Vapor Cigarettes –  How they came to being so popular?

Technology has a way of surprising us on a daily bases and the new vapor cigarette products are one of the newest and best examples of technology having a positive influence on our lives. Not too long ago, the small computer-like devices seen in sci-fi productions seemed to be just that – fiction. Now, countless people walk around with their tablets, smart devices, and other life-enhancing technological products that have become essential to our daily lives. Here’s a brief look into how vapor cigarettes came to be one such product.

  • The first documented smokeless cigarette was actually in 1963. Herbert A. Gill obtained a patent for his smokeless cigarette that used heated air instead of burning paper. For unknown reasons, Gill’s device never went into production and for decades, the idea was lost.
  • Modern vapor cigarettes were invented in 2003 by Hon Lik – a Chinese pharmacist and smoker. Hon Lik saw his father die of cigarette related lung cancer and wanted to create a healthier way for people to smoke. His company, Ruyan, began producing the product that year.
  • In 2005, China-based Ruyan began exporting vapor cigarettes worldwide. Europe was the first to be hit by the new technology and their popularity was almost instant. Through long legal debates, it was finally decided that these new smokeless products would not be included in the heavy smoking ban for public places.
  • The USA saw e-cigarettes importation in 2007. The products were well-received by the general public, but the FDA and other health and anti-smoking agencies did not greet the product with open arms. In 2009, the FDA labeled these products as drug devices and banned all imported vapor cigarettes into the country. By this time, however, several US based e-cigarette companies had formed, meeting the needs and demands of US citizens.
  • In 2010, the AAPHP (American Association of Public Health Physicians) reported that the carcinogen levels in vapor cigarettes were found to be 1,000 times less than the levels found in traditional cigarettes. They reach out to the FDA to reclassify e-cigarettes as tobacco products and not drug devices, thereby allowing those over the age of 18 to purchase the products at will.
  • 2011 saw the official US decree by the US Court of Appeals that vapor cigarettes are tobacco products and not drug devices. The FDA is allowed to regulate e-cigarettes as they would any other tobacco product.

Anytime there is a new product for human consumption there is bound to be inquiry, studies, and potential throwback with health concerns. The major debate in the US was whether e-cigs were drug devices or tobacco products. They contain nicotine, a drug, but this nicotine is derived from tobacco. However, there is no actual tobacco in these devices. So, it is indeed a bit of an anomaly. One of the main concerns posed by anti-smoking groups was the potential for minors to be enticed by vapor concentrate flavors such as chocolate, vanilla, mocha, or other fruit flavors. There are still studies being conducted as to any potential long-term health risks associated with vapor cigarettes, but it is clear from their booming global sales that these products are here to stay and fill a huge consumer need – to enjoy smoking more easily, and to do so in a safer, healthier manner.

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