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Heated cigarettes: the latest alternative to tobacco cigarettes

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Heated cigarettes

The public’s rising awareness of the health risk of smoked and burned tobacco leads to a decrease in the prevalence of conventional cigarette smoking, with a large portion of smokers moving to alternative nicotine delivery systems or tobacco alternatives.

One of the most common and popular tobacco substitutes is e-cigarettes, which have taken the world by storm since the early 2000s, while in recent years, another tobacco substitute called heated cigarettes has garnered increased attention among smokers.

Heated cigarettes, sometimes called heat-not-burn(HnB) cigarettes, are disposable sticks that are heated rather than burned to deliver an aerosol that users inhale without causing the harm of inhaling traditional tobacco cigarettes.

Today, let’s dive into this innovative and popular product category of tobacco substitutes.

Heated cigarettes vs conventional cigarettes

Heated cigarettes belong to heated tobacco products(HTPs), which use an electronic device to heat a cigarette or pod of compressed tobacco.

The heated cigarettes replicate the look and feel of conventional cigarettes, though they are shorter than the latter. The industry also calls them sticks. While the two share visual similarity, they are different from each other.

For example, a traditional cigarette is lit up with an open flame and burnt to a high temperature reaching 900°C, leading to full combustion. During the burning process, the tobacco releases nicotine-containing smoke and its by-products, such as tar and ash.

It is well established that there are about 4000 chemicals released when a conventional cigarette is burnt, among which 250 are found to be poisonous and around 70 are known to cancerogenic.

These harmful constituents include carbon monoxide, arsenic, benzene, formaldehyde and more, which account for smoking-related diseases such as lung cancer, lung diseases, heart disease, stroke, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), etc.

Unlike conventional cigarettes, heated cigarettes are heated with heating devices to a certain temperature not exceeding 350°C(between 50°C -350°C) to deliver an inhalable vapor. 

As the heating temperature doesn’t reach the level of full combustion, heated cigarettes are free of the toxins that come with tobacco burning.

The heating devices are usually battery-powered and rechargeable, while there is also another design using a carbon tip as the heating source that is lit up with a lighter or match to heat the sticks.

Heated cigarettes enable users to have smoking feelings and rituals similar to conventional cigarettes, such as an authentic nicotine hit and hand-to-mouth motion, etc.

Hence, heated cigarettes have aroused the great interest of those who enjoy the smoking-like habit and have converted a number of traditional cigarette smokers. In some countries like Japan and Sweden, heated cigarettes are so hot that they tend to replace conventional cigarettes.

There are a variety of heated cigarettes sold on the market. While they vary in brands, designs and functions, the most popular and the best known of these is Heets manufactured by Philip Morris International( PMI), the pioneering modern heated cigarettes brand.

Heets: the most widely available heated cigarettes

Heets, also called HeatSticks, are specially designed actual tobacco sticks that are heated, instead of burned exclusively with an IQOS heating device, to give off a nicotine-containing aerosol that users inhale.

IQOS is the HTP system introduced by PMI in 2014, which is composed of three basic pieces, the heating device that usually comes with a holder, a heating element and a battery, along with a pocket charger and Heets sticks.

A Heets stick is a cigarette-like tube, which consists of a plug that is made of processed commercial tobacco leaf, vegetable glycerin and flavorings, as well as a paper wrapper and a filter.

Before using a Heets stick, you need to charge the holder for four minutes to make sure it works normally. After it is charged, you simply insert the stick into the holder and activate the device.

The heating device generally contains a heating blade that pierces the end of the Heets stick to heat the stick at a temperature of around 350°C to deliver a vapor, while by far, the brand has also introduced its upgraded heating device that requires no blade.

By replicating the look, the taste and the experiences of conventional cigarettes, the Heets make users feel like they are smoking regular cigarettes, though they might taste a bit lighter than the latter for some aged smokers.

Additionally, due to their low heating temperature, the vapor delivered by a Heets stick is essentially different from tobacco smoke, containing no ash, tar, and fewer toxicants that are created when a tobacco cigarette is lit up and burnt.

The Heets are refillable, which means when your existing Heets sticks run out, you can purchase additional Heets sticks. The refills come in packs of twenty.

The Heets sticks are designed for cigarette smokers who want to keep the habit while not wanting the harmful chemicals associated with tobacco smoke in their lungs.

Heets sticks are the most widely available heated cigarettes, which have covered more than 60 markets.

In addition to traditional heated cigarettes like Heets, there have been some innovations available on the market, which also arouse the interest of smokers who are looking for something new.

One typical innovation is NEAFS, which offers authentic tobacco experiences without using tobacco.

NEAFS: delivering the satisfaction of smoking minus the tobacco

NEASF is the new generation of heated cigarettes that deliver a similar tobacco experience as heated tobacco cigarettes. Therefore it is also known as a heated alternative.

NEASF sticks mimic the look and feel of heated tobacco cigarettes, while they don’t contain actual tobacco. Instead, NEAFS uses tea leaves as its base, which is gently steeped into nicotine, vegetable glycerin, propylene glycol and a range of flavorings.

Like traditional heated cigarettes, NEAFS sticks are heated rather than burned with an electronic device. In other words, no combustion occurs and no combustion-related toxins are released when NEAFS sticks are in use.

NEAFS boasts its own TEO heating devices to heat their sticks. Sleek, compact and high-tech, the TEO heating devices come in four colors, including green, blue, rose and gray to choose from. Moreover, the NEAFS sticks are compatible with other heating devices that are popular on the market, such as IQOS.

Though the NEAFS sticks simulate the experience of inhaling heated cigarettes, they are richer in flavorings compared with the latter. They come with a variety of flavors, including strawberry, menthol, coffee, blueberry and mojito to fit everyone’ needs.

What’s more, as NEAFS sticks don’t contain tobacco, they are free from the harsh odor and unpleasant aftertaste that are present in tobacco products, making them even more enjoyable.

NEAFS sticks are available in nicotine and nicotine-free options. For those who don’t care much about the nicotine hit, the nicotine-free NEAFS sticks would be a good choice to keep them away from tobacco and nicotine.

In all, NEAFS stocks are non-tobacco heated cigarettes that offer refreshing tobacco experiences, avoiding tobacco-related smell, odor and toxicants.

Final thoughts

With their unique approach to process sticks, which is heated without burning, both traditional heated cigarettes and their innovations are promoted as “less harmful alternatives to tobacco cigarettes.”

However, keep in mind that there are no entirely safe smoking options. These products contain nicotine that is highly addictive and has side effects.

Making a transition from conventional cigarettes to heated cigarettes only helps you move a step closer to a smoke-free future. Quitting tobacco and nicotine for good is always the best option for your health.

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