The technology behind the modern electronic cigarette as we know it today is credited to a Chinese man, Hon Lik. However, we researched the topic by reading many vapor cigarette reviews and learned that the smokeless non-tobacco cigarette had a patent filed way back in ’63 by a man named Herbert A. Gill, and it was approved two years later.
The description filed for his design nearly 50 years ago spoke of substituting a harmless alternative to tobacco cigarettes that replaced the burning tobacco with moist, flavored air that was heated. It also cited that medication could be inhaled under direction from a medical practitioner.
Incidentally,Mr. Gill also received a punt in the December 1965 edition of Popular Mechanics which described the mechanics of his battery powered invention. The article also suggests the device could be used to administer medication to asthmatic patients.
The original device was certainly much more involved and the official diagram shows ten pieces made up the mechanics of Mr. Gill’s creation, as opposed to only two or three pieces that are used in a modern electronic cigarette. It definitely is not something you would be able to assemble when you’re running out of the house, when you’re late for work or on a five minute smoke break as you’d probably spend your entire lunch hour trying to piece it all together.
Wither Mr. Gill didn’t have the resources or he got talked out of the idea but it wasn’t until 2007 that these potentially life-saving pieces of technology got a face lift and made their appearance on the commercial market. Perhaps it was just a matter of timing and fifty years ago people may not have been ready for the change, because today they are growing rapidly in popularity and have been embraced by people who have tried every NRT trick in the book and just can’t kick the habit for good.
Practicality is key, and this is where Hon Lik made the biggest contribution. The modern e-cig is sleek and streamlined and has the technology at its finger tips to be able to replicate an actual cigarette, from automatic vapor generation to the little LED that lights up on the other end. We also have the technology behind rechargeable batteries powering this innovation which is a big area the original design would have been lacking in during the 1960s. We’re not sure how the air would have been heated in the original patent, but we’re pretty sure it wouldn’t be nearly as effective as the atomizer technology that is available today.