Electronic cigarettes were invented by a Chinese pharmacist named Hon Lik in 2003. The invention was refined and brought to market by the company Ruyan, which means "like smoke." Electronic cigarettes were introduced into Europe in 2006 and came to the United States about a year later.
The electronic cigarette is a battery powered, usually cigarette shaped device with a heating element that vaporizes e-liquid, a mixture of nicotine, flavors and a base. The vapor produced by the electronic cigarette looks and feels quite similar to smoke when inhaled, although no actual combustion has taken place. Users are able to dictate the nicotine level in their e-liquid as well as chose from a variety of flavors.