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The First Vape Pen
In 1963, Herbert A. Gilbert invented a “smokeless non-tobacco cigarette,” but it was never commercialized. “Vaping,” or smoking electronic cigarettes, first became widely popular in China, where 60 percent of men are smokers. Modern e-cigarettes were patented in 2003 by Chinese inventor Hon Lik. 
Source: Livesience.com

Phillip Morris
Lauren Dutra, Rachel Grana, and I looked in the previously secret tobacco industry documents and found that Phillip Morris had been working on what became e-cigarette technology since 1990 and had developed a functional system well before the Chinese.
Author: Stanton Glantz, PhD

Difference Between Vapor and Smoke