Vapor Authority

Smoking And Vaping Are Two Very Different Things


Smoking and Vaping 

I vape. 

I do not smoke.

I have several friends that think I’m crazy. Sure, they 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 after all these years of being “smoke free”. I vape. I do not smoke. 

eCigarette Taxes is where the real battle will be foughtFor all the effort I have made to see that they understand that smoking is smoking, and vaping is vaping, they just don’t get it. All they can see is my inhaling something and exhaling something that looks a lot like smoke.

This problem, seeing vaping as just another form of smoking, lies at the heart of all these anti-smoking people (zealots) who are constantly attacking eCigarettes. They stretch the slightest ill-conceived “studies” no matter how flawed the data, and run with it as it were the gospel. The latest, a Greek study showing a “temporary” restriction in the lungs after vaping an eCigarette for 10 minutes shows just how far these people will go in their attempts at banning eCigs.

“You know, 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. However, if we are ever to be left alone to vape in peace we are going to have to try and convince them.

At first glance it’s easy to look at someone vaping and immediately think that person is smoking, especially if they are vaping a white eCig with a glowing red tip. Vapor from an eCigarette is nearly identical to smoke, to the naked eye anyway, and as the Vaper brings the eCigarette up to his or her lips, inhales the vapor, and then exhales that vapor disguised to look as much like smoke as possible, its easy to understand why the ill-informed might think the person is smoking. I’ll admit it, it does look like smoking, but that’s as far as it goes.

Perhaps one move that can be made by vendors and vapers is to reassess their battery and cartomizer designs so that it is actually easier to identify an eCigarette rather than emulate the cigarette right down to its color and feel. The design of Apollo eCigsHalo Cigs and Blu Cigs, have the right idea; using black as the primary color, it helps those that might want to bitch you out for smoking realize that whatever the hell is in your mouth it is not a cigarette. For myself, I’ve taken to bringing my Johnson Creek Vea with me when I go out. As beautiful as I think this piece of hardware is there is no mistaking it as a cigarette. So far no one as ever bothered me while vaping the Vea as they have in the past when I went out in public with an eCigarette that looked a lot like a cigarette.

So what is “smoking” then?

A smoker is someone that burns tobacco, either in the form of a cigarette, or a cigar, or even a pipe and inhales the smoke. In order to get smoke you have to burn something, right? 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.

Consider; if you see someone in the process of using snuff, or chewing tobacco, you don’t consider him or her to be smoking, right? 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 to you 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? If it were currently possible to produce enough nicotine by using dried broccoli instead of tobacco plants I wonder if people would still consider eCigarettes a tobacco product? Of course they would.

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

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’ products without a fight, despite the fact the burning 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.

“You have the wrong idea” is a very common saying, it means that someone is likely to come to a wrong conclusion by deciding a matter on how they perceive it be, rather than what the reality is.

The wrong perception in the vaping community is widespread. If you agree with me that vaping has nothing to do with smoking, and that tobacco has very little to nothing to do with vaping, then we must find ways to convince the zealots. As long as they continue to make the connection visually they will always “get the wrong idea” about vaping.

I vape. I do not smoke.

John Manzione

PublisherSpinfuel eCig Magazine

Follow Us on Twitter: @SpinfuelDotCom and @Spinfuel_Julia

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.



  1. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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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