Smoking And Vaping Are Two Very Different Things

Smoking And Vaping Are Two Very Different Things

I Vape. I do not Smoke. What’s So Hard To Understand?

I have several friends that used to think I was crazy. Sure, they had, and have, some very good reasons to think so. I mean I have 5 cats for God’s sake. But, because I quit smoking way back in 1992 and took up vaping in 2011 they shake their heads in disbelief, like I’ve started smoking again. For all the effort I have made to see that they understand that smoking is smoking, and vaping is vaping, they just don’t see it. All they can see is my inhaling something and exhaling something that looks a lot like smoke.

Even some pro-vaping people look at vaping as another form of smoking. Trying to convince someone that vaping is something entirely different than smoking is damn near impossible.

And you know, at first glance it’s easy to look at someone vaping and immediately think that person is smoking. Vapor from an eCigarette is nearly identical to smoke, to the naked eye anyway, and a Vaper does bring something up to their lips, inhales vapor, and then exhales vapor disguised as smoke. Hell, its not just “first glance”, it’s the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and so on ‘glance’. It does look like smoking, but its not

So what is “smoking” then?

All my life I’ve considered a smoker to be someone that burns tobacco, either in the form of a cigarette, or a cigar, or even a pipe. In order to get smoke you have to burn something. When someone puts a cigarette, cigar, or pipe in their mouth it’s usually followed by the use of lighter, and then using that lighter to start a controlled burn of the tobacco.

Am I missing something here? I mean, if you see someone in the process of using snuff, or chewing tobacco, you don’t consider them to be smoking, right? Although you do consider them to be using tobacco. Yet, smoking a cigarette, pipe, or cigar is a thousand times closer to chewing tobacco and snuff (am I spelling that right?) because it’s all tobacco.

Vaping, on the other hand, has nothing to do with tobacco. In fact, I would venture to say that if its nicotine that’s the excuse as to why people relate vaping and tobacco use then I submit that vaping is just as related to eating broccoli. Broccoli has nicotine, the same chemical makeup of nicotine that the tobacco plant has, so what’s the difference?

Then, there is that segment of the vaping community that sticks to zero-nicotine eJuice. Are they also using a ‘tobacco related’ product?

The entire argument that resulted in the FDA controlling the electronic cigarette in the same category as tobacco is a false one. Yet, people inside and outside the vaping community have allowed the FDA to continue to classify eCigarettes as ‘tobacco related’ despite the fact the tobacco has nothing to do with vaping


It is wrong to allow perception to rule the day. No matter what the issue is, whether its electronic cigarettes or building a birdcage, the wrong perception should not dictate policy.

Over Eighteen

I don’t know anyone who will say that eCigarettes should be allowed to be sold to people under 18. Everyone agrees that they shouldn’t be sold to minors. But why? Why shouldn’t minors have access to eCigarettes? Cannot a twelve year old walk into a Starbucks and buy a triple latte? Do you know how much caffeine is in a triple latte? 231MG! Yet, you don’t see any restrictions on the under 18 crowd.

So, if nicotine is no more harmful than caffeine does it not follow that since childred are allowed to buy coffee they should be allowed to consume nicotine. Again, Brocoli has nicotine in it, so do we ban kids from eating their broccoli? Do you know that there is such a thing called Broccoli cigarettes?

One of the main reasons against allowing kids access to eCigarettes is that it can lead to using real cigarettes. Now think about that for a minute. Think about the vaping community and how we love to collect different vaping hardware and accessories, trying our different eJuice flavors, experiment in making our own, things like that. Now think about some kid, say 16, getting into vaping, discovering all the cool things we’ve discovered about vaping, and then deciding to chuck it all in favor of picking up something that cost 5 times as much, is 1000 times more dangerous, and makes you smell like garbage. Do you really think this kid is going to find tobacco cigarettes sexy enough to ditch his eCigarettes? Not a chance.

So it all comes down to perception. And the perception here is wrong. Using tobacco, in any form, is not even closely related to vaping, it only appears that way. The perception is out of whack.

 Here’s why

Every person that thinks that I did something really stupid by taking up vaping is a coffee drinker. Some are heavy coffee drinkers. You know, the ones that have a “fresh pot” going all the time, night and day. None of my friends have strict diets, and all of them have been known to kick back with beer and pizza. They don’t have the healthy lifestyle they think they do. So hammering me over the fact that I enjoy eCigarettes is a bit confusing. In any case, I thought it might be a good idea to write about some concerns I have about what I think is ‘overreaching’ by others when they interfere with our right to enjoy the eCigarette.

Dangerous? The Truth About Nicotine And eCigs

Nicotine has been scientifically evaluated and found to be no more harmful than caffeine, unless you’re pregnant. Both caffeine and nicotine are addictive, yes, but nicotine has been found to be an effective treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. (

In addition, nicotine is created naturally in the body, and is found in certain plants and vegetables. My point is nicotine is not a synthetic poison, that it has a bad rap that comes from being a primary agent in cigarettes and cigars and other forms of tobacco. Nicotine causes you to feel less stress, less anxiety, and, in my case at least, suppresses my appetite. I’ve lost 25 pounds since taking up vaping, not enough (yet) but it’s a start. A don’t want to guide this piece into the benefits of nicotine, but there ARE benefits.

The Truth (so far) about eCigarettes

There seems to be a panic in some people about the sudden attention to eCigarettes this year. Many people and many companies are responsible for this uptick in attention and sales, (Spinfuel has played a part in this by calling 2012 the “Year of the eCigarette” back in January, and determining that eCigs would hit “critical mass” in 2012. We were right on both). This panic is so fraught with false information, AstroTurf Protesting by militant anti-smoking organizations, and both private citizens and organized government, and just plain old wrong-headed types that are always against change or against things they don’t like.

Most of all the attacks on the eCigarettes come from people in power, from small town selectmen and mayors, governors, and senators and congressman (both local and federal), who believe they know better than you do about what is good for you and what is bad for you. They want to make sure you’re living right (what they think is right), even if it strips you of any decision in your own affairs. In other words; the Nanny-State. It’s here folks, and if we allow it to continue it’s going to get worse.

Just look at Mayor Bloomberg and his ‘large sugared soft drinks’ ban and his audacious hypocrite bullshit in which, just this morning, he stands along side of a Dunkin Donuts to name today “Donut Day” or some such crap. Check out this news report; . I call this unmitigated gall. Of course Bloomberg sees nothing wrong here. This guy is the perfect example of a true socialist in a progressive-republican disguise. Personally, Bloomberg’s actions to take away personal freedoms in the name of “we know best” disgusts me

Even in Australia

Australia, the entire country mind you, has banned the sale of eCigarettes; (by the way, the opinion of Nick Broughall is spot on). This remark by Health Minister Nicola Roxon, “This looks like another insidious, manipulative attempt to hook people on smoking,” drives me batshit crazy.

Since when is this crap the business of ANY government? And what happened to Australia being “Americans on Steroids” country (meaning that Australians are to epitome of tough, freedom-loving people that wouldn’t think of allowing anyone to tell them what to do.) We Americans, dating back to the 70’s and 80’s, wouldn’t stand for such interference in our lives that we live with today.

Back In the USA

All these towns, cities, states, as well as the feds, attempting to put bans on eCigarettes while allowing the sale of REAL cigarettes to continue unabated is just mindboggling. On the one hand you have these attempts to take control away from you because they know better than you, and on the other hand you have these same politicians depending on tax revenues that tobacco users send to the government. Only a true polictian can balance these two diametrically opposing views at the same time and not even realize they’re doing it.

Yesterday two very important scientists at the “American Council On Science And Health”, Dr Elizabeth Whelan and Gilbert Ross published an open letter to the FDA urging the FDA to reverse its stance on eCigarettes. The information contained therein is timely, truthful, and reasonable. Read it here,

Despite the serious lack of evidence that vaping is harmful the bans continue and people that choose to vape are directly affected.

An Unspoken Truth

There are people like myself, a lot of them, that “vape” because we enjoy it. Many, if not most, people that use eCigarettes have no intention of quitting unless the governments’ are able to tax the hell out of them so that they cost the same as real cigarettes. I originally quit smoking because of the taxes on them and if eCigarettes are taxed the same way I’ll stop vaping as well, or find a way to launch an underground ‘vaping communtiy’ much like the speakeasys back during the prohibition days.

I’m not at all concerned about nicotine because nicotine is no worse than caffeine. I’m not the only ex-smoker with more than a few years between vaping and their last cigarette who have taken up vaping because they; A) We missed the pleasures of smoking, and B) We missed the pleasures of smoking…

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About The Author

Team Spinfuel is a group of passionate vapers that bring you honest, in-depth reviews and commentary on products, services, and the legal and political ramifications on vaping and ecigarettes. Julia Hartely-Barnes, Tom McBride, Jason Little, Tony Brittan, Nick Bessette and Keira Hartley-Barnes make up the editorial team (video and written) , along with John Manzione, our Publisher, and talented contributors like Mark Benson. Email any of the writers at admin AT, or just ask for their email address.

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  1. reddhott

    i vape and do not smoke. alot of people think its no different where i live. they say u r just trading one bad habit for another!
    but i breathe better now {unlike}some of them!
    people can be hard headed when it comes to analogs!

  2. Mike Watkins

    I vape I don’t smoke…unfortunately perception usually rules the day…I shall continue to vape regardless of how people view me because I know the truth and will not risk my life smoking traditional cigarettes anymore. I also found that after vaping for some time that I didn’t want anything that looked like a cigarette in my mouth or hand…people look at me funny but I just tell them it’s my inhaler..LOL.
    Mike aka Kittykrazee ECF

  3. William Skrocki

    Smoking and vaping are distinctly different.

    Smoking is inhaling tobacco which is known to cause cancer via its 4000+ carcinogens. Tobacco companies add arsenic and many ingredients to “enhance” its addictiveness as well. Tar builds up on the lungs and continued tobacco use affects every vital organ of the body.

    Vaping is inhaling water vapor. No tar is built up inside the body. Very few carcinogens (if any) are present. End user can choose whether to include any nicotine. Propylene glycol + USP food grade Vegetable Glycerin (PG + VG) are present but neither cause cancer or damage to internal organs.

    – NYvapin

  4. Diane

    I vape. I do not smoke. One of the commenters is correct, new vapers, such as myself, *want* that similar experience, we want our e-cig to look and feel just like our analogs did. To some, as with myself, it helps with the transition all the way down to the orange LED light.

    To that end, perhaps we need to carry ID cards, I’m saying this half jokingly. If somebody questions our “smoking”, we whip out our Vaping ID card that states what an e-cig, PV or APV is, how is works, what the basic ingredients of the juice is, what the white cloud is that we are exhaling. Ridiculous, you bet.

    But consider what people see, what they perceive, they see smoke, so their brains will automatically tell them they smell smoke as well. True?

    The general public just doesn’t know what vaping is. If they’ve heard of e-cigs, they think they are just geek devices. Is is because they are not FDA regulated that they cannot be advertised on anything other than the internet? That information I’m not sure of.

    I am now using Ego Twists. I use them in public, never been questioned yet. But what if I am? What do I say? We, in the vaping community should have a down pat speech on what to say. What would that be? I’m not smoking, I’m vaping. What’s the difference? What’s the easiest way to say it?

    Again, we could whip out our Vaping ID cards, pass them out. If vaping were to become more public, we wouldn’t have to constantly defend ourselves and I do believe more smokers may switch.

    I do know that I converted one person for sure. I showed him my Safe Cig that I stared out with several months ago. A couple of weeks ago, he came up to me to tell me he’s been seven weeks smoke free with Blu and he even just quite using them, too. Yay, I saved one person. But maybe he’ll tell one person who’ll tell one person and on and on. Another person asked me about them so she could get her daughter to quit. Might be two I saved. Seems to be the only way we can pass on the information. But I blather on.

    I vape. I do not smoke. Here’s my sign (my OVID, Official Vaping Identification Card)

  5. Rip Washington

    Another excellent blog. With all due respect, though, you missed one essential point that shows up time and again…

    …a lot of newbies want a device that looks and tastes like a real cigarette.

    This is typically the first stage of vaping. E-cig manufacturers know this and will produce devices specifically to satisfy that particular market, regardless of whatever misperception or inconvenience these cig-alikes may cause.

  6. Ron Rushley

    I agree with you 100%!

    Never quite thought about making it somewhat obvious that that your personal vaping device just does not look like an actual cigarette. Good on you!

    While I do on occasion use little 510 “stick” batteries for a stealth vape, mine are black with a blue LED on the end by the way!

    But the other 99% of the time (and yes in public as well) I use a stainless steel Epower 14650 APV with a Kanger T-2 (stainless steel(?)with a clear tube/tank. This is not an advertisement for the product, just making a statement that it cannot possibly be confused with an actual cigarette as it looks more like some kind of lab device.

    As far as the “zealots” are concerned, we can just write them off as their opinions are set in concrete.

    Granted their hearts may be in the right place (and sometimes I even wonder about that)they will never, never consider the option that E-Cig’s and vaping offer smokers a much healthier and viable option that will allow them to quit smoking (30+ years in my case and God knows that I have tried the patch, gum and drugs with no success only expensive misery) with its very well known health risk as well as “second hand smoke” with is pretty much a non issue with “second hand vape”.

    And let us not forget what I call “third hand damage” from cigarettes and cigars. Little things like house and forest fires. Not to mention the lovely little burns in clothing, carpets and furniture as well as car seats (and having yourself, home and car smell like an ashtray!

    Thank you so very, very much for bringing up such a valid idea and I hope it catches on!

    With much respect!

    Ron J. Rushley
    AKA “unclerj” on ECA forums.


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