Back in the day, nobody had ever thought about electronic cigarettes. Or had they?
In fact the concept had been patented as early as 1930 to one Joseph Robinson. Nothing came of it, and to be fair at the time would not have been commercially viable.
Similar patents came and went throughout the 1960s, 70s and 80s, but again never developed into a successful prototype, let alone a commercially viable product. A whole host of attempts at developing something similar to the first wave of commercially sold electronic cigarettes were made throughout the 1990s to the early 2000s, again to no avail.
From 2003 to 2008 however…success! Hon Lik, who’s occupations in life were both as a pharmacist and inventor (that came in handy) developed the Ruyan “Like Smoke”. This became the first commercially available e-cigarette.
The intention to create this device was like all attempts before, to stop people smoking. Nobody would have ever envisaged the range of reasons people vape today, cloud chasing, tricks, even breath freshener!
Therefore, it has been interesting to observe the trends of vaping over the past decade, looking from the start of it’s popularity to now.
“Vaping” came to public prominence in around the year 2008. There were many names for the devices at the time, cigalikes being the most common. I remember my first taste of one very well, and can taste it in my mind now!
There were many names given to vaping at the time too, but I don’t actually recall vaping being one of them. The initial requirement for these was to simulate a cigarette as like for like as possible, predominantly in nicotine delivery, but also in flavour, colour, feel, weight and shape. For the most part, they did a reasonable job for what was essentially a cheap prototype for things to come.
These before long were replaced by the pen shaped vapourisers. These were the first designs which on mass succeeded in helping smokers cease smoking. Things started to be taken seriously, generating worldwide political discussions by 2010.
Still focused on replicating smoking, a greater battery life and variety of flavours encouraged the development of the next generation – the mod.
Early mods were battery hungry and largely poor in build, but offered a greater tank capacity and more power than the pen. This lead to the generation of cloud chasing. More people were vaping than ever, but why were many of these actually vaping? For fun!
Mods and tanks have developed more and more, from tube mods to box mods, and now many are more technologically advanced than early mobile phones.
However, we are seeing a shift again. I am seeing less giant clouds, and more pen shaped vapourisers again, as well as a current fad – pod systems.
These new pod systems symbolise a return to what the original cigalikes intended to do. Help people stop smoking, in a cheap, easy manner. Their strength lies in that they seem to take the best of both generations of e-cigarettes – the portability, low cost and ease of use of the cigalike/pen generation, with the flavour and potential delivery of the mod generation.
So where will be go from here? My prediction is that the pod systems will either die out, or become bigger and bigger, with large refillable pods, to where we may as well have stuck with standard mods!
Written by ELFC Contenty Creator Alex Blatherwick