Soon it will seem as though e cigs have always been around. They have entered the public consciousness to such an extent that society rarely gives a cigalike a second look, although bigger e cigs will take some time to get used to. In spite of their rapid absorption into western culture, electronic cigarettes have not been around for very long. Here is a brief look at their history.
The Electronic Cigarette as Smoking Cessation Device
When the inventor of today’s e cig started out, he had one goal in mind: find a way to stop smoking and to help other people do the same thing. His father had died of smoking-related sickness. He was a smoker too, and a pharmacist who saw people every day looking for solutions to their addiction more successful than chewing nicotine gum.
Smokers tried and failed to quit smoking using tools that were already on the market. There had to be something better, and true enough, there was. This Chinese pharmacist just had to invent it.
The result of his research and innovation was the beginning of a controversial new industry that is now sweeping Asia, Europe, and the United States. Even though an innovator had tried to create and market something similar 50 years before, his time wasn’t right; people weren’t ready; the connection between cigarettes and illness was not as well understood. In the early 21st century, the public was more than ready to see the cigarette industry lose its hold in favor of a healthier alternative.
From China to the World
Even now, more than a decade after they were first introduced in China to a small audience, e cigs are primarily manufactured in China. Whether your business is based in Nottingham, England, or Miami, Florida, you’ve got to look for a supplier in China to keep costs down. A few American companies have forged ahead on home soil, but their products are not cigalikes; they make mechanical mods. The cigalike industry is for budget-conscious, brand-new vapers who still have a cigarette in one hand while holding an e cig in the other.
In China, the first business to catch on was Ruyan. Some of the other early converts were Blu, V2 Cigs, Green Smoke, SmokeTip, Volcano, and 21st Century Smoke.
Now there are too many to keep track of and plenty of scams too. There’s Halo, Eversmoke, Vaporfi, Nuvocig, Vapor4Life, and many more. These are just the American firms; England has its own industry.
Battery-powered electronics are usually safe unless they are manufactured shoddily and used ignorantly. Combine those factors and you end up with small house fires and instances of personal injury caused by overcharging a battery or storing a battery somewhere unsafe.
Some problems, however, occurred through no fault of the consumer; a wall adapter catching fire, cigarettes exploding, and 2nd degree burns from overheating cigarette batteries. There have been reports of allergic reactions connected to e-liquid, especially where artificial colorants and propylene glycol have been used.
Big Tobacco Gets Involved
Then the big tobacco companies started sniffing around, showing interest. Their money has meant e cig firms could do bigger and better things, innovating and improving their products. Virtually every e cig was a three-piece device, but this changed when the atomizer and cartridge were combined. Battery improvements allowed these to become more powerful and to hold their charge longer without becoming bigger.
But a connection with tobacco companies like Lorillard, British American Tobacco, and Altria has given rise to some concerns that e cigs won’t be as good as they could be with the competition in charge. In fact, some of their offerings have already proven themselves sub-standard. And with the FDA approaching the industry now to assess and potentially force changes in production standards, it might only be companies allied with Big Tobacco that survive. This could mean an unspeakable drop in quality and huge hike in prices.
Where is the E Cig Industry Headed?
The next big phase in e cig history is their battle with the FDA, which doesn’t have to be a conflict situation necessarily. If FDA criteria are met, many businesses will gain extra credibility they have been lacking. Those that can improve will survive, also with FDA approval.
Some will fall away, unable to afford renovations without adding considerably to their prices. Uncertainty is part of the forecast for e cig manufacturers, but also peace of mind for consumers who want more study and research to be conducted so as to improve the public’s knowledge of e cigs and ensure their safety.