Vaping has definitely become more popular in the last few years in Ireland. However, despite this rise in popularity, there are many that believe it is simply a ‘passing fad’ that has only emerged in recent years. Nothing could be further from the truth as the technology has been around for years.
It was actually in 1963 when the first electronic cigarette was patented by Herbert A. Gilbert. Gilbert had decided to create an alternative ‘to the scourge of tobacco cigarettes’ because he felt that this would save lives and, in the long term, be healthier. His original electronic or e-cigarette is very similar in design to the modern styles that are on the market today. Obviously, it was not as sophisticated or as effective a model as the ones currently available, but it looked the same and was based on the same technical elements, such as smokeless flavoured air, heating elements and flavoured cartridges. Unfortunately, during the 1960s the e-cigarette was in the early stages of development and did not get a lot of public attention. This was an incredible idea – the world simply was not ready for what Gilbert had to offer. However, when the patent expired manufacturers began to become interested in his idea.
It was not until 2006, when Hon Lik, a Chinese pharmacist, released his e-cigarette, that the industry really started to build momentum. This e-cigarette consisted of an ultrasonic atomiser, a plastic cartridge, a battery and was also scaled down in size so it was easier for the user to carry around. Lik believes that vaping is the next logical stage in evolution for smoking, stating that the e-cigarette is comparable to the ‘digital camera taking over from the analogue camera’. This clearly does not sound like a ‘passing fad’.
So, while vaping in Ireland is exceptionally popular now, the concept is actually very established. With such sound technological development backing a product of this nature, as well as its current proliferation, it would be hard to argue that the e-cigarette will suddenly disappear anytime soon.