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The key vaping facts you need to know
The key vaping facts you need to know

The key vaping facts you need to know

The key vaping facts you need to know

Smoking cigarettes is bad for your health. We know it’s hardly a newsflash, but increasingly adult smokers in Aotearoa New Zealand are wanting to give up and find an alternative to help them become smoke-free. Thankfully, there are a number of options out there to help people make the switch from smoking. One of which is vaping.

Vaping with an e-cigarette is one of the most popular smoke-free alternatives for anyone looking to quit. You’ve probably seen people using e-cigarettes in the street, and can recognise the visible scented vapour exhaled instead of cigarette smoke. Alongside heated tobacco, vaping is recognised as a less harmful alternative used by people to transition away from smoking cigarettes.

So if you’re looking to become smoke-free, vaping is one of the options you might want to consider. But what exactly is vaping, and how is it different to smoking cigarettes? Let’s dive into the key vaping facts and take a look.

What is vaping?

Unlike smoking cigarettes or heated tobacco products, vaping doesn’t contain any tobacco. Instead, vaping uses a device to heat a liquid commonly called ‘e-juice’, which is inhaled as a vapour.

There are lots of different types of e-juice available, and you often have the choice as to how much nicotine you want. To start, let’s run through some of the main vape facts you’ll want to know if you’re considering getting a device. There are two types of e-cigarette available: open-tank and closed-tank.

The key difference is that open-tank e-cigarettes can be refilled, while closed-tank systems use pods already filled with e-juice. There are benefits and downsides to both, and it depends on the experience you’re looking for from your e-cigarette as to which one you choose. It’s important you understand the difference between the two if you’re thinking about starting. We’ve broken them down for you below.

What’s the difference between open-tank and closed-tank e-cigarettes?

Open-tank e-cigarettes

  • Users can refill the e-cigarette with e-juice themselves, giving them more control over how much they put in, the flavours used and how much nicotine they want.
  • Open-tank e-cigarettes can be customised, with the ability to mix-and-match certain parts.
  • Using open tank e-cigarettes can be complex – you’ll need to know how the different parts fit together.
  • You’ll need to replace the coil regularly. Replacing coils can be a bit fiddly but if you don’t do it often enough the vapour will start tasting burnt.
  • Open-tank e-cigarettes can be quite a bit bigger than closed-tank, due to the size of the batteries and other modifications.
  • Open-tank e-cigarettes are often more expensive than closed-tank.

Closed-tank e-cigarettes

  • They’re self-contained and easier to use. The consumable pods come pre-filled with different e-juice flavours and nicotine strengths.
  • Closed-tank e-cigarettes are normally smaller and less intrusive than open-tank systems.
  • Because they generally can’t be refilled, there’s a smaller range of flavour options available for closed-tank systems.
  • Although the size of closed-tank e-cigarettes can be a positive, it also means they are easier to lose.

How is vaping different to smoking cigarettes?

The most important difference is that vaping is much less harmful than smoking cigarettes.

Most of the health issues caused by smoking cigarettes occur due to the inhalation of smoke. When tobacco is burnt at temperatures upwards of 600 °C, over 6000 chemicals are produced, many of which are dangerous and can cause serious health problems like heart disease and lung cancer.

Instead of smoke, vaping heats the liquid and produces a vapour. This is free of most chemicals found in cigarette smoke, and any chemicals that are present are at much lower levels when compared to smoke.

However, it’s important to remember that vaping isn’t risk-free. E-cigarettes should only be used by people who would otherwise continue to smoke. Anyone who isn’t already a smoker shouldn’t start vaping. If you are concerned about your health, your best option is to quit using tobacco and nicotine altogether.

Other differences between smoking cigarettes and vaping include:

  • Vaping doesn’t have the same lingering smell as cigarettes.
  • It doesn’t have the same staining effect on people’s teeth.
  • It’s a cheaper alternative to smoking.

What does the science say on vaping?

Although it isn’t risk-free and shouldn’t be used by anyone who isn’t already a cigarette smoker, science tells us that the inhalation of a vapour instead of cigarette smoke reduces your exposure to dangerous chemicals.

A range of scientific studies, such as this 2016 report by the Royal College of Physicians in the UK, identified that vaping is much less harmful than continuing to smoke cigarettes. Similarly, Public Health England publishes an update every year on the risks to those who use e-cigarettes.

The science does however highlight the health impacts of vaping. While it exposes you to fewer chemicals than cigarette smoke, that doesn’t mean it is safe. It also often contains nicotine, which is addictive. Everyone’s circumstances are different but if you are interested in switching the best advice is to speak with your doctor. They’ll be able to help you work out if it’s the right option for you.

What does the Government say about vaping?

In line with what different studies have said, the New Zealand Government suggests smokers struggling to quit smoking might want to try smoke-free alternatives, such as vaping. But the government are also very clear - they believe non-smokers shouldn’t start vaping.

Information about vaping is available on the Health Promotion Agency’s Vaping Facts website.

Heated tobacco: an alternative to vaping

E-cigarettes are just one option for smokers interested in becoming smoke-free, but they aren’t for everybody. Another vaping alternative are heated tobacco products, such as IQOS Platform 1 Heated Tobacco Technology.

Heated tobacco still uses real tobacco, but rather than burn it, it heats the tobacco at a much lower temperature – up to 350°C. As a result, like e-cigarettes, it creates a vapour instead of smoke, producing up to 95% less harmful chemicals compared to a cigarette1.

For smokers who find vaping doesn’t suit them, there are benefits from switching to heated tobacco. These include:

  • Heated tobacco recreates a similar taste and sensation to smoking cigarettes, though it is far less harmful than continuing to smoke. Studies in the US and Japan showed that the satisfaction of those who switched to IQOS, for example, was similar to those who continued to smoke cigarettes2.
  • Heated tobacco produces up to 95% less harmful chemicals than cigarette smoke. While this doesn’t necessarily mean there’s 95% less risk, it does mean heated tobacco is a less harmful alternative than continuing to smoke cigarettes.
  • Heated tobacco products are a more convenient option. For example, they don’t produce any ash, and leave less of a lingering smell than cigarettes.
  • Due to the lack of smoke, heated tobacco has a less unpleasant aftertaste than cigarettes3, leaves peoples’ breath smelling better4, and results in less staining on teeth5 and fingers. It’s important to know however that if teeth are already stained by cigarette smoke, switching to IQOS will not reverse the colour of those stains. This benefit will only be noticeable if there aren’t any stains already on the teeth and a complete switch has been made from cigarettes to IQOS.
  • Heated tobacco has no negative impact on indoor air quality6.
  • Heated tobacco products are cheaper than cigarettes.
Similar to vaping, it’s important to know that heated tobacco isn’t risk-free, and should only be used by people who would otherwise continue to smoke. It shouldn’t be used by anyone who isn’t already smoking cigarettes, and not smoking or using nicotine at all is still the best option for your health.

So, there we have the lowdown on the main vaping and e-cigarette facts, as well as an introduction to heated tobacco. Both of these options can help you become smoke-free, with millions of other people having already made the switch.

If you’re keen to know more about heated tobacco technology and IQOS, have a look round the rest of our website or feel free to get in touch. We’re here to help you move on from cigarettes and make the positive change towards a smoke-free lifestyle.

To learn more about vaping and heated tobacco, check out the links below:

IQOS Heated Tobacco and Vaping Explained
Is vaping different to smoking cigarettes?
Vaping FAQ
What does heated tobacco mean?

1Important 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).

23 month clinical studies conducted in US and Japan with 160 adult smokers each under real conditions (ambulatory).

3Source: Online survey conducted by third-party research agencies in 2015, 2016 and 2017 among 3,344 IQOS users in Japan, Switzerland, Italy, Romania and Russia.

4Source: Online survey conducted by third-party research agencies in 2016 and 2017 among 3,157 IQOS users in Japan, Switzerland, Italy, Romania and Spain.

5Source: non-clinical laboratory study conducted in Switzerland, where human teeth and the most widely used dental composite exposed to IQOS aerosol for3 weeks showed significantly less staining compared to teeth exposed to the smoke of a standard reference cigarette (3R4F). Contrary to real world conditions, teeth were not exposed to others staining substances such as coffee, tea or wine, which may influence the results.

6Source: PMI study conducted under ISO standards simulating real-world scenarios and based on threshold limits established by existing air quality guidelines.

IQOS contains nicotine, which is a highly addictive substance. No sale to persons under the age of 18.