Vaping vs. Nicotine Free Smoke: What's the Difference?

You’ve decided to take the steps towards a nicotine-free lifestyle and pull away from tobacco use. In a search for alternatives, you’ve come across options for vapes, and nicotine-free smokes

While they play very similar roles in relieving your cravings, they come with their own risks and benefits. 


Both forms of smoking are focused on the idea of quitting addiction, i.e. quitting nicotine products. 

Just like most forms of addiction, nicotine releases a chemical known as dopamine within the brain. Dopamine is naturally released as you go throughout your day and is what triggers your happy or satisfied feelings -- it’s your body’s reward system. 

Imagine you wake up from a long night's sleep and you feel amazing, that’s dopamine. Your favorite song comes on, and you’re really feeling it, more dopamine is released. Eat your favorite food and get that feeling like the world doesn’t matter because you're in the moment -- you guessed it, a mass of dopamine. 

While dopamine is amazing, addictive chemicals such as nicotine release excess dopamine, which makes you “feel good.” Of course, your body wants more, and you begin craving it. If you allow your body to have more, time will create a chemical dependency, i.e. a physical “need” for it. 

What truly makes these addictive chemicals terrible is what comes along with them. If the health issues associated with nicotine itself weren’t bad enough, the amonia, lead, and other chemicals released within tobacco have major negative effects on the body. 

Smoking Alternatives

With both vaping and nicotine-free smokes, the primary goals are safe alternatives to tobacco and other forms of smoking, which can be used as a tool to pull yourself from addiction. 

The idea is that if you were to crave smoking a cigarette, smoking alternatives provide a less harmful option that isn’t packed with nicotine. This means you can pull yourself away from nicotine, either all at once or over time, without having to fight your other urges as well such as the actual ritual of smoking a cig or being tempted not to smoke among your group of smoker friends. 

When attempting to quit nicotine, your body will go through withdrawals and mood swings commonly lasting 2 weeks. During this time, you may be depressed, short tempered, or a mix of emotions


Vaping is the action of passing a liquid or wet substance over a hot coil, which vaporizes it and allows you to inhale it directly to your lungs. 

Vaping is an ideal solution for using certain substances such as CBD due to the lack of thermal destruction. 

Thermal destruction occurs when CBD is overheated, and instead of turning into a vapor, is burnt. At 356 degrees Fahrenheit, CBD boils and becomes a vapor, but the cherry on a cigarette burns at nearly 900 degrees Fahrenheit

Vaping more closely controls these applied temperatures as you adjust the heat or power level to match your oil. 

Another of the primary advantages to vaping is the instant delivery, and the availability of “just one hit.” When smoking a cigarette, usually you try to finish what you’re smoking completely. Even if you’ve had enough, you’re still encouraged to finish it, because you don’t want to waste a cigarette.

Vaping allows you to take just one or two pulls without any obligation to keep smoking. This can reduce the overall use, or the feeling to continue using, but can unfortunately also be abused as a means of constant nicotine intake anytime, anywhere.

Vape Juices

When looking to purchase a vape, or just the juice, you really get what you pay for.

All vape products start with base oils, i.e. the primary vape-friendly liquid being used. In many cases this is a form of vegetable oil. Next, various flavors are added -- vape juices are notorious for their never-ending range of flavors. 

Now that you have a flavored juice, what would you like to add? 

You purchase a juice without any additives, just the oil and flavors. The oil can be used this way, and is a wonderful smoking alternative to help you quit smoking. Nicotine and CBD could also be added to this oil to create nicotine/CBD vaping juices. 

Pre-mixed vape juices are often found with varying levels of nicotine. 

Nicotine is an addictive chemical, and you should be trying to reduce the overall nicotine use. Over using nicotine will only push you towards further addiction, while waiting too long to dose may leave you craving or wanting a cigarette. 

Vape Pens 

When considering a more cost effective vape with a built in battery that can be picked up at gas stations and stores, vape pens are the simple solution. 

Vape pens come pre-filled with a certain juice, meaning you are restricted to that option only until you’re done with that pen. Vape pens are often not controllable in terms of heat as well, meaning you rely on the company to set a correct and accurate temperature. 

Once the pen is empty, they are often thrown away. 

Cartridge Pens

In an effort to reduce waste, companies have allowed the battery to continue life with a new cartridge. 

These pens remain cheap with the option of changing out vape juice cartridges. While this creates an option of flavors and potencies, you are limited by the manufacturers or cartridges that fit your individual pen. 

Vape Mods 

Although they may cost a bit more, the advantages and control of a vape mod could change your smoking experience. 

Mods are a controllable battery pack which are connected to a series of coils. Vape juices can be bought in refill bottles, and a small tank is filled. Once you hit the button and begin pulling, small amounts of the juice are released over a heated coil. 

The temperatures of your coils are often highly adjustable, allowing you to reach temperatures just above the boiling point. Since CBD boils at 356 degrees, you would set your vape at 370-400 degrees to release the CBD, but not destroy it. 

Using vape mods also allows slight changes in nicotine levels. Vape juices can be bought in a range of potencies, allowing you to slowly reduce over time and pull yourself away from the addiction. 

It’s important to keep in mind the risks of nicotine vape addiction. You now have a source of nicotine available at your fingertips. It’s important to be working yourself away from the substance. 

Nicotine-Free Smokes 

When you want the feel and action of smoking a cigarette without the harmful and addictive nicotine chemicals, nicotine-free smokes are the best choice for you. 

Most nicotine-free cigarettes are either hemp or herbal.

Hemp cigarettes are rolled and filtered to look and feel like a normal cigarette, yet they are packed with hemp flower, a derivative of cannabis with less than .3% THC. This means you won’t be getting high from this form of cannabis, but you will get away from nicotine while still enjoying the relaxing (non-psychoactive) effects of CBD.

Herbal cigarettes refer to a wide range of herbs being used in place, or as a blend with, tobacco. Although there is a wide range of support around hemp cigarettes, herbal cigarettes are far less tested, and have shown no evidence of “safety” compared to tobacco. 


While restrictions are in place on THC levels within hemp growth, farmers are open to growing plants packed with various levels of CBD.

CBD is a non-addictive compound found in cannabis which is known for its growing list of health benefits. CBD does not get you high in any way, and use is completely legalized within the U.S. 

When purchasing hemp-based nicotine-free smokes, come on down to Oklahoma Smokes. Understanding what CBD could do for you, you can choose CBD hemp as the resource you need to quit nicotine without quitting smoking just yet.

Adding Nicotine 

With hemp cigarettes, you may still feel the need for nicotine use to relieve the withdrawals. While using hemp cigarettes to relieve the ritualistic needs, you can use nicotine patches as a form of chemical relief. 

Nicotine patches are attached to the skin, commonly on an arm or leg out of sight. Throughout the day, certain levels of nicotine are released. This gives you relief throughout the day, which could help reduce the craving feeling. 

Which is Right For You?

When choosing which smoking alternative will be right for you, it’s important to look at your habits and determine which method will help you push through the withdrawals. 

If the idea of still enjoying the experience of having a cigarette and being able to still take smoke breaks as normal is important to you, hemp smokes create the feel of a cigarette without the addictive nicotine. 

If the idea of more randomized micro-doses the moment you need them will help you push through your addiction, vaping becomes a great resource. This is for on the go use when you need it, but does create the risk of being too available, which could end up in just as much if not more nicotine use than where you started.

Knowing the risks and benefits of using smoking alternatives, you’ll be able to make choices that best fit your path to becoming tobacco free. Good luck!


Less Harmful Constituents When Heating a Cigarette at a Lower Temperature | University of Twente

What is the Farm Bill? | Sustainable Agriculture 

What Do Different Vape Temperatures Mean for Cannabinoids and Terpenes? | Sira Naturals 

Nicotine patches | Quit