A lot of people believe that vaping is just a new-age idea that emerged a few years back. What they may not realize is that, while the use of e-cigs did become extremely popular these past few years, these devices have actually been around for decades now. In fact, the device or idea for an e-cig was patented by a certain Herbert A. Gilbert in the 1960s.
Now, this does not mean that people have been using electronic cigarettes for almost half a century. It merely means that the technology was invented way, way back. It just did not excite manufacturers in those days to develop and sell them, unlike these days. You can say that the inventor of the e-cig was way ahead of his time.
Fast-forward to the early 2000s, and you will find that another person is looking to create an alternative to smoking. While Mr. Gilbert found smoking to be an abhorrent habit, a Chinese researcher named Hon Lik was seeking to quit a nasty habit that already lost him his father. Even though they were thinking of the same thing, they had different reasons for wanting to create an alternative to smoking.
Image credit: Vaping360
He is the person to be credited for modern day vapes, with the release of his first vape that used a propylene glycol and nicotine solution in a plastic cartridge that used an ultrasonic atomizer. This was first released in Europe in 2006, and subsequently in the US the following year. While being sold as an alternative to smoking, the e-cig was not without its detractors.
It was not met with open arms by many countries, and was in fact, banned by numerous nations from being imported and/or sold within their borders. In 2008, the World Health Organization (WHO) even went so far as to proclaim that e-cigs are not necessarily effective tools for quitting smoking with. In the same year, Turkey banned this from being used in their country due to the fact that the liquids used in e-cigs contained nicotine, which is considered one of the most dangerous chemicals found in cigarettes.
Some countries joined Turkey in banning the use of e-cigs, while some countries, like New Zealand, actually found after a few tests that vapes are generally safer than smoking cigarettes. The tug-of-war between those who believe vaping is a safer choice when compared to tobacco smoking, and those who think it is not a safe replacement, went on for a few more years. These days, more and more studies are being conducted to debunk statements that e-cigs are health hazards.
In the US, the FDA is currently conducting more studies and research into the use of these smoking alternatives, with various organizations like the American Heart Association and the WHO asking that since these do carry nicotine in them, e-cigs should be covered by the same regulations as other tobacco products. There have also been calls for governments to prevent the sale of these devices and the juices that are used with these to youngsters and people under legal age.