Every industry has its monumental milestones. Cinema aficionados may remember O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000) as the first live action movie to use digital color correction. Music lovers will always refer to the summer of 1969, when arguably the greatest compilation of musicians in history rocked the stages of Woodstock for three days of epic performances, and baseball fans recognize the historic day in 1947 when Jackie Robinson became the first African-American to play in the modern era.
But what about the vaping industry? Sure, it may seem like vaping is in its infant stage, however countless years of blood sweat and tears have been invested so you could produce those gargantuan clouds. Let’s take a closer look at five of the most significant events that have shaped the history of vaping.
1963: The First Smokeless Non-Tobacco Cigarette
Vaping is not just the flavor of the week (pun definitely intended). As a matter of fact, the concept has been in the works for more than 50 years, when in 1963, inventor Herbert A. Gilbert, patented “a smokeless non-tobacco cigarette,” which contained absolutely no nicotine and replaced tobacco and paper with heated, flavored air. Gilbert’s patent was not much different from the modern-day vaping device, but unfortunately at the time, the world was just not ready for it. If you’ve ever watched Mad Men, then you have a decent idea of how prevalent smoking was back in that era.
Eventually, Gilbert’s patent expired, yet without his innovation, the industry wouldn’t be what it is today. Gilbert most definitely laid the groundwork for the next generation of e-cigs.
2003: Hon Lik Develops the Modern-Day E-Cigarette
It pays to follow your dreams……. Premium Vape Juice Flavors .literally! Pharmacist and ex-smoker, Hon Lik found inspiration to design the modern day e-cig in a dream!
Lik forgot to take his nicotine patch off before sleep, and dreamed he was drowning–his lungs were filling with water, and magically it turned into vapor that he could breathe.
After extensive research, in 2003, Lik developed a device that can vaporize liquids through the heating produced by the electricity of the battery. Although there have been several modifications to the device, Lik is credited for originating the first e-cigarette in Beijing, China, and, in 2006 he released it to Europe and the United States.
2010: E-cigarettes Appear on the Big Screen
Although it was the first feature film to ever have a star vape on screen, we don’t expect you to remember where you were the day The Tourist premiered in 2010.
In the scene, actor Johnny Depp is in a train reading while inhaling a vapor cloud. How about that? Jack Sparrow himself lives that “vape life.”
2014: The Oxford Dictionaries Name VAPE Word of the Year
On November 18th, 2014, eleven years after Hon Lik modernized the electronic cigarette, the Oxford Dictionaries announced vape as its international Word of the Year. The use of the word vape that year had more than doubled compared to 2013.
Editorial Director for Oxford Dictionaries, Judy Pearsall, elaborated on why the word vape was so important in 2014:
“As vaping has gone mainstream, with celebrities from Lindsay Lohan to Barry Manilow giving it a go, and with growing public debate on the public dangers and the need for regulation, so the language usage of the word ‘vape’ and related terms in 2014 has shown a marked increase.”
2016: FDA Publishes the Deeming Rule
It was a day we knew would come in the vaping industry.
All too fresh in our minds, on May 10th, 2016, the FDA published their deeming rule in the federal register, declaring all vaping products under the umbrella of the Tobacco Control Act, which, back in 2009, gave FDA the authority to regulate tobacco products.
The policy requires manufacturers, importers, distributors, and retailers to abide by a variety of rules which you can get familiar with by watching this video hosted by Patricia Kovacevic, General Counsel & Chief Compliance Officer at Nicopure Labs.
As we reflect on the events above, it’s evident that they have had an immeasurable impact on the current state of vaping. Innovators like Gilbert and Lik could have never imagined the widespread popularity of their creations.
What are some other important events in vaping history? Let us know in the comment section. We would love to hear from you!