Published on October 20th, 2015 | by Guest


The E-Cigarette’s Illustrious History

Smokeless, tobacco-free, and showing up in stores across the world. You’ve no doubt seen e-cigs and possibly even used them, but did you know these innovative products actually span back to the early 1900s? In 1927, Joseph Robinson filed a patent on a new invention called an electronic vaporizer; while it wasn’t intended for use with tobacco, modern e-cigs are very reminiscent of his designs. Thirty-six years later, Herbert A. Gilbert would theorize a smokeless cigarette, and while the idea was ingenious, his suggestions wouldn’t be truly implemented for another 40 years.

By the 1990s, several patents hit the scene for cigarette substitutes, including novel electronic designs. China was the first country to offer commercial e-cigs in 2004, and the product quickly made its way to Europe two years later. In 2007, American shelves displayed their first e-cig offerings and were met with quick popularity.

It hasn’t exactly been smooth sailing for the e-cig and vaping industries; despite this, popularity of the devices continues to soar. In 2009, Governor Schwarzenegger rejected a ban on the sale of e-cigs in California, and that same year the United Kingdom Action on Smoking and Health supported e-cigarettes as a harm reduction product. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit also decided the FDA couldn’t ban e-cigs as an unapproved drug delivery device, a ruling which would prove key to the survival of the industry.

A recent study in the UK found that e-cigs are 95% less harmful than tobacco cigarettes. Public Health England also claimed the devices “have the potential to make a significant contribution to the endgame for tobacco.” Various famous faces have come out in support of the e-cig, and the number of users is steadily rising, meaning this is one industry that will continue to grow.

Infographic created by NJOY

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