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E-Cigarette History

Updated on July 15, 2011

History of E-Cigarettes

Which country is home to the largest tobacco company, 1 million tobacco-related deaths, and 350 million smokers? The country is China. The Chinese government gets an astounding 8% of its total revenue from tobacco sales at state-run companies. As the center of the tobacco world, it should come as no surprise that electronic cigarettes started in China. Using ultrasonic technology, Hon Lik invented the e-cigarette, which is called "Ruyan" in Chinese. It was marketed and distributed through the strength of the Golden Dragon Group, making its very first sale in May 2004. Ruyan's sales took off immediately because of the obvious market demand. But there was one factor that made the product an instant success in China and spread the product throughout the world- online sales. To this day, the vast majority of e-cigarette sales are done online.

Electronic cigarettes are marketed to smokers who would like to cut down on their cigarette consumption, either for health reasons or financial reasons. Companies also promote the idea that you can smoke e-cigarettes in places where traditional cigarettes have been banned. The reason for this is the lack of second hand smoke. The largest e-cig companies to date are in China and Europe.

The legality of electronic cigarettes has been an issue of debate around the world since they came on the market in 2004. The biggest complication has been the fact that e-cigs have not yet had the chance to satisfy governments with proven credentials as a nicotine replacement therapy. You still inhale some nicotine into the lungs with electronic cigarettes, although not nearly as much (however, there are some brands that give the option of no nicotine content). This method of gradually declining nicotine intake is not a proven method to quit smoking. The smart e-cigarette companies do not market the product as an effective way to quit smoking. Although it may help people quit smoking completely, the companies stand on better ground by telling consumers about other benefits, like the lower cost and absence of many harmful elements found in tobacco products. E-cigarettes should be marketed as a compliment to regular cigarettes- not a replacement.

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