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A brief history of vaping

A brief history of vaping 

The global vaping industry was worth $18 billion last year and is expected to increase tenfold to more than $180 billion by 2030. It is a remarkable journey for an industry that didn’t even exist at the turn of the millennium. Let’s take a look at vaping’s journey across the years to where it is today – and we might do some crystal ball gazing into the future, too! 

Vaping’s pre-history 

Most people credit Hon Lik as the inventor of vaping, but that’s only partially correct. Yes, he developed the first vape as we know them today, but he was not the first to consider vaporizing tobacco instead of burning it to create a less harsh experience.  

A New Yorker by the name of Joseph Robinson filed a patent for a Mechanical Butane Ignition Vaporizer way back in 1927. The device was designed to “generate hot medicated vapors for inhalation,” the contemporary diagrams resemble the vapes we know today. The patent was granted three years later, by which time we can only assume that Mr. Robinson had bought a pack of cigarettes and moved on to other ideas, as he never took his invention to market.  

Four decades later, Herbert Gilbert, a 40-a-day smoker, developed his vaping device. He even built some prototypes and created an electronic cigarette that allowed the user to inhale tobacco without combustion. Again, this was similar to today’s vape kits. Unfortunately, he had committed the mistake of inventing a solution for a problem that didn’t exist at the time – in 1963, everyone was happily smoking, and nobody wanted the alternative he offered. 

Fast forward to the 1980s, and computer pioneer Phil Ray developed a device that heated nicotine-soaked paper for inhalation. Unlike Ray’s computer terminals of the 1970s, this idea didn’t take off. It did, however, introduce the verb “to vape” into the common vernacular. 

Hon Lik– the father of vaping  

Chinese pharmacist Hon Lik was a man on a mission after his father passed away from lung cancer in 2004. A heavy smoker himself, he set about the task of developing a smoking substitute. He wanted something that would deliver the nicotine he craved and, ideally, give a similar sensation to smoking. He had tried nicotine patches, but the steady release of nicotine could not replace the sudden peaks experienced with a cigarette.  

He told Reuters in 2015, “I believed that if I could use vapor to simulate cigarette smoke, this could help me,” he experimented with different vaporization systems, seeking the one that could most closely mimic the sensation of inhaling tobacco smoke. He finally struck paydirt with propylene glycol, which remains one of the critical ingredients of vape juice.  

Hon Lik’s invention refined those that had come before, but that is not the only reason for its success. For one thing, Lithium batteries became commercially available in the 1990s. These were an absolute game-changer for all sorts of hand-held electronics, and for Hon Lik, it meant his electronic cigarettes could be used for hours between charges. The second factor was more important, however. Things had changed since 1963, and there were millions like Hon Lik. The health risks associated with smoking were well known, and smoking restrictions increased in workplaces, bars, etc. E-Cigarettes went on general sale in the US and Europe in 2006 and were soon available worldwide.  

CCELL– modern style accessories 

Hon Lik’s original invention underwent a series of minor upgrades over the subsequent years regarding the design and the materials used for heating elements and other components. But the subsequent fundamental development in vaping was more conceptual as it became more than a healthier alternative for cigarette smokers.  

In short, vaping became fashionable, and vapes became accessories. Nevertheless, people who had never smoked and had no wish to do so wanted to try vaping, and CCELL was at the heart of that shift.  

Now CCELL is a name appearing increasingly over the past couple of years. The brand first came to broad attention with its patented ceramic heating core. It soon became a benchmark due to its efficiency and the superior flavor it produces. Today, the brand also has a broader range of vaping products, including SILO and DART vapes and CCELL cartridges to use with vaporizers. 

But for all the technical innovation, the feature that consumers notice is the sleek style of these new vapes. They are as much an accessory as a tie pin or a brooch and heralded a new era of vaping. 

Vaping for all 

You no longer have to be a reformed or reforming smoker to enjoy a vape. In a trend that strangely harks back to that 1927 patent, vaping today is as likely to be healthy and to involve herbal vapors as it is to be a crutch for nicotine addicts.  

Dry herb vaporizers have opened up a world of choice, with herbs like lavender and eucalyptus especially popular as therapeutic options for a health-giving vape.  

The future of vaping 

That brings us from the 1920s to the 2020s. But what might the future hold for the vaping industry? The numbers we mentioned indicate that the sector faces a healthy future but will not be without challenges. 

Specifically, regulation and legislation have been the watchwords over the past decade, and that will not change between now and 2030. Everyone can agree if that regulation is constructive, for example, in keeping dangerous sub-standard concentrates off the market. However, some of the knee-jerk reactions and bans seen worldwide demonstrate that there’s a need to stand up and ensure the rights of vapers are protected too.  

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