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Is Electronic-Cigarette a Tobacco Industry Discovery?
PDPI Surakarta, 14 Mei 2019 20:28:21


Electronic- cigarette (e-cigarette) is a product that divided public health community on the basis of its use and regulation. Most of the tobacco companies have acquired an electronic cigarette plant to start manufacturing. It seems as if e-cigarettes originated from China. It is hard to understand how tobacco industry with a vast capacity for research and development, failed in such a discovery. The presence of a similar device among the tobacco industry documents may lead the tobacco control advocates to a different path.

Design and Methods: Basic and advanced searches were performed on “electronic cigarettes”, “electrically heated devices”, “non-tobacco” and “tobacco-free cigarettes” from legacy tobacco documents library web site, with regard to time.

Results: The documents showed that the industry started investing into the research of electrically heated non-tobacco products about half a century ago. There were only 441 recent documents on “electronic cigarettes” but 3491 documents on “electrically heated devices”, 528 being dating between 1960-1980. Among those there patent applications and drawings of the devices, as well as the list and code numbers of the tobacco industry owned patents. A document (Bates no 100335975) dated 1965, described a device that we call e-cigarette today.

Conclusion: Tobacco industry documents clearly show that electronic smoking devices were known to tobacco industry much earlier than it appeared in China. The lag period between the research and marketing must be meaningful and be investigated.

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