E-Cigarettes - The History & The Future
The first ‘electronic cigarette’ was invented by Herbert Gilbert in 1963 who patented it as a ‘smokeless, non-tobacco cigarette’ that ‘replaced burning tobacco and paper with heated, moist, flavored air’ However, at the time smoking was fashionable and Gilbert’s invention was never commercialised. As a result, the current vaping movement can be credited to Hon Lik, a Chinese pharmacist who patented the modern e-cigarette in 2003. Recognizing a potential threat to their industry, many cigarette companies began to move into the vaporizer space and market their own e-cigarettes that we see frequently today.
Vape facts you may not know:
- In 2014 global vapour device sales were around $4billion
- According to the Telegraph, UK sales of e-cigarettes was up over 75% in 2014 to £460m
- UK sales of vaping devices and e cigs were higher than NRT (gums, patches etc.) sales in 2012
- British American Tobacco was the first tobacco business to sell e-cigarettes in the UK
- Most e-cigarette devices are made in China
- According to Euromonitor estimates, 1 in 2 smokers globally will be in China by 2018
- 70% of the US e-cigarette market is held by 10 businesses
- ’Vape’ was named Oxford Dictionaries International Word of the Year 2014
- According to Twitter 79% of people who tweet about ‘vaping’ are male
Rise of the E-Cigarettes - The Current Situation
The e-cigarette industry has faced considerable resistance from small health bodies, political campaigners and non-smokers as being potentially harmful, a risk to children and for being largely unregulated. However, current Public Health England reports show that e-cigarettes are 95% less harmful than tobacco. In the UK, electronic cigarettes or vape pens and e liquids are licensed and regulated under TPD regulations from May 2016. Switching from cigarettes to e-liquid could save hundreds of thousands of lives each year, improve health and require less spending in health sectors. The economic result is also positive with workers retaining their jobs in an otherwise declining and heavily regulated tobacco industry. Environmentally, we could see a decline in cigarette butt waste!
Forecasts by Research and Markets indicate e cig and vape pen sales of $50 billion by 2025. Undeniably the production and use of e-cigarettes is still rising and we are excited to see what’s next.