Many people believe that the electronic cigarette was invented at the beginning of the 21st century by the Chinese Hon Lik. However, several patents were filed long before other inventors. I invite you to take a seat by my side in the time machine and meet different people who, through their genius, have contributed to changing the lives of millions of smokers in the four corners of the world.
Let’s stop in America, in 1927. Joseph Robinson registers a patent with the United State Patent Office which is approved and published in 1930.
Admittedly, this is not the first electronic cigarette as a means of smoking cessation, but a system for vaporizing electrically heated medicinal components. The goal is to provide patients with an individual vaporizer system for patients who need it. Especially in the treatment of chronic lung diseases.
Simple system, hygienic and designed in such a way that the user cannot burn himself.
As you can see on the sketch of the filed patent, we are getting closer to the design of some of our electronic cigarette models.
Keep your seat belts fastened, it’s been a good 30 years.
In 1963, still in America and more precisely in Pennsylvania, Herbert A. Gilbert registered a patent for an alternative device to tobacco. This is a smokeless cigarette model, and does not contain tobacco. Even if the model illustrated below is reminiscent of our current models such as ego or endura, the operating principle is totally different.
On this system, the air is heated and passed through a flavored filter cartridge. Therefore, there is no steam production. This system did not work at the time because pulmonary and cardiovascular problems were much less highlighted than today. And, the fact that there was no vapor production on this model did not interest the target audience. Remember that smokers attach great importance to the gesture and especially to the visual aspect of the smoke.
Next stop… Late 80s!
The R.J Reynolds Tobacco Company, inventor of the famous cigarette with the camel logo in 1913, developed the SPA project (abbreviation for which it was unfortunately not possible to find the meaning) which gave birth to the Premier cigarette.
This model worked with a piece of coal as a heat source. This combustion heated and vaporized a liquid. Which is quite close to the current systems but unfortunately, the success was not there and a loss of an average amount of 400 million dollars. Amount released for development and advertising.
This flop is due to a lack of attraction by consumers who did not find the taste of real cigarettes, and the attacks of anti-smoking associations which defined this system as even more dangerous than the classic cigarette.
New products and the unknown often scare consumers, for proof, even if the electronic cigarette has been in use for several years, many people are against it for lack of knowledge, or brainwashing carried out brilliantly by certain detractors.
Despite an evolution of the SPA project with the Eclipse model released in the 90s, the company only suffered a new failure which unfortunately led to the dismissal of 10% of its employees.
Let’s leave the time machine that has suffered enough, and walk a few years to stop in 2000.
According to his own words, Hon Lik, a Chinese pharmacist and heavy smoker, had the idea of the electronic cigarette in a dream. I site: “I dreamed that I had a cough and wheeze. I imagined I was drowning until suddenly the waters around me rose in a mist.”
3 years later, after the death of his father, carried away by lung cancer, he did everything possible to make his dream come true and this initially in order to avoid the same disastrous fate as that of his father.
The electronic cigarette patent was filed in 2004 with the United State Patent Office.
His patent is an atomizer vaporizer that contains nicotine without the harmfulness of tar. This aims to reduce the risk of cancer. In addition, the user continues to have the same sensations as the smoker without combustion and reducing the risk of fire. The liquid is vaporized thanks to a resistance powered by a battery.
As you can see, the initial patents begin in the 20s were developed and improved slowly by lots of good great humans wisdom, some of their projects and innovations failed but inspired the next adventurer in the future, and various improvements followed to arrive at the current models.