Are ‘heat not burn’ products any safer than cigarettes?
Philip Morris International, one of the world’s largest tobacco companies, recently lodged an application to allow the sale of its “heat not burn” products in Australia.
This attempt to disrupt Australia’s tobacco market and make heated tobacco products legal is part of the company’s latest mission to “change society and deliver a better, smoke-free future”.
The company argues these products are a safer way to satisfy a nicotine craving than traditional cigarettes. It calls the technology IQOS, which stands for “I quit original smoking”.
But what are these “heat not burn” products, and are they actually better for us than standard cigarettes?
A hybrid of traditional cigarettes and e-cigarettes
Heat not burn products are electronic devices that contain tobacco leaves. When you heat them, they produce a vapour containing nicotine, which you inhale.
They are different from conventional cigarettes in their mechanism, which heats the tobacco to considerably lower temperatures. In heat not burn devices, the tobacco is heated to ...