Heated tobacco products, often marketed as a less harmful alternative to traditional cigarettes, have gained popularity in recent years. These devices, like IQOS from Philip Morris, function by heating tobacco rather than burning it. While they do reduce exposure to some harmful compounds found in cigarette smoke, they are not without health concerns.
The key difference lies in the heating process. Traditional cigarettes burn tobacco at temperatures exceeding 800 degrees Celsius, producing smoke containing thousands of chemicals, many of which are harmful, including tar and carbon monoxide. Heated tobacco devices, on the other hand, heat the tobacco to temperatures between 350 to 500 degrees Celsius, avoiding combustion. This process generates an aerosol that contains fewer harmful compounds compared to cigarette smoke.
However, it’s important to note that “safer” doesn’t equate to “safe.” Heated tobacco products still deliver nicotine, an addictive substance. They also produce harmful chemicals like formaldehyde and acetaldehyde, albeit in lower quantities than traditional cigarettes.
The long-term health effects of Heated tobacco use are still not fully understood because they are relatively new on the market. Users should be aware that switching to heated tobacco is not a risk-free option. Quitting nicotine altogether remains the safest choice for one’s health.
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