What Exactly Separates Vaping from Smoking?
Electronic cigarettes were designed as a safer alternative to traditional tobacco smoking. Many look like real cigarettes and mimic the same rituals including the inhalation and exhalation of a smoke-like vapor. However, there are some key differences that distinguish vaping from smoking. In order to get smoke you have to burn something, right? When someone puts a cigarette, cigar, or pipe in their mouth it’s usually followed by the use of a lighter, and then using that lighter to start a controlled burn of the tobacco. But what about this? What if someone is chewing tobacco? Do you consider him or her to be smoking?
Vaping has nothing to do with tobacco except that it is an alternative for tobacco smokers. For those who say if nicotine is the sole reason people relate e-cigs and tobacco, then I counter by saying that vaping is just as related to eating a nice, juicy eggplant. Yup, eggplant has naturally occurring nicotine, placing it alongside many other vegetables. In fact, the it has the same chemical makeup as the nicotine in the tobacco plant.
What about vapers that vape without nicotine in their e juice? Are they also using a “tobacco-related” product? Is this still smoking? No it’s not. But take a look at any of the countless bills looking to ban e-cigarettes, and you’ll see the words “tobacco-related,” even though it’s as far removed from smoking as your dinner salad.
Let’s also take a look at the medical definition of smoke and vapor:
- smoke(v): to inhale and exhale the fumes of burning plant material and especially tobacco.
- vaporize(v): to convert from a liquid or solid into a vapor.
From their medical definitions alone, it’s pretty obvious that smoking and vaporizing are not the same thing.
- E-cigarettes do not involve the use of fire, but rather a heated coil.
- Unlike tobacco, combustion is not involved in the vaporizing of e-liquid.
- Vapor does not leave a stinky smell on fabrics or skin.
- E-cig vapor has a completely different chemical composition than cigarette smoke and contains far fewer toxins.
In the end, this argument, like so many others, comes down to education. When someone comments about you “smoking” your e-cig, humbly assume ignorance and educate the general public on a still new and relatively unfamiliar world of vaping. Only then will this perception begin to fade.
Here are some quick tips that can help you enjoy the experience of vaping more:
- Despite the fact that your e-cig may look like a cigarette, it’s not a cigarette and it isn’t meant to be “smoked” like one. Honestly, we don’t like the term e-Cigarette – we prefer “Personal Vaporizer” (PV) or “Advanced Personal Vaporizer” (APV) because there are so few similarities between the cigarette smoking and e-cigs.
- “Drawing” on some Personal Vaporizers takes practice. The maximum amount of vapor is produced when air is drawn SLOWLY across the heating element (usually Kanthal or Nichrome wire). An inexperienced vapor who draws quickly is likely to get poor results. Patience and practice will net a more vapor, more flavor, and more throat hit.
- To inhale, or not? This is clearly an individual preference. Most people new to personal vaporizers think the vapor needs to be inhaled in order for the nicotine to be delivered – UNTRUE. Consider this – chewing tobacco can effectively deliver nicotine to the bloodstream. How, you ask? Through the soft tissue in your mouth! If you think about that cloud of vapor in your mouth more like chewing tobacco, it may help you understand why inhaling is not necessary. However, the lungs are much more effective at placing nicotine in the bloodstream when you inhale. All that aside, most ex-smokers who use e-cigs inhale vapor at least occasionally because they enjoy the process/feeling/sensation, etc.
- Don’t underestimate the power of your nose! The soft tissue in your nasal cavity is very capable of absorbing nicotine. Aside from that ability, many people who vape say exhaling through the nose is the best way to differentiate the flavor qualities of the various e-liquids they want to “taste.” The sense of smell contributes a great deal to the sense of taste – maximize your experience and exhale SLOWLY through your nose!
- Despite the fact there are some fantastic tobacco flavors on the market right now, e-liquid will probably never taste exactly like a cigarette. Unfortunately, a great deal of the taste you have grown accustomed to can be directly attributed to the other carcinogenic compounds contained in analog cigarette smoke. Most new people are looking for something comparable to a cigarette. We challenge you to explore the options. At present, we haven’t found a single tobacco blend that completely simulates the true cigarette experience. That said, tobacco e-liquids are definitely worth a try – and with many tobacco choices to choose from at Vape Escapes, you may find one/some to be a great alternative to traditional cigarettes! Be adventurous! Try something new, something different – you may just be surprised how much you enjoy vaping Banana Nut Bread, Apple Martini or Blueberry Pomegranate!
Portions of this article contributed by Michael Murray