Becoming increasingly popular by the day, electronic cigarettes have become the talk of the town since their release in 2003. The first e-cigarette was developed in China by Hon Lik. Personal circumstances drove Han Lik to invent this contraption in 2003. Lik suffered from a serious respiratory disease and his father was terminally ill with lung cancer. A safer alternative to tobacco cigarettes was thus born.
Electronic cigarettes do not give out any of the harmful substances found in tobacco smoke. Tar, ash and carbon monoxide are just a few of the four thousand chemicals released in the smoke. With electronic cigarettes, harmless vapours of nicotine were released into the lungs and only water vapour was released on exhaling. This also eliminated the risks taken by passive smokers due to second hand smoke. In 2004, this contraption was marketed by GDD (Golden Dragon Group) who called it Ruyan which translated to 'almost like smoke'.
The popularity of electronic cigarettes exponentially increased via marketing and publicity through the internet. Several companies adopted the idea and started manufacturing their own brands of electronic cigarettes. A UK based businessman brought the idea to the country and it become so popular that the government made e-cigs legal even in areas where smoking was banned. UK is now among the top vaping countries in the world.
The progress of electronic cigarettes was a little slower in the United States. E-cigs reached the US in 2006 and several brands sold their products online, in shopping malls and other retail outlets. The WHO and FDA demanded proof for product safety from e-cigarette companies. Although no official statements have been released in favour or against e-cigarettes, several smokers all over the world are swearing by the benefits.
The switch to e-cigs also resulted in fewer health problems and diseases related to regular tobacco smoking. One health board also states that smokers can cut the risk of premature death through incessant tobacco smoking by almost 98% by switching to electronic cigarettes.