What Is The Difference Between An E-Cigarette And A Vape?

Whilst the two terms are often used interchangeably, e-cigarettes and vape supplies can in fact be very different, are designed with different purposes in mind and are mostly incompatible with each other.

The principle behind the two types of product is similar. They use a heating element to heat up a liquid into a vapour that you inhale, first invented in 2003 as an alternative to smoking that has evolved into an entire ecosystem of different products.

Here are the two main ways to vape and the difference between the two.


Electronic cigarettes are designed to resemble a traditional cigarette and provide a similar look and feel, designed explicitly as an alternative to smoking.

The earliest e-cigarettes were designed to resemble cigarettes as closely as possible, with some even having a light on the tip that glowed red when you inhaled.

The reason for this, and some particular elements of the design is to work as a technologically advanced way to help people stop smoking, with the NHS citing a clinical trial that found them to be twice as effective as patches or gum when combined with face-to-face support.


Often known simply as a vape, a vaporiser is a device that works similarly to an e-cigarette but is considerably larger, more versatile and aimed at former heavy smokers who are looking for an alternative.

Most vapes are designed to be modifiable, which feature a tank that can be refilled, a larger battery pack and the ability to use varying amounts of power to deliver particular amounts of vape and e-liquid.

For some people, this is about controlling the amount of nicotine they consume, but for others, it allows for particularly large plumes of vape smoke.

They also allow for a wide range of liquids or pods to be used.