What is the difference between vaping and hookah usage?

What is the difference between vaping and hookah usage?

Smokers trying to quit are often overwhelmed by the numerous varieties of vaping devices and smoking cessation alternatives readily available online, in vape shops, and even in the local convenience store.  There are somewhat newfangled gadgets that include vape mods, electronic cigarettes, heat-not-burn technology, and juuls.   And then there are the more old-fashioned contraptions often associated with the marijuana community like bongs, pipes, and hookahs.

Which option is the best at helping smokers quit?  That depends of the smoker trying to quit.

To be clear, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not currently endorse any of the above-mentioned devices as being a safe or effective smoking cessation tool.  The FDA only endorses Big Pharma alternatives like nicotine-enhanced lozenges, gums and patches.  However, several research studies have already determined that switching to vaping has an approximate 30 percent or higher success rate in helping smokers quit. But what about hookah usage?

Related Article:  University of Louisville study shows 28% success rate of vaping to quit smoking

A hookah is essentially a water pipe that is filled with a moistened tobacco product, in most cases.  However, instead of lighting the tobacco on fire and inhaling the related tar- and chemical-laden smoke into their lungs, the user will simply heat the tobacco without burning it.  This is the same basic principle behind the iQOS systems that are currently in the news.  On the other hand, the e-liquids used in vaping are 100% tobacco-free.

Other differences between vaping and hookah usage

Even though hookah devices do not promote the inhaling of tobacco smoke, novices need to be very careful, especially in the beginning.  Even though hookah smoking isn’t supposed to involve the combustion of tobacco like that of conventional cigarettes, mistakes can sometime happen. 

Another big difference is in the associated flavors.  Whereas the e-liquids used in vaping come in all sorts of tasty blends that include fruity, spicy, sweet, sour, menthol, and tobacco flavors, hookah tobacco products tend to lack that diversity in selection.  Furthermore, the throat hit between vaping and hookah usage is dramatically different.  Hookahs tend to produce a throat hit that is significantly harsher than vaping. 

Another difference is in the related heating mechanisms.  Vaping devices rely on electric coils to heat the e-liquid.  Hookahs usually depend on a charcoal- and water-based heating methodology used in combination with the moistened tobacco.

Many newbies often mistakenly assume that hookahs involve a massive water pipe contraption with lots of protruding tubes and a large, water-filled, highly-nonportable, glass globe.  However, thanks to recent advancements in hookah technology in recent years, the market now offers something called an e-hookah that works very much like an e-cigarette.  The Imperial E-Hookah Pen is one such device.  Nevertheless, many brands of e-hookahs do not always contain nicotine.  Newbies should be careful and perform adequate research before purchasing.

Related Article:  Japan vows to make 2020 Olympics smoke-free while allowing IQOS, medical vaping

(Image courtesy of Shutterstock)

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author's and do not necessarily represent the viewpoints, policy or company position of Vapes.com, the rest of our staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

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