Who Invented Vaping? The Genius of Herbert Gilbert and Hon Lik

Meet The Inventor

Vaping is one of the best inventions for smokers. While there are no sufficient scientific studies backing it up, thousands of smokers swear that it helped them quit smoking. According to them, it is a good transition; it is a safer alternative to the tobacco-tinged cigarettes.

“I was ready to stop smoking. I had tried a few different strategies by this point but nothing did the trick… And then, finally, I found something that helped me quit for good. No more need for cigarettes with my coffee, or that last smoke at the end of the day,” film producer James Di Fiore wrote about vaping for the Huffington Post.

So who invented this smoking-cessation stick? There are two people credited with inventing electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes. These are Herbert A. Gilbert and Hon Lik. The two created their own vaping devices four decades apart.

Gilbert created his version of the e-cigarette as early as the 1960s. Back then, a big chunk of the population smoked like chimneys. They smoke in trains, restaurants and almost every nook in the country. There were no regulations. But Gilbert already knew that smoking is harmful, although, majority of the smoking population were not health-conscious.

Gilbert, a Korean War veteran, smoked two packs a day for years. In an interview for a UK blog, Gilbert shared how he decided to create the e-cigarette: “I’m a logical guy and logic told me to define the problem and then develop a solution. The problem, as I concluded, was that when you burned leaves and wood, even if you did it in your back yard, it yielded a result that no one wanted to take into their lungs.”

So Gilbert designed a product where the leaves are not burned but heated—much like brewing tea. He applied for a patent in 1963 and it was granted. However, when he shopped the product around, nobody wanted to manufacture it. Gilbert believed that some just wanted to take the intellectual property for themselves—wait for the patent to expire then create their own version. On the other hand, he thought that the timing was just off in the 1960s.

The new millennium proved to be the right time, though. And Chinese pharmacist Hon Lik grabbed on the opportunity. Lik, also a smoker, found it hard to quit with just a nicotine patch. In 2003, he came up with the idea of vaporizing liquid that contains nicotine. Lik’s product used ultrasonic device. But when the technology reached American soil in 2006, battery-powered vapers were already the trend.

The business of e-cigarettes is a $3.7 billion industry. Majority of the vapers want to quit smoking but since it is a habit ingrained in the system, it’s hard to do so. This is why e-cigarettes have become an important invention to smokers.

Nicmaxx’s products take the invention to the next level, as it allows vapers to experience the same nicotine satisfaction as smoking while enjoying lower health risks. The company has a full line of products to choose from with a wide range of flavors.

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