The History Of Eliquid

The History Of Eliquid

If you’ve gotten into the magnificent world of vaping, you may be interested to know a little bit about how the precious juice you vape was invented. Without much knowledge of the history, in current times it simply seems E cigarettes just popped up and are continuing to rise in popularity, but there’s a lot more to it than that, in fact, Eliquid history is really interesting.

Who Invented Eliquid?

So who invented eliquid? Well, actually the creation of e-liquid can be accredited to two men – Hon Lik and Herbert A Gilbert.


Hon Lik is well known as the creator of E cigarettes. He was born in 1951 and is a Chinese pharmacist. .


After graduating from university Hon Lik spent a decade working on plant agriculture where he created a ginseng plant with aphrodisiac qualities. .


In the early 2000’s Hon Lik used standard nicotine replacement therapy to quit smoking. During this time he created a large device which used food additives as solvents. .


During this period he was also working on ultrasound vaporisation. These processes created droplets that were much too large to create vapour that looked anything like cigarette smoke, so he combined the processes with resistance heating which created much better results. .


The main difficulties he faced related to scaling down the mechanism so it could be turned into a hand held size. He also had to do much work on the nicotine levels within the eliquid. .


After just two years, in 2003 Hon Lik patented his device in china. That year the very first e cigarette was created. At the time it used ultrasound and used atomization and didn’t have the same vaporization system used today. Because of the tremendous amount of funding needed for the patent, manufacturing and testing Hon Lik was left with just 0.79% shares in the company. When the recession hit in 2007 he was forced to sell his company to Dragonite in Hong Kong, in that same year a worldwide patent was obtained which is when e cigarettes started to appear on the common market. .


Currently Hon Lik is working on e-hookah which is a product designed for people in the Middle East and North Africa. .

Now, despite the fact Hon Lik takes much of the credit for the creation of the e cigarette, he isn’t actually the one that thought of the idea in the first place. In fact, the idea came about as early as the 1960’s when Herbert A Gilbert applied for a patent on a smokeless, tobaccoless device. Just like the e cigarettes we use today, Herbert’s device used heated, damp vapours and a nicotine solution. Although there was large interest in Gilbert’s invention towards the end of the 60’s, unfortunately no deals went through and the idea generally went cold until Hon Lik came onto the scene in the early 2000’s. .


What many people don’t know is that there was a brief advancement in the origins of vaping between Gilbert and Liks research, studies and manufacturing. .


This advancement came from a man named Dr Jacobson from America who came up with the term ‘vaping’. He was also involved in some of the very first trials and testing of E cigarettes. .


He started working on a device in the late 70’s. Dr Jacobson was a physician working with a patient named Phil Ray who was an inventor. Mr Ray conceptualised the idea of inhaling the vapour of pure nicotine. Mr Ray’s was a smoker and as a smoking addict was curious as to what would happen if you inhale pure nicotine. Although pure nicotine was hard to find back then, he found some and ingested it with filter paper. This gave him the same nicotine rush he got from smoking a cigarette. Mr Ray and Dr Jacobsen collaborated on these findings along with a Dr Russell from England who was a leader in smoking research in the UK. .


This part of eliquid and e cigarette history is not well documented and by some, disputed. It is also important to note that ingesting pure nicotine is fatal and should be avoided at all costs. Nicotine in its pure form should be handled with extreme care and always be measured accurately and placed within an eliquid in the correct, safe amounts. .


Why & How Was E Liquid Made?

When Mr Lik created his e cigarette device he found out that he needed to use a liquid which could be vapourised and resemble tobacco smoke somewhat, and could hold adequate and safe amounts of nicotine. So the idea was to create something that looked like cigarette smoke, but wasn’t nearly as harmful or odourous. .


As Mr Lik was a pharmacist which was really helpful when it came to researching and testing potential liquids to suit the job. His ultimate goal was to create a diluting liquid that could hold a pharmaceutical-grade nicotine. .


After a long period of testing and experimenting, Mr Lik discovered propylene glycol or PG. PG is perfect as a diluting agent because it’s a preservative, holds nicotine well and creates vapour using the atomisation process. .


Another great benefit of PG was the fact it was approved by the FDA at the time, and had been for long before Mr Lik used it in this way. The fact PG was recognised as being suitable for use in pharmaceuticals and food meant the entire e cigarette concept was potentially a lot safer. .


Hon wanted to create a liquid that would create the same sensation as smoking a cigarette, only it wouldn’t be anywhere near as bad for health as normal smoking. He wanted to create that enjoyable throat hit smokers enjoy, and create something that would enable nicotine addicts to get their nicotine hit in a safe and enjoyable way. .



PG is odourless and tasteless which is a great attribute and meant it could have any flavourings added to it, without it in any way affecting the taste. PG is also low viscose which means the wick in the e cigarette absorbs it easily and the low vaporization point creats impressive plumes of vapour. This created an effect very similar to cigarette smoke. .


After PG was used as the main base for eliquid, VG (vegetable glycerin) was found to be just as effective a base. This was good news for people with a PG sensitivity as VG is hypoallergenic and doesn’t cause any adverse effects. The two create the same type of base but both provide slightly different vaping experiences. VG is thicker and provides less of a throat hit on inhale, but does provide impressive plumes of smoke. PG is a thinner liquid and creates a much more satisfying throat hit, but less vapour. .



When e cigarettes and e liquid first came into the public domain, there was a firm hesitancy in the way they were marketed. This is because although initial research and findings were positive as to the safety of them, no long term studies had been done, which meant the products were partial to strict restrictions. People marketing e cigarettes and eliquid chose to only place them alongside tobacco products, which enabled the government to regulate them properly recently (roughly 2010). .


After the regulation took place, lots of research and studies have been done on eliquid and e cigarettes. Many studies now suggest that e cigarettes are a good way to help smokers quit normal cigarettes, and many doctors will now advocate their use in place of tobacco products. .



Currently e cigarettes are not accepted by regulatory bodies as aids for quitting smoking. This is despite a phenomenal amount of evidence that backs the safety of e cigarettes and eliquid, and their safer and cleaner use for those vaping and those around them inhaling the vapour. Despite many advocates of eliquids and e cigarettes, they are still not accepted worldwide and many countries still have bans on their sale. .


E cigarettes and eliquids are commonly used today by many people and there are many eliquid variants available that use exclusively PG, VG or a mixture of the two. .


The flavours available currently are incredibly diverse and can taste like soft drinks, fruits, sweets and even meals or puddings. .


Because modern e cigarettes have also improved in their quality and diversity, the use of eliquids has also improved. You can now get double cartridge e cigarettes enabling you to mix flavours or nicotine amounts, plus cleaning the cartomizer is much easier now as well. .


Eliquids are also now commonly mixed by people at home, who choose to create their own flavours in order to save money and be as self sufficient as possible when it comes to using their e cigarette. .


The biggest positive to come from modern eliquids is the fact they are now not only enjoyed as a way to get nicotine. Many people enjoy eliquids which are nicotine free, and simply love trying the different flavours of eliquids available. E cigarettes are increasing in popularity day by day, and as the technology advances, so does the e cigarette following. Vaping enables people from all walks of life to enjoy a safer alternative to smoking because it is relaxing, fun and because of the huge amount of tasty eliquid flavours available to try. .