Vaping is a technology that has only recently become popular around the world, it is an option that many people use as an alternative to smoking cigarettes. Instead of combustible tobacco, the device uses an e-liquid (with or without nicotine) that is vaporised and inhaled by the user.
Traditional cigarettes release thousands of chemicals when they’re ignited and inhaled, with many of these chemicals being poisonous and/or carcinogenic. An e-liquid consists of only three main ingredients: vegetable glycerine, propylene glycol, and flavour concentrates. Nicotine is an optional fourth ingredient. To learn more about vaping, check out our ultimate guide here.
Even though e-cigarettes have only become widely available in the last decade or so, the idea was first brought about in 1927 by Joseph Robinson. His patent for an electric vapouriser describes its use with medicinal compounds which would be vapourised. Unfortunately, his idea never came to fruition and decades would pass before someone else would come up with an idea for a "smokeless non-tobacco cigarette" in the '60s.
A man by the name of Herbert Gilbert introduced the "Smokeless" in 1963, a device that he claimed would drastically reduce the number of tobacco-related illnesses and deaths every year. Gilbert's device very closely resembled the e-cigarettes that we see today; a flavoured liquid would be heated and vapourised, and inhaled by the user. He even came up with several different flavours for use with the device. Even though the Smokeless was a functional device with huge potential, he was never able to find a company willing to produce it commercially.
Fast-forward to 2003 and a pharmacist named Hon Lik, who was tired of being a heavy smoker, filed a patent for the first modern vapouriser. Hon Lik credits his invention to a dream he had while sleeping with a nicotine patch on, a dream in which he was drowning in a sea that turned into a cloud of vapour. The following year Hon Lik found a manufacturing partner and the first commercially available e-cigarettes began production in Beijing. E-cigarettes became incredibly popular almost instantly and we now have a multi-billion dollar global industry that is only growing.
Vapes have evolved significantly since the early days of cigalikes. There are now multiple categories of vape devices to suit different users, and the technology behind vaping is always moving forward fairly quickly. Whether you prefer a cigarette style vape or blowing huge clouds, there will always be multiple options available to you.
Given that only a few years ago we wouldn't have dreamt about the devices we see today, it's difficult to guess what we might see in a few more years time. Will there be advancements in battery technology that allow a larger capacity in a smaller size? Will we see coil technology become more efficient, or use different materials that will allow a coil to last longer? Or will vaping look completely different in another decade? Your guess is as good as mine but I do know that the future is bright for those who want to make the switch.