Who Invented Vaping?

If you were wondering who invented vaping or the first vaporizer/electronic cigarettes, you’ve come to the right place.

CASA states that the Gilbert A. Herbert was credited with the creation of the first device that resembled the modern day e-cigarette. Gilbert States that he received a patent in 1965, patenting the first e-cigarette.

However, Mr. Gilbert failed to commercialize it and believes its failure was due to other companies preferring to wait for the patent to expire and then use the device, rather than licensing it.

Also, Mr. Gilbert ran into numerous problems while attempting to power the device. Today, we have powerful, large capacity batteries that are cheap enough to power e-cigs. Back in 1965, batteries weren’t as capable as the ones today and if they existed, they were prohibitively expensive.

According to CASA, numerous patents were filed for nicotine inhaler devices during the 1990’s but none of them thought of the modern day e-cigarette that uses e-liquid, containing vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol to transport nicotine.

In the 1990s, e-cigarettes “relied upon the evaporation of nicotine,” they were not even powered by electricity like modern e-cigarettes are powered. The product was pitched to major retailers, but the technology wasn’t promising for nicotine delivery. So, it was quickly dismissed by the retailers.

Also, e-cigarettes didn’t become popular in the 1990s because a U.S based Tobacco company attempted to get permission from the FDA to release its version of an electronic cigarettes that is somewhat similar to the ones we have today and the FDA denied its request, thereby killing any potential success of e-cigarettes in the 1990s.

Vaping Gains Traction in 2003

In 2003, a 52 year old Chinese pharmacist by the name of Hon Lik invented the first commercially successful e-cigarette. Mr. Lik claims that he invented the electronic cigarette after he lost his father to lung cancer. His father was a heavy smokers and so he wanted to help smokers find a viable alternative to smoking.

Hon Lik patented the electronic cigarette in 2003. He was the first person to manufacture and sell e-cigarettes in China and then sell them internationally.

Like experimented with several e-liquids, attempting to find something that would replicate the feeling of smoking traditional cigarettes. Lik used propylene glycol and flavorings in his e-cigarette, allowing it to produce flavored vapor, resembling the feeling of smoking a cigarette.

Lik’s attempt at creating an viable electronic cigarette was made easier with access to cheap lithium ion batteries to power vaporizers. Initially, Lik’s e-cigarette patent claim that his vaporizer used ultrasonic technology to create the vapor. Lik later amended his patent to reflect the use of an atomizer heating coil, similar to what most modern e-cigarettes use.

That said, modern vape manufacturers have modified the original vaporizer designs, making them much better and safer for our use.

Did Big Tobacco Invent Vaping?

If you’ve ever wondered who invented vaping, you’ve probably heard false stories that big tobacco companies invented vaping. We are here to clear the air and tell you that vaping dates back to the 1960s and that big tobacco had nothing to do with the invention of vaporizers.

People who dislike vaping will quickly tell you that big tobacco invented vaping as another way to keep us hooked on tobacco and nicotine, but this could not be further than the truth. If you’ve read this far, you probably know that vaping was invented by a Chinese man, who had no connections whatsoever to big tobacco.

That said, according to NPR, Altria which is the biggest manufacturer of cigarettes in the United States, recently purchased a 35% stake in JUUL. Altria is the parent company of Philip Morris USA.

For those of you who are new to vaping, JUUL is the most popular e-cigarette manufacturer in the United States. JUUL enjoys a 72% market share of e-cigarettes. Altria’s purchase of JUUL made JUUL worth approximately $38 Billion Dollars.

Altria purchased a 35% stake in JUUL because the future of nicotine is in vaporizers and electronic cigarettes, analog cigarette use is declining rapidly in the United States.

Now you might be skeptical that a company Like Altria purchased a 35% stake in JUUL that JUUL might no longer be on a mission to help smokers quit smoking and transition to a healthier alternative, JUUL’s CEO Kevin Burns replies, ” We understand the controversy and skepticism that comes with an affiliation and partnership with the largest tobacco company in the US,” Burns wrote. “We were skeptical as well. But over the course of the last several months we were convinced by actions, not words, that in fact this partnership could help accelerate our success switching adult smokers.”

Are Vaporizers & Electronic Cigarettes Safe?

Electronic cigarettes and vaporizer are considered by many as an effective smoking cessation tool, however some view vaping as a hobby. We cannot say that nicotine is not addictive it is, but getting your nicotine fix from an e-ciggarette is far less harmful than getting it from smoking cigarettes.

We are lucky that we live in a time at which e-cigarettes have taken off. E-cigs are less harmful than cigarettes because they do not produce many of the toxic carcinogens that are produced during the combustion of tobacco in analog cigarettes. Learn more here.


We hope this post was able to shed some light on who invented vaping. We believe that vaping is awesome, if you vape, you already know this. If you’re a smoker wanting to convert to e-cigarettes, take our word, it’s better on the other side!