Electronic cigarettes are growing in popularity around the world. With the announcement of vape as our Word of the Year, we have put together a timeline of the history of e-cigarettes.
- Herbert A. Gilbert patents a non-tobacco cigarette that heats a nicotine solution and produced steam, but it is never manufactured.
- Dr. Norman Jacobson, one of the pioneers of the word “vaping,” develops the Favor cigarette, a way to inhale nicotine with no smoke.
- Chinese pharmacist Hon Lik first develops an electronic alternative to traditional cigarettes.
- The first e-cigarettes, a Chinese invention, comes from the Ruyan company.
- E-cigarettes enter the US market.
- Nicotine and Tobacco Research publishes a study, entitled “Electronic Cigarettes: Effective Nicotine Delivery After Acute Administration,” which explores nicotine intake with different electronic cigarette devices.
- The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency will regulate e-cigarettes as medicines from 2016 when new European tobacco laws come into force.
- The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) urges the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to “issue a rule to regulate all tobacco products, including cigars, little cigars, e-cigarettes and others.”
- Nicotine and Tobacco Research publishes a study, entitled “Secondhand Exposure to Vapors From Electronic Cigarettes.” It reveals that “using an e-cigarette in indoor environments may involuntarily expose non-users to nicotine, but not to toxic tobacco-specific combustion products.”
- “World leading tobacco experts argue that a recently published World Health Organization (WHO)-commissioned review of evidence on e-cigarettes contains important errors, misinterpretations, and misrepresentations, putting policy-makers and the public in danger of foregoing the potential public health benefits of e-cigarettes.”
- The Chicago City Council voted to regulate electronic cigarettes the same as traditional cigarettes, which “prohibits the use of e-cigarettes in public places, requires stores selling them to keep them behind the counter, and prohibits their sale to minors.”
- The UK bans e-cigarettes for people under 18.
- The European Parliament approves regulations on e-cigarettes. “Beginning in mid-2016, advertising for e-cigarettes would be banned in the 28 nations of the European Union, as it already is for ordinary tobacco products. E-cigarettes would also be required to carry graphic health warnings and must be childproof. The amount of nicotine would be limited to 20 milligrams per milliliter, similar to ordinary cigarettes.”
- Journal of Psychiatric Research reports on e-cigarette use within different age groups and finds that “a notable proportion of adolescents and young adults who never smoked cigarettes had ever-used e-cigarettes. E-cigarette use was not consistently associated with attempting to quit tobacco among young adults. Adults most often reported e-cigarettes as a substitute for tobacco, although not always to quit. Reviewed studies showed a somewhat different pattern of e-cigarette use among young people (new e-cigarette users who had never used tobacco) versus adults (former or current tobacco users).”
- A proposal from the FDA requires e-cigarettes to “undergo an agency review,” which would ban e-cigarette sales to minors and require e-cigarettes to have warning labels.
- The AAP releases a statement on the dangers of e-cigarette poisoning in children.
- A US congressional report surveys the marketing tactics of e-cigarette companies, which directs sales towards youth, and calls on the FDA to set regulations for e-cigarette marketing.
- The FDA proposes regulations on e-cigarettes, which gives them authority over e-cigarettes and expands its’ authority over tobacco products. The AAP still urges the FDA to protect young people from the effects of e-cigarettes.
- The AAP surveyed a random sample of adults, and according to the research presented, “the vast majority of young adults who have used the devices believe they are less harmful than regular cigarettes…”
- Tobacco Control BMJ releases a study on e-cigarette use and individuals with mental health conditions.
- A study for Nicotine and Tobacco Research finds that the vapors from e-cigarettes contain “toxic and carcinogenic carbonyl compounds,” and the amount of formaldehyde in the vapors is similar to the amount reported in tobacco smoke.
- A study titled “Exposure to Electronic Cigarette Television Advertisements Among Youth and Young Adults”, found that “exposure of young people ages 12 to 17 to e-cigarette ads on TV increased 256% from 2011 to 2013. Young adult (ages 18 to 24) exposure increased 321% over the same period.”
- The White House alters the wording of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tobacco regulations, allowing the online sale of e-cigarettes.
- The British Medical Association (BMA) calls to ban e-cigarette use in public. Doctors and medical students decide that e-cigarettes may lead to nicotine addiction.
- The BBC bans the use of e-cigarettes in all its offices and studios.
- A study from Nicotine and Tobacco Research states that “there is a risk of thirdhand exposure to nicotine from e-cigarettes,” although the exposure levels differ depending on the brand of the devices used.
- A study from Nicotine and Tobacco Research states that “in 2013, over a quarter million never-smoking youth had used e-cigarettes. E-cigarette use was associated with increased intentions to smoke cigarettes.”
- The American Heart Association (AHA) calls on the FDA for more research on e-cigarettes, to apply the same regulations on e-cigarettes as tobacco and nicotine products, and to create new regulations to prevent access, sale, and marketing to youth.
- A World Health Organization (WHO) report states that e-cigarettes need regulation to “impede e-cigarette promotion to non-smokers and young people; minimize potential health risks to e-cigarette users and nonusers; prohibit unproven health claims about e-cigarettes; and protect existing tobacco control efforts from commercial and other vested interests of the tobacco industry.”
- The WHO reports that “governments should ban the use of electronic cigarettes in public places and outlaw tactics to lure young users.”
- The New England Journal of Medicine’s findings state that “like conventional cigarettes, electronic cigarettes may function as a ‘gateway drug’ that can prime the brain to be more receptive to harder drugs.”
- A study for Nicotine and Tobacco Research states that “over 75% of US adults reported uncertainty or disapproval of the use of e-cigarettes in smoke-free areas. Current cigarette smokers, adults aware or have ever used e-cigarettes were more supportive to exempting e-cigarettes from smoking restrictions.”
Headline image credit: Vaping an electronic cigarette by Jon Williams. CC BY 2.0 via Flickr.
This is a useful post, but I feel some of the references are to outdated material now. The post is very useful overall, but issues like “thirdhand” smoke are completely unproven in my view :)
Thanks again, great to have the timeline so well laid-out.
Thanks for this informative post regarding E-cig history. As a store owner, it was definitely interesting to see a kind of timeline layout of how E-cigs started. I also had no idea they’ve been on the market since 2007, thought it was a few years after that.
Fortunately the time line has moved on – the UK Gov recent report: “E-cigarettes around 95% less harmful than tobacco estimates landmark review”
Read it here https://www.gov.uk/government/news/e-cigarettes-around-95-less-harmful-than-tobacco-estimates-landmark-review
Nice timeline of the ecigarette and vaping industry. With all the controversy that has been surrounding the industry in the US recently it would be interesting to see this updated for 2015/2016
Thanks for this informative post regarding E-cig history. As a store owner, it was definitely interesting to see a kind of timeline layout of how E-cigs started.
As with Naresh I’m also an e cig store owner and pro vaping website owner and this information helped me a ton. Thanks for the article.
That point about thirdhand seems to be at least controversial, there’s no such thing as “thirdhand vaping”, it’s nothing similar to classic tobacco fumes. Eliquids http://gypsyvapes.com/Top-ELiquid-EJuice-Brands vaporize not into smoke, they contain food approved PG/VG.
Its a nice summary of the vape history. I do agree that bit of updating is required as it does not include all sides for argument about e cigarette
I had no idea e-cigarettes were so old… what the heck? How did we only hear about them in the past few years? That’s crazy! I wonder if tobacco companies had something to do with it…
[…] Vaping has been around since the early 1900s but wasn’t popularized until the mid-2000s when a Chinese company called Hon Link created the first modern e-cigarette. Since then, the industry has exploded with all types of popular vaping devices, ranging from large box mods to discrete thumb-drive sized devices. […]
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