The Crucible has already seen four former champions bow out in the first round, with Graeme Dott, Stuart Bingham, Peter Ebdon and Shaun Murphy all leaving Sheffield early, but there was never any danger for Higgins.
The damage was all done on Monday morning as Higgins plundered three century breaks to take a 7-2 lead.
The Scot lost the opening frame at the resumption on Tuesday afternoon but won the next three frames to get the job done, knocking in a magnificent break of 121 to clinch the match.
“I’m obviously delighted,’’ Higgins told BBC 2. ‘’Ryan’s a good player, he showed in the qualifiers when he came from 9-5 down to beat Alfie Burden.
“He’s capable of producing a three or four frame burst to get back into the game so even though I was 7-2 overnight it was a dodgy scoreline.
Higgins has not gone past the second round at the Crucible since last lifting the trophy in 2011 but he feels his major ranking event wins this season in Australia and China might help him to reach the latter stages of the World Championship once again.
Higgins will face Ricky Walden in the second round later this week.
Meanwhile, Mark Allen holds a 6-3 lead over Mitchell Mann following the conclusion of their opening first-round session.
World Championship debutant Mann, who beat Allen in qualifying for the China Open earlier this season, showed few Crucible nerves to start with as he took the opening frame with a break of 69 before producing a 77 to take a 2-1 lead.
It was 2-2 at the mid-session break, though, as Allen responded with contributions of 74 and 64.
Allen, last month’s Players Championship winner, emerged from the interval with breaks of 104, 85 and 78 to help him establish a 6-2 advantage but world number 74 Mann, the only rookie at this year’s tournament, kept himself in the match by snatching a scrappy last frame of the session on the pink.
And Ronnie O’Sullivan escaped with a slap on the wrist after snubbing a mandatory post-match press conference following his first-round with at the World Championship.
World Snooker said O’Sullivan was warned and told he will be fined for any further breaches of discipline.
Five-time world champion O’Sullivan beat David Gilbert 10-7 to secure his place in the last 16 at the Crucible.
As well as refusing to attend the press conference, O’Sullivan declined to talk to tournament broadcasters the BBC.