Fall 2018 Impress Friends 7 little known Vape Facts

September 26 2018

 

Impress Your Friends With These 7 Little-Known Vaping Facts

The vaping industry has created quite a bit of history in a little over a decade. We’ve compiled so much history, in fact, that you may not have heard some of the most interesting vaping facts unless you spend time reading about vaping every day. Are you looking for an interesting conversation starter – or maybe an opportunity to show off a bit – the next time you’re with a group of fellow vapers? Impress your friends with these 7 little-known vaping facts.

The Inventor of the E-Cigarette Isn’t Who You Think

You’ve heard the story a million times now: Chinese pharmacist Hon Lik invented the e-cigarette in the 2000s. Within 10 years of the invention, vaping was a worldwide phenomenon. Lik didn’t get rich from his invention, but he did receive a share of the proceeds when tobacco company Imperial Ventures – a company that still employs Lik today – bought his patents. Lik’s share of the intellectual property was less than 1 percent, but his past inventions had already made him financially secure.

The story is true, but its premise is false. Strictly speaking, Hon Lik didn’t invent the e-cigarette.

In 1963 – 55 years ago -- Herbert A. Gilbert invented a device called the smokeless non-tobacco cigarette. He even received a patent for his invention. The device delivered water vapor – perhaps flavored with substances such as mint or ground spices – to the lungs to simulate smoking without using harmful compounds. Unfortunately, Gilbert’s invention never became a consumer product because Gilbert was unable to find an investor. Perhaps unsurprisingly, tobacco companies weren’t in a hurry to invest in a product that might one day put them out of business.

The First Modern E-Cigarette Had No Heating Coil

Virtually every e-cigarette on the market works in the same way: A battery delivers power to a heating coil. The heating coil warms up and turns a liquid to vapor. Did you know, though, that the first modern e-cigarettes didn’t use heating coils at all? Hon Lik’s original e-cigarette design – released commercially in China in 2003 – used ultrasonic vibrations to vaporize e-liquid. It took a while for Lik to design a heating coil-equipped e-cigarette with the small, cigarette-like shape that Lik believed was necessary for public acceptance.

Vape Was the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year for 2014

Around the end of each year, Oxford Dictionaries selects a new word or term that entered the public consciousness and became a defining word for that year. Some of the Oxford words of the year have included "locavore,” "selfie,” "podcast” and "unfriend.” In 2014, Oxford selected "vape” as the word of the year. Oxford noted that "vape” was used twice as often in 2014 as in 2013 – and 30 times as often as in 2012. Prominent media outlets such as the Washington Post, the BBC and the Telegraph began to discuss vaping in 2014, raising awareness of e-cigarettes even among those who didn’t smoke.


Someone Hacked an E-Cigarette to Play Flappy Bird

Have you heard of Flappy Bird, the 2013 mobile gaming phenomenon that spawned a million clones? It’s an endless flying game in which you tap the screen repeatedly to navigate a bird around obstacles. The game proved very addictive and became a smash hit until the creator unexpectedly removed it. Removing the game caused an onslaught of clones to appear, and when the creator of Flappy Bird eventualy did put his game back online, it became difficult to tell which version of the game was the original. The Joyetech VTC Mini – a single-battery regulated box mod from a few years ago – became one of the most interesting platforms on which Flappy Bird appeared. Someone hacked the firmware updating process of the VTC Mini and managed to upload a black-and-white clone of Flappy Bird. The creator made the hacked firmware available so others could put the game on their devices as well. As vaping product manufacturers continued to improve their devices’ displays, many people thought that putting games on vaping devices would eventually become a common occurrence. Ultimately, the phenomenon of putting games on vaping devices essentially began and ended with Flappy Bird. Wouldn’t it be fun, though, if someone released a vaping device with its own app store? Oh, wait – someone has.

You Can Buy an E-Cigarette That Runs Android

Yes, it’s true – you can really buy a vaping device that’s also an Android-powered mobile phone. You can in theory, anyway; in actuality, every device on the Vaporcade website is "sold out.” If it ever becomes available, the Jupiter Io 4 will be an Android 6 device – which should give you an idea of how old the Jupiter Io 4 is, since we’re up to Android 8 now – with full LTE support and wireless earbuds included. If Vaporcade ever restocks the device, it’ll cost $399. Prices on eBayfor the few devices that did reach consumer hands hover around $40.

An interesting footnote: Vaporcade hired Herbert A. Gilbert as the spokesperson for the company’s "1963” e-cigarette – and now you know the significance of that hiring.

You Can Hack a Computer With an E-Cigarette

Most vaping devices have USB ports for charging, and most have built-in memory for storing firmware upgrades. If you can gain root access to an e-cigarette’s firmware – something that’s not too difficult, since hardening e-cigarettes for security probably isn’t high on most manufacturers’ priority lists – you can theoretically hack an e-cigarette to deliver malware. In 2017, security researchers found that it is possible, for example, to place a script on an e-cigarette that forces the host computer to download and install ransomware. Although no one has actually used that capability to deliver malware outside a research environment – yet – the vulnerability should make you carefully consider the source when you buy new vaping devices.

Apple Is Developing an iVape

The above headline is completely false. No, Apple isn’t really about to release a vaping device – but the company did file a patent application in early 2017 for a technology involving a device with a plate that would push a substance down while simultaneously generating heat to vaporize that substance. A tube would then carry the vapor out the top of the device. Although there’s no indication that Apple has any plans for using its vaporization technology in an actual consumer product, the technology actually does sound quite interesting. It’s always possible that another company could license it.

 

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