As adult smokers in New Zealand look for a less harmful alternative, more smoke-free products have hit the market. Some myths about these products have cropped up at the same time. Sometimes a myth may come from a lack of understanding and sometimes it may be driven by misinformation.
Today, we will try to debunk the most common myths to provide adult smokers with answers to commonly asked questions about smoke-free alternatives. Whether you want to know if vaping is harmful to others or learn more about heated tobacco and tobacco sticks, read on to learn more.
What is a Smoke-Free Alternative?
So, what are smokeless tobacco products? This refers to a range of products for adults who would otherwise continue to smoke or use nicotine products. As the name implies, smoke-free alternatives do not generate smoke. This means that, unlike cigarettes, these should not burn tobacco. Smoke-free products are not risk-free and provide nicotine, which is addictive.
Smoke-free alternatives are a non-combustible alternative to cigarettes for 18+ smokers who would otherwise continue to smoke. No combustion or smoke means that fewer harmful chemicals are likely to be released. The reduction of harmful chemicals within smoke-free alternatives should be substantiated on a product-by-product basis. Even so, the best decision any smoker can make is to give up using tobacco and nicotine altogether.
How Does Heated Tobacco Work?
To release nicotine, cigarettes need to burn tobacco, but this creates smoke, and the tip of a cigarette can reach over 800°C when lit. Burning releases harmful chemicals in the smoke, which is inhaled by the smoker. There are more than 6,000 chemicals in cigarette smoke, many of which, are harmful or potentially harmful, as we continue to learn about the full effects. About 100 of these chemicals are linked to smoking-related diseases.
One of the most recent innovations in smoke-free alternatives, Heated tobacco products, allows for tobacco enjoyment without the need for burning. Heated tobacco products release nicotine without the need for burning or combustion. Heated tobacco products use a precise temperature to heat smokeless tobacco sticks, preventing burning. Instead, these products create an aerosol (vapour) of real tobacco flavour without fire, ash, or smoke.
How Does Vaping Work?
E-Cigarettes—also called vapes—are a type of smoke-free alternative that are likely well-recognised among adult smokers as more are trying vape starter kits. Vapes are handheld, battery-powered devices that come in various sizes, with many customisation options. Some E-cigarettes are disposable, while others can be reused. Some may mimic the design of cigarettes, others resemble cigars or pens, and others are much larger boxier designs.
In general, vapes work by heating and vaporising flavoured E-liquid, typically containing nicotine. When heated to a specific temperature, the E-liquid evaporates, creating an aerosol (vapour) which is then inhaled.
What about Chewing Tobacco and Snuff?
While chewing tobacco (also known as oral tobacco or spit tobacco) and Snuff (inhaled through the nose) are smoke-free, they also have known adverse disease associations.
What is Chewing Tobacco?
Chewing tobacco, also referred to as oral tobacco or spit tobacco, is a smoke-free alternative. Chewing tobacco usually comes in the form of loose leaves, plugs, or twists of coarsely chopped, dried tobacco which sometimes may be flavoured. As the names suggest, excess saliva is spat out, once the flavour has been drawn out.
What is Snuff
Snuff, also referred to as dipping tobacco, is usually made of loose, dried, finely pulverised tobacco, and can come in a variety of scents and flavours. Typically packed in tins or cans, dried snuff is inhaled through the nose, and moist snuff can be placed in the lower lip and gum to absorb nicotine. Like chewing tobacco, excess saliva is spat out.
What is Snus?
Snus originated from a variant of dried snuff. Like snuff, snus is usually finely ground but comes enclosed in a small pouch. Snus is typically inserted between the upper lip and gum. It doesn’t generate as much saliva as chewing tobacco or snuff, allowing the snus user to swallow any excess saliva.
Debunked:Myths Around Smoke-Free Alternatives
Now that you have a better sense of major smoke-free alternatives available today, let’s go through some common questions New Zealand smokers have about these products.
Are Smoke-Free Alternatives a Safe Alternative to Cigarettes?
While no product should be considered a safe alternative to smoking, some, like heated tobacco and vaping, do reduce your exposure to many of the harmful chemicals compared to continuing to smoke. However, giving up tobacco and nicotine products is the only alternative to smoking that can be considered safe.
The reason for smoking alternatives like heated tobacco, vaping and snus is that they eliminate combustion, which is what produces smoke. Cigarette smoke contains thousands of chemicals, with roughly 100 of them linked to smoking-related diseases.
Every one of these products contains nicotine, which is addictive. None of these products can be considered risk-free.
Are Smoke-Free Alternatives the Same as Cigarettes?
No, smoke-free alternatives are not the same as cigarettes. Cigarettes require the burning of tobacco to produce smoke. The key difference with smoke-free alternatives is that, in general, there is no burning and thus, they do not produce smoke.
Vaping heats e-liquids while heated tobacco involves the use of an electronic device to heat specially prepared tobacco. Both smoke-free alternatives release a nicotine-containing aerosol/vapour, but no smoke.
Some heated tobacco devices take advantage of smokeless tobacco sticks, resembling in design, a small cigarette. These tobacco sticks are designed to be used with their respective devices and should never be burned or smoked by the user.
Are Smoke-Free Alternatives & Vaping Less Harmful Without Nicotine?
No, vaping is not necessarily less harmful without nicotine. Many smoke-free alternatives contain nicotine, and this is especially true for the alternatives that use real tobacco. It is also easier for adult smokers to switch from smoking cigarettes to a smoke-free alternative if the alternative contains nicotine. However, whether it is delivered through a cigarette or a smoke-free alternative, nicotine is addictive and not risk-free.
Are All Smoke-Free Alternative Products The Same?
Smoke-free alternatives are not all the same. There are many different types of alternatives, meaning there are options for any adult smoker wishing to stop smoking and switch to an alternative.
For those who want many different customisation and flavour options, the vaping or E-cigarette category itself has lots of different products to explore. For those who want an experience that provides satisfaction similar to smoking, heated tobacco may be the preferred option.
Are Smoke-Free Alternatives Harmful to Those Around Me?
Is vaping harmful to others? Due to the absence of combustion, smoke-free alternatives don’t expose those around you to smoke. As many smoke-free alternatives are newer on the market, their long term “second-hand effects” are still not well known. However, in the case of IQOS heated tobacco, IQOS has no negative impact on indoor air quality*, although not risk-free. Please note New Zealand law bans vaping in vehicles with children and in many buildings outside of your own home.
*Source: PMI study conducted under ISO standards simulating real-world scenarios and based on threshold limits established by existing air quality guidelines.
Heated tobacco and vapes produce an aerosol. While some reputable brands have enough data and science on the aerosol released by their products to make an informed conclusion about second-hand effects. It’s important to remember that specific studies do not apply to the entire category of smoke-free alternatives.
Are Smoke-Free Alternatives Not Addictive?
Smoke-free products are intended for use by adults who would otherwise continue to smoke or use nicotine products. Smoke-free alternatives mostly provide nicotine, which is addictive, and are not intended as cessation devices.
Should I Switch From Cigarettes to Smoke-Free Alternatives?
The best option to reduce the health risks associated with the use of tobacco and nicotine products is to quit using them altogether. However, for those who don’t want to give up, switching entirely to an alternative product could be a better choice than continued smoking.
Where Can I Buy Heated Tobacco Products?
If you‘re looking to switch from cigarettes to a smoke-free alternative, IQOS can be a great option to explore, and 17.9-million legal-aged users around the world have already made the switch. IQOS is available to buy online on this website, or you can use the store locator to find your nearest location.
IQOS is a heated tobacco device that heats specially designed HEETS smokeless tobacco sticks from within. This provides the adult user with tobacco flavour and satisfaction, without smoke or ash. Although not risk-free, IQOS emits on average 95% lower levels of harmful chemicals compared to cigarettes.**
**Average reductions in levels of a range of harmful chemicals (excluding nicotine) compared to the smoke of a reference cigarette (3R4F). It does not necessarily equal a 95% reduction in risk.
Where Can I Buy E-Liquid Vaping Products?
Switching to vaping can seem challenging for an adult smoker, as there are several options out there. Exploring a reputable, science-backed brand is always a good place to start as this ensures you will get a quality product as well as customer support.
IQOS VEEV utilises a Mesh™ heating technology that prevents overheating of the E-liquid to ensure a consistent taste experience. As with heated tobacco, IQOS VEEV is not risk-free due to the delivery of nicotine.
Make The Switch Today
If you’re looking for a better alternative to continued smoking, there is a range of smoke-free products to try. Explore the heated tobacco and E-liquid vaping products today at IQOS.
This article is for general information and educational purposes. Some of the information in this article is based on external, third-party sources and we make no representations or warranties of any kind regarding the accuracy, validity, or completeness of such information.