Over the past few years, many alternative forms of smoking have popped up in the market alongside electronic cigarettes and e-juices. Knowing the difference between all of them can be difficult. One of the most frequently compared smoking alternatives are hookah and vaping. But are they actually that similar? Here’s a run-down of the key differences, and a look at which is the better alternative to cigarettes.
What is Hookah?
A hookah is basically a water pipe consisting of a head filled with moist tobacco, a central stem leading to a water bowl at the bottom, and a hose with a mouthpiece on the end. The moist tobacco on the head is heated by lighting some charcoal directly above it on a piece of foil with holes poked. The charcoal heats the tobacco without burning it, then the smoke is sucked through the water and out of the hose before the user inhales.
The type of tobacco used in hookah pipes is slightly different from normal tobacco used in cigarettes, as it’s moist and often contains molasses, vegetable glycerin and flavorings. This generally means that hookah smoke is less harsh to inhale than cigarette smoke.
Differences Between Hookah and Vaping
Although hookah and vaping are similar in the way that they are both better alternatives to smoking cigarettes and can be enjoyed in different flavors, there are many differences between the two methods of smoking. As we’ve previously mentioned, while one involves burning coals and moist tobacco, the other involves electric coils and no tobacco whatsoever. Of course, the appearance of the device is also quite different, one being small, compact and portable and the other a tall pipe with a bowl of water at the bottom.
Of all the difference between hookah and vaping, perhaps the biggest is the cultural difference of their uses. Vaping culture is primarily made up of former smokers or those who are trying to cut down on smoking cigarettes. It’s a personal hobby maintained to meet personal needs, and the portability of the e-cig makes it so that it can be enjoyed anywhere, anytime. On the other hand, hookah is much more of a social pastime that has little to do with quitting smoking. The hookah itself is designed to be enjoyed in a group, as it has multiple pipes attached. Smoking hookah isn’t about avoiding smoking or reducing the harm of addiction – it’s about using hookah for the flavors or the experience.
Vaping: A Better Alternative to Cigarettes AND Hookah
Now that we know the main differences between hookah and vaping, the question remains: which one is the safest option?
The “heat not burn” method used by hookahs means that there is the potential for it to reduce risks in comparison to smoking, but the reality of the hobby means that it still carries very significant risks. Combustion can still occur with hookah pipes, and if it does, then smoking hookah means inhaling combusted tobacco, just like when you smoke a cigarette.
Regardless of these factors, hookah smoke still contains carbon monoxide, several polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, heavy metals and other carcinogenic or toxic ingredients, and often in greater quantities than in cigarette smoke. The coals used to heat the tobacco in hookahs actually contribute to the levels of toxic chemicals found in hookah smoke. Although most hookah users don’t smoke daily in the same way as cigarette smokers, each smoke session involves inhaling a lot more smoke than cigarette smokers do. The absence of these factors in electronic cigarettes and e-liquids makes vaping a far healthier alternative to smoking not only cigarettes, but hookah as well.
Get Your Hookah Fix at Vape N Vapor
They may not contain a water bowl at the bottom, but e-cigs can be just as enjoyable as smoking hookah. Select from a variety of e-liquid flavors, choose the right mod based on your needs, and best of all, enjoy a healthier alternative to your favorite past time. Visit one of our many Dallas vape store locations today!