For decades since its initial inception, the concept of tobacco harm reduction, which calls for finding alternative products to traditional cigarettes, has remained just that— a concept. However, the innovation of heated tobacco products has created a crucial paradigm shift in the sector, and for the first time, a significantly less harmful alternative to traditional cigarettes is giving adult smokers who do not wish to quit smoking, a chance for a better alternative.
One of the most important attributes of alternative products is that they eliminate the burning, or combustion, process that occurs in cigarettes and is the main source of many harmful chemicals. Instead, alternative products gently heat tobacco to release nicotine without producing smoke or ash, and significantly reducing the number of harmful constituents generated.
The development of alternative products was rooted in scientific research and knowledge that confirmed that nicotine, which is a natural compound found in tobacco leaves, is not the main cause of diseases associated with smoking, though it is an addictive substance. Studies have concluded that the real cause of smoking-related diseases can be connected to the thousands of harmful chemicals that traditional cigarettes contain and produce as a result of the combustion process which occurs at 600 degrees Celsius when the cigarette is lit.
When tobacco is burned, physical and chemical reactions occur that lead to the emission of more than 6,000 harmful chemicals, about 100 of which are associated with smoking-related diseases. The higher the smoking rate, the greater the exposure to these chemicals, which leads to disruption of biological mechanisms and negatively impacts cells and tissues.
By gently heating tobacco, alternative products are able to eliminate the burning process, thereby significantly reducing the production of harmful chemicals compared to traditional cigarettes; however, these products are not risk free.
With the fundamental differences between heated tobacco products and traditional cigarettes, as well a scientific evidence, in mind, there can be no doubt that combustion is the clear root of the majority of problems and severe consequences of smoking. On the other hand, the existence of heated tobacco alternatives—though they are not risk-free—may constitute a better alternative for those who do not want to quit smoking but are seeking a better option with lower levels of harmful chemical substances than traditional cigarettes.
This article is sponsored by Philip Morris Jordan