The first electronic cigarette, or e-cig can be traced back to an idea by Herbert A. Gilbert who filed a patent (number 3200819) in the USA in August 1963 (granted in August 1965) for a device described as “a smokeless non-tobacco cigarette” that involved “replacing burning tobacco and paper with heated, moist, flavoured air (although this is in turn based on a patent that was filed in in 1901). This device heated the nicotine solution and produced steam
Having said that, it is now generally thought that Hon Lik, a Chinese pharmacist, is the inventor of the first generation true electronic cigarette.In 2000, his idea was to use an ultrasound emitting device to vaporise a pressurised jet of nicotine liquid diluted in a propylene glycerol solution. This produces a smoke like vapour that can be inhaled and gives a device for nicotine to be delivered into your bloodstream via the lungs. His inventions are the basis of the present day e-cigarettes reviewed. Golden Dragon Holdings first introduced them into the Chinese market in May 2004 as an aid to quit smoking and smoking replacement.
E-Cigarettes in modern day
In 2008 Dr. Yunqiang Xiu invented the second-generation electronic cigarette, or modern electronic cigarette. It received international patents in 2009 & UK patent in 2011. The modern electronic cigarette reviewed featured the “tankomizer” – a sealed tank system and sealed atomiser.
Early e-cigs were very inefficient, batteries charge lasted only an hour or two at most. The actual life of the batteries were also heavily criticized – some even now-a-days only lasting a few weeks before requiring replacement. Vapour production could hardly be described as a “mist”. This led to much larger batteries being produced eg. ego type e-cigs – they held their charge but are a little awkward and also suffered e-liquid leakage. The user has to handle e-liquid containing nicotine in order to refill the e-cig. More recently some e-cigarette companies have embraced technology ensuring a quality cigarette sized battery that lasts and produce significant vapour. See here for more information and images.
Updated by Tracey Jackson, Best E-cig reviews UK