Heated tobacco products are rapidly becoming more prevalent among cigarette smokers, but the bottom line is that they’re still harmful to our health. Our latest blog discusses what heated tobacco products are and the common misconceptions about them.
The Breakdown of Heated Tobacco
Heated tobacco products (HTPs), also known as heat-not-burn products, are electronic devices that warm tobacco leaves to generate aerosol that can be inhaled rather than burning tobacco via a cigarette. Varied product options exist for heated tobacco, incorporating flavors and allowing users to manage factors such as temperature. It’s also common to witness HTPs similar in and shape to that of a cigarette. In February of 2022, the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of heated tobacco products from the brands IQOS and Eclipse for sale.
So, what’s the difference between electronic cigarettes and HTPs? While heated tobacco products heat tobacco to produce nicotine, E-cigarettes warm e-liquid. Electronic cigarettes may or may not carry nicotine and, in most cases, don’t contain tobacco. The World Health Organization (WHO) explains that the tobacco found in these products is heated without reaching ignition, which leads to emissions containing nicotine and other chemicals. Philip Morris International (PMI) currently has the most significant share of heated tobacco in the market and is the most widely available. HTPs are a rapidly growing market, selling just over 15 million in 2014 and contracting to over 125 billion sticks in 2021.
Health Effects of Heated Tobacco
As HTPs are still new to the United States, long-term health effects are still undergoing scientific investigation. Yet, a key fact remains unavoidable; tobacco products are innately harmful. Whether they’re warmed by a lighter or electronically, nicotine is present. The presence of nicotine in any product is naturally a red flag for healthcare professionals because it’s a highly addictive substance. Not only do you have the issue of enabling nicotine dependency, but you can also affect adolescent brain development. Your brain keeps developing until the age of twenty-five; nicotine can damage areas of the brain that pertain to attention, learning, mood, and impulse control. Pregnant women are also susceptible to harm because nicotine is toxic to a developing fetus.
While additional research is still needed to fully understand heated tobacco products and how their emissions correlate to our health. We can all agree that HTP emissions are nowhere near as safe as fresh air. Research has shown that secondhand emissions from heat-not-burn products expose both the smoker and bystanders to many of the same chemicals found in cigarette smoke, just at a lower level.
Current smokers may qualify for upcoming studies here at Endeavor Clinical Trials. Qualified participants may receive compensation for time and travel. Follow this link for more details or contact us at (210) 949 – 0807.