Adult smokers today have the option of exploring different experiences than smoking cigarettes. If you are an adult smoker who would otherwise continue to smoke or use other nicotine products, curious about alternatives to smoking, and looking to make a switch to a different sort of product, here’s the information for you.
What are the different options for smoking alternatives?
There are two main groups of smoking alternatives: heated tobacco, or “heat-not-burn” products, and e-cigarettes.
Heated Tobacco Products as a Smoking Alternative
Heated tobacco, or “heat-not-burn” devices are smoke-free alternatives. Heated tobacco devices utilize real tobacco that is specially processed, and formed into sticks. The tobacco sticks are then inserted into the device, where innovative technologies heat the tobacco to specific temperatures, but never high enough to cause the tobacco to burn. As with e-cigarettes, there is also no smoke produced with heated tobacco. Some heat-not-burn devices utilize an external heating source, meaning the tobacco stick is heated all the way around, from the outside. In this instance, the tobacco is not heated first; rather, the paper around the tobacco stick is heated first. This may impact the taste. Other heat-not-burn devices, such as IQOS, contain a ceramic blade with gold and platinum. A HEETS tobacco stick is inserted directly onto the blade, and the blade heats the tobacco directly from the core. This allows the tobacco to be heated first, before the paper, which delivers a consistent taste & experience.
E-Cigarettes are an Alternative to Smoking
E-cigarettes are another kind of smoking alternative, but it does not utilize real tobacco. They are electronic products that heat and vaporize e-liquids instead, in a wide range of temperatures, from 100 degrees C to 250 degrees C. Most utilize a system called “wick & coil”, where the wick draws the e-liquid, which contains flavors and nicotine, onto a coil element to heat it and create a vapor. The vapor is drawn from the device through a mouthpiece. There is no smoke.
E-cigarettes are also sometimes called “vapes” or “vaping systems”. Some of these have an open tank system that is fully customizable. Other e-cigarettes have closed vaping systems, where they are either single-use, rechargeable, or contain cartridges.
How are smoke-free alternatives different than smoking cigarettes?
The main difference between alternatives like e-cigarettes or heated tobacco and smoking cigarettes lies in exactly what makes the alternatives “smoke-free”: it is due to a lack of combustion – or burning of the tobacco.
Cigarettes must be lit to be smoked, and lighting a cigarette causes combustion. The lit end of cigarettes can reach temperatures around and above 600 degrees C, causing the tobacco to burn, and it is known that the majority of harmful chemicals in cigarette smoke comes from this combustion.
On the other hand, smoke-free alternatives like e-cigarettes and heated tobacco eliminate combustion all together. With e-cigarettes, there is no tobacco involved, and therefore, no burning. With heated tobacco products, the tobacco sticks used in these devices are heated to specific temperatures without burning it. For example, IQOS heats tobacco to temperatures below 350 degrees C. As a result, no smoke is produced, only a tobacco vapor. With the burning removed, IQOS emits 95% less harmful chemicals compared to cigarettes.* However, it does not necessarily equal a 95% reduction in risk. IQOS is not risk-free.
The elimination of combustion in smoke-free alternatives also come with other benefits – IQOS produces no ash, and does not produce smoke. Without a lit end, IQOS has no risk of burning others around you, clothes, or furniture. Specifically, with IQOS, adult smokers are still able to experience real tobacco, and get real tobacco taste, just with all the added benefits of a smoke-free alternative.
For adult smokers looking for other types of tobacco experiences, IQOS is a better choice than continued smoking. Important information: IQOS is not risk-free.
* ”95% less” represents the average reductions in levels of a range of harmful chemicals (excluding nicotine) compared to the smoke of a reference cigarette (3R4F). See Important Information.