It is hard to believe that the electronic cigarette has only been available internationally since 2007. E cigarettes are now available at the local newsstand and the corner store, in many large cities, and it is possible to order an electronic cigarette starter kit and an electronic cigarette charger online. Though they have become commonplace, it seems as if they appeared out of nowhere.
An engineer named Herbert A. Gilbert developed the first electronic cigarette in 1963. He created it in response to standard cigarettes, which were becoming increasingly recognized as a health risk. However, his invention never went anywhere. Fast-forward to the year 2000. Hon Lik, a pharmacist based in China, developed his own version of the electronic cigarette. In 2004, he began distributing it in China, where it quickly caught on. In 2007, it went global. Hon Lik’s electronic cigarette, which is quite similar to Mr. Gilbert’s, arrived at a time when smoking was becoming less and less welcome in public spaces. E cigarettes provided an easy solution, and a product that appeared out of nowhere, is now everywhere.