The History of SMOK
If you’ve been a vaper for more than a few days, it’s almost certain that you’re familiar with SMOKtech, aka SMOK. One of the most prolific brands in vaping history in terms of their output, they’re responsible for a staggering number of best-selling vaping starter kits, tanks, mods, and coils. And, with no sign of slowing down any time soon, vapers around the world are consistently eager to see what the brand has planned for us next.
Not to mention, they’ve become so synonymous with vaping technology that it’s hard to remember a time before they even existed. Still, we’re going to walk you through their history, as their story illustrates their excellence as it relates to such a competitive market.
The Early Days
Smoktech, or, as they’re better known, SMOK, is one of the most well-known hardware brands in the vaping industry, acting as the flagship brand of Shenzhen IVPS Technology Corporation Ltd. (IVPS). Shenzhen, for those unfamiliar with Chinese industries, is the center of technological innovation, and has become something of a mecca for vape hardware brands, being home to other massively successful companies like GeekVape, Vaporesso, and more.
But, SMOK predates most of these household-name hardware brands, being launched in 2010. And, if you were hoping that we could settle the debate about how the brand’s name is pronounced, you’re out of luck. It turns out that the company themselves doesn’t really care if you pronounce it “smoke” or “smock,” knowing that both pronunciations are used widely around the world.
When the brand was established, it was determined that they would do all research, development, and manufacturing in-house, which has given them full quality control, while also enabling them to sell products more affordably. The first release from the brand was a first for the industry as a whole – the original dual-coil cartomizer, aptly named the Dual Coil Cartomizer, introduced during a time when dual coils weren’t common. Quickly, the brand received attention as vapers quickly discovered that this innovative design allowed for impressively superior flavor and vapor production.
In the following year, SMOK quickly proved that they’re a trailblazing, forward-thinking company. Although the lineup that year never quite caught on, they did release many more “first-of-its-kind” products, including the Telescope, utilizing 18350 rather than 18650 batteries, and the Vmax/Zmax mods which offered a new concept known as variable voltage vaping.
In the following year, SMOK began experimenting with “cotton-free” coil designs, with the Pyrex Aro and Tumbler Tanks featuring bottom-coil configurations aimed at preventing dry hits. It was around this time that the brand began investing more in aesthetics, as well, which proved to be a wise move, as their products instantly became more appealing to the vaping public. In 2014, they released their first Bluetooth-compatible device, the BEC Pro.
The Year That Changed Everything
It was in 2015 that SMOK started to really get worldwide attention. This was when the brand began to put more effort into emphasizing cloud-chasing as the main draw of their product output, leading to the phenomenally popular TFV4 Tank, a sub-ohm tank that changed the face of vaping gear forever. Instantly, SMOK was launched into the mainstream, being the first tank that was able to provide cloud production on par with that provided through rebuildable atomizers. This made cloud-chasing a more accessible hobby, by offering it in a user-friendly form. The TFV4 led to many, many popular offshoots from the brand, including the TFV8, the TFV12, and other now-iconic sub-ohm tank and coil designs.
Still paying attention to the needs of rebuildable enthusiasts, SMOK introduced the classic TF-RTA in 2016, along with their first majorly successful starter kit, the H-Priv, which was both affordable and heavily customizable, all while being user-friendly and visually appealing. The Alien Starter Kit was also a hit that year, and a best-seller on the market thanks to its streamlined yet ultra-powerful nature. The G-Priv and T-Priv came the following year, and by 2017, SMOK was regarded as an obvious go-to for box mod starter kits.
Pod Systems: A New Era
Many of us remember the shift that occurred a few years ago, when the development of salt-based nicotine led to an explosion of pod systems on the market. SMOK was one of the first brands to introduce high-tech yet user-friendly and compact pod systems into the vaping sphere, back in 2018 when they launched the Infinix, the Rolo Badge, and the Fit – 3 top-sellers, which appealed to a whole new generation of vaping enthusiasts. But, it was at the end of 2018 when SMOK released their most successful pod system to date – the Novo, using mesh coils, dual-nicotine compatibility, and some of the most powerful batteries seen in pod systems. The Novo series continues to be one of the most lauded of all time, and the brand has continued to release new versions to show off their latest technology and design innovations.
SMOK’s output hasn’t just been impressive – it’s been groundbreaking. If it weren’t for the TFV4, for instance, vapers may very well still be struggling to get the clouds that they crave without using a non-beginner-friendly rebuildable system. And, perhaps pod systems wouldn’t be as powerful as they are, nor as customizable. There’s simply no denying that the brand has earned every bit of its reputation, launching many “firsts,” like Bluetooth compatibility, advanced light displays, and more. At the same time, their popularity has endured because their products are truly reliable, long-lasting, and up for the challenge of satisfying an ever-growing list of vaping demands. After all, there’s a reason why there are so many clones on the market, offered by brands who simply copy SMOK’s trailblazing designs.
The best way to understand what makes SMOK such a standout is to explore their products for yourself.