ASK EDGE: Who invented vaping?
Throughout the 20th century individuals and companies have been interested in the development of an aerosol based alternative to cigarettes. Despite this, it wasn’t until 2004 that the electronic cigarette system now known throughout the world was developed in China by Hon Lik, who wanted to create a device that would help him to quit smoking.
In 1965, a patent was granted in the U.S.A to Herbert A. Gilbert for a ‘smokeless, non-tobacco cigarette.’ Gilbert’s device used a battery to heat a liquid and produce a nicotine-free flavoured steam. Some of the flavours Gilbert suggested for his device were mint, cinnamon and rum. While this device is similar to contemporary e-cigarettes, it was never produced commercially. The two main reasons for this were the lack of social demand and the large, low-powered and expensive batteries at the time.
In 2003 a patent was filed in China by Hon Lik for the e-cigarette system that is used throughout the world today. Lik was a heavy smoker and, following the death of his father from lung cancer, he wanted to create a device that would help him quit smoking. He has said, “I believed that if I could use vapor to simulate cigarette smoke, this could help me.”
Lik initially developed a large desktop system and experimented with food additives as solvents. He settled on Propylene Glycerol as a reliable, non-toxic solvent for nicotine that produced a satisfying vapour. Unlike Gilbert, Lik could use powerful and conveniently sized lithium ion batteries to turn his larger system into a more practical device.
Lik’s first vaping device featured an ultrasonic emitter that used high frequency vibrations to turn a jet of pressurised liquid into fine droplets. However, this was quickly changed to an atomiser with a heated coil, which produced larger amounts of vapour, with smaller droplets, while also heating it. This was the system used in the first commercial electronic cigarette, released in China in 2004. It’s a simple system of vaporizing a liquid with a heated coil and it has become popular throughout the world in the years since. It has also continued to be modified, improved and developed upon by Lik himself, hobbyists everywhere and numerous companies, including us here at EDGE.
Why do my coils keep burning out?
Thanks to the multitude of e-liquid flavours available, it’s fair to say that sooner or later you’re likely to come across a flavour you’d prefer to avoid. However, many vapers find themselves repeatedly experiencing a ‘burnt’ taste whenever they inhale - and no matter what they try, it just won’t go away. In these cases, the culprit will nearly always be a burnt coil. But how does a coil get burnt?
There are a host of terms used in the vaping industry, some of the meanings are obvious and others complete jargon to the new vaper (and even to those more experienced vapers!) This glossary is to help educate and provide meaning to the terms that you hear but were unsure of.