Whatever happened to the inventor of E-Cig Hon Lik?
In 2003 Chinese pharmacist Hon Lik took credit for inventing the first patented electronic cigarette. He was also the first to commercially manufacture the disposable e cig in 2004. Today the e-cigarette industry is worth $2 billion. In 2006 his company called Ruyan which literally meant “just like smoke” was producing e-cigarettes non-stop and couldn’t even meet the demand.
Who is Herbert Gilbert then?
In 1963 Herbert Gilbert invented and patented a “smokeless non-tobacco cigarette”. It is a system of heated paper and flavoured steam less the burning tobacco and nicotine. Now due to commercialization disputes and other issues it failed to be manufactured. And his company eventually folded. Then the electronic cigarette disappeared in the scene until 2003. But he deserves to credited as the inventor if the first to patent the invention.
Where is Hon Lik now?
Ten years has passed since inventor of E-Cig Hon Lik patented the first electronic cigarette with nicotine, where is he now? How much is his net worth? In his small Beijing office, Hon Lik can barely keep up with his finances. The battle with imitations and bad publicity has affected his sales. Not to mention the law suits he has filed to run after imitators has also taken its toll in his company. So, far out of all the law suits he has filed only one is yet to settle out of court. Many countries has yet to accept the product and some have banned the e-cigarette. Most royalties due to him were never been paid. Yet he has to keep and maintain his company. It is indeed quiet a sad story that many have profited from the invention yet the inventor was not appropriately rewarded.