Vaporisers are proving to be a rage across the word. Studies estimate the global market size of vaping devices in various forms to be worth USD 12.41 billion in 2019 alone. Between 2020 till 2027, the market is expected to grow at a CARG of 23.8%. The millennials are expected to be the force that will drive this rising demand. One of the main reasons behind this dramatic growth in vaping will be the proliferation in the type of vaping devices.
However, most countries have very strict regulation on the sale and consumption of such vaping devices. Infact, in some countries, such devices are totally banned and deviation in any form attract strong penalties.
The concept of vaporiser or vaping dates back to the 5th century BC. In the book titled “The History of Herodotus”, it is described how Scythians would honour their dead by gathering in a tent and vaporise marijuana flowers over hot coal tops. This shows that the idea of consuming vaporised THC has been prevalent since then.
The next breakthrough came in the 15th century with the advent of the Hookah. The Hookah finds mention in a lot of literature and pictures depicting royalty as well as ordinary people across the world, particularly in the Middle East and Asia.
It took the 20th century to arrive for the modern day vaping devices to take shape. In 1927, Joseph Robinson filled for the first patent of an “electric cigarette”. This was the first devices which could be used to deliver medicine directly to the respiratory system. The idea was to vaporise the medicines instead of consuming it in a pill or injection form. This device was purely meant to deliver medicines and not Nicotine, tobacco, Cannabis or any other recreational substance in any form as is being done today.
The next breakthrough came in 1963 when Herbert Gilbert applied for a patent of the first “smokeless non-tobacco cigarette”. Gilbert was inspired by the logic that inhaling anything which is burnt cannot be good for our health. Hence, he replaced the tobacco (& Nicotine) with flavoured material which could be inhaled by vaporising it instead of burning.
In the late 70’s, a new device was introduced to the market – smokeless cigarette. Contrary to Gilbert’s device, this new device was meant exclusively for consumption of Nicotine! Instead of burning tobacco, this device had a chamber that housed a filter paper doused in Nicotine. The user had to simply breathe through the mouthpiece and Nicotine vapours or ‘Vape” could be easily inhaled. The term “vape” was coined after the launch of this device and it instantly became a big hit.
However, the first commercially successful e-cigarette was launched by Hon Lik, a pharmacist from China. This was the first instance where an atomiser was used to create the vapours without burning any substance. It used an ultrasonic atomiser instead of battery operated one as seen today. However, this was the first device that became commercially successful and laid the foundation of the modern vaping devices.
Types of devices
After Hon Lik, a lot of people came up with their own versions of vaping devices. Today’s vaping device has just two components – an atomiser to hold a cartridge and produce the vapour and a battery to power the atomiser.
1st generation devices
Unlike Hon Lik’s e-cigarette, that had three elements (flavour cartridge, atomiser & battery), a new device named “Cartomiser” was launched in 2006. This device had unified the cartridge and atomiser into a single component thus providing further convenience. Due to their resemblance with a conventional cigarette, these devices were called “cig-a-likes”. Besides its compact size, the main advantage of these vaping devices was that they produced the vapour only when inhaled, which was a major achievement.
2nd generation devices
The 2nd generation were a bit larger than Cig-a-Likes and were called Vape Pens. Here the performance of the battery and atomiser saw a significant improvement. Unlike a Cig-a-Like which would be activated when inhaled, Vape pens came with a button to manually activate the vaporiser. Also, these pens came with additional electronics that would prevent the device from overheating. A minor upgrade here was the Clearomiser – clear + atomiser. Here the user could easily see the level of e-liquid balance in the tank. Also, after exhausting the e-liquid, the user simply needed to replace the atomiser which came in a variety of flavours thus offering the user a choice.
3rd generation devices
The current generation of devices is called as “Mods” (short for modification). These devices are modified to accommodate more battery back-up and larger e-liquid tank thereby making them last much longer than vape pens. Mods allow a high degree of personalisation for the user besides increased capacity. Slightly larger in size when compared to the vape pens, user can even calibrate their Mods to manage the amount of vapour that they inhale instead of a standard sized puff.
Vaping devices have evolved over the last few years. Keeping the consumer preference in mind, these devices have been making the use of the available technology to give its users a better and personalised experience. It is just a matter of time when the next generation of vaping devices makes its entry.