Hookah Vape and E-cig

The Hookah, Vape, E-cig Shootout

All millennial’s and Gen-Zs must by now be familiar with hookah bars and lounges. They must have first or second-hand experience of Vaping e-liquids or tried out e-cigs, at least socially. All of the above activities enjoy great popularity with the younger section of the western populace. Still, there are fundamental differences between the three. So, let’s begin by examining what the three (Hookah, Vape and E-cig) mean exactly — starting with the hookah:


A hookah is a form of water pipe. In this particular form of tobacco consumption, the substance burns in a small bowl before passing through a water chamber and ultimately inhaled through a rubber hose leading to a mouthpiece.

Hookah vs e-cig vs vaping
Photo by Viktor Forgacs, courtesy of Unsplash


International authorities consider e-cigs, the popular name for e(electronic)-cigarettes, to be a type of electronic nicotine delivery system. Basically, they are battery-powered and provide vapour (not smoke) infused with nicotine in various flavours. The battery works to power the heating element, which transforms the liquid nicotine into vapour. The typically disposable cartridges contain the liquid. The vapour coming out, as a result, is akin to smoke but without odour and is finally inhaled.


Vaping works like e-cigs, and in fact, e-cigs are often considered to be vaping devices. They differ significantly from hookahs; a vaping device is used to heat vape juice or the e-liquid through a coil. The consumption manner of the said vapour is the same as e-cigs. The different forms of vaping devices are differently named and include:

  • Vape pen
  • E-pen
  • E-hookah
  • Mech mod
  • Box mod

Let us now examine the three types (Hookah, Vape and E-cig) of smoking contraptions mentioned in the article from the point of view of the experience they provide, the health implications, and the costs.

The Experience Provided Perspective

In the modern context, hookah is a social enjoyment. People consume it with friends and a bit more rarely with their family. It is geared to be consumed in groups than as individuals. With a lot of hookah bars and lounges, it is a session of smoking that tobacco enthusiasts enjoy together. Accordingly, several trade shows and conventions host many shisha and hookah manufacturers who make new flavours and other hookah products available for the general public. The hookah has a long and checkered usage history throughout the world. It is an integral part of social culture in different locations and brings people together on one particular level.

The ease of use is one of the primary characteristics of e-cigs. Like traditional cigarette smoke, it includes nicotine, but you inhale it as vapour rather than smoke. Water and flavoured tobacco are the liquid that transforms into vapour. As a result, e-cig smoke can have all sorts of flavours, and each has a distinct taste. All this makes e-cigs a great alternative to traditional cigarette smoking.

Vape Vs Hookah Vs E-cig
Photo by VapeClubMY, Courtesy of Unsplash

Finally, vape juice is the term tobacco enthusiasts use to refer to the liquid inhaled through vaping devices. Now, it packs a bigger punch than traditional cigarettes in terms of the kick they deliver. You can pair it with even a simple weed pipe and get a sound smoking experience from the same. However, beginners need direction as smoking vape can make people feel intoxicated relatively quickly if you smoke the vigorous vape juice varieties. So, you should start with a vape juice that comes with low nicotine concentration levels for mellow highs.

The Health Perspective

There is a perception among particular tobacco enthusiasts that hookah is better than traditional cigarette smoking through the filtration of smoke by water. But it is a misconception as hookah smoke is teeming with nicotine content. Nicotine is notorious among medical circles for its high toxicity. That said, like cigarette smoke, hookah smoke also has profuse amounts of the addictive drug, besides many other harmful chemicals. In addition, like cigarette smoke, the lungs take a hit when you inhale hookah smoke. Some studies further suggest, and experts opine that hookah might actually be more dangerous because of the extended periods involved.

The internationally recognized American organization NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse), there is insufficient evidence to say anything about the health risks of e-cigs simply due to inadequate information. However, there are suggestions that e-cigs too are not entirely safe, as evident from the findings of many studies. For example, according to two studies, the publication Science News reported that e-cigs can decrease human immunity, making them vulnerable to diseases like flu.

E-cig Vs Hookah Vs Vape
Photo by Jannis Brandt, Courtesy of Unsplash

A 2016 study indicates that the practice of vaping may lead to greater vulnerability to infections of the lungs. However, like e-cigs, which are a form of vaping, there is insufficient evidence to say anything conclusively. This is primarily due to the recent origins of the methods involved. But the general opinion among experts is that it is still safer than traditional cigarettes.

The Respective Costs of Hookah, Vape and E-cig

A single session of hookah smoking can set you back by approx. $10 for one person. The cost for a smoking experience shared by three people, on the other hand, comes down to about $15. Some hookah lounges provide a different hookah shisha and offer more excellent value for money.

E-cigs intended for one-time use are not really expensive, and these disposable varieties will cost you around $1 to $15. A person can recharge plenty of starter kits featuring several pods, each setting you back by anything from $26 to $150 and upwards. You can use such kits several times through liquid refills that come at the cost of $50 to $75 for a month’s supply.

People planning to switch to vaping from cigarette smoking might wonder which will cost them less. According to particular figures, using vape to get your nicotine jinx might save you as much as 92 percent of your hard-earned money. However, don’t take the figure as a hard and fast rule as many factors can potentially affect such an estimate. And as the last word, under certain circumstances vaping may actually cost you more than traditional cigarettes.