The benefits of switching from cigarettes to smoke-free alternatives
If you’ve heard about “smoke-free alternatives” but wondered what they are, you’re reading the right article. Smoke-free alternatives are products that do not burn tobacco like cigarettes and provide nicotine containing aerosol without smoke and ash.
Many adult smokers today explore smoke-free alternatives as an alternative to continued smoking. To understand why, it helps to consider why smoking is bad for you and what it means when switch to a smoke-free alternative and stop smoking.
Smoking involves lighting a cigarette on fire and letting it burn, which produces cigarette smoke and releases harmful chemicals. The high levels of harmful chemicals in the smoke of a burning cigarette are the primary cause of smoking-related disease. In general, smoke-free products should not burn tobacco or generate tobacco smoke and therefore have the potential to emit significantly fewer and lower levels of harmful and potentially harmful substances compared to cigarette smoke. The lack of combustion and the reduction in formation of harmful chemicals should be substantiated on a product-by-product basis. Smoke-free products are not risk free and provide nicotine which is addictive. One example of a smoke-free alternative is IQOS tobacco heating device.
What happens when you switch to smoke-free alternatives and stop smoking cigarettes?
Smoke-free alternatives are not equivalent to quitting tobacco and nicotine use altogether, so they are not cessation aids. Since these products still contain nicotine, they are addictive. If you are a smoker and have concerns around health, then the best option to reduce the health risks associated with the use of tobacco and nicotine products is to quit tobacco and nicotine use altogether. However, for those adults who would otherwise continue to smoke, switching completely to smoke-free alternatives could be a better choice than continuing to smoke cigarettes.
We’ve outlined the main differences you are likely to notice when moving away from cigarettes to smoke-free options below.
An alternative to continued smoking
Much of the harm from smoking comes from combustion, or burning. The high temperatures created by the process of burning (combusting) tobacco causes the production of the majority and high levels of harmful chemicals detected in cigarette smoke. The cigarette smoke contains thousands of different chemicals, including about a hundred of them which are considered harmful and the primary cause of smoking-related diseases.
There is no debate that smoking is harmful or that nicotine is addictive. Unlike cigarettes that burn tobacco, smoke-free alternatives in general do not rely on combustion. By eliminating this, and therefore the smoke, the levels of harmful and potentially harmful chemicals can be dramatically reduced, limiting exposure to some of the primary causes of smoking-related diseases. Of course, it is a matter of scientific assessment of each particular smoke-free product to see if this is actually the case.
You will have a wide range of tastes and flavors to choose from
Smoke-free alternatives come in a wide assortment of different flavors, ensuring that there is something to suit every taste preference. With heated tobacco, there is a broad range of flavor options available too.
For example, HEETS tobacco sticks for IQOS offer a range of tobacco blends that can cater to every palette. From the rich and warm, to the mild and zesty, there is a HEETS flavor for every adult smoker.
You will not impact those around you with smoke
As their name implies, smoke-free alternatives do not generate smoke. Alternatives like heating tobacco and vaping emit an aerosol, which may look like smoke to the untrained eye, but it is not at all the smoke emitted when a cigarette burns. As a result, there is no ash created and in general less smell than cigarettes. Those close to you will not inhale cigarette smoke, nor be subjected to ash and cigarette smoke smell on their hair, hands or clothes.
For example, IQOS has no negative impact on indoor air quality.1
Which smoke-free alternatives are available for adult smokers?
Tobacco heating devices
Tobacco heating devices heat specially designed “tobacco sticks”, usually made of real, pressed tobacco, to precise temperatures, to ensure that the tobacco can release its flavor without any burning. Preventing the tobacco from burning also prevents the creation of smoke, which contains many harmful and potentially harmful chemicals. This allows adult users to enjoy real tobacco satisfaction without exposure to smoke, ash, or cigarette lingering smell, although heated tobacco products are not risk free.
You can read more about these smoke free options in our article debunking myths around smoke free alternatives.
Why switch from cigarettes to smoke-free alternatives?
It’s simple: because it is an alternative to cigarettes for those adults who would otherwise continue smoking. While the best choice for all adult smokers is to quit tobacco and nicotine use altogether.
1 Source: PMI study conducted under ISO standards simulating real-world scenarios and based on threshold limits established by existing air quality guidelines.