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Is smart contract code stored only once and then referenced?

With Cardanos upcoming launch of native tokens similar to ERC-20 it was pointed out that such transactions will be much cheaper on Cardano as the necessary contract code is supported by Cardano itself and does not has to be repeated. For instance Ethereum transactions for opening a vault for DeFI loans are quite costly. Why are those transactions so expensive? I’d think that the smart contract code could be stored in the blockchain and transactions that rely on it just reference to it with the specific parameters. Similar how it is done in regular programming. How is that solved in Cardano?
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THIS is community! Then there were 12... we're delighted to add one more surprise project to the #ProjectCatalyst tally! Congrats to @adosiawolf & huge kudos to @PooltoolI @RealSaidov and team for sharing the additional $ADA to fund the SPOCRA stake pool guild plan. True #Cardano community

We appreciate the Kudos! Kyles project was right below ours in the rankings and by giving up a small amount of our reward we were able to get one more entire project funded. Money well spent!We are ...