It is well known that smoking is harmful and can cause smoking-related diseases, and the best choice any smoker can make is to quit smoking and nicotine, but not everyone knows why non-smoking alternatives offer better options for those adults who otherwise they would have continued smoking.
Below we answer some frequently asked questions about non-smoking alternatives to dispel misinformation and confusion about vaping, e-cigarettes and non-smoking products.
- How are non-smoking alternatives different from cigarettes?
Non-smoking alternatives do not burn tobacco, which means that if they are scientifically sound and regulated to the appropriate standards, they are the best alternative to continuing to smoke cigarettes. When cigarettes are lit, tobacco is burned at temperatures above 600 ° C, igniting to more than 800 ° C when the smoker inhales. In the process, they create smoke, ash, tar and high levels of harmful chemicals. By eliminating combustion, science-based alternatives are designed to significantly reduce harmful chemicals compared to cigarette smoke. However, they are not risk-free, and the best choice – always completely give up tobacco and nicotine.
- Do nicotine-containing alternatives contain smoking?
All heated tobacco products that have been commercialized contain nicotine because it occurs naturally in tobacco. Most vapes and e-cigarettes also contain inhaled nicotine. Nicotine is one of the reasons people smoke, along with other elements such as taste and ritual. In order for adult smokers to completely switch from cigarettes to better alternatives, these foods usually need to contain nicotine. Although vapes, e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products do not burn tobacco – which is a major cause of smoking-related diseases – they are not risk-free. Complete cessation of tobacco and nicotine is always the best choice, and while for some it can be difficult, millions of people do it every year.
3. Is nicotine the root cause of smoking-related diseases?
Nicotine is not a major cause of smoking-related diseases. These diseases, such as lung cancer, cardiovascular disease and emphysema, are caused primarily by inhalation of harmful compounds formed during tobacco combustion. Nicotine is addictive and dangerous. Some people – including pregnant and breastfeeding women, as well as people with heart disease, severe high blood pressure or diabetes – should not use tobacco or nicotine-containing foods. Minors, in particular, should not have access to nicotine-containing foods.
- Are all smokeless foods the same?
In fact, there are a number of differences – and some similarities – between e-cigarettes, also known as vape5s, e-vapor products and electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), and non-flammable devices, also known as heated tobacco products. All of them are an alternative to long-term smoking without smoking. But non-burning products heat real tobacco in a certain temperature range, usually using an electronic heat control system to prevent it from burning. Electronic cigarettes, in contrast, usually evaporate a liquid solution containing nicotine and flavors when used.
- Do vapes and non-combustible products emit smoke?
What may look like “smoke” emitted from a vape or non-combustible product is actually an aerosol, which is a suspension of small liquid and / or solid particles in a gas (usually air). Smoke contains thousands of chemicals, of which about a hundred have been classified by health authorities as harmful or potentially harmful. Vapes and products that do not burn do not emit smoke as they do not burn tobacco. Cigarettes burn tobacco, which creates smoke, which is also an aerosol. However, the composition of the aerosol in the smoke is very different from the aerosol that emits vapes and products that do not heat. Again, with regard to non-smoking alternatives, it is important to note that they are not risk-free, and the best choice will always be to completely give up tobacco and nicotine.
- Do we need less harmful alternatives?
According to the World Health Organization, due to government regulation and health companies, the prevalence of smoking has decreased by 4.1% over the decade from 2005 to 2015. However, despite these efforts, millions of people who understand the risk continue to smoke cigarettes. The WHO estimates that more than a billion people will continue to smoke in 2025, about as many as today. Nine out of 10 smokers will continue to smoke any year.
Simply put, if you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you smoke, quit. If you don’t quit, change. Adults who would otherwise continue to smoke should have access to information on smoking-free alternatives.
To learn more, go to the Unsmoke South Africa homepage.
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This post was sponsored and provided by Philip Morris International.