E-cigarettes are seen by most to be a very modern invention. However that is not really so. The first evidence which one can see with regards e-cigarette Australia dates back to the 1930s. To be precise in 1927 a patent was filed by a Joseph Robinson and this patent was granted to him. It was a primitive device and this was never commercialized.

The early years

It was only three decades later that Herbert A Gilbert created what is regarded as the precursor to the modern day e-cigarette. He patented it in 1965 even though he filed for the patent in 1963. The prototypes were created of this but this never saw a commercialized boom as he claims that the companies were waiting for the patent to first expire before the used it and thus would save on the license fees.

In 1979 Phil Ray is credited for creating the commercialized version by working along with his physician Norman Jacobson. This duo is credited with doing proper research into nicotine delivery and even though the technique which was used by them was not electronic, it used evaporation of the nicotine. The commercialization did not take off as it was seen as faulty even though this led to the word vape being added to the English language.

E-cigarettes in the 90s

In the 1990s there were different patents which were taken out for inhaler devices for nicotine and most of these patents again used evaporation of nicotine or on physically propelling it. There is also one device which used a chemical system which is still being evaluated.

Reynolds came out with a device for heat not burn. The functioning of the device is very similar to a nicotine inhaler and the combusted cigarette. The commercialization of the e-cigarettes in the form which we now know them started in the 1990s.

E-cigarettes in the 2000s

In 2003 the first successful commercial electronic cigarette was created in China – Beijing to be precise by a pharmacist known as Hon Lik. He made the device after his father who was a heavy smoker died of lung cancer. The device developed by Hon Lik was known as Ruyan which can be translated as “like smoke”.

In 2006 the electronic cigarettes came to Europe and then they were introduced in the United States. There are many countries which still ban the sale of e-cigarettes and others restrict their use to persons who are over the age of 18.

E-cigarettes and the WHO

In 2008 the World Health Organization claimed that it in no way considered that in order to stop smoking one could consider vaping as an aid. They also declared that any material which stated that the WHO considered these e-cigarettes as effective and safe should be removed.


E-cigarettes however are found to be less dangerous than smoking of cigarettes and the dose in the e-cigarettes is comparable to the dosage in the nicotine inhaler that is provided for medicinal purposes. This however needs to be used with prudence.