Is vaping safer than smoking?
How is vaping different from smoking cigarettes?
Cigarettes contain tobacco and deliver nicotine by burning the tobacco and inhaling smoke. Smoking tobacco causes many serious diseases.
E-cigarettes and vapes deliver nicotine by heating a liquid to create a vapour without combustion which the user then inhales reducing the formation and exposure to many of the harmful components found in smoke. Vaping is a less harmful smoke-free alternative to smoking, though not completely risk-free.
It’s important to remember that if you don’t already smoke cigarettes, you shouldn’t start vaping.
Do cigarettes and vapes both contain nicotine?
All tobacco cigarettes contain nicotine, but not all vapes. Cigarettes are made from tobacco which, is a natural source of nicotine. When a cigarette is lit, it burns the tobacco and the smoke carries the nicotine to the user when it is inhaled.
Some vaping liquids do not contain nicotine and need to be added the e-liquid. Others are sold with nicotine pre-mixed into the liquids. Both are used with a vape but expose the user to vastly fewer HPHCs (Harmful and Potentially Harmful Constituents) and at significantly lower levels than smoking a cigarette.
Vape and e-cigarettes vapourise the e-liquid through heat exposure in a process similar to boiling water which makes steam.
Most vapes achieve this by heating a coil wrapped around a moistened “wick” to heat the e-liquid turning it into an aerosol or vapour. When heated the wick draws more liquid from the reserve to re-supply and saturate the wick.
Unlike wick and coil vaping devices, IQOS MESH uses a MESH heater that is in constant contact with the e-liquid for a consistent vaping experience. The MESH heater applies the e-liquid directly to the heating element which avoids the burnt taste some vapers experience with other wick and coil devices. This burnt taste occurs when the wick doesn’t saturate faster than the coil is vaporising the liquid which leads to the cotton in the wick overheating and tasting burnt.
What are the heath impacts of vaping compared to smoking?
Tobacco in a cigarette burns at temperatures in excess of 600° C, generating smoke that contains high levels of harmful chemicals which cause smoking-related illnesses.
Vaping reduces the number of harmful chemicals significantly when compared to smoking a cigarette by heating the e-liquid to a lower temperature than when many of these harmful chemicals start to form. By reducing the temperature through heating rather than burning creates a less harmful alternative to smoking, but is not completely risk-free.
There is now scientific agreement that the toxic and carcinogenic effects of cigarette smoke are caused by HPHCs and not by nicotine.
For a smoke-free product to be successful in reducing harm, the product must present less risk – compared with continued smoking – and be an acceptable alternative for current adult smokers so that they fully switch.
In addition to taste, and other sensory aspects, a nicotine uptake comparable to cigarettes is important in achieving acceptance by adult smokers.
How is IQOS heated tobacco technology different from smoking and vaping?
IQOS heated tobacco or heat-not-burn products contain real tobacco. To release the nicotine, the tobacco is heated to a temperature no higher than 350˚ C creating an inhalable vapour.
By controlling the heating temperature, the tobacco cannot burn or produce smoke. By avoiding burning we can reduce the levels of harmful toxins by up to 95 per cent on average compared to when smoking a cigarette*. Like vapes or e-cigarettes, by heating the tobacco to a much lower temperature than a cigarette to create a flavoured vapour the number and levels of HPHCs are significantly reduced when compared to smoking**.
*Important information: It does not necessarily equal a 95% reduction in risk. IQOS is not risk-free. Average reductions in levels of a broad range of harmful chemicals (excluding nicotine) compared to the smoke of a reference cigarette (3R4F).
**Using IQOS is not risk-free.