Cigarettes that do no harm: do they really exist?

Cigarettes that do no harm: do they really exist?

Published on: 22/07/2023


The harms of cigarette smoking have been known for decades. The scientific community agrees: traditional cigarettes cause very serious diseases. The high content of toxic substances damages the body and nicotine causes an addiction that is very difficult to overcome.

In recent years, devices such as tobacco heaters have established themselves on the market which, instead of burning, heat the tobacco with the “promise” of reducing the amount of toxic substances inhaled. But are they really less dangerous? And how do they compare to the electronic cigarette?

Traditional cigarettes: the harm of smoking

As we have mentioned, the traditional cigarette causes a lot of damage to the body: in fact, it contains over 7 thousand substances, of which at least 70 are indicated by the WHO as certain carcinogens.

Every time you inhale the smoke of a cigarette, carbon monoxide, cadmium, acetaldehyde, polonium 210 are introduced into the body, a very dangerous mix that increases the risk of serious diseases (at least 27 including cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases and cancer).

Traditional cigarettes: the harm of smoking

Switching to light cigarettes is also of little use, which on the contrary can have a paradoxical effect: the lower presence of tar and nicotine, in addition to the lighter taste, lead to more smoking and to inhale the smoke more deeply.

In short, there are no cigarettes that are not harmful. There are alternatives: tobacco heaters, but above all the electronic cigarette, which does not burn or heat the tobacco, thus avoiding related damage.

Read also: MTL or DTL vaping: all the differences between these modes

Tobacco heaters and e-cigarettes: which ones hurt less?

Present on the market since 2014, tobacco heating devices were born to offer smokers an alternative to the traditional cigarette, with the aim of helping them to give up smoking permanently: it is no coincidence that the trade name iQOS is the acronym of I Quit Ordinary Smoking.

Operation is simple: instead of burning, the device “heats” the tobacco in the small cigarette to a temperature of about 350°. The concentration of toxic substances compared to the traditional cigarette is lower, but not absent: the strong inflammation of the lungs and other organs remains.

A Japanese study, commissioned on the occasion of Tokyo 2020, highlighted the presence of nicotine and other volatile substances in quantities similar to that of a traditional cigarette.

Tobacco heaters also do not help you quit smoking: the high levels of nicotine create an addiction similar to that caused by cigarettes. It is therefore unlikely to quit smoking using tobacco heating cigarettes.

Switching from the traditional cigarette to this type of device does little to help you quit smoking and, at the same time, exposes you to substances dangerous to your health: to prove it, the fact that the European Respiratory Society does not recommend its use to give up the habit.

On the contrary, the electronic cigarette does not burn or heat tobacco: the absence of combustion avoids the inhalation of many of the toxic substances present in the cigarette and in devices such as iQOS. If we add to this the possibility of choosing e-liquids without nicotine, we understand well how the e-cig has far less risky effects.

Why e-cigarettes are less bad for your health.

Why e-cigarettes are less bad for your health.

Vaping is less bad than smoking. E-cigs are safer and less harmful than both traditional cigarettes and tobacco heating devices. On the contrary, they could be the way to quit smoking: England’s decision to use e-cigarettes as a resource against smoking illustrates this well.

E-cigarettes heat a e-cig flavours, with or without nicotine, contained in a tank. Those who “vape” inhale the vapor, not the product of tobacco combustion. E-cigs are not harmless, but there is an abyss compared to traditional cigarettes.

There are several studies to say this. For example, research by the Pasteur Institute in Lille analyzed the chemical composition of emissions from traditional cigarettes, tobacco heaters and three types of electronic cigarettes. Among other data, a decrease of about 93% of carbonyl emissions compared to traditional cigarettes emerged, which translates into a much higher level of safety.

Read also: Electronic cigarettes: the new public health challenge in England

In conclusion

Cigarettes that are not bad? Those that don’t smoke. Traditional cigarettes, light and tobacco heaters emit substances harmful to health and contribute to causing very serious diseases.

The electronic cigarette, unlike the others, does not produce emissions from the combustion of tobacco leaves: the danger is lower and not by a small amount. This does not mean that it is harmless, but that compared to the other two solutions it is by far the better choice.

To this we add that there are liquids without nicotine: here the e-cig becomes a useful tool to reduce addiction and accompany the smoker towards the abandonment of smoking, one of the main causes of death in the world.