The man who invented e cigarettes
Did you know that the birth of electronic cigarettes started with a dream? This simple dream would
make a big difference in the lives of millions of smokers worldwide.
In the year 2000, Chinese inventor and pharmacist Hon Lik had a bad dream. In that dream, he
was coughing and wheezing, and was close to drowning. Suddenly the turbulent waters around him
vanished into a fog. Little did Hon know that the nightmare would lead to something important – the
invention of electronic cigarettes. The creation of electronic cigarettes would not only affect Hon’s life
but the lives of the people around him.
Like other middle-aged men in China, Hon is no stranger to smoking. His father suffered because of
it and so did Hon. He was addicted to nicotine just like 60 percent of Chinese men but he couldn’t
kick the habit. He smoked as soon as he woke up in the morning, between lectures at the university,
during lunch break and while working.
Hon would ordinarily consume three packs a day. Aware of smoking’s ill effects, he developed the
first electronic cigarette in 2003. Not surprisingly, his father was the first to use his new product. But it
was too late to save the old man who eventually succumbed to lung cancer.
Hon knew he would be next unless he changed his ways. That fear convinced him of the importance
of electronic cigarettes that were introduced in China the following year.
While Hon is credited as the inventor of the modern electronic cigarette, this gadget was first
described way back in 1963. The idea was patented by Herbert A. Gilbert who wanted to make
a smokeless cigarette without any tobacco to give smokers a safe alternative to smoking. Gilbert
sought to do this by substituting tobacco and paper with “heated, moist flavored air.”
Unfortunately, the time was not right for the invention of e-cigarettes. Due to limited technology, there
was no way to manufacture this novel concept. To top it off, tobacco was not generally viewed as
dangerous at that time so the idea died and faded into obscurity.
Thanks to Hon, the dream is now a reality. Owing to the growing popularity of e-cigs, Hon’s company
Golden Dragon Holdings became Ruyan (which means resembling smoking) Group (Holdings) Ltd.
and began exporting electronic cigarettes in 2005.
Today, these devices are found almost everywhere. Ruyan alone – which is now called Dragonite
International Limited – has sold over a million units. In the United States, the Electronic Cigarette
Association said sales of e-cigarettes have mushroomed from $10 million to $100 million in just a
There’s also a wide variety of flavors to choose from at different dealers and online shops. There are
traditional types like menthol and Marlboro to fun flavors like chocolate, mint and apple, coffee and
vanilla. Indeed, smoking has come a long way thanks to the electronic cigarette. If you’re a smoker
and want to experience a better way to smoke, the electronic is the way to go. Grab one today and
experience a new high in smoking.