Evolution of the Vape Industry
The vaping industry has taken off over the past decade and continues to flourish, with the market worth an estimated $3.7 billion in 2015 alone.
At Vape Chemist, we care about vaping as more than a business. It’s a lifestyle and an alternative to the smell, carcinogens, and other health concerns related to smoking.
If you’re just now getting started with vaping and e-cigarettes, here’s a quick breakdown of everything you missed in the vaping industry.
The First Electronic Cigarette
The first e-cigarette was developed and patented by an inventor named Herbert Gilbert in 1963. His device produced flavored steam minus the nicotine. Gilbert’s patent was granted two years later, but electronic cigarettes didn’t become a popular consumer product until 2003.
A Hong Kong pharmacist named Hon Lin patented the first modern e-cigarette that year, and the modern vape industry was born. Lin quit smoking cigarettes after his father died of lung cancer, and created his electronic option as an alternative to tobacco.
It wouldn’t be long before the vaping craze spread around the world, popularly marketed as a safer alternative to smoking. Scientists and researchers doubted these claims, and controversy surrounding vaping spread just as quickly.
Despite the controversy, e-cigarettes enjoyed considerable popularity in China and increasingly became a beloved product around the world. E-cigs entered the European and U.S. markets in 2006 and 2007, respectively. Lack of regulation led to a wide variety of different types of incompatible e-cigarettes.
Many disposable cigalikes were used and often poorly constructed. This early e-cigarette market left many consumers stuck shopping at the same smoke shop they bought their original e-cig from, since the next shop wouldn’t have a compatible brand. Early adopters were left with shoddy products and artificially flavored juices.
In 2007, Golden Dragon Holdings, the company that employed Lin, registered for an international e-cigarette patent. Later that month the company changed its name to Ruyan, which translates to “Resembling Smoking.”
It wasn’t long before mechanical mods, rebuildable atomizers, USB adapters, and rechargeable lithium ion batteries became standard among vape pens. Male and female threading on batteries and tanks were standardized as well. Innovation peaked and creativity flourished, but it wouldn’t last long.
Demand for Performance Satisfaction
The first generation of e-cigarette was a relatively simple device that looked like a traditional cigarette and featured a battery and cartomizer only. Some took refills, while others were disposable.
The second incarnation of the e-cig was the vape pen, which is still widely used and is credited with increasing the popularity of electronic cigarette use. Pens are refillable and allow the user to experiment with the seemingly-endless e-juice flavors available. Vape pens also have much stronger batteries than their electronic cig counterparts.
E-cig hardware evolved again with the development of mechanical mods. Mods are similar to vape pens but feature an even stronger battery life and allow the user to “modify” their vaping experience via temperature controls and charging abilities.
The mod is a safer product, thanks to short-circuit protection. Adjustable temperatures and wattages also allow for low-heat vaping that soon spawned another vape-related industry. From 2011-2016, videos popped up all over social media networks like Vine, Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube of vapers blowing clouds in creative and artistic ways.
Cloud-chasing competitions soon sprung up all over the world. In 2016, there were over a dozen global professional cloud-chasing competitions, with cash prizes ranging from $200 to $100,000 for the World Vaping Championship. Corporate sponsorship helps bring in further revenue for professional vapers.
It wasn’t long before the FDA stepped in with their infamous 2016 regulations to treat vaping and e-cigarettes the same as traditional cigarettes.
Today, cigalikes, vape pens, and mechanical mods all still survive and are sold by both big tobacco and independent retailers. Despite initial fears, dozens of mom and pop brands are still in business, having complied with FDA regulations.
And while vape pen technology continues to improve, we’re still working hard to produce and create unique, flavorful eliquids for all our vape customers who continue to hold on despite adversity. Our connoisseur blends are the perfect way to take the edge off after a long day, relax, and contemplate just how far we’ve come.