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Vapes vs Cigarette Smoking – What Is the Difference?

Questions that many smokers may have are, what is the difference between vaping and smoking cigarettes, and is vaping safe?
electronic cigarettes and vapes
Is vaping safe?

With so many alternatives to continued smoking on the market today, adult smokers are likely to have heard of vaping and e-cigarettes. Questions that many smokers may have are, what is the difference between vaping and smoking cigarettes, and is vaping safe? Firstly, none of the nicotine-containing products are safe.

The best decision any smoker can make is to quit tobacco and nicotine use altogether. For those adults who would otherwise continue to smoke we will try to explain the key difference between vaping vs smoking. 

To begin, smoking involves lighting a cigarette and letting it burn. This process of burning, called combustion, produces cigarette smoke. 

Vapes, or e-cigarettes, do not burn tobacco. Rather, they use e liquids that are heated to specific temperatures using a battery powered heating component. 

The vapor from e-vapor products is generated when the e-liquid is heated. There is no combustion as nothing is lit on fire, and as a result, no smoke is produced. 

Vaping products are not risk-free, and they provide nicotine, which is addictive. Vapes must not be used by minors, people who have quit smoking, and never smoked. 

All nicotine-containing products should not be used during pregnancy or while breastfeeding and should not be used by people who have or are at risk of heart disease, are diabetic, are epileptic or are experiencing seizures.

Vaping vs smoking

Adult smokers who would otherwise continue smoking or using other nicotine products and are considering switching to vaping often wonder what is the difference between vaping vs smoking.

In cigarettes, tobacco is burned. When burning takes place, the temperature in a cigarette can rise above 600°C in the tobacco and even exceed 800°C at the tip when one takes a puff. The high temperatures created by the process of burning (combusting) tobacco cause the production of the majority and high levels of harmful chemicals detected in cigarette smoke.

While smoke is an aerosol, not all aerosols are smoke. Vaping products work by heating e-liquids, many of which contain nicotine.

Vaping products are not risk-free, and they provide nicotine, which is addictive.

Is vaping an alternative to continued smoking?

The best decision any smoker can make is to quit tobacco and nicotine use altogether. Vaping products are smoke-free alternatives to cigarettes for adults who would otherwise continue to smoke.

Cigarette smoke contains over 6000 different chemicals, and about a hundred of which are considered as harmful and potentially harmful constituents.

The high levels of harmful chemicals in the smoke of a burning cigarette are the primary cause of smoking-related disease. By comparison, is vaping safe? No, none of the nicotine-containing products are safe.

Are e-cigarettes and vapes the same thing?

What’s the difference between e-cigarettes and vapes? Nothing. They’re the same thing! E-cigarettes and vapes both refer to the same category of electronic smoke-free products that utilize e-liquids and produce vapour, and vaping is the action of using an e-cigarette or vape.

If you are an adult smoker who is interested in learning more about smoke-free alternatives to cigarettes, you can read about the differences between heated tobacco and e-cigarettes

This article is for general information and educational purposes. Some of the information in this article is based on external, third-party sources and we make no representations or warranties of any kind regarding the accuracy, validity or completeness of such information.

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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