A Short Take On The Long History Of Vaping

Joseph Robinson was the first inventor to sketch out the initial designs of the modern e-cigarette that we see today. However, it wasn't until Hon Lik came along that the first commercialized vape device arrived on the market.

Vaping has certainly become more of a popular habit to have nowadays than it once was. This might be helped by a number of factors from society's more conscious efforts to health and wellbeing, as well as the ban on smoking cigarettes in public indoor spaces. While the same can be said for vaping, more traditional smokers have made the move over to vaping in recent years.

History if Vaping

This guide will hopefully give you a short and sweet history lesson on the long history of vaping, from the early days of Joseph Robinson to the current times where the vape market is exploding with activity.

A view of the past

It seems as though vaping has only been around for the last few decades, however, the earliest electronic cigarettes can be traced all the way back to the 5th century BC in Egyptian times when a historian named Herodotus first mentioned vaping. There were and still are different types of vapes that are used that go beyond just the devices of today that we're used to.


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Southeast Asia used hookah, which was a way for them to vape, and vaping itself was introduced to America and Europe in the 20th century. It was here that the electronic cigarette we see today was first sketched out.

1927: Joseph Robinson

September 16, 1930 J Robinson Electrio Vaporizer

Joseph Robinson, an American inventor created the first e-cigarette which was known as the Butane Ignition vaporizer. This wasn't commercialized and it's not known whether this was a device where a prototype was ever made.

1965: Herbert A Gilbert

Herbert A Gilbert was later responsible for making the modern-day vaporizer and this one actually was known as a 'smokeless non-tobacco cigarette'.

According to reports, he received the patent in 1965 and created prototypes. However, just like Robinson's, it failed to go commercial. It's unknown whether or not there was a market at the time for this type of device, especially as cigarette smoking was so popular during this time period.

August 17, 1965. H. A. Gilbert non-tobacco cigarette

1980s: Phil Ray & Norman Jacobson

The first intention to commercialize the concept of electronic cigarettes came from Phil Ray and Norman Jacobson.

Phil Ray was a pioneer in computers and worked alongside physician Norman Jacobson in 1979 to create the first commercialized e-cigarette. However, it wasn't actually electronic as it simply relied on the evaporation of the nicotine to give that vapor production.

The first formal research was made in the field of nicotine delivery and the product would reach a lot of major retailers. However, technology at the time wasn't good enough in order to create the nicotine delivery that was needed.

2001: Hon Lik

Stepping into the early 2000s was Hon Lik, a 52-year-old pharmacist, inventor, and more importantly, a smoker. Despite his father being a heavy smoker himself, Hon Lik saw an opportunity to develop a device alongside the company he worked for called Golden Dragon Holdings.

Pharmacist Hon Lik

By 2006 the first vape devices would be released to the European market, and the culmination of a long list of inventors finally help create the e-cigarettes.

Vaping at present

The vape devices of today are certainly a lot different nowadays from the history of vaping we've covered so far. There have been a number of improvements that have been made since the days of Gilbert and Lik's initial designs and creations. Ted and Matt Rogers helped create 'modding' which means modulating the body of an electronic cigarette.

Umer and Tariq Sheikh enhanced the three-piece design with the addition of atomizers and cartridges into single cartomizers.

As a result, the modern vaping device has different battery capacities, clearomizers to control what you vape, and various cartridges and tanks to store your e-liquids in. There are some great benefits of vaping as a result of these improvements.

The future of vaping

The future of vaping is one that's looking bright in contrast to tobacco cigarettes which are starting to become less appeasing, especially as they're so much more expensive to upkeep as a habit.

Electronic cigarettes are more versatile and they come in a lot more appetizing flavor combinations beyond just the typical tobacco smoke. E-cigarettes certainly have a great future ahead, with a number of predictions that could be made regarding their growth over the next decade or so.

There will likely be an increase in flavor combinations as more brands start popping up left, right, and center. This leads to further creativity beyond just the simple flavor profiles that many vape users are now used to seeing.

Check out some of the best vape brands that are currently on the market.

We could also see an increase in online vape and electronic cigarette sellers. While pop-up shops and stores may exist, many shoppers are looking more online now than ever before for their vape device fix.

With e-cigarettes, there's no stopping this industry from exploding further than the tobacco cigarette market over time. It's important to remember that an electronic cigarette can still provide the damaging effects that tobacco cigarettes do but it's a healthier option to have a smokeless non-tobacco cigarette available.

There are also more cigarette smokers who are looking at quitting smoking and using vaping as a productive alternative. E-cigs to help quit smoking have been a good way to conduct nicotine replacement therapy, as you can get disposable vapes without nicotine in them. 


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When did vaping be invented?

Vaping was first invented as a similar device we see today back in 1927, however, vaping has been around since ancient Egyptian times.

When did vaping start in the US?

It was around the 20th century that the US became aware of vaping. The first vapes were distributed in April 2006 in Europe and in the same year in August in the US.

Where can you buy a vape?

If you're wanting to buy an electronic cigarette, then you'll be able to purchase them easily through The SmokyBox. The SmokyBox provides a variety of vape brands if you're looking for e-cigarettes. There are also plenty of flavors and sizes to choose from!