Believe it or not the electronic cigarette has been (at least in concept form) in existence since 1963. No, you couldn’t buy Green Smoke, Vapestick, E-Lites or other e-cigarette brands dating back to 1963 but the idea of having a cigarette that can be enjoyed without using tobacco as the key substance of the cigarette and being able to enjoy a smokeless cigarette certainly did. This can be linked back to Herbert A Gill who acquired a patent covering these exact elements. Like many forward thinkers he was clearly ahead of his time as the electronic cigarette he thought of and secured patent for never came to fruition during his interest in the area (arguably because of the lack of medical understanding at the time of the health issues associated with traditional smoking).
We have to wait another 40 years from Herbert A Gill and look to Hon Lik and 2003 when the first real product that we would now associate as an electronic cigarette was born (and 2004 when this went into production in China). If you would like to know more about this period check out the company name ‘Ruyan’ who became responsible for exporting electronic cigarettes in 2005.
Since this time a great deal of debate had ensued in regards to the role of the electronic cigarette in assisting people with giving up smoking and some key dates here are:
- 2005 with MPs debating smoking bans and whether e-cigarettes should be included in this ban
- 2008 with the World Health Organization and whether electronic cigarettes should be considered as stopping smoking aids
- 2009 & 2010 – specifically with regards to the USA and customs as to whether electronic cigarettes can be sold in the country (they were introduced to the USA in 2007)
- 2011 – the FDA are given authority to regulate smokeless/e-cigarettes