While the concept of vaping is relatively new, many enthusiasts and some historians argue that the rationale behind it is somewhat not foreign to mankind. In fact, some claims that the idea of producing vapor instead of smoke is a practice which can be traced back as early as the time of the Ancient Egyptians. According to pre-historic records, they use hot stones to vape herbs. In India, fast forward to a thousand years after, the shisha was introduced, which has the same values and goal—vapor production.
Arguably, the main objective of its dawn and development is to produce an alternative to tobacco smoking and reducing the amount of smoke it produces. So, who was the real inventor of vape and vaping? Not many records are found, but some accounts claim that Joseph Robinson was the first one to come up with the idea of an electric cigarette in 1927. Records show that Robinson has patented an electronic vaporizer, filed on May 3rd. His account reads: “My invention relates to vaporizing devices for holding medicinal compounds which are electrically or otherwise heated to produce vapors for inhalation, and the general object is to provide a'device of this character for individual use which may .be freely handled without any possibility of being burned, and which is sanitary and very` effective and so simple that anyone can use it.”
And a trial came up with similar results to more modern studies; vapers showed reduced cotinine levels, carbon monoxide levels were at the same as those of non-smokers, and vaping appeared to be more effective for experienced vapers than naive vapers.
Dr. Jacobson suggested that the reason experienced vapers found the devices more effective is because they had to learn, like smokers, how to self-titrate – that is, they had learned to the devices so they took enough nicotine to satisfy their needs.
The devices were also effective in replacing cigarettes – according to Medical World News (see image above), all smokers were able to cut down or reduce the amount they smoked for two years.
But, in was in the 1960s when Herbert Gilbert clearly invented a specific alternative for tobacco smoking. He passed his patent for the first “smokeless non-tobacco cigarette”. But, because of various reasons, the patent was removed, reportedly because of “sheer indifference”. In an interview with Ecigarette Direct in 2012, Gilbert said he came up with the idea because he wants to solve a problem using logic. He said, “I’m a logical guy and logic told me to define the problem and then develop a solution. the problem, as I concluded, was that when you burned leaves and wood, even if you did it in your back yard, it yielded a result that no one wanted to take into their lungs.”
He admitted that he was a smoker, but was successful in quitting. “a 2 pack a day for years…stopped cold turkey about 20 years ago,” he said.
Gilbert narrated how he came up with the first prototype. “Using the technology available in 1963 I concluded that a battery powered heat source would do the job and the first electric cigarette was born. I did build prototypes and tried using various flavors of water as steam … and it worked.”
In the 1980s, Phil Ray and Normal Jacobson worked more towards commercializing the idea of e-cigarettes, but after years of working for its development, the FDA didn't allow tobacco companies to introduce and offer e-cigarettes to the public market on the 1990s.
Meanwhile, in Europe, vaping was also popular, and in the 90s “Eagle” Bill Amato invented the cannabis vaporizer. Amsterdam became the first country to offer it to the public. Interestingly enough, they based the German stationary/desktop vaporizer Volcano.
A decade after, simultaneous with the boom and forward development of the modern technology, the device was furthermore improved, incorporating more and more features to it. Until in the mid-2000s, a Chinese firm, headed by a man named Hon Lik made the first modern e-cigs. This device, through a piezoelectric method, was to emit a vapor designed to be used with a diluted tobacco liquid, for the sole purposes of reducing nicotine intake. For those serious about removing regular cigarettes and their inherent dangers from their life, this was seen to be a Godsend, and production went mainstream in the late 2000’s.
The first e-cig appeared in the U.S. in 2007 and has become a very popular trend among people. Since then, vaporizers have gone through many modifications. We should mention the two brothers from the UK, Umer and Tariq Sheikh. They made e-cigs more customer-friendly, so to say. They invented the cartomizer.