Key Differences – Vaping Vs Smoking?

There are so many people who think that vaping and smoking are synonymous with each other. But in reality, they are distinctive in their own ways. In fact, the consequences of too much vaping or smoking in some aspects are identical however in other facets are more than their counterpart.

At times people have misinterpreted some terminology related to vaping. Some have coined the term ‘vape smoke”. This is absolutely wrong and misleading.

Smoke And Vaping

To understand the key differences between Vaping and Smoking, let’s dig it deeper into the process of both:

Smoke: On combustion what you get as a resultant is Smoke. Here oxidation happens and new chemicals are formed in the process of combustion. The initially burnt chemicals are thousand times lesser than the newly produced chemicals as a result of the process. Surely fire is involved in this process. Without fire combustion and smoke won’t happen.

Vapor: Vapor happens only when the temperature becomes lower than it’s limit of combustion, then gas is released from the substance. Just like heating water on a gas stove, on boiling point vapors released from water. The state of vapor is different from liquid water but chemically they are absolutely the same.

The basic difference to understand is – during vaporization no new chemical is formed.

Let us understand the chemical composition of Vape and Smoke individually:



As per the American Cancer Society, 70 chemicals present in tobacco smoke are cancerous from 70000 chemicals identified in the smoke. A few of them are –

  • Acetylene
  • Ammonia
  • Arsenic
  • Cadmium
  • Carbon Monoxide
  • Chromium
  • Cyanide
  • Ethylene Oxide
  • Formaldehyde
  • Methanol
  • Nitrogen Oxide
  • Vinyl Chloride



As shared earlier vapor and smoke are distinctive in their nature and composition. Vapor is formed of the liquid it is produced, so has the same substance. So no new chemicals are created in its production.

The chemicals which are present in the vaping liquid, are the ditto same chemicals of which the vapors are formed.

On average, a vape liquid has four compounds – PG (Propylene Glycol), VG (Vegetable Glycerin), food grade flavorings and nicotine. It is strange but true that these four compounds are FDA approved for human consumption. And almost all the vape juice manufacturers abide by the prescribed concentration of these four compounds.

Presence of Tar and Carbon Monoxide:

Tobacco on combustion releases Tar, a resin-like substance, which damages the lungs and is playing a villain in rotting the teeth.

Tobacco also releases carbon monoxide on combustion, when the fire heats up to the level of combustion leading to oxidation. Carbon monoxide is a terribly dangerous and harmful gas hampering the body system in many ways.

The simplest way to feel the difference between smoking and vaping is – even on the next day of a campfire your clothes would smell of smoke. But steam from a pot of boiling water would have no smell whatsoever on your clothes. All vapors will disappear there and then.

Smoke is Smelly:

You might have sometimes experienced in your life that if someone in the next room beside yours is smoking, then you will get the smoky smell. Which is so peculiar that it is easy to identify sitting in the next room. The smoky smell will linger on for a long time in that particular room.

All such things are not evident with vapor production. Vapors dissipate into thin air within a few minutes. Thus it is explained to people to call it as vapor and not vape smoke. As this misleads them. All that is persisting into the air during and after vaping is the refreshing scent of vapor along with certain flavors are less intrusive.

Certain Facts About Vaping and Smoking:

Comaprision of Smoking And Vaping

Vaping is the toxic villain to your healthy body

Nicotine is an integral addictive part in both smoking as well as vaping. If at all you don’t smoke for a considerable time period then withdrawal symptoms take over the body system and the person concerned craves for it more and more. Nicotine increases your blood pressure tremendously along with spiking the adrenaline. All this increases your heart rate and you become prone to heart attack.

The long term effects of the chemicals produced in vaping are yet to be researched intensively other than nicotine, which is the same chemical as in smoking.

Smoking is more harmful than Vaping

To conclude this with hundred percent confidence is yet not possible. Smoking involves 70000 chemicals whereas vaping involves – nicotine, food flavorings, PG and VG in the vapor. But the complete effects of these four chemicals is yet to be researched completely. Till then you may suggest that vaping is a better alternative as you are exposed to just 4 toxic chemicals in comparison to 7000 in case of smoking.

Effect on IntraPulmonary Delivery System

Vaping is said to have a safer IntraPulmonary Delivery System in comparison to Smoking. The primary reason for this is combustion in smoking forms pyrolytic toxic compounds, carbon monoxide, and carcinogens.

Vaping on Marijuana

By vaping on marijuana, you reduce the exposure to the more harmful contaminants from combustion.

Research conducted about the delivery of THC, the psychoactive compound in weeds has brought an interesting fact that vapers were observed to have more intense feelings of paranoia. They experienced drier mouths and eyes than smokers.

Vaping is evidently not the Best Smoking Quitting Tool

As most of us know that the onset of vaping in society was actually as smoking quitting alternative. But as time passed, the smokers started to vape and vaped to such an extent that many of them are now smoking as well. So the ex-smokers turned out to be vapers and later on also became smokers. Thus in dual ways, their health is deteriorating.

The Vaping Scenario is completely changed among the New generation

It is ostensibly found that vaping is much more in vogue than smoking today. In the US alone the percentage of students from high school are increasing in tremendous multiples as vapers, 900 percent. Out of this 40% are students who had never smoked tobacco.

The reasons to which are – misunderstanding that vaping is less harmful than smoking, e-cigs are in totality lesser expensive then traditional cigs and vape cartridges are so enticing and appealing to the youngsters.

Still, the debate is on whether smoking is harmful than vaping and thus does vaping become a better alternative to smoking?

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