Vaping now is the most popular alternative to smoking tobacco products. We see hundreds of ex-smoker stories of how e-cigarettes helped them to kick the deadly habit for good. But how did it all begin?

Let's go back to 2003 to Beijing, where chinese pharmacist, inventor and smoker invents the first ever electronic cigarette after his father (also a heavy smoker) dies of lung cancer. The company Lik worked for, Golden Dragon Holdings, developed the device and changed their name to Ruyan, which means "like smoke." The success spread, and soon electronic cigarettes were embraced by many nations in Europe. Europeans have always been well known for their smoking habits, and this change was quite monumental. 

It hasn't been all great from the start though; in March 2008 Turkey's Health Ministry bans the sale and importation of e-cigarettes. Health Ministry Drugs and Pharmacy Director, Mahmut Tokaç, claims electronic cigarettes are just as harmful as regular cigarettes. The vice president of the Foundation Combating Smoking in Turkey, Kıyas Güngör, claims that "nicotine is the most dangerous element among 4,800 poisonous chemicals in cigarettes." Then in September 2008 The World Health Organization (WHO) proclaims that it does not consider the electronic cigarette to be a legitimate smoking cessation aid and demands that marketers immediately remove from their materials any suggestions that the WHO considers electronic cigarettes safe and effective. 

That was only the beggining; after those came ban in Australia, Jordan, Brazil, FDA adds electronic cigarettes to Import Alert 66-41 and directs the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to reject the entry of electronic cigarettes into the United States. Many counties banned vaping indoors and in public places.The FDA maintains that electronic cigarettes "appears to be a combination drug-device product" that requires preapproval, registration and listing with the FDA.

In the mean time, on May 2009 Electronic Cigarette Association (ECA) is formed. The ECA (now defunct) is a trade association made up of electronic cigarette producers, distributors and retailers; whose aim is to speak on behalf of the electronic cigarette industry, especially in response to health concerns, and to help institute industry standards. The group is headquartered in Washington, D.C. Its president and spokesman is former United States congressman Matt Salmon.

March 2010 seems to be the first breakthrough for the electronic cigarettes; The American Association of Public Health Physicians submits two Citizen Petitions to the FDA, one asking for reclassification of e-cigarettes to 'tobacco product' and the other asking for a follow up statement to the July 2009 press conference. Also the same month, the first ever Vapefest takes it's place in Virginia, then in UK in October.

In August 2011, study published in the journal "Addiction" provides strong evidence that electronic cigarettes are being used with success by many smokers to quit smoking or cut down substantially on the number of cigarettes they consume, and that e-cigarettes are being used with success by many ex-smokers to remain off cigarettes; many more followed. After those, in March 2012 The Higher Administrative Court for North Rhine-Westphalia, in Germany, instructs the state to remove bans and warnings about e-cigarettes. Court issues opinion that electronic cigarettes are tobacco products and not drugs. Consumer groups including CASAA, ECCA UK, Stelda NL (Netherlands), IGED (Germany) and ATACA (Australia) organize the first World Vaping Day, which takes place on March 22nd.

UK was the first country to fully support electronic cigarettes as a way to quit/reduce smoking the cigarettes in August 2015. The Public Health England Ecig Evidence update states that vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking. While UK vapers can (sort of!) sleep peacefully, the FDA countinues to discourage people from vaping.