Vaping Vs Smoking – A Detailed Comparison

Those who are keen on cigarettes must have heard time and again on how vaping is better, right? However, cigarette smokers are a confused lot, considering they are not clear about the exact facts behind both. Here’s all you need to know about smoking and vaping and why more and more people are turning to vape as a choice!

What is vaping?

VapingVaping is a method of inhaling vapors produced by a vaporizer or e-cigarette. It is produced from materials like e-liquid, concentrate or dry herbs. Most vapers settle for e-liquids while some opt for dry herbs and concentrates. There are different vaporizers for different vaping materials. For instance, e-liquid vaporizers have a cartridge while a dry herb vaporizer has a heating chamber. There are also multipurpose vaporizers which allow you to vape different materials just by switching cartridges.

Comparison of Vaping and Smoking

Smoking Facts
Over 4000 deadly toxins
The average cost of the smoking/year – $4,368
Health hazards – Causes numerous illnesses including cancer

Vaping Facts
Vapes contain the following:
Vegetable glycerine
Nicotine + flavoring
Propylene glycol
The average cost of the vaping/year -$720

Health hazards
No known evidence of health hazards
According to a study, it is estimated that 65% of smokers quit smoking for vaping.

While most of us know the details of smoking, we are at a loss when it comes to the choice between vaping and smoking. This is because while we know the basic differences, the finer details are lost to us. Here’s more on them.

Smoking and its contents

SmokingAccording to experts, cigarette smoke is composed of around 4000 different compounds. That’s a lot, isn’t it? Many of them are considered to be carcinogenic (cancer-causing) substances and also toxic. If you’re wondering what exactly goes into cigarette smoke, here’s an eye-opener for you.

  • Nicotine – an addictive but non-carcinogenic, this is the main reason people get addicted to smoking.
  • Acetaldehyde – it is believed to be a carcinogen and is a chemical used in gums and glues
  • Acetone – Eye irritant and long-term damage to kidneys can be caused.
  • 1-aminonaphthalene– a known carcinogen
  • 2-aminonaphthalene– a known carcinogen causing bladder cancer
  • Ammonia – asthma causing agent
  • Hydrogen Cyanide
  • Cresol
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Tar

As you have noticed above, most of them are harmful chemicals which lead to conditions like asthma, cancer, and skin and eye irritation and so on.

Vaping and its contents

Vaping FactorsHere we’ve deconstructed vape juice to find out what goes inside it.

  • Nicotine – Nicotine in its inhaled form is safe, but in liquid form, it can be dangerous.
  • Acetaldehyde
  • Vegetable glycerin
  • Propylene glycol
  • Flavoring

Many other chemicals can be found in the process of flavoring. Most of them are food grade and they are designed to be ingested and not vaporized.

Safety Factors

Smoking and Safety Hazards

No SmokingWhile smoking, in general,l is considered hazardous, it also influences other safety factors. There is scientific evidence to show that passive smoking is injurious to health. It causes lung cancer, asthma attacks as well as problems like watery eyes headaches and sore throats.

Besides this, there’s an incredibly surprising aspect which is material fires. It is important to note that dropped cigarettes contribute to around 90,000 smoking-material fires in the US.  More recently, cigarettes manufacturers have ensured more “fire-safe” requirements, making sure the risk is much less. Many countries have put up “fire-safe” requirements for cigarettes including England which banned smoking in most enclosed work and public places in 2007.

Vaping and Safety Hazards

Compared to smoking there are smaller concentrations of hazardous substances in vaping. Toxins inhaled through e-cigarettes are below threshold levels for exposure making them safer than smoking. Since vaping is relatively new, long-term hazards to health are yet to be studied. Another important safety aspect is batteries.

Batteries Exploding during Vaping

Vaping BatteriesE-Cigarettes when first introduced frequently underwent the hazard of exploding batteries which were due to the sub-par quality of batteries used or over-charging.

Since the launch of e-cigarettes, there have been reportedly 240+ battery explosions in e-cigarettes. There is a fear that an increase in battery size over recent years could cause injuries due to explosions.

Cost Factors – Vaping vs Smoking

Smoking VS Vaping factorsThis is one factor we had to consider since you note significant differences in cost when you consider it with respect to vaping and smoking. With vaping, you need to invest a larger initial cost to purchase hardware. However, the bigger picture presents a different truth. Plenty of research has gone into the comparing of smoking vs. vaping and this is what the output is.

Smoking – For e.g. let’s say the average smoker buys 5 packs of cigarette a week. A pack of 20 cigarettes costs $13 in the US (New York). This adds to around $3120 a year! If you consider a pack a day, for one year it adds up to a whopping $4368 approximately.

Vaping – Now, purchasing an e-cig starter kit on an average is around $50. Once you have purchased this, considering that you spend $15 for a bottle of juice, it just adds up to $720 a year (for big-time vapers).

Health Implications

While smoking has several adverse health effects, there’s not much research gone into the longtime effects of vaping.


Smoking causes cancer of the lungs, throat, mouth, lips, esophagus, kidney and many other body parts. It also has an increased risk of coronary heart disease, heart attack, stroke, COPD, pneumonia and a lot more illnesses. Passive smokers could also get affected by these diseases.


In the UK, according to a report published by Public Health England, e-cigarettes are 95% safer than smoking. It is also being explored as a viable approach for those who wish to quit smoking. In the US, vaping is considered as equally harmful as smoking through the AHA has suggested that vaping could potentially be better than smoking and can help tobacco smokers quit.

Vaping or Smoking – Which is ultimately better?

Considering all the current evidence and research, we feel that smoking can work better for many smokers who wish to quit cigarette smoking. However vaping and its long-term effects are not backed by enough research, this is something which only time can tell.

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