History of The Electronic Cigarette
2003 Heavy tobacco smoker and pharmacist Hon Lik invented the world’s first electronic cigarette in Beijing, China. The 52-year-old inventor created the e-cig after his father, also a heavy smoker, died of lung cancer. Hon then changed is his business name from Golden Dragon Holdings to Ruyan- meaning ‘like smoke’.
2005 Europe was introduced to electronic cigarettes by British businessman Greg Carson under the tasteful brand name of the ‘Electro Fag’. Their launch and increasing popularity created a heated debate in Parliament before MPs concluded that electronic cigarettes should not be included in the smoking ban, therefore are legal to use in buildings where tobacco smoking is prohibited.
2007 The USA is introduced to electronic cigarettes. Their popularity in the US also created a stir, the FDA banned early imports of the product and claimed that tests proved that e-cigs are a “drug device”; these tests are later deeply criticized by the scientific consultants Exponent, Inc.
2008 WHO (World Health Organisation) states that electronic cigarettes are not to be considered as a genuine smoking cessation aid and insists that all companies remove materials suggesting so.
2009 President Obama gives the FDA power to regulate the tobacco industry after signing the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act 18. Flavoured tobacco cessation products can now be banned and any company wishing to introduce new products must comply with FDA market standards.
States begin individually altering their laws toward electronic cigarettes. New Jersey and Oregon include e-cigs in their public smoking ban, California also attempts to do so until then-governor and ex-terminator star Arnold Schwarzenegger puts a stop to it claiming; "If adults want to purchase and consume these products with an understanding of the associated health risks, they should be able to do so unless and until federal law changes the legal status of these tobacco products."
Later in the year Ruyan funded a New Zealand study on electronic cigarettes. The study confirmed that although carcinogens and toxicants are present in e-cigs, they are tiny and way below a harmful level. The study deems tobaccoless cigarettes as a safer alternative to tobacco smoking. However neighbouring Australia bans the product outright.
Trade body the Electronic Cigarette Association ECITA was formed, to represent manufacturers, retailers, and distributors, principally in dealings with the Government and health authorities.