Posted on 31st August 2018
Lets start by saying we’re not scientists and this blog is basically a pull together and condensing of other articles to try and simplify the discussion about what exactly heat not burn is and what it really means.
In simple terms this whole thing is borne from two desires – Firstly, the tobacco companies need to keep selling tobacco or they would no longer be a tobacco company. Secondly if the tobacco companies could mimic traditional smoking without the carcinogens associated with combustion then it is the holy grail.
Why? Because people who smoke like to smoke but know it is killing them. Imagine if you could smoke but it was not bad for you.
Nobody has got there yet. Heat not burn is bad for you (there I have said it) it is impossible to say at present because these things take years to be checked and rechecked and independently verified but nevertheless compared to smoking nothing Heat not burn is worse for you.
The generally accepted case seems to be it is about 5% as harmful as a traditional cigarette (or put another way 20 Heat not burn sticks or HEETS is considered to be the same as one cigarette) in in terms of health it is suggested if you smoke 20 a day it would be in health terms the same as smoking one. Pretty good then in terms of grown up choices. A lot of scientific research has already gone into heat not burn technology prior to bringing it to market.
So, what is Heat Not Burn and why is it important?
Well. It is a cigarette as far as the general view goes. It is tobacco in a stick (sounds like a cigarette right)? The difference being is that the tobacco is highly compressed. The leaf is ground then formed into sheets and squeezed together very tightly.
In a traditional cigarette you light it and this combustion is what is required to release an energy source to extract the nicotine and flavour. It takes about 2/3rds of a cigarette to create the energy to enjoy the third.
In a heat not burn product the heat stick is inserted into a ceramic blade which heats the tobacco without burning it therefore none of the carcinogens are produced and there is no “second hand smoking” clever stuff.
In terms of the experience of “smoking” billions of dollars have been invested by the largest tobacco companies in the world to make sure the smoking experience is as realistic as possible to traditional smoking.
You could argue that pharmaceutical companies are evil. Why would you want to profit from something that could make someone better? Without the pharmaceutical companies taking huge financial risks up front these products would not get developed.
I take the same view. Big tobacco are no angels they are not doing this for some altruistic reasons having been indirectly (some would say directly) responsible for killing millions of people. ( My Grandad survived fighting in the second world war but the Players cigarettes killed him in the end). They have invested billions to find a way of continuing to sell tobacco. Smaller companies could never have an R&D budget like it and it would never have got to market in such a stable and robust form.
So maybe we just think about this in terms of truth and reconciliation. You don’t have to like the tobacco companies for emptying your wallet and decreasing your life expectancy in the past but maybe give them a chance now to reconcile with what is a truly ingenious product
It would seem that heat not burn in terms of helping existing smokers to quit traditional smoking is the best thing yet. If the government could see this and treat it as a quit smoking aid and reduce the taxation the future for heat not burn I would suggest is excellent.
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