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Vape vs E‑Cigarette: What’s the Difference?

Find out what are the differences and similarities between vapes and e-cigarettes.
electronic cigarettes and vapes
The use of e-cigarettes is also known as vaping

There are a number of smoking alternatives available to smokers who would otherwise continue to smoke or use other nicotine products these days, and with that comes a lot of new terminology. Vapes, vaping, e-cigs, e-liquids, vape clouds – these are just some of the terms that have emerged, and it can be confusing! One of the biggest confusions out there is between vapes vs. e-cigarettes – what’s the difference? We’re here to clear that all up today.

Vape vs. E‑cigarette

What’s the difference between vapes and e-cigarettes? Nothing. They’re the same thing! Vapes and e-cigarettes both refer to the same category of smoke-free alternatives to cigarettes for smokers who would otherwise continue to smoke or use other nicotine products. Meaning, there’s also no difference between which is better, e-cigarettes or vapes.

E-cigarettes or vapes are electronic devices that do not generate smoke like cigarettes. In general, they are powered by a battery and heat e-liquids in order to generate an aerosol or what some users call vapor. E-liquids in Finland may have various levels of nicotine, however it is only allowed with tobacco flavors. And while the terms “vape” or “e-cigarette” is used to refer to the product itself, the term “vaping” is usually used to refer to the act of actually using this kind of product.

How do e‑cigarettes or vapes work?

There are many types of e-cigarettes. They differ in size, power, customization options, and even their ability to be reusable or disposable. However, most of them work on the same principle and with similar components.

The principle behind e-cigarettes is to heat and vaporize e-liquids. They achieve this by drawing the liquid from a tank and putting it in contact with a battery powered heating element. When the liquid is evaporated it is drawn from the device through a mouthpiece. With no fire and no burning involved, e-cigarettes are a smoke-free alternative to continued smoking.

The general components of an e-cigarette or vape include:

  • The battery: The energy source for the whole device; usually rechargeable and provides power to the heating element and electronic components.
  • The tank: The container that is used to store the liquid until it is taken to the heating element. Some e-cigarettes use capsules or pods that are disposable.
  • The e-liquid: The mixture that is vaporized inside the e-cigarette.
  • The heater: The set of components that draw the liquid toward the heating element and heat to vaporize. Most e-cigarettes use a “wick and coil” system. The wick naturally soaks the liquid and puts it in contact with the metal coil which is the part that heats.
  • The sensors and electronic components: Control the heating and operation of the device.
  • The mouthpiece: The chamber or channel where the vaporized liquid is drawn from the device.

Want to learn more?

Frequently asked questions about e-cigarettes and vaping

E-cigarettes are divided into closed and open systems. A closed e-cigarette uses ready-made e-liquid capsules that are inserted into the e-cigarette, which is then ready to use. In the open system the e-liquid is bought in separate bottles. Users have to then mix liquids and fill the e-cigarettes by themselves.

E-cigarettes are also known as e-savuke, höyrystin and höyryke in Finnish. Vaping is translated in höyryttely, vapettaminen, vapottaminen and vapottelu.

E-cigarettes use e-liquid that usually consists of nicotine, flavorings, propylene glycol and glycerin. In Finland only tobacco flavored or flavorless e-liquids are allowed. There are also liquids without nicotine available for e-cigarettes.

E-cigarettes are smoke-free products. They heat the e-liquid that turns into vapor. There is no combustion or smoke in e-cigarettes, therefore, they do not produce tar or carbon monoxide. In cigarettes, there is combustion while tobacco is burnt and the temperature reaches more than 800°C. In the combustion more than 6000 different chemical substances are formed, of which around 100 are known to be harmful to people.

Parts of an e-cigarette include a pod for e-liquid, atomizer, battery, led-light and a button. The e-cigarette is activated when a person draws a puff.

Dry puff or dry hit is the result of a low level of e-liquid and the vapor weakening. It has a burnt taste, and it also increases the number of harmful constituents. E-cigarettes with advanced technology will detect low liquid level and prevent overheating.

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