Even though the electronic cigarette is a fairly modern device, it has been around for over 50 years. It was first invented in an era where smoking was considered socially acceptable and in a time where you could see doctors smoking inside the hospital. The health effects of cigarette smoke were not known at that time and due to the lack of smaller electronic components and the cost associated with such technology, electronic cigarettes did not become popular until recently.
Due to advancements and microprocessors and portable batteries, the modern electronic cigarette is quickly becoming the smokers device of choice. Many feel that electronic cigarettes will surpass tobacco sales within the next 5 to 10 years.
The e-cigarette was born when Herbert Gilbert patented a simple smokeless cigarette, but at that time people were not fully aware of the dangers of smoking. It was the beginning of the peak of the cigarette era, and the mass production of tobacco and strong marketing overshadowed any benefits to a complex device. In addition, technology for a portable electronic device was not commercially available. Without a marketable product, Gilbert’s idea faded within 5 years.
Chinese pharmacist Hon Lik developed the first modern-day e-cigarette after his father passed away from lung cancer as a result of smoking. He was researching methods of delivering nicotine to smokers while eliminating the smoke and tar produced by the act of smoking. His method involved an intermittent stream of nicotine injected onto a heating element that produced a vapor of nicotine. This was the beginning of the electronic cigarette. Hon Lik is considered the godfather of the modern-day electronic cigarette.
Today there is an estimated 2.5 million American e-cigarette users with an undisclosed international audience. Many of them have switched to electronic cigarettes to reduce the harm caused by tobacco, others have switched for the money savings, and others have switched because of the social pressures and convenience. Smokers all over the globe are starting to look to e-cigarettes as a smarter alternative to smoking. The e-cigarette industry is growing at an amazing rate.