Vaping is one of the most exciting of the smoking cessation tools of recent years, and you’d be forgiven for believing that it is still quite a new concept. Vaping, or aspects of it, have been in use for hundreds of years. On top of this, the use of vape devices as new age smoking cessation tools is not as modern as you might think, with a history spanning back to the early 20 th century. Below is everything you need to know about the history of vaping. You never know, it might eb enough to change your perceptions altogether.

Vaping history

Vaping has been prevalent in society for thousands of years. Since humans were able to heat up herbs and vegetation, they’ve found ways to ingest it into their system, for better and for worse. Whilst smoking has been recorded throughout history, one element which is often overlooked is the use of heated water vapour in the inhalation process.

Ancient Egypt’s hot stones and herbs

The earliest known record of heated water being inhaled is in Ancient Egypt by the Scythians in 900 BC. Hot stones were used to heat up herbs such as hemp seeds for inhalation, at its core becoming a primitive vape device. This leisure activity which was recorded throughout their 14 centuries of existence was known at the time for being even more enjoyable than the Ancient Greek vapor baths.

India and the Shisha pipe

The Shisha or Hookah pipe became one of the best-known uses of heated water for inhalation. These devices were used throughout the Safavid Dynasty in Iran and further through the reaches of the Middle-East. Modern variations of these devices are still used today and are still popular in many countries in the Middle-East, as well as having a resurgence in the West as well.

Joseph Robinson

Although never brought to market, Joseph Robinson, a New York City local patented a vape device all the way back in 1927. Using butane to ignite water mixed with a medicine of choice, this product became one of the first attempts to create a water best inhalation device which was also portable. Unfortunately, the design never made it into the public sphere and the technology was forgotten for decades.

Herbet A Gilbert

That was until the 1960’s when Korean War veteran Herbert A Gilbert came up with an alternative to smoking cigarettes. Using a “battery powered heat source” Gilbert even created prototypes and experimented with different flavours to create nice tasting steam. Sound familiar? Unfortunately, tobacco was such a large part of the USA’s economy that no businessman would manufacture his noble attempts at smoking cessation.

Phil Ray and the 80’s push

One of the amazing minds behind the microprocessor and a top NASA inventor, Phil Ray was working on something very different come the 1980’s. His smoking cessation idea was something that looked and felt like a cigarette, but was in fact an inhaler of sorts. Using nicotine soaked filter paper, users could suck on a cigarette shaped device without not only having to combust tobacco, but without having to heat anything up at all. Although it never caught on, this was a definite sign that people were thinking in the vaping mindset, bringing new ideas to market in response to the increasing evidence of tobaccos dangers.

Hon Lik pharmaceuticals

Before the rise of vape shops and e cigarette liquids, Hon Lik came up with the first vape device back in the early noughties. These devices, now called “cigalikes” were primitive vape devices which were often disposable and high in nicotine content. This was the spark that led to the vape revolution we see today.

Vape trends

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