The Brains Behind Vaping: Who Invented It?

If you are unfamiliar with vaping, a person must use a vaporizer to simulate smoking. The electronic device, also known as an e-cigarette, features an atomizer (like a battery)to power it and a container, such as a tank or a cartridge, which creates vapor, hence its name.

The clever device is used by many, but few people might know the brains behind it. Continue reading to learn more about vaping and who invented it.

Who Invented the Vape?

The modern vape has more than one person to thank for its existence, which varies from e-liquid to dry herb vaporizers. A handful of people from the 1920s to the early 2000s have played a role in bringing the unique gadget to market. For this reason, it is important to look at the timeline of the electronic cigarette to understand its origins.

1927: Joseph Robinson Patents the Electric Vaporizer

Your jaw might drop when learning the modern vape you know was born from Joseph Robinsons idea in 1927. On May 3, 1927, he filed a US patent for the worlds first electric vaporizer to make it easier than ever to inhale vapors.

1963: Herbert A Gilbert Patents an Electronic Smoking Device

Joseph Robinsons vision might not have come to fruition, but that didnt stop Herbert A Gilbert from filing for a US patent for an electronic smoking device on April 17, 1963. Yet, it appears society wasnt quite ready for the e-cigarette during the 1960s, as he couldn’t find any manufacturers to produce his unique product.

1986: Jed Rose and Frederique Behm Create a Prototype

It wasnt until the 1980s that Joseph Robinson and Herbert A Gilberts visions for an electronic cigarette started to become a reality. While the innovative device was decades away from market success, Jed Rose and Frederique Behm made the first attempt at creating an electronic smoking device. In January 1986, after much research and development, the duo developed a distilled smoke prototype at their Westwood lab.

2003: Hon Lik Invents the E-Cigarette

Hon Lik, a Chinese pharmacist, is arguably the inventor of the vape you know today. Originally released in 2003 in China, the gadget soon entered markets across the world, such as the UK market in 2005 and the US market in 2007. The electronic device is now sold in different forms and creates vapor using various materials, such as oil or dry herbs.


It turns out there is more than one forward-thinking brain behind vaping. Who invented the device is determined by who you believe is responsible for its origin or manufacturing. If you believe there is not a product without an idea, then there is no question that Joseph Robinson got the ball rolling and inspired many others throughout the decades. However, if you believe the vaporizer would not have been created without the ability to bring it to a global market, you might view Hon Likas the worthy pioneer behind the innovative device.

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