to you visiting our knowledge base again in the future!