Many people believe that electronic cigarette wouldn't be possible without the internet.
And I believe them because the first electronic cigarette was invented way back in 1963 by Herbert A.Gilbert and hardly anybody knew about it, until the information made its way to the internet. That electronic cigarette didn't produce visible vapor though, but mind you, the whole thing was sent to oblivion. It was possible because the awareness of tobacco harm was not widely spread.
Gilbert's device was designed to heat air, that went through a flavored filter, unlike the Hon Lik’s invention that heats e-liquid and thus produces vapor.
It's only logical to assume that if there had been more attention and funding to spur the development of what Gilbert had created, someone would have come up with the liquid-to-vapor solution much sooner. Just imagine the lab full of experts whose task is to improve the existing invention to match the look and experience of real smoking. They would have surely invented vapor e-cig decades ago.
My father and many fathers and mothers would have lived longer. Many of us from the next generation would have not even started smoking, because we pick the habits from home, most of us.
There were attempts by tobacco industry to produce less harmful cigarette over the following few decades with significant investments but they failed for one reason or other. These didn't have anything to do with Gilbert's invention. They were mainly focused on taking most harmful elements out of tobacco in cigarettes or reducing their levels within. Some of them did it rather well in tests. However, even they remained shelved. And here is why
Quotation from an excellent article written by Tara Parker-Pope, for the Wall Street Journal: "Safer" Cigarettes: A History
Finally, the vapor cigarette was invented by Chinese Hon Lik. He used to be a heavy smoker himself and his father died of lung cancer. The production of e-cigs was started in 2004 by the company he worked for, the one that changed its name into Ruyan (meaning "like smoke").
Hon Lik, vaping.
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