There is a number of smoking alternatives out there today available for smokers who would otherwise continue smoking or use other nicotine products, and each has different features and functions. Some smokers may have the tendency to wrongly group all smoking alternatives under one category: “e-cigarettes”. However, did you know that e-cigarettes are actually only one type of smoking alternative, specifically referring to a type of smoke-free alternative that does not contain tobacco? And did you also know that there are other types of smoking alternatives that exist beyond e-cigarettes, which use real tobacco, such as heat-not-burn products?
Let’s take a look at these different options.
What are e-cigarettes?
Electronic cigarettes – also called e-cigarettes or vapes – are one type of smoke-free alternative to continued smoking. The key thing to note about e-cigarettes is that they do not contain tobacco. Rather, they heat e-liquids (sometimes called vaping liquid), which evaporates, producing a vapor that is drawn from the device through a mouthpiece.
No combustion occurs when a user draws from an e-cigarette, as nothing actually burns.
If e-cigarettes do not contain tobacco, what types of smoking alternatives do?
While you won’t be able to find “e-cigarette tobacco”, if you are a smoker who would otherwise continue to smoke or use other nicotine products, there are smoke-free tobacco products available. In this case, heated tobacco may be an option for you.
Heated tobacco, or heat-not-burn, is a type of smoke-free technology. Heated tobacco devices utilize real tobacco that is specially processed and formed into sticks. The tobacco sticks are then inserted into the device, where the tobacco is heated to very specific, controlled temperatures. This controlled heating ensures that the tobacco does not burn; however, since there is heating involved, tobacco flavor are released, while smoke and ash are eliminated from the experience.
How do I distinguish between e‑cigarettes and heated tobacco?
While they are both electronic alternatives to smoking, the key differentiator between the two is this: heat-not-burn devices heat processed tobacco, while e-cigarettes vaporize an e-liquid.
Once the main difference between e-cigarettes and heated tobacco is understood, it is a matter of personal preference for the smoker who is looking for a smoking alternative.