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Vape vs Cigarette: Facts You Need to Know

October 20, 2023

The e-cigarette (also known as a vape) has been flying off the shelves like candy in recent years. Usually, they come in a variety of flavors, which are enticing to young people as they are prone to inhale these sweet smokes into their lungs.

Popular though vaping is, many people still don't know it that well, or cannot figure out the differences between an e-cigarette and a cigarette. So, this post will shine a light on vape vs cigarette and show you what exactly they are. Now, let's kick it and hit the bull’s-eye.

Vape VS Cigarette

Vape vs. Cigarette: Overview

What is an e-cigarette and what is a cigarette? They are actually different things that have some similarities. The following section will give you a general idea of e-cigarettes and traditional cigarettes. You will also find a detailed list of the pros and cons of vaping and smoking will be provided to help you make an informed choice.


What are E-Cigarettes?

An e-cigarette, also known as an electronic cigarette or vape, is a battery-powered device that comes in a variety of shapes, including tanks, mods, pods and cigar-like devices. It usually consists of a battery, an atomiser, a cartridge/tank for e-liquid and a mouthpiece. Typically, an e-cigarette heats an e-liquid or vape juice rather than burning tobacco.


What are Cigarettes?

A traditional cigarette is a small roll wrapped in thin paper and filled with tobacco leaves. It is the most common form of tobacco product and usually needs to be lit at one end to burn the tobacco. During smoking, various chemicals and toxins are released. That's why it's linked to health risks such as lung cancer, heart disease and so on.






Less harmful without tobacco.

Provide more flavors and combinations.

Adjust the puff of vaping.

Playable with cloud-chasing tricks.

Have more shapes and sizes to choose from.

Change the strength and throat hit from the vapor.

Reusable and cheaper in the long term.

Help people quit traditional smoking.

Need to charge for use.

Possible to result in nicotine addiction.

Have healthy risks.





Directly ignite to use.

Release your mental stress.

Engage in a social activity with elders.




Easy to get addicted.

Likely to cause diseases.

Expensive than vaping in the long term.

Expose to some diseases.

Have a negative impact on appearance.



Vape vs. Cigarette: What's the Difference?


In addition to the fact-checks, below we will take a closer look at the key differences between vaping and smoking. We will explore on their chemical differences as well as their impact on your overall health and your everyday life.

Vape VS Cigarette Difference

Nicotine and Other Chemicals

The difference in how vaping and smoking work leads to the difference in nicotine between e-cigarettes and regular cigarettes. Vaping is the process of heating e-liquid or vape juice in an e-cigarette to produce aerosols or vapor for a user to inhale. Meanwhile, smoking a cigarette burns tobacco leaves and releases nicotine for the user to inhale. Both methods usually contain nicotine and other chemicals.


On average, as research points out, a single cigarette contains about 10 mg to 12 mg of nicotine and normally, the smoker will inhale about 1 to 2 mg from each. As for vaping products, the average amount of nicotine will range from 0.5 - 15.4 mg for 15 puffs.


Besides, nicotine levels in e-cigarettes can be varied from brand to brand. And common vape liquid options for vaping products include 0mg/mL, 3mg/mL, 6mg/mL, and 12mg/mL, giving you the flexibility to choose according to your usual smoking experience.


We will take a 2ml vape as an example, and here is the nicotine strength equivalence of vaping vs. smoking for reference.


  • 0mg/mL equals to no nicotine.
  • 3mg/mL contains 6mg of nicotine. And the nicotine concentration you take in equals to smoking around 6 cigarettes.
  • 6mg/mL contains 12mg of nicotine. Then the nicotine level you absorb equals to smoking around 12 cigarettes.
  • 12mg/mL contains 24mg of nicotine, which roughly equals to smoking around 24 cigarettes (essentially a pack of cigarettes).


Therefore, vaping usually has you inhaled less nicotine than smoking a cigarette. If you want to reduce the negative effects of nicotine, start with the light concentration options. And 0mg/mL is the best for new vapers because it comes without the presence of nicotine.


Health Effects

As mentioned above, both vaping and smoking will produce nicotine and other harmful and toxic chemicals that cause diseases such as lung cancer, heart disease, and so on.


However, when comparing nicotine from cigarettes to nicotine from vaping, vaping contains less nicotine and is able to adjust the buff for inhaling aerosols. In other words, vaping is a better alternative for people who want to get rid of the addition of nicotine. Therefore, although both methods are harmful to your health, vaping is less harmful than smoking a cigarette.



Vaping and smoking have notable differences in sensation. To satisfy your taste preferences, vaping products offer a wide range of flavor options, such as fruit, mint, and dessert, which can be a refreshing experience for new vapers. In contrast, the flavor of regular cigarettes is primarily based on the tobacco itself, making it somewhat dull and bland.


There are also differences in the sensation of nicotine intake between vaping and smoking. When vaping, the absorption of nicotine can vary depending on factors such as puff duration, frequency, and strength. Nicotine in e-cigarettes is in liquid form in cartridges or e-liquids, which are then heated and converted into aerosols or vapor for inhalation. In contrast, nicotine in cigarettes is released by burning tobacco, allowing smokers to experience its effects more quickly.


In terms of impact on others, the vapor produced when vaping tends to have a lighter scent that dissipates quickly, minimizing its impact on the environment. This makes vaping more discreet. On the other hand, the smell of cigarettes tends to be stronger and more persistent, often lingering in the air and affecting others.


After all, both vaping and smoking will produce nicotine which acts as a powerful stimulant and psychoactive substance that can increase your heart rate, raise your blood pressure level, and improve your cognitive function. Mentally, the chemicals will change your mood and provide a sense of relaxation.



Both vaping and smoking are quite expensive habits that may spend a fortune. Cigarettes are usually at a higher price because the Governments often levy higher taxes on them. And vaping will cost you more money initially for buying devices and e-liquids/vape juices. But cigarettes are one-time consumption after burning, while e-cigarettes have reusable devices to choose from. Therefore, although vaping will cost you more money initially for buying devices and e-liquids/vape juices, it will be cheaper than smoking a cigarette if you take the long view.


Vape vs. Cigarette: Which is Less Harmful?

The biggest concern from the popularity focuses on vape vs cigarette on health. As both ways are harmful, vape is indeed less harmful than a cigarette because it releases less nicotine and toxic chemicals. What's more, vape is fully customizable to control the puff of aerosols. So, vape is better than cigarettes to some extent. If you plan to quit smoking, an e-cigarette will be a great help to get started. And if you want to have a taste of vaping or smoking, an e-cigarette is a safer and cleaner way to hit on.

Vaping Devices

How to Choose Vapes as Cigarette Alternatives

There are hotcakes in the market to choose from, so, a new vaper may be at a loss to pick one in a million. To help you quickly make a good choice when choosing an e-cigarette or vape, consider the following aspects:


  • Choose a suitable device type: a wide range of vaping devices are available for you, so you need to choose a suitable one. Popular device types like Cigalikes, Vape Mods, and Vape Pens/Vape Pod Systems all have their own features. Usually, low-powered devices work better with higher-nicotine-level e-liquid.
  • Choose a reliable brand: there are many brands selling vape devices and e-liquids, you need to choose a reliable brand in order to further reduce risk. RELX Essential Device, for example, is one of the top sellers of vaping devices, which can be a good starter to satisfy your needs.
  • Choose the right nicotine strength: nicotine level is very important in vaping. If you are a heavy smoker but a first-time vaper, you may need to try a high-nicotine-level e-liquid first, otherwise, you may not feel satisfied and need to go back to tobacco cigarettes in the end. As the withdrawal symptoms weaken, you can try to reduce the nicotine strength in the e-liquid and gradually reduce your nicotine dependence.RELX Essential Device


    To sum up our vape vs cigarette comparison, vaping through an e-cigarette is a safer and less harmful alternative to smoking a cigarette. Moreover, it is more appealing with the customization of vaping devices and all kinds of flavors. That's why vaping is now taking the world by storm.



    Is Relx safer than cigarettes?

    Vaping will release less nicotine and toxic chemicals than directly burning tobacco in a roll of a traditional cigarette. In contrast, Relx is cleaner, safer, and less harmful than cigarettes. However. it's still bad for your health and it's not recommended to inhale many puffs of vaping.

    How many cigarettes is 1 Relx Pod equivalent to?

    As we’ve mentioned previously, a traditional cigarette may contain 10 mg to 12 mg of nicotine. RELX Vape Pods contain 5% of nicotine (50mg/ml), 3% (30mg/ml), 1.8%(30mg/ml) or 0% of nicotine. Usually, each pod holds 2ml of e-liquid. Then the nicotine level should be 100mg, 60mg, 36mg, and 0mg respectively. Ultimately, 1 Relx pod is roughly equivalent to half a pack of 20 cigarettes.

    Can vaping help you quit smoking?

    Vaping initially aims at resisting tobacco cravings in order to quit smoking. Since vaping also contains less nicotine, addicts can slowly reduce their addiction to nicotine. However, it's difficult to completely get rid of smoking. That really takes time.

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