Health Differences Between Ordinary Cigarettes vs. Vaping

If you have made rounds online, you have probably come across the term “vaping” or vapes.” With more people adopting the e-cigarettes, vaping is slowly becoming a “thing.” The difference between vaping and traditional cigarette smoking is that the former consists of e-cigarettes which you can get from one of the best online vape store.

However, when it comes to ordinary cigarettes and e-cigarettes, the question remains, which one is safer in terms of health? Before looking at the health differences between regular cigarettes and vaping, let us look at what vaping entails.

What is vaping?

Vaping comes from the word vapor. This is because the act involves inhaling and exhaling the vapor, also known as an aerosol. The vapor or aerosol is produced by the vaping device, which can be an e-cigarette, a mod, or a vaping pen. The most popular vaping device is e-cigarettes. Unlike ordinary cigarettes, these do not emit tobacco smoke. Instead, e-cigarettes produce vapor, or an aerosol, which has fine particles.

A device used to vape consists of a battery, mouthpiece, heating component as well as a cartridge where the e-liquid is contained. The device is powered by a battery, which heats the heating component once the user turns on the device. In turn, the e-liquid or e-juice changes to an aerosol (vaporized) and thus the user can inhale and exhale the resulting vapor.

Currently, JUUL is the most popular vaping device. The device, which resembles a USB flash drive, has grown rapidly in popularity probably due to its small design.

What do vapes contain?

The most significant difference between ordinary cigarettes and e-cigarettes is the fact that e-cigarettes do not have tobacco as one of their ingredients.

Even though they do not contain tobacco, vapers have some ingredients which can be found in ordinary cigarettes. The vaporizer consists of an e-liquid which consist of a vegetable glycerine-based liquid that has nicotine or propylene glycol. Also, the e-liquid contains other metals and chemicals. Instead of the nicotine, other ingredients can be used. These ingredients may be drugs like flakka and THC.

Health differences between ordinary cigarettes and vaping

Cancer-causing chemicals

Ordinary cigarettes

Generally, smoking is not healthy. However, there are more cancer-causing chemicals in traditional cigarettes than in e-cigarettes. About 600 ingredients are used in making ordinary cigarettes. When these ingredients are burned (during smoking), more than 7000 chemicals are created as a result. While many of these chemicals are toxic, 69 of them have been linked to cancer.

These are the same chemicals which consumers are warned against in other products like rat poisons. The difference is that, while in the other products, such ingredients are indicated, the same does not happen in ordinary cigarettes. Some of the cancer-causing ingredients in regular cigarettes include:

  • Aromatic amines (breast cancer)
  • Acetaldehyde (lung cancer)
  • Benzene (leukemia)
  • Arsenic (lung cancer)
  • Beryllium (lung cancer)


On the other hand, e-cigarettes do not have most of the harmful ingredients found in ordinary cigarettes. Hence, they are less toxic.

Pulmonary diseases

Ordinary cigarettes

Respiratory hazards from smoking result from the by-products of smoking more than the actual ingredients before smoking. Tobacco (the main ingredient in cigarettes) has very little effect when compared to the effects of the other ingredients. The smoke created when one smokes the main cause of the numerous respiratory conditions like pneumonia, occupational lung disease, and lung cancer.

The smoke contains numerous harmful materials such as carbon monoxide, tar, tobacco, and cigarette paper particles, and other toxic gases.

When smoking regular cigarettes, the smoke travels from the mouth to the alveoli via the upper airway. As it moves further in the respiratory tract, the soluble gases are sucked up by the alveoli while the particles are deposited on the inside the airways as well as the alveoli. This is what results in various pulmonary diseases.


On the other hand, electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes as they are popularly known, do not involve smoke. This is because vaping does not involve burning or any form of combustion. Instead of inhaling smoke, as in regular smoking, vaping involves the inhalation of vapor.

Vaping products produce the vapor, also known as an aerosol. Therefore, it is safe to say that vaping does not have the same combustion effects as the ones derived from regular smoking.

Effect on skin

Ordinary cigarettes

One of the most apparent effects of smoking cigarettes is the change in the appearance of the smoker’s skin. This is due to the particles found in tobacco.

One of these effects is premature skin aging, especially facial skin. This is because facial skin is thinner than the skin on other parts of the body. Therefore, changes can be seen faster on the smoker’s face than on any part of their body. Some of the premature agings include a sallow grey or orange facial skin tone among relatively younger adults.

Among older adult, smoking causes wrinkles around the eyes as well as vertical lines around the mouth. Also, acne takes longer to heal compared to the amount of time acne takes to heal in a non-smoker. Even though the light wrinkles can be treated, deeper ones are permanent. As a result, most smokers look a year older than their real age.


On the contrary, vaping does not affect the skin. Some of the ingredients of the vapor can be found in most cleansers, creams, and other facial products.

However, all hope is not lost. If you are under 35 years, you can regain your skin’s health once you quit smoking. This is because your skin will still be able to rebuild collagen and hence improve your complexion which had been affected by smoking. If you are older than 35, you will have to consult a dermatologist to be able to reverse the effects of smoking on your skin. However, some may be permanent, especially if you have been smoking for a long time.


Even though vaping is not 100% safe, the information above shows that it is safer than the ordinary cigarette. This means that for someone trying to quit smoking, vaping is a safe alternative.

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