Whether you call it E-Liquid, vape juice, E-juice, or something else, it is clear that it has been a driving force in the vaping revolution. Vaping has become a popular habit not only for people who are trying to stop smoking cigarettes, but also for people who have never smoked a cigarette in their lives. The reason for this is the wide range of E-Liquid flavours and the advancements in vaping technology.
While it may seem a very modern invention, what many people do not realise is that vaping E-Liquid has been around in some form since the 1960s.
The beginning of E-Liquid
The first patent for an e-cigarette was filed in 1963 by Herbert A. Gilbert. A business graduate from Pennsylvania, he developed a device which would use heat (generated by a battery) and flavoured water to create an electronic cigarette without tobacco (and therefore without nicotine).
However, back in the 1960s, the health risks associated with smoking tobacco were not fully realised so there was no demand for an alternative. In fact, many medical professionals were recommending tobacco to their patients and manufacturers could advertise without regulation. Gilbert’s patent ran out before he was able to make any headway with the product.
The start of “vaping”
The next step in the evolution of the e-cigarette came in 1979 when Dr. Norman Jacobson and a computing expert, Philip Ray, tried to develop a way to get nicotine into the bloodstream without other toxins. What they came up with was a cartridge which contained nicotine-soaked paper in a tube. The user would be able to inhale nicotine through the tube, but the device had no heat, vapour, or flavour, so E-Liquids were not involved at this stage.
Many tobacco companies spent years trying to come up with a safer version of the cigarette, but they struggled to develop anything viable from a marketing point of view as promoting an alternative was a way of admitting that cigarettes were dangerous.
The birth of E-cigarettes
During the 1980s and 1990s, nicotine replacement therapies like gum and patches were developed and marketed, but they were obviously different to cigarettes. A pharmacist from China called Hon Lik found that these techniques were not helping him to quit smoking, so he tried to invent an alternative which more closely resembled the physical act of smoking. In 2003, he came up with a device which looked like a cigarette but used ultrasound waves to vaporise a nicotine solution and, with the addition of resistance heating, produced vapour.
There are so many types and flavours of e-liquids on the market now that it is very easy for users to find one or several which works for them. The best way to find an E-liquid which you enjoy without spending lots of money on several different types is to buy a vape subscription box. You’ll receive a box of various liquids on a monthly basis, so you’ll never run out or get bored of the same flavour over and over again.
The development of e-liquids
Hon Lik set about trying to find the right type of vapour which eventually led to the use of propylene glycol or PG. PG is flavourless, odourless, produces vapour when heated, has a low viscosity (and so can be absorbed by the e-cigarette’s wick) and holds nicotine. Later, vegetable glycerine or VG was found to work just as well as PG. It was hypoallergenic and produced thicker clouds of vapour. PG is still used in many vaping liquids as it hits the back of the throat in a similar way to a cigarette.