Feb. 23, 2023 – The electronic cigarette, or e-cigarette, was invented by Chinese pharmacist Hon Lik in 2003. Inspired by the death of his father (a smoker) from lung cancer, Lik wanted to create a healthier alternative to smoking that would also make it easier to quit tobacco altogether. 

The e-cigarette he came up with—and what most people still use today—includes a small battery that heats up and vaporizes liquid that contains nicotine and other substances. You then inhale or “vape” that vapor into your lungs. Twenty years later, more than 70 million people vape worldwide, including 2.5 million middle school and high school kids in the U.S. 

True to Lik’s intentions, many people have quit smoking with help from e-cigarettes, almost always in combination with other quit strategies, nicotine patches or gum, and or counseling (more proven methods).


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