If you’re not someone who has had first-hand experience with either vaping or smoking, you’re likely to confuse these two terms. While they appear to share a similar meaning, they’re not at all the same.
So, what’s the difference between vaping and smoking? The first clear-cut difference between these two terms can be seen in their definitions.
Vaping is the act of inhaling a vapor produced by electronic (or non-combustible) cigarettes.
On the other hand, conventional smoking involves the use of combustible rolled-paper cigarettes containing tobacco.
To give it a variety of flavors, manufacturers usually blend tobacco with dozens of chemical additives. These all contribute to increasing the addictive nature of the nicotine in the cigarette and they also increase the combustion of the blend.
Here is table highlighting of the differences between vaping and smoking:
|Basis of Comparison||Vaping||Smoking|
|Definition||Strictly refers to the inhalation of vapor produced by e-cigarettes (also called vapes, shisha, e-hookah, etc.).||The act of inhaling the smoke produced by burning tobacco.|
|Device Description||Powered by batteries, vaping devices have cartridges including heating elements that contain e-liquids, flavors, etc.
The element heats up the e-liquid to vaporize it for inhalation.
|Conventional cigarettes consist of a roll of paper stuffed with tobacco and other additives.
Smokers light up their cigarettes by using matches or reusable lighters.
They then inhale the smoke that’s produced by the combustible materials.
|Legality (Restriction) of Products||The use of cannabidiol (CBD) hemp products for vaping has been legalized in some countries such as Canada, Poland, and the United Kingdom, as well as the United States.
The easing of marijuana laws in these countries has seen millions of ex-smokers ditch cigarettes to vape CBD oil.
In countries where it’s legal, vapers may be allowed to use their vape pens and vape mods in public places such as drinking spots.
The FDA doesn’t strictly regulate CBD vaping products.
NB: In Singapore, Malaysia and many African countries, vaping marijuana products remains illegal.
|Conventional cigarettes are legal in many countries. However, smokers may be prohibited from smoking in public places such as schools, airports, and restaurants.
Even though there are warning signs on many cigarette packets, cautioning users about the dangers of smoking — smokers normally ignore the health hazards.
However, in many countries, the FDA does regulate cigarette products to prevent their sales to minors (under 18 years-old).
|Nicotine and Tar Present in Product?||Not always present. There are options here.
Some vaping products contain nicotine-free e-liquids while others have it in small concentrations.
|Yes. Almost all cigarettes contain nicotine and tar. Nicotine is the addictive element that gets smokers hooked on cigarettes or cigars for their lifetime.|
|Product Addictive?||Not so addictive. Pure CBD vaping products are not addictive. Therefore, vapers are much safer from addiction, but they may experience some side effects.
NB: Extra-strength electronic e-cigarettes usually contain some nicotine. This can lead to addition.
|Yes. Many smokers get addicted to cigarettes due to the presence of nicotine.|
|Carbon Monoxide Produced?||No. Since there’s no combustion in vaping, carbon monoxide gas isn’t produced.||Yes. Combustion takes place during smoking of traditional cigarettes; carbon monoxide gas is produced.|
|Effects on Pregnant Women||Researchers are yet to fully understand the long-term effects of vaping on pregnant women.||Smoking has been linked to low birthweight and other fetal abnormalities.|
Ever since electronic cigarettes were introduced, their popularity has been growing year on year. This mass switch to vapes can be attributed to the belief that e-cigarettes are a safer alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes.
Consequently, more smokers are throwing away their cigarette lighters and going in for flavored vaping products such as CBD hemp oils.
Given this huge hype about electronic hookahs, it’s not surprising to learn that about 7 out of 10 smokers wish to quit.
The big question is — is vaping really healthier than smoking?
Unfortunately, research documenting the short and long-term effects of vaping has been scant. Doctors agree that vaping is a completely new field of “smoking” that’s yet to be fully understood.
However, they do agree that inhalation of chemicals (of any kind) is generally not a healthy choice of lifestyle.
That said, the dangers of smoking cigarettes are very well documented . For example, risks of getting lung diseases, cancer, and poor cardiovascular health, have been clearly linked to smoking.
But there is one good thing about vapes — they don’t produce second-hand smoke that’s harmful to passive smokers. Cigarette smoke, however is proven to expose passive smokers to the same risks of smoking as the smoker.
While the vaping vs. smoking debate is a rather complicated topic, the available evidence suggests that vaping is much safer than smoking traditional cigarettes.
Vapers say that e-cigarettes deliver the e-liquid content to their bloodstream faster. Well, that’s another big difference between vaping and smoking.
The bottom line is that whether you want to vape or you want to smoke, be mindful of the dangers.
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