Difference Between Vapor and Smoke

Vapor and smoke are two different things, and this difference is also felt by someone who inhales the vapors of a product or when he smokes the product. Whether it is tobacco, marijuana, a herb or any other thing, there is a qualitative as well as a quantitative difference between the vapors and the smoke of the product. This is important to know for a person who smokes as no combustion is involved when he inhales the vapors. This article takes a closer look at smoke and vapor to find out their differences.


Smoke is produced when fire is lit to an object. When it comes to a cigarette, smoke is produced when the individual lights fire at one end and inhales the smoke through the other end. This smoke not only contains vapors of tobacco but many other chemicals, tar, and other additives that are used in making a cigarette. Whether you smoke or inhale the vapors, the most important thing is the content that is going inside your body. Smoke is a creation of fire. This means that you are not only inhaling the vapors of the product but also tar, other carcinogens, and of course the ash that is created with fire.


Vapor is analogous to steam. When you heat water in a pan over a gas stove, it boils at 100 degrees Celsius and gets converted into steam. These are the vapors of pure water. Like water, most substances give off vapors when heat is applied to them. This is the principle behind all the vaporizers that are available in the market. When you inhale vapors of a product, whether it is tobacco or marijuana, you are inhaling just the product and nothing else. There is no fire, and hence no ash. There are no other chemicals other than the product you are heating to inhale.

Vapor vs Smoke

• Vapors are pure and, therefore, healthier than smoke.

• There is no combustion in vapors.

• Vapors are more flavorful than smoke.

• There are additional contents in smoke that are harmful for health.

• Vapors have the same smell or odor as the substance whereas smoke has bad odors.

• Vapors contain ingredients of the plant material when it is heated. The oils inside the plant material convert into gaseous form.

• Smoke contains carbon mono oxide and carbon dioxide that are absent in vapor.

• The flame causing combustion destroys many of the oils of the plant material that is being smoked.

• The individual has greater control over the contents when he is inhaling vapors than when he is smoking.

• A smoker carries the smell of the tar and soot along with him, whereas vapors are thin and disperse quickly.