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Second-Hand Vapour vs Second-Hand Smoke – Throwback Thursday #16

There are many articles out there that explain how vaping is 95% healthier than smoking, but what about second-hand vapour? We all know second-hand cigarette smoke is just as bad if not worse than smoking, however is it the same with vapour? There is an obvious difference when each are exhaled, not just by how they look but how they smell. When each are exhaled though, do they contain the same nasty things? The short answer is no, they don’t. This blog is going to go into a bit more detail and hopefully clear the air on the differences between second-hand vapour and second-hand cigarette smoke.

The Difference Between Vapour and Cigarette Smoke

When a cigarette is burning, it is constantly creating smoke until it is put out. Vape devices only produce vapour when it’s in use. To get into the more nitty gritty differences it’s important to firstly understand the definitions of vapour and smoke:

Definition of Smoke Cig smoke for blog

Smoke is the result of combustion. When combustion occurs, new chemicals are formed through the process of oxidation. Smoke contains thousands of new chemicals that are different from the product that was initially burned. This isn’t just related to cigarettes, it’s any fire in general from a campfire to forgetting you left your dinner on the stove. At the end of the day fire is what creates smoke. When anyone smoke’s a cigarette, a fire must be involved to create smoke.

Definition of Vapour Vape Cloud for blog

When a substance becomes gaseous, at a temperature that is lower than its point of combustion, it is considered vapour. The chemicals that are in vapour are the same as those found in the vaporized substance. Meaning there is no chemical change, at all.


Second-hand Vapour

As no chemical change happens with vapour, it’s not the same as smoke. It doesn’t pollute the air with harmful toxins and other nasty chemicals. Various studies have been conducted sampling air quality during vaping finding it harmless. Still vapers are restricted to designated smoking areas in public and can’t vape in a car with children under 16. While harmless to people, second-hand vapour can damage electrical equipment such as laptops and computers. For more information on that, you can read up on it here.


Hopefully this has cleared the air on the differences between second-hand vapour and second-hand smoke. Each state has different laws on vaping in public, for more information you can find it here on the Australian Tobacco Harm Reduction website. For more information on a air sampling results, you can find it here on the Vaping Post website.

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