E-cigarettes heat up nicotine (extracted from tobacco), flavorings, and other chemicals to create an aerosol that is inhaled. Common tobacco cigarettes contain 7,000 chemicals, many of which are toxic. Another commonly misunderstood fact about smoking and vaping is that smoking involves nicotine, while vaping does not. Both vaping and smoking release nicotine.
In fact, it's nicotine that causes smokers and vapers to get hooked on the habit. The difference is that smoking releases nicotine through combustion, while vaping releases the compound through vaporization. Vaping marijuana involves inhaling hot oil through a vaporizing device, often referred to as an e-cigarette. Vaping marijuana can also refer to the use of a vaporizer, such as a volcano, to produce steam from dry plant material.
Although, to the human eye, smoke and vapor may appear very similar, the two substances couldn't be more different. As described above, smoke is a suspension of microparticles and solid gases, while the “vapor” produced by e-cigarettes is a liquid aerosol suspended in the air. In addition to being liquid, vapor differs from smoke in several important ways, including chemical composition, persistence in the environment, flavor, and temperature. While the two terms can be used together or even interchangeably, that's simply not right.
Smoking and vaping are worlds apart, scientifically speaking. Vaporizers are designed to prevent any combustion that causes smoke, and this important distinction determines the vaping experience, from flavor to desired effect. In this blog, we'll explore the difference between smoke and vapor, and discuss why the term “vaping smoke” isn't the right terminology. Vaping marijuana is often touted as safer than smoking it.
That's because vaporizers heat marijuana, but they don't burn herbs, oil, or wax. However, vaping marijuana is generally not safe and, in some ways, can be more dangerous than smoking marijuana. As we have seen, apart from the visual similarity between smoke and vapor (attributable to the fact that both are suspensions of particles in a gas), the two substances couldn't be more different. In addition, the scent of e-liquid vapor tends to be much more tolerable to most people than the noxious fumes produced by smoking.
Whether you're a vaper, a smoker, neither, or somewhere in between, at some point in between, you've probably wondered what the difference between smoke and vapor really is. In this example, the smoke you see coming out of the campfire is volatile organic compounds called hydrocarbons that evaporate from logs. But remember that even though second-hand steam isn't nearly as bad for you as second-hand smoke, you should be aware and empathetic to other people's needs when you breathe in. The vapor is composed of the same compound in the unused material of the vaporizer; if it were smoke, completely new compounds would be created by incomplete combustion.
On the other hand, a vapor is produced when a substance vaporizes, which simply involves heating a liquid until it becomes a vapor. For non-scientists, this means that steam can be liquefied by increasing pressure while maintaining the same temperature. In addition to nicotine, e-cigarette vapor also contains vegetable glycerin, propylene glycol, and any number of flavor additives. Compared to the hot, harsh smoke from burning leaves, the aerosol produced by vaporizers feels much smoother in the lungs.