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When The Electronic Cigarette Was Really Invented

Electronic cigarettes have been around for nearly 50 years, even though most people commonly have the mistaken belief that they were invented a decade ago. The initial e cigarette design was intended to vaporize a variety of different liquids, but eliquid with nicotine solution was not part of the original plan. The man who we can thank for the first major e cigarette breakthrough is Herbert Gilbert, who patented his design in 1963. Apparently, in Gilbert’s patent filing there is evidence that all of the major parts of the modern e cigarette were included, but the technology was not as advanced as it is today.


Gilbert’s electronic cigarette used what was called a heating tube to vaporize the liquid inside of it – and this tube made the entire device a lot larger – more like a cigar – than the modern e cigarettes are. The initial design included flavor pellets, and his writings indicate that he believed that he could vaporize nearly any type of liquid in it. It is interesting that Gilbert never made comments in his notes about vaporizing nicotine in his device, and evidently intended for it to be a sort of medical device that could deliver medicine to someone by allowing them to inhale it.

Gilbert named his device the “Smokeless Non-Tobacco Cigarette” according to the patent he filed, which was primarily designed to vaporize medicine like modern room or space humidifiers and vaporizers do. Gilbert had voiced his concern at the time about neither tobacco, not the paper it was wrapped in, being good for people to burn and inhale, and he marketed his electric cigarette to the big tobacco companies as a way to give people a choice. Evidently, they lined up to meet with Gilbert to discuss selling his device as a smokeless tobacco alternative, and this is where the story gets really interesting.

The Mystery of The First E-Cigarette

After Gilbert had his device patented, he decided to sit down and talk with a variety of big tobacco companies about ways to bring it to market. He was under the impression that these companies wanted to help him improve his initial designs so that the device could be a suitable smokeless device, and which they would sell to smokers as a way of kicking the habit. The initial design did not deliver liquid nicotine to the user, but it did provide the psychological satisfaction that smoking a real tobacco cigarette does.

The “Smokeless Non-Tobacco Cigarette” delivered a realistic looking vapor, which was very similar to tobacco cigarette smoke. Gilbert even designed a replaceable and refillable cartridge for his device, and it was amazingly similar to the e cigarettes we have today. The big tobacco companies really wanted to get their hands on his plans, and they all completely disappeared along with his notes after he met with them.

No one seems to know if Gilbert’s plans were stolen from him, or if he sold his invention to the tobacco companies, but as soon as word started to spread about this exciting new invention, it was gone, and any potential competition for the addictions of nicotine users was effectively swept under the rug. It is interesting to note that in numerous big tobacco court cases over the last 3 decades, all kinds of revelations about the underhanded world of the tobacco industry has surfaced.

Nowadays the electronic cigarette has moved far and box mods are becoming the norm in social areas and at home. Take a look at this VaporFi Vox TC Mod review, you can see the detail that the devices have along with variable wattage, variable voltage and also the ability to adjust the temperature.

The most comprehensive propaganda campaign of the 20th century was pulled off by the tobacco companies, as they hired and manipulated all of the scientists, medical experts, and media outlets in the United States and around the world to get people hooked on their cancer causing products. It would not be any stretch to imagine that they either threatened Gilbert, bought him off, or simply stole his work – they have operated in this way for nearly 200 years. Their now-famous propaganda firm Hill & Knowlton developed the Tobacco Institute Research Center, and posed as an independent third party that censored all of the thousands of scientific studies linking smoking to cancer.

How The Modern Electronic Cigarette Finally Came About

Hon Lik in China had a dream in 2003 about a vapor cigarette, and this fueled his desire to invent an electronic cigarette of his own. His dad had passed away from lung cancer caused by smoking real cigarettes, and he was convinced that he could make an e cig that did not deliver all of the nasty cancer chemicals that tobacco does. In an effort to save his own life, Lik contrived the first nicotine vaporizing e cig, and had the Ruyan electronic cigarette patented around 2004. This has made Lik the most popular Ruyan person known in history.

The pharmacuetical company he worked for saw exploding sales from their Runyan e cigs, which are well known for having the best electronic cigarette flavor, and they were the first company to sell the e cigarette all over the world. Runyan pharmaceuticals is now known as Dragonite, and they still sell an enormous amount of nicotine and e cigarettes in China and throughout the rest of the world. They have set themselves apart from their competitors by having what many consider to be the best e cig flavors, and for having a device with exceptional durability.