The Evolution of E-Cigarettes | What’s Next?

Since medical science started to reveal the damaging side effects of smoking, those who wanted to give up have sought out alternatives, from attempting to improve willpower through hypnotherapy to using nicotine substitutes such as patches and gums. As technology has improved and its applications have become more widespread, the advent of the e-cigarette was almost inevitable in the quest to provide a practical and enjoyable alternative to smoking.

With more and more focus on the dangers of smoking and a wealth of initiatives designed to help smokers to cut down and quit their habit, as described here the use of e-cigarettes has become more and more widespread. Smokers who have taken up ‘vaping’ often find that their addiction to traditional cigarettes is much easier to kick with the help of such an effective alternative. By providing a substitute for the physical action of smoking as well as providing a replacement for nicotine addiction, e-cigarettes provide a uniquely effective and healthy alternative to smoking.

History of the E-Cigarettes

The early days

Although it may seem as though e-cigarettes are a relatively new invention, the first patent for a smokeless tobacco cigarette was filed in 1963 by inventor Herbert Gilbert. His concept included a removable tip that could be used to deliver different flavors, including root beer and rum according to the man himself. Although several companies expressed an interest in manufacturing his design, Gilbert’s product was never actually brought to market.

The idea takes shape

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, one of the earliest proponents of the computer, Phil Ray, started collaborating with physician Norman Jacobson to create a commercially viable e-cigarette. Their version was not electronic, relying as it did on the evaporation of the nicotine to deliver the ‘hit’.

There was some interest from retailers, but there was never a huge amount of interest in the product, and inventor Jacobson admits that their design had inherent problems which rendered it unlikely to gain a huge amount of popularity as an alternative to smoking. Although their device failed to provide a viable alternative to traditional cigarettes, Ray and Jacobson did coin the term ‘vaping’ which has now become synonymous with the practice of using an e-cigarette.

The market is identified

During the 1990s, several individuals and corporations, including tobacco companies, attempted to produce a simulacrum of a cigarette that would prove a suitable alternative to tobacco and meet the needs of smokers who wanted to give it up. The nicotine delivery systems were varied, including physical propulsion and more evaporation-based devices, as well as a few examples of the ‘heat not burn’ technology that is now used today.

Introduction to the E-Cigarettes

A new product for a new millennium

The idea of an electronic alternative to cigarettes didn’t make a comeback until the year 2000, when Hon Lik, a Chinese pharmacist came up with a design for a device that was much closer to the e-cigarettes we see today. The idea was to create a device that would heat a liquid that contained nicotine to create a vapor that could be inhaled in a similar way to regular cigarettes.

Hon Lik’s design even included the concept of using propylene glycol in the liquid, a substance that is widely used in the e-liquids made for modern e-cigarettes, and a plastic reservoir that doubled as the mouthpiece for the device.

By 2003, Hon Lik’s device was starting to hit the markets and the Chinese public was getting the first taste of the device which would change the face of smoking in the following years. These early e-cigarettes focused very much on mimicking the look of a cigarette and a lot of care went into replicating the shape and size of the cigarettes that people were used to.

Today’s E-Cigarettes

The intervening years have seen several design tweaks and many improvements in the usability of modern e-cigarettes, including their adaptability and the ability for users to tailor their devices to suit their personal preferences. Vapers are now able to adjust the strength and temperature of their devices, and the variety of e-liquids available means that there is a flavor to suit anyone’s tastes and preferences. For those interested in other options, the THC cartridge provides a unique vaping experience.