Hon Lik told The Spectator: “I already knew it would be a revolutionary product. Some in China have called it the fifth invention – after navigation, gunpowder, printing and paper. But that’s too much.”
“In 2001, I devised a system on a large console, using food additives as solvents. At the time I was working on vaporisation by ultrasound but the droplets formed were too big to resemble tobacco smoke. This technology is used for example in some household humidifiers; it consists of making a metallic diaphragm vibrate at an ultrasonic frequency in a liquid to create micro-droplets which then, upon contact with room-temperature air, form a sort of cold vapour.”
He filed the first ecig patent in 2003, and the world’s first production device was manufactured later that year. Modern cigalikes adhere to his original designs, but the market has bloomed into a huge variety of juices, atomisers and mods since then.
He told the audience at ISoNTech: “I am very happy to see so many scientists and researchers gathered together in Warsaw; sharing valuable experiences and joining forces in ‘reducing harm, saving lives’.”
“I started smoking when I was 18 years old. Like millions of young intellectuals in the early 70s of the last century China, we went to the countryside, working side by side with the farmers, participating in the ideological remoulding movement. As a city person I was away from my family for the first time in my life. The harsh life and the isolation in the rural area never stopped my curiosity and the dream of continuing in study.”
Most long-term vapers are very familiar with the man credited with giving birth to the electronic cigarette industry. They have heard about how he was driven in the early years to produce something that would help him quit smoking, a habit that had already robbed his family of his father. Ironically, he is one of the smokers for whom vaping has failed to work – and has since resumed his smoking habit, supplementing it with a bit of vaping. It’s noticeable that the only pictures of him vaping are ones where he’s using basic 1st generation products.
Hon Lik’s full tale to the audience can be watched in the video below: