Concerns have been raised about the introduction of yet another nicotine delivery device onto the U.S. market in the midst of an e-cigarette epidemic among young people, following the recent approval of the new tobacco product IQOS heets for sale.
Philip Morris International’s IQOS heat-not-burn gadget was the first of its kind to be approved for sale in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration in April. Tobacco leaves are heated in electronic devices called heat-not-burn tobacco products, also known as heated tobacco products, to create an inhalable aerosol.
The Food and Drug Administration has classed the electronic gadget IQOS as a cigarette, meaning it is subject to the same regulations as regular cigarettes. Despite Philip Morris’s assertions that their products are safer than cigarettes, many questions remain about their effectiveness and long-term effects.
What is IQOS?
Tobacco for use with the IQOS heating device is packaged in a unique paper designed to enhance nicotine delivery.
Tobacco “heatsticks” are heated up inside the IQOS, releasing nicotine and other compounds and tastes.
Contrast that with tobacco cigarettes, which are burned. The heated tobacco in IQOS releases carcinogenic substances in the form of an aerosol.
Is IQOS safer than smoking cigarettes?
Tobacco, like traditional cigarettes and electronic cigarettes, contains compounds that have been linked to cancer. Some were identified at even higher levels in IQOS, whereas others were detected at lower levels.
The carcinogens in tobacco may be reduced if it is heated instead of burned. Additionally, fewer of them are released. However, Karam-Hage argues that this does not prove IQOS is risk-free.
We don’t know if IQOS is less dangerous or will cause less disease than smoking, he says.
Overall, this means that “The greatest method to lower the risk of tobacco-related disease is to stop smoking. In this regard, the use of pharmaceuticals, nicotine patches, lozenges, and gum is recommended.”
What are the differences between heating and burning tobacco?
The tobacco burned in cigarettes generates toxic byproducts such as ash, tar, and smoke due to the high temperatures at which the tobacco is burned. However, PMI’s HTPs heat tobacco at much lower temperatures without burning it, so they don’t create any fire, ash, or smoke. The average levels of hazardous substances are substantially lower compared to cigarette smoke since the tobacco is heated and not burned.
PMI’s HTPs, on the other hand, carry the potentially harmful and highly addictive substance nicotine.
How do PMI’s blade HTPs work?
The two variants of PMI’s blade HTPs are not always readily available in all markets. The original model consists of a heated tobacco unit, a charging case, and a tobacco holder. Version 2 is a hybrid device that incorporates both the holder and charger into a single unit, extending the number of times it may be used before needing a recharge.
All blade devices work in the same way:
- To use, the customer places the heated tobacco unit into the holder, which houses a heating blade that can be adjusted via an electronic controller.
- Each heater has a button the customer presses to activate it. Tobacco is heated without burning thanks to a blade that keeps an eye on the temperature.
- Six minutes (or 14 puffs) of nicotine-containing tobacco vapour are inhaled via the heated tobacco unit.
- After using the heated tobacco unit, the user simply removes it from the holder and throws it away. Meanwhile, the holder’s tiny battery can be charged in between uses (this step is unnecessary with the improved version). The IQOS DUO can be used twice before needing to be recharged, while the IQOS Multi may be used up to ten times.
HTPs are not the same as e-vapour or electronic cigarettes. E-vapor products, in contrast to PMI’s HTPs, employ heat to evaporate e-liquid solutions including flavours and/or nicotine. PMI now offers a fully commercialised e-vapour product.