Vapour vs Smoke


Due to the similarity in appearance, individuals are often left wondering about the divergence between vapour and smoke. You’d be forgiven for thinking that vapour and smoke are virtually the same things; however, this isn’t the case. Vape vs smoking are two very different things, and these distinctions are detailed below.

Definition of Vapour

The vapour definition is “a substance in the gas phase at a temperature lower than its critical temperature.” As a result, vapour gets condensed to a liquid by increasing its pressure without reducing the temperature.

Ultimately, the vaporising of a liquid leads to its state being adjusted. Despite this, vapour consists of the same molecules as the substance in liquid form.

Perhaps the most surprising thing of all is that vapour isn’t actually produced via vaping. Instead, an aerosol is produced. Aerosols are defined as suspensions of liquid droplets or fine solid particles in the air. Essentially, when e-liquid is vaped, it turns into droplets suspended in the air, and these particles quickly drop to the floor.

Although “vapour” isn’t the technically accurate term, this is how we’ll continue to refer to aerosol in the blog. This is because “vapour” is the most widely used term by vapers.

Definition of Smoke

The smoke definition is “a number of airborne liquid and solid particulates and gases emitted when materials go through pyrolysis or combustion with the amount of air that’s combined with the mass.”

Since smoking involves burning, the chemical composition is significantly changed. Smoke is made from visible carbon molecules, which are burned alongside other combustion products. This results in the production of multiple substances, which results in smoke being extremely hazardous to inhale. While vapour is by no means healthy for your lungs, the solid nature of the particles doesn’t pose the same risks.

Smoking vs Vaping

So, smoking vs vape: cigarettes produce smoke, and e-liquid produces vapour. Aside from the appearance of each, there are virtually no other similarities between the two. Their behaviours and compositions are very different. Listed below are just some of the other distinctions between each substance.


E-liquid gets vaporised at 200°C. This is a relatively low temperature, meaning exhaled vapour is cooler than the surrounding room air.

In contrast, cigarette coal is roughly 600°C, and this elevates to 900°C when taking a puff. When inhaled and exhaled, the smoke quickly reaches room temperature, and the smoke produced on the coal itself increases the peripheral temperature. This is particularly true when the cigarette starts to reduce in size.


Vapour contains propylene glycol and vegetable glycerine, which results in blurry, thin coatings being formed on glass surfaces. This is easy to clean and won’t age your furniture or lead to the yellowing of walls.

Alternatively, smoking inside leads to the eventual staining of furniture, walls, and fabrics. This is predominantly down to tar, which is the toxic combination of substances in cigarettes. Similarly, carbon monoxide can result in the yellow tint on walls caused by cigarette smoke.


Clouds of vapour tend to dissipate slower than cigarette smoke, and they’re also often denser. Therefore, their appearance in a room will last longer; however, the smell disappears much more quickly. Similarly, vapes often have a sweet flavour, meaning the smell tends to be much more pleasant than that of cigarette smoke.

Smokers can become somewhat immune to the smell of cigarettes; however, for a non-smoker, this smell lingers for a significant amount of time. In fact, the smell of cigarette smoke can linger in a room for a number of hours.


The only similarity in the composition of vapes and cigarettes is nicotine, and some e-liquids don’t even contain this. E-liquid consists of food-grade flavourings, propylene glycol, and vegetable glycerine. Aside from nicotine, everything in e-liquid is safe to ingest. Since vaping is still a relatively new phenomenon, we’re unsure as to whether there’s a risk in the inhalation of such.

Contrastingly, tobacco smoke contains thousands of chemicals, and 70 of these are proven carcinogens. On top of this, many more have been proven hazardous to inhale.

Health Benefits of Vaping vs Smoking in the UK

In short, neither vaping nor smoking is good for the body. Despite this, based on the available evidence, the benefits of a vape vs smoking seem promising. This doesn’t mean that vaping is a healthy habit, though.

For instance, vapes that contain nicotine can lead to delayed development in the brains of foetuses, children, and teens. Similarly, if e-liquid comes into contact with the skin or is swallowed, this can be dangerous.

When compared to smoking, though, cigarettes damage every organ in the body. Smoking is responsible for roughly 74,600 deaths annually in the UK, 90 per cent of lung cancer deaths, and around 80 per cent of deaths from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Move Towards a Healthier You with Dispergo Vaping

If you’re looking to quit smoking, starting to vape can be a step in the right direction. Disposables are the easiest devices to master and are a great stepping-stone in your smoking to vaping to quitting journey. When the time comes to progress, we have a number of hardware options to help you out. Of course, we’re always available to help if you require further advice and guidance. Simply get in touch to learn more.