Vaping, for many, is a smart replacement for smoking. It offers the enjoyment of smoking minus the majority of its dangers. Furthermore, the pleasurable usage and social acceptability of vapes make the transition seem quite natural. However, who is behind the ingenious conception of vaping?

While most perceive vaping as a recent innovation, it has actually been around in some capacity since the era before World War II. In fact, the concept of a vape-like device can be traced back to the 1930s when Joseph Robinson patented his version of an electronic cigarette. Nevertheless, Robinson’s idea didn’t quite fly; it was never brought to market, and there’s no proof that a prototype was ever built!

Fast forward to the 1960s, when Herbert A. Gilbert created his patent for an electronic smoking apparatus. Unlike Robinson, Gilbert did produce prototypes but fell short in monetizing his invention. It appears potential investors chose to wait for Gilbert’s patent to expire rather than licensing his innovation.

Vaping was largely forgotten for around two decades until physician Norman Jacobsen came to the fore, commercializing an e-cigarette that utilized evaporation rather than electricity. Despite the device’s failure, it was pivotal in popularizing the term ‘vape’, which has endured to this day.

The 1990s saw the arrival of numerous e-cigarettes on the market, albeit very different from today’s versions. They operated on similar principles but struggled to gain approval from regulatory bodies such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States, thus hindering the growth of the industry.

A significant breakthrough occurred in 2003 with Hon Lik, a Chinese pharmacist, who created an e-cigarette akin to the ones in use today. Propelled by the death of his father from lung cancer, Lik’s aim was to offer a healthier alternative. His inaugural product, Ruyan (‘like smoke’), lived up to its moniker.

By the mid-2000s, e-cigarettes had found their way to Europe and beyond. If one were to pinpoint a ‘forefather’ of the e-cig industry, it could be Hon Lik or even Mr. Robinson, depending on one’s perspective of historical context and the definition of the ‘first’ vape.

Regardless of the original inventor or the exact timeline of vaping’s birth, it’s undeniable that the current generation of vapes far surpasses the initial models. With the immense popularity of vapes today, they present an excellent choice for Australians curious about the progress of this technology. Whether you’re reminiscing about the inaugural vapes or eager to explore vaping, our broad product range ensures that you’ll find exactly what you’re seeking.