In 1963, the first electronic cigarette patent was filed by a man named Herbert A. Gilbert. He was the first to invent the smokeless non-tobacco cigarette. The U.S. patent number is 3,200,819 and it was issued on Aug. 17, 1965. In this interview with Mr. Gilbert he says “I’m a logical guy and logic told me to define the problem and then develop a solution”... “...I had to find a way to replace burning tobacco and paper with heated, moist, flavored air.” After looking at Herbert’s patent you’ll find familiar design concepts like heating elements, smokeless flavored air, and flavored cartridges that you would see advertised in today’s ever growing popular e-cig commercials. Sadly his pitch to cigarette manufacturers was rejected as sales at the time were rising and people weren’t aware of the health risks as they are today.
This had kept his exciting new idea ignored and archived away for decades until 2003 when Hon Lik stepped in. Hon Lik was a small time pharmacist and medical researcher from China and a hopeless cigarette addict who’s despise for possibly facing the fate his father had who had died from lung cancer. Story has it that he had fell asleep one night without taking his nicotine patch off and vividly had a dream where he drowning at sea when suddenly the water had turned into vapor allowing him to breathe easily. This ignited his inspiration to make and electronic cigarette that consisted of a battery, an ultra sonic atomizer, nicotine cartridge compiled into a plastic cartridge. Within this device the user could deliver themselves a vaporized form of nicotine liquid solution with the air activating the atomizer. Cancer causing Tar and other substances found in regular cigarettes were eliminated from the user or anyone in their vicinity with second hand smoke eliminated as well. Hon Lik patented the e-cigarette and e-liquid in the same year and introduced his product to the United States and Europe in 2006.