Are E-cigarettes and Vaping the Same Thing?

Are E-cigarettes and Vaping the Same Thing?

February 17, 2022

Vapes, e-cigarettes—you may have heard the terms used interchangeably, but is there a difference? 

Some vape users may be surprised to find out there is a difference between the two, one that is important to know. Indeed, these two products serve different purposes. 

These two forms of vaporising provide essentially the same result: both allow the user to inhale vaporised liquid. 

However, their operation suits different needs related to various design characteristics, functions, and flavour options.

Read on to find out more so that you can be sure you’re using the one that suits your needs most. 

What Is an E-cigarette?

E-cigarettes, or electronic cigarettes, are devices created specifically to replicate cigarette smoking. They usually are shaped and coloured to look like traditional cigarettes and come with fixed nicotine cartridges. E-cigarettes, most likely, will taste like tobacco.

You may find e-cigarettes in several forms. Traditional cigarette shapes are most common, but there are products available that replicate the experience of other kinds of smoking. Cigars, cigarillos, and even pipes in many shapes and sizes add to the versatility of e-cigarettes design.

What Is a Vape?

Most commonly, a vape is a broad classification for any device that allows you to inhale the liquid vapour, allowing for more options than an e-cigarette. Vapes can come in various forms but usually include a refillable cartridge that you can fill with a range of different flavours and varying nicotine levels.

Vapes are more versatile forms of vaporisers. The range of shapes and sizes is endless but can break down into a few different varieties:

  • Vape pens are long and cylindrical tube-shaped vaporisers.
  • Mods are often bigger, and early designs could be on the bulky end of the scale. 
  • Pod-based vapes have emerged as a new alternative to old-school vaporisers. These unique designs are popular for their easy-to-use cartridge replacement system and portability. Modern nicotine pods containing nicotine salts provide more effective and less irritable nicotine delivery to the user.

E-cigarettes vs. Vapes. What’s the Difference?

According to a national study, there are over 3.6 million vape users in the UK. The need for various options is clear. Many users seek different experiences, and the choices available meet a range of styles. 

Knowing the different aims of e-cigarettes and vapes becomes more apparent when looking at the separate technological functions and aims.


E-cigarettes and vapes may be very different, but both operate in very similar ways. Both emit a vapour from liquid heated by a battery-operated element known as an atomiser. 

Vapes contain replaceable liquid cartridges, or pods, sold separately and easily inserted or filled. With e-cigarettes, the cartridge is often permanently fixed to the atomiser, meaning they are not replaceable.


The most notable difference between the two is the aim of the device. E-cigarettes aim to recreate the feeling of smoking a traditional cigarette. Users who have switched to vaping may prefer this method. 

Vapes provide a different kind of experience. Users have more choice and versatility when choosing how thick their vapour is, what flavour, and what tobacco content it contains.


Users often choose between two primary function: replicate tobacco or provide alternative flavour types.

Considering the function of e-cigarettes, you will likely recognise the flavours as being traditional tobacco flavours. They might include varying levels of tobacco strength, mint or menthol. 

Vapes have a wide range of flavours that is constantly expanding. When selecting your flavour, you can choose between more traditional ones, like mint or mango, or specific food products and beverages. 


The battery is essential to your vaporiser as it directly controls the amount of vapour released. A vaporiser with a low battery or no battery will not operate effectively. It is important to see what kind of battery your vaporiser contains to understand the different uses of each device.

With a few exceptions, e-cigarettes are single-use and not rechargeable — when they run out, they are finished. Users may prefer this when looking for a limited vaping experience, but they will have to dispose of the device and purchase a new one each time. 

Vapes come with a removable battery, and a decent battery should last for 2-3 days before recharging. This battery style may serve users better who aim to use their vaporiser consistently. Rechargeable options are more cost-efficient and environmentally friendly.


While both vapes and e-cigarettes have many differences, there are many similarities. When it comes to which one is better, it comes down to preference. Users interested in a quick, nicotine-based experience may prefer an e-cigarette. However, for those seeking customisation, a vape has more options and flavours available.

RELX combines innovative design with top of the line technology to ensure a smooth vaping experience. With a wide range of flavour options to suit any preference, the RELX is bound to fit your needs.

Come have a look to see the design choices that make up our smooth performance standard!

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