What’s the difference between smoke and vapor?

smoke and vapor

smoke and vapor

Most non-vapers think that vapor and smoke are the same, but apart from their mist-like appearance, there’s a vast difference between the two fumes. So, let’s start by breaking down both words by their rooted definition and clear up any underlying misunderstandings that have been ingrained by any uninformative hearsay.

How do the definitions of smoke and vapor differ?

Smoke is the result of combustion. When heated gases mix together with the right amount of oxygen, combustion occurs and new chemicals are then formed through an oxidation process. This is the result you receive when you light up your traditional cigarette. However, when a substance turns into a gas-like state at a temperature that is lower than its point of combustion, it’s considered vapor. Basically, when you heat water on your stove, when the liquid reaches its boiling point the pot will give off steam, also called vapor. However, this process doesn’t result in any combustion. So, that being said, when you use an e-cigarette, the process is the exact same, disallowing any new chemicals from being produced during the vaporization stage.

How do the chemicals within smoke and vapor differ?

According to the American Cancer Society, tobacco smoke contains over 7,000 different deadly chemicals including, cyanide, formaldehyde, methanol, acetylene, ammonia and carbon monoxide. Unlike traditional cigarettes, the e-juice used within e-cigs is comprised of four main ingredients, which includes vegetable glycerin, nicotine (in your chosen concentration level), water and food-grade flavoring.

How do the smells of smoke and vapor differ?

If you’ve ever been around someone who smokes, or if you’ve smoked yourself in the past, then you can probably easily tell the difference between the smells of smoke vs. vapor. The odor that cigarette smoke leaves behind smells harsh and burnt, often lingering around in the air around you as well as embedded into your hair, clothes and furniture. On the other hand, the vapor is often less intrusive because there is a rainbow of pleasant flavors and scents to choose from that dissipates within seconds after they’re exhaled.  

Are there any other ways in which smoke and vapor differ? Please let us know in the comments section below.

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