The use of e-cigarettes has blown up over recent years, with the term ‘vape’ even announced as Oxford Dictionaries Word Of The Year in 2014. And, while vaping may still seem like a relatively recent phenomenon, the history of vaping actually dates back much further than you’d think – all the way back to 1963.
From where the term vaping came from to the growth of the modern vape, join us at Zombie Vapes as we take a look back over the history of vaping.


Where does the term vape come from?

The term ‘vape’ is short for vapourise and refers directly to the vapour which is inhaled and exhaled from your e-cigarette. While the term entered the mainstream language in 2009, the term vaping, as still used today, began in the 70s to refer to an earlier prototype of a smokeless ‘cigarette’ inhaling device.

The word ‘vape’ came about as a deliberate move away from ‘smoking’ terms. Rather than talk about ‘smoking’ an e-cigarette, ‘vaping’ was instead used to create a clear differentiation between the two.


When was the first vape made?

An American with the name of Herbert A. Gilbert is credited as the man to create the very first e-cig design, way back in 1963. This initial iteration, however, did not contain nicotine and produced steam rather than the vapour of its modern-day counterparts.

Gilbert’s design, while patented in the US at the time, did not take off on a large commercial scale: that wouldn’t occur for another 40 years!


When did the modern vape become popular?

Though the idea of a smokeless cigarette replica was introduced in the 70s, it wasn’t until the 2000s that vaping became popular. A Bejing pharmacist and medical researcher by the name of Hon Lik was the designer of what we know as vapes today. Lik was reportedly inspired to create his vape because of his father; a long time smoker who was sadly dying of lung cancer.

Hon Lik created his vape in 2001. It was powered using ultrasonic atomiser technology, a battery and a nicotine cartridge. Lik also created the first e-liquids which, unlike the 60s versions, did contain nicotine. Lik’s vape and e-liquids were developed by his company, Golden Dragon Holdings, under the name ‘Ruyan’ which translates to ‘like smoke’. Ruyan introduced their vapes to the Chinese market in 2004, where they immediately took off. By 2006 other versions had become available, and the use of the internet allowed the concept to spread to the European and US markets.

It only took another year before others began adapting the technology and, by 2007, Umer and Tariq Sheikh made the first ‘cartomiser’. This contained a heating coil within the liquid storage section that could be filled manually, doing away with the need for a new cartridge each time. Further development led to the ‘clearomiser’ in 2009. This clear cartridge allowed the user to see the amount of liquid in the device, offering a much more customer friendly option.

Both of these developments brought additional ease of use to users, allowing vapers to select their own liquids and experiment with new brands and flavours – and propelling vaping into the phenomenon we see today!


Whether you’re just starting out vaping or are looking to modify your existing vape, look no further than Zombie Vapes for all your vape coilstanks and accessories. We also offer an extensive e-liquid collection, with a variety of unique flavours to suit any taste.


More Posts