Top 15 myths about smoke-free alternatives: Frequently asked questions12 Aug 2022 · 5 min read
- Are smoke-free alternatives different to cigarettes?
- Are all smoke-free products the same?
- Do smoke-free alternatives contain nicotine?
- Is nicotine the main cause of smoking-related diseases?
- Is vaping addictive?
- Heat-not-burn products use tobacco. Aren’t they the same as cigarettes?
- Do smoke-free alternatives carry a risk?
- Is nicotine risk-free?
- Are heat-not-burn products and vapes better than continuing to smoke?
- Do heat-not-burn products and vapes give off smoke?
- Fewer people are taking up smoking, so do we need less-harmful alternatives?
- Do PMI’s heat-not-burn products and e-cigarettes create second-hand smoke?
- Does PMI add synthetic nicotine to its smoke-free products?
- Is there genuine science behind PMI’s smoke-free alternatives?
- Do PMI’s e-cigarettes and heat-not-burn products contain tar?
1. Are smoke-free alternatives different to cigarettes?
2. Are all smoke-free products the same?
No, there are actually a number of differences—and some similarities—between heat-not-burn devices (also known as heated tobacco products), and e-cigarettes (also known as vapes, e-vapor products, and Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems). They are all smoke-free alternatives to the continued use of cigarettes. But heat-not-burn products heat real tobacco within a specific temperature range, generally using an electronic heat-control system to prevent it from burning. E-cigarettes, by contrast, usually vaporize a liquid solution containing nicotine and flavors when a user draws on it.
3. Do smoke-free alternatives contain nicotine?
See also questions 4 and 8.
4. Is nicotine the main cause of smoking-related diseases?
See also questions 3 and 8.
5. Is vaping addictive?
What is nicotine?
Percussion music starts
Title: What is nicotine
Nicotine occurs naturally in tobacco leaves and can be extracted by heating, burning or soaking the plant
Nicotine is addictive but is it not the primary cause of smoking related diseases.
Once inhaled, it is absorbed straight into the bloodstream where it travels through the body and to the brain
Nicotine binds itself to specific receptors and triggers the release of dopamine, which boosts attention but could also cause reward-seeking behavior.
Nicotine has short-term pharmacological effects, including increased heart rate and blood pressure.
It can take anywhere between 2 and 18 hours for nicotine to leave the body.
Nicotine should never be taken by adolescents, pregnant women or people with heart conditions
The best choice any smoker can make is to quit cigarettes and nicotine use altogether.
Smoke-free alternatives are only for adult smokers who would otherwise continue smoking.
They are not risk-free and contain nicotine, which is addictive.
6. Heat-not-burn products use tobacco. Aren’t they the same as cigarettes?
No, heat-not-burn products are different from cigarettes. They heat real tobacco within a specific temperature range, usually using an electronic heat-control system, to prevent it from burning. The user inhales a tobacco vapor, not smoke.
When lit, cigarettes burn tobacco at temperatures above 600°C, flaring to more than 800°C when a smoker takes a puff. In the process, they create smoke, ash, tar, and high levels of harmful chemicals.
By eliminating combustion, scientifically substantiated heat-not-burn products, while not risk free, are designed to significantly reduce the levels of harmful chemicals compared to cigarette smoke.
See also question 10.
7. Do smoke-free alternatives carry a risk?
8. Is nicotine risk-free?
9. Are heat-not-burn products and vapes better than continuing to smoke?
10. Do heat-not-burn products and vapes give off smoke?
No, What may appear to be “smoke” emitting from a vape or heat-not-burn product is actually an aerosol, which is a suspension of fine liquid and/or solid particles in a gas (usually air). Heat-not-burn products and vapes do not emit smoke, as they have not burned the tobacco.
Cigarettes burn tobacco, which creates smoke, which is also an aerosol. However, the composition of the aerosol in smoke is very different from the aerosol emitted by heat-not-burn products and vapes, as smoke contains thousands of chemicals, of which a hundred have been identified as harmful or potentially harmful.
11. Fewer people are taking up smoking, so do we need less-harmful alternatives?
Yes, through the work of government regulation and public health campaigns, smoking prevalence declined 4.1 percent in the decade between 2005 and 2015, according to the World Health Organization. Yet despite these efforts, millions of people who understand the risks continue to smoke cigarettes. According to WHO estimates, more than one billion people will still be smoking in 2025, roughly the same number as today. Nine out of 10 smokers will continue to smoke in any given year.
Our advice is that if you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you smoke, quit. If you don’t quit, change.
12. Do PMI’s heat-not-burn products and e-cigarettes create second-hand smoke?
13. Does PMI add synthetic nicotine to its smoke-free products?
No, in our heat-not-burn products, the nicotine is not added. It is natural component of the tobacco which is heated in our product. No extra nicotine is added.
In our e-cigarettes, the nicotine-forming part is a botanical extract made from tobacco plants which is added to the e-liquid.
What's the difference between smoke and aerosol?
Title: What’s the difference between smoke and aerosol?
Dr Serge Maedar, PhD in Chemistry, Global Head of Product Research, speaks to camera:
Smoke is really the result of combustion
so it contains a number of things, a great number of constituents,
a certain number of toxicants, but it also contains for example solid particles.
Aerosol on the other hand are much simpler when they are produced by heating tobacco,
they contains less compounds in general reduced, levels of toxicants and no solid particles
so these are very different species: smoke and aerosol
Or if you look at deeper the composition and all the components these are very different things
and really one is associated with combustion while the other is not associated with combustion at all
Text on screen reads: Smoke-free products are for adult smokers who would otherwise continue smoking.
They are not risk-free and contain nicotine, which is addictive.
The best choice nay smoker can make is to quit cigarettes and nicotine altogether.
Philip Morris International logo is seen on screen.
14. Is there genuine science behind PMI’s smoke-free alternatives?
Yes, Philip Morris International (PMI) has invested more than 10.5 billion in research and development to offer smoke-free alternatives to smokers who won’t otherwise quit nicotine.
PMI has recruited talent from around the world to develop a hub of innovation at its R&D facility in Neuchâtel, Switzerland.
Since 2008, PMI has published more than 450 publications and book chapters related to its smoke-free products in peer-reviewed scientific journals. It registers all its clinical studies with ClinicalTrials.gov. It also publishes a Scientific Update—a summary of the latest research and developments relating to its smoke-free products.
15. Do PMI’s e-cigarettes and heat-not-burn products contain tar?
No, one of the most harmful elements of cigarette smoke is what many people refer to as “tar.” It is the residue from cigarette smoke after a cigarette is burned, and is more correctly called Nicotine-Free Dry Particulate Matter (NFDPM), as it is measured by the weight of solid and liquid residue in cigarette smoke after the weight of nicotine and water has been subtracted.
Tar is not present in the aerosol of our e-cigarettes or heat-not-burn products. Since our heat-not-burn and e-cigarette products do not burn the tobacco, they do not produce tar. Their aerosol residue is fundamentally different from cigarette tar. Importantly though, this does not mean our smoke-free products are risk-free.