Vaping versus smoking: what are the key differences?


Dating back to ancient history, smoking has been a tradition throughout cultures, decades and regions. However, in recent years, an alternative has entered the market: vaping. Yet what’s the difference between the two and what characterises smoking and how can vaping best be defined? Let’s find out the facts.

  1. Tobacco versus liquid

Perhaps one of the biggest differences between smoking and vaping is the source of the smoke. To create smoke from a regular cigarette, tobacco needs to be heated. For an e-cigarette or vape pen, e-liquid is heated to then release smoke/vapour.

  1. Amount of nicotine


A second difference between smoking and vaping is the amount of nicotine released. A regular cigarette contains a fixed amount of nicotine to be released upon burning the tobacco. With vaping on the other hand, you somewhat control the amount of nicotine as it coincides with the strength of an e-liquid. Moreover, the way you vape or smoke has an impact on the amount of nicotine entering the body as well.

  1. The apparatus


The apparatus or device to smoke is, as you’d expect, a cigarette. For vaping, this is different. There’s a wide variety of vape pens and e-cigarettes that each work in different ways. Electronic cigarettes can therefore rightfully be called devices to smoke.

  1. The costs

The costs of smoking and vaping vary greatly. This is rooted in the fact that vaping requires an investment up front as a vape pen or e-cigarette is required. The costs after this investment are predominantly found in the purchase of e-liquids. The costs for regular smoking are generally just found in the purchase of packs of cigarettes or tobacco and rolling papers. Depending on the frequency one smokes, the costs between the two can vary greatly.

  1. The experience

The experience of smoking or vaping is a personal one and cannot be marginalised to be either this or that. However, given the fact that most e-liquids carry an artificial flavour, the sensation of smell and taste is therefore rather different from regular smoking where the tobacco determines the taste and smell.

  1. Reasons

The reasons behind either smoking or vaping generally differ. Whereas smoking is typically seen as an adamant habit that is difficult to quit, people who vape tend to use it as a means of quitting smoking entirely. To bridge the moment between the last cigarette and not smoking anything altogether.

There can undoubtedly be more differences found when smoking and vaping are compared. However, the above mentioned are probably some of the biggest differences between the two. The main differences can thus be found in the substance, being either tobacco or e-liquid, the amount of nicotine released, the apparatus used for smoking, the costs, the experience and the reasons behind smoking or vaping.

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