Alternatives to the traditional cigarette: which is the best one to successfully overcome nicotine addiction?

Alternatives to the traditional cigarette: which is the best one ?

Published on: 12/05/2023


Quitting smoking is a difficult goal to achieve. Nicotine, such as the liquid nicotine, is a substance that becomes addictive very quickly and causes an extremely strong physical dependence. Of course, it can be overcome, but only with a lot of willpower.

In the past, tobacco addicts tried to give up cigarettes for good with the help of medical devices designed to gradually release nicotine in order to keep the addiction at bay and calm the urge to smoke. We refer to the various patches, gums and oral sprays that can still be found on the market today.

However, in recent years, even more effective alternatives have appeared on the market, chosen day after day by many smokers: heated tobacco devices and electronic cigarettes.

What are the characteristics of these devices and which of them is most effective for those who want to quit smoking? The answer in the following article.


How do hot tobacco devices work?

Heated tobacco devices, also called HTB (heat-not-burn), are designed to reduce the harm caused by smoking.

Here is how they work: the device is a kind of small box that contains a rechargeable battery. On the top there is a hole into which sticks containing shredded tobacco must be inserted, which look very similar to traditional cigarettes.

The device is activated by pressing a special button and once switched on, starts heating the stick to a temperature which varies depending on the model used. However, as a rule, these systems do not exceed 400 °C, which is much lower than that of traditional cigarettes. The latter, in fact, reach a temperature of approximately 900 °C.

How do hot tobacco devices work?

But why is this characteristic so important?

The reason is simple: traditional cigarettes are so harmful because of combustion, a chemical process that produces thousands of toxins that are extremely dangerous to health. To be triggered, this phenomenon requires a very high temperature that HTP devices do not reach. Here is the meaning of ‘heat-not-burn’: they are designed to heat tobacco without reaching combustion and, in this way, would be a less harmful alternative to traditional cigarettes.

Read also: How long does the liquid of the electronic cigarette last (on average)?

The potential of e-cigarettes in the fight against nicotine addiction 

The electronic cigarette, or e-cig, is an electronic device that generates vapor by heating a liquid containing nicotine, flavorings and other additives: propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin. It too is considered less harmful than cigarettes because it works without combustion and, consequently, does not produce the toxic substances we mentioned in the previous paragraph.

Moreover, the e-cig has another great advantage: the nicotine concentration of e-liquids can be customized, so that it gradually decreases over time until it is eliminated altogether. In this way, it is possible to free oneself permanently from addiction to this substance, a goal that smokers struggle so much to achieve.

Users of heated tobacco devices, on the other hand, do not have the option of choosing the amount of nicotine they take in. According to data reported by the manufacturers, each stick contains about 0.5 mg, almost as much as a traditional cigarette. On the other hand, analyses carried out by third parties have very often found higher values than those indicated on the packaging, sometimes more than 1 mg.

HTB vs. e-cigarettes: which is the better alternative?

In the previous paragraphs, we briefly outlined the features and merits of the two main alternatives to traditional cigarettes: HTB devices and e-cigs. But which is the better of the two?

Both contenders are commonly considered to be less harmful than cigarettes. Compared to HTBs, however, some studies, including recent research, seem to suggest that the consumption of tobacco sticks causes the inhalation of toxins similar to those produced by traditional cigarettes, albeit in smaller quantities.

HTB vs. e-cigarettes: which is the better alternative?

As far as e-cigs are concerned, however, science seems to have a much more positive view. Numerous studies have been done on the subject and most of them have underlined the potential of vaping as a less harmful alternative to smoking. But one of them highlighted an extraordinary finding.

I am referring to a study conducted by the British agency Public Health England and published in 2015. During this research, the damage caused by traditional cigarettes was compared with that caused by electronic cigarettes. And the results were more than comforting for vapers!

Electronic cigarettes, in fact, were found to be up to 95% less harmful than cigarettes!

Read also: How much nicotine does an e-cigarette contain? The answer is: it depends!

In conclusion

In this article, we looked at two of the most popular alternatives to traditional cigarettes: tobacco heating devices and e-cigarettes.

As you may have read, both options are less harmful than cigarettes and can be used to reduce the typical damage caused by cigarette smoking. However, based on research to date, e-cigs are the best alternative, especially for those whose ultimate goal is to rid themselves of nicotine addiction for good.

Are you a smoker and want to quit once and for all?

Try electronic cigarettes! On the Terpy store you will find everything you need to start vaping right away: e-cigs, e-cigarette liquids, e-liquid concentrates to customize your e-liquids and much more!