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Electronic Cigarettes: A Long Time Coming.
A billion dollar industry built in less than a decade? Not quite. While the e-cig exploded into the global market in the mid-2000s, its metamorphosis can be traced back almost a century.
The electronic cigarette’s journey began in the 1920s with Joseph Robinson and his creation of the world’s first electronic vaporizer, which exhibited similar characteristics to today’s e-cigs. In 1976, Herbert A. Gilbert filed a patent to create the first smokeless cigarette. Despite his ingenious design, the product was ahead of its time and wouldn’t find its niche for another 40 years.
In the 1990s, several patents were filed for cigarette substitutes and novel electronic cigarette designs, and in the 2000s came the advent of commercially available e-cigarettes. Electronic cigarettes were introduced in China in 2004, moved into the European market by 2006, and finally hit American shelves in 2007.
E-cigarettes continued to serve as a viable alternative to tobacco counterparts for many former smokers, despite ongoing controversy and legal proceedings. In 2010 California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger rejected a ban on the sale of e-cigs in the state, and the United Kingdom Action on Smoking and Health supported electronic cigarettes as a harm reduction product. The United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled that same year that the FDA could not ban e-cigs as unapproved drug delivery devices, a landmark decision which has served as legal framework in following years for the e-cig and vape industries.
Studies have bolstered the use of e-cigs as an alternative to traditional cigarettes. Public Health England recently stated that e-cigs “have the potential to make a significant contribution to the endgame for tobacco.” Another study claimed that e-cigs are 95% less harmful than traditional cigarettes.
With appearances on both the big and silver screens, celebrity endorsements, promising research, and a growing user population, things are looking positive for the e-cig and vaping industries.
Thank you to our partners at NJOY for their work in putting this together.