The History of E-cigarette in 3 Minutes
The History of E-cigarette in 3 Minutes

The History of E-cigarette in 3 Minutes


Talking about the history of e-cigarette, it seems every vaper could shed some light on it. Though probably no one can proudly lecture every detail.

There is a string for every industry: sprouting→ chaos → developing →booming → declining, which means it was rising against the protests, booming among the trend, and declining behind the cheering.

So does e-cigarette industry.

Early Stage

E-cigarette can be traced back to 1963. At that time, Herbert A. Gilbert invented a “no-smoke-non cigarette” device which is generating vapor by heating up nicotine solution.

In 1965, his patent got approval, and his “no-smoke-non cigarette” device first mentioned in the most popular magazine, Mechanics.

Unfortunately, Gilbert didn’t receive any support while seeking the possibility for mass production. As time goes by, his device faded in the waves.

In 2001, Stephane Vlachos designed the first prototype of the e-cigarette functional engineering sample which generates vapor through heating up nicotine bio-solution based on electronic thermal resistance.

In 2002, the first type if e-cigarette made its debut on the International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva, which draws attention from the whole world ever since. However, Vlachos didn’t apply patent for it.

Until 2004, his device-like e-cigarette shows up in China changed his mind. Vlachos started to produce the first batch of e-cigarette products and claims that his patent was stolen. Nonetheless, the truth is missed it’s place.

Hon Lik was once generally considered as the inventor of e-cigarette because his device was the first nicotine-base e-cigarette.

In 2004, Hon Lik pioneered to produce and export this device internationally and changed the name of Jinlong Holding to Ruyan Technology.

In 2005, Ruyan started exporting and obtained their first international patent.

On the early days, e-cigarette didn’t get much attention in the domestic market but mostly being exported. It is because foreign countries had strict laws and regulations on non-smoking in public area.

There were some e-cigarette brands those days, but extremely expensive. Plus, the Ruyans are mostly exported, that’s why people don’t know it well.

The Financial Crisis of 2008 was the U-turn. Export products are blocked outside, then the manufacturers decided to sell it on the domestic market, which slowly drops the price.

A few years later, the industry went into the fast track of developing. The second and the third generation products popping on sale one after another causes the leading situation in the global market.

The Development of E-cigarette

The First

The first e-cigarette product was invented by Hon Lik in 2000, which is quite a creative thought of making replacement of tiny rolled cigarettes. Manufacturers have usually used this product as their prototype.


The First was a three-piece construction: battery, atomizer, and pod. Electronic control unit separated from the battery, for controlling the 3.7V rechargeable lithium battery’s voltage at 4.2V maximum, and output voltage stays on 3.3V.

The Second

The early Second contained a 14500 lithium battery box, such as Nicostick, firstly shown on e-cigarette forums, just an add-on box battery on the First. And a copper pipe for battery.


The Second had successfully brought commercial benefits to Trog of UK, the Screwdriver with a bigger RC123a which is more stable after fully charged. Trog used an electronic resistance panel to cut the voltage to 5V. Limited known to customers, limited success in business.

The Third

The Third was true electronic-control-device. E-cigarette starting to become a box mod from a plastic box with two batteries inside. On the Third, there are still two lithium batteries, normally can be at 7.4V, climax is 8.4V. Controlled by controller, the out put voltage can be locked at 5V.

The ultimate standard of e-cigarette is 5V output, lithium battery, and rechargeable, which are all came true on the Third.

The Forth

The trend fallen on the Forth is voltage-adjustment. Vapers can change the voltage between 3.3V to 6V, but the adjustment can only be operated by lousy potentiometer button or worse, screwdriver.


In the beginning, the Forth didn’t even have a screen, hence, the users have to guess what voltage they are at. After all, the Forth shocked the vapers world by its flexibility and of course, the screen was put on eventually.

The Fifth

The Fifth is the voltage-adjusting box mod. The regulator can be set on any voltage suits the atomizer and without limits from the battery, furthermore, one battery is enough to do so. If the target voltage is below the battery voltage, the regulator can suppress the voltage. Vice versa.

The Sixth

The Sixth is upgraded on the watts-changing function, there are more fun ways to explore(smoke, and density, etc).


Watts changing is the major function on the Sixth, which means no matter what atomizer you are using, the vapor generated is mostly the same if it’s on the same watts.

The Seventh

In Q1 of 2015, temperature control officially used on the e-cigarette. Safer and funnier.


The chip inside can control what temperature the vapor will be, which has quite a lot of advantages, such as it can avoid dry heat, and add a limit of highest temperature to prevent thermal degradation.

History is always marching forward, what will the Eighth be like, feel free to comment below.