Apr 22 , 2021
Hookah and vape are neither identical nor similar. While both types of devices are used for smoking and vaporizing or vaping respectively, they are vastly different in form, function, user experience, and other factors. Let us first elaborate what a hookah and a vape or vaping device are, and then we shall draw the distinctions.
Hookah is a Water Pipe used to Smoke Shisha
Hookah, or water pipe, is a smoking device. It comprises several parts, all of which are integral to the setup. There are accessories too that can enhance the smoking experience. Hookahs are used to smoke shisha, or tobacco. This shisha tobacco is not the same as what you find in cigarettes or the types you may use in smoking pipes and with rolling papers. Shisha tobacco is moist, or wet sometimes, and it is usually flavored.
A hookah uses charcoals to generate heat. The charcoals heat the shisha tobacco in a bowl, thus generating smoke. The smoke naturally travels down a stem, also known as hookah pipe. The base, usually made of glass, contains water and the smoke is filtered through it. The filtered smoke is then drawn out through a hose.
What you inhale is filtered smoke generated by heating the shisha tobacco using convection. There is no combustion here. Unlike the tobacco in cigarettes or smoking pipes, shisha flavors are not burned to produce smoke.
Vape is an Electronic Device to Vaporize Liquids/Oils/Concentrates
Vape, also known as e-cigarette or e-cig, vape pen, and e-pen, among others, is an electronic device that heats a liquid, oil, or concentrate, to produce vapor. Vaping devices are at times referred to as e-hookah. This is a misnomer. The substance used in a vaping device is not shisha, or hookah tobacco.
A vaping device or e-cigarette is powered by a battery. There is a heating element connected to the battery. Once turned on, a vape pen heats the liquid, oil, or concentrate that is inside a cartridge, and produces vapor. A user draws this vapor out and inhales through the mouthpiece or tip.
A vaping device may look like a pen. It may also be a tad larger. Most vaping devices emulate the user experience of a cigarette. Just as one would light a cigarette, hold it in a hand and smoke, a vape pen can be turned on by pressing an ignition button and start vaporizing holding the device in their fingers.
Vaping devices are rarely as big and embellished as hookahs. Vapes do not need charcoals or shisha tobacco. The entire unit is a single piece. Some models are use & throw. Those that enable replacing the cartridge or atomizer are reusable.
Differences between Hookah and Vape Pen
- Hookah has many removable or detachable parts. All essential parts must be assembled before you can smoke. A vape pen or e-cig is an assembled electronic device. You do not need to dismantle it after using. Use & throw vape pens are an encased unit. The components cannot be removed or detached.
- Hookah is used to smoke shisha tobacco. Shisha tobacco comes in many flavors, contains tobacco leaves soaked and processed in honey, molasses, and glycerin. Vape cartridges or atomizers usually have e-liquids. A typical e-liquid contains propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, nicotine, and flavoring.
- Shisha tobacco used in a hookah contains nicotine. Dark leaf tobacco based shisha flavors have higher nicotine content than those using blonde leaf. Vape liquids or e-cig juices have varying nicotine strengths, usually in the range of 0mg up to 32mg. Users may opt for their preferred nicotine strength.
- Hookah is a more natural way to smoke. It involves charcoals, the shisha flavors contain extracts of fruits, flowers, spices and condiments, the water in the base serves as a natural filter, and the smoke is cooled down through it. Vaping devices use batteries, atomizers and cartridges, flavoring, and an electronic cooling mechanism for the vapor.
- Vaping is largely a personal activity. People don’t usually share vape pens with one another. A typical e-liquid or e-juice cartridge offers a limited number of puffs. These devices are meant for individual use. Hookahs are meant for simultaneous use by more than one person. Smoking a shisha is more of a social activity and one participates in it with family & friends.
Hookah has a long history spanning centuries and several regions around the world. E-cigarette, vape pen, e-pen, mech mod, box mod, or simply known as a vape, has been around for a few years now.