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The History of the Electronic Cigarette

Date Posted: January 18, 2011

History of the Electronic Cigarette

The electronic cigarette has come a long way since it’s initial inception in China in early 2003.  It started small and emerged into a huge global market place and now has users all over the world. If you have not heard of it yet, the electronic cigarette is a tar free, odorless, carbon monoxide free, tobacco free, ash free, cost effective way to get your nicotine cravings without having to burn and inhale tobacco smoke. Instead it utilizes a vaporization technology that creates a substance identical to smoke, and most users cannot tell the difference and some prefer the vapor over smoke.

It all began when a researcher named Hon Lik set out to create the worlds first acceptable smoking alternative.  Hon, being a smoker himself, was motivated by the loss of his father who passed away due to lung cancer from smoking tobacco cigarettes.  Hon’s father smoked over 2 packs of cigarettes a day and Hon used to do the same. Hon knew that if he continued on his path of smoking tobacco daily then he would eventually suffer the same fate as his father.

Hon was a researcher of Chinese medicine such as ginseng and other herbal remedies. He used his knowledge of Chinese medicine and applied it to his creation of the electronic cigarette.  His first step was to find something to replicate smoke that users could breathe in and out. After searching high and low, he found success using a substance called propylene glycol, that when heated turned into a vapor that proved to be almost identical to smoke. Propylene glycol is a food additive that has been used in many consumer products and approved drugs since the early 1920’s. It is also approved by the FDA for a variety of uses in many consumer products. You may have also seen it used to create fake smoke in theatrical productions such as dry ice.  It is also blown through hospital air ducts to clean the air, it acts as an air germicide for bacteria that could be existing in the air itself and on surfaces.

Hon was able to successfully infuse the propylene glycol liquid with a pure nicotine extract, along with flavoring, to create a smoking experience that felt and tasted just like a real cigarette. From the nicotine satisfaction, to the throat hit, and the exhale. The electronic cigarette or “e cigarette” was right on point. One of it’s first American debut’s was at the American Tobacco Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada where the electronic cigarette and cigar won multiple awards.

Since it’s initial introduction of the electronic cigarette into the American market place, many people did not know what to think, but once they tried it, they were amazed. The electronic cigarette has really evolved since it’s beginning and all sorts of different models and brands are popping up everywhere.  You can also get electronic cigars, electronic pipes, and customized personal vaporizers that may look nothing like a cigarette. The electric cigarette has become more of a movement and some are calling it the smoker’s revolution.

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