Are tobacco warmers bad for you? Here’s why e-cigarettes are still the best alternative to smoking

Tobacco heaters are bad for you

Published on: 05/08/2022

According to manufacturers, they are safe products, but science thinks otherwise.

Smoking is terrible for your health, and there is no doubt about that.

Being able to quit, however, is not as obvious, and riding on this irrefutable truth, the tobacco market has tried to offer less harmful alternatives that allow you to postpone the moment of quitting, easing your conscience.

This is the case with tobacco warmers, very much in vogue lately, which delude users into thinking they have found the right compromise between their desire to smoke and the risks it can bring to their health.

But is this the case?

In this article, we discuss the impact of these devices on health and how the electronic cigarette is a far more practical alternative if you are trying to quit smoking.

What is meant by tobacco-heated cigarettes?

Tobacco heating cigarettes, also known as non-burning cigarettes, are those electronic devices used with special cigarettes that are very similar to traditional cigarettes in that they contain real tobacco.

The substantial difference between the two types of cigarette concerns, precisely, the combustion that does not occur when using these devices. Through the heater, it is possible to reach a temperature of approximately 350° as opposed to the 900° of a regular cigarette, thus heating the tobacco, which does not burn directly.

Traditional cigarette combustion reaches 900 degrees

But then, how is it possible to ‘smoke’?

The high temperature reached can heat the tobacco to generate vapour containing high concentrations of nicotine and other tobacco chemicals but in lower concentrations.

At least, that is what the manufacturers claim. However, according to a study conducted in Japan on precisely this aspect, it turned out that by carrying out analyses in independent laboratories, the contents of these cigarettes and the vapour emitted by them are not too far removed from those found in regular cigarettes. Only nitrosamines and carbon dioxide are present in much lower percentages.

Also, according to research published in JAMA Internal Medicine in 2017, heating cigarettes contain the same volatile compounds as classic cigarettes.

But then why are they said to be a healthier alternative to regular cigarettes?

What are the health repercussions of tobacco warmers?

As I said, according to the studies on the components contained in tobacco heater cigarettes, it is fair to say that their use is as addictive as classic cigarettes, while the impact of passive smoking appears to be less.

For more in-depth conclusions on the harmful effects on health, however, we do not yet have sufficiently reliable studies, given the relatively young age of these devices. Moreover, even on the impacts of traditional smoking, decades of consumption are needed before scientifically relevant effects are produced.

What is certain, however, according to a study published in the British Medical Journal in 2018, is that the harmful effects on cells from the use of tobacco warmers have a lower toxic impact than those produced by the consumption of classic cigarettes but still substantially more significant than those of e-cigarettes.

Moreover, and we discuss this in the next paragraph, tobacco warmers do not appear particularly useful for quitting smoking. But why?

Read also: Electronic cigarette liquids: how long do they last, and what are the health risks?

Are tobacco heater cigarettes helpful in quitting smoking?

The answer is no. And the reason is straightforward.

As we stated above, the addiction triggered by these devices is the same as that caused by traditional cigarettes. The nicotine content is very similar.

Moreover – unlike e-cigarette liquids, which can have customisable nicotine concentrations of up to 0% – tobacco heater cigarettes do not offer this possibility.

Therefore, considering the needs of a smoker who intends to quit, it is impossible to decrease nicotine intake to manage the withdrawal issue gradually.

Thinking, therefore, of switching to this type of product is almost useless for this purpose, as is also stated by the European Respiratory Society, which has issued a statement in which it bluntly advises against the use of tobacco warmers as a means of reducing smoking-related harm.

Recently, some clarifications have been made regarding the available scientific research on the subject. The first study, which considers over one hundred publications between 2008 and 2018, stated that there is no evidence of risk reduction concerning the occurrence of cardiovascular diseases or cancer.

In another study, however, emphasis is placed on the toxicity risk of flavouring agents, widely used in tobacco heater cigarettes and e-cig liquids. They appear to represent an incentive for consumption, especially among young people.

Finally, we would like to point out the stance of the US Food and Drugs Administration, which – despite the manufacturers’ request to advertise tobacco heater cigarettes as less dangerous than classic cigarettes – approved the sale, specifying that these products will be subject to the same restrictive regulations as tobacco in general, pointing out the presence of the same risks of addiction and toxicity.

This cannot be said of electronic cigarettes. Why is that?

Let us find out together.

What are the main differences between tobacco heaters and e-cigarettes?

The differences between tobacco heaters and electronic cigarettes

The first important point differentiating e-cigarettes from tobacco warmers is undoubtedly the absence of tobacco and, consequently, all its harmful chemicals.

But the real strong point of e-cigs, as far as their use in the attempt to stop smoking is concerned, is another: vape liquids have an essential feature for those undergoing a period of nicotine detoxification.

If you are wondering what that is, here is the answer.

As I specified above, Commercially available liquids can be easily adapted to different nicotine supply needs.

Let me explain. These liquids are sold ready-made or in the form of bases; you can mix them yourself, and they can have different nicotine concentrations.

In the initial detoxification phase, therefore, they give the possibility of vaping nicotine levels practically equivalent to those taken with traditional cigarettes and then gradually reducing them until they are eliminated, without suffering the annoying consequences of an abrupt interruption in supply.

Moreover, the vapour generated by e-cigarettes contains no harmful substances, unlike that produced by heaters.

But that is not all.

When it comes to odours, the e-cig also wins, hands down. Vaping leaves no unpleasant odours on clothes or the user.

Finally, the costs incurred by e-cigarette users are significantly lower than those of tobacco warmers and refills.

Read also: How (and where) to store electronic cigarette liquids to keep them in perfect condition.

In conclusion, e-cigarettes are still the best alternative to smoking. But why?

To summarise, we examined how tobacco warmers present health risks that are too similar to traditional cigarettes to be considered safer.

Furthermore, it was found that the harm caused by their use is higher than that found in vaping users.

But the superiority of e-cigarettes over vapers is also clearly manifested when considering the ease of managing nicotine levels, a crucial aspect for those who have started the detoxification process.

Before closing, we invite vapers who have read this article to look at all the excellent articles you can find at the best online shop of Terpy, the number 1 company in the vaping products sector.

We look forward to seeing you on our portal.