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Heated Tobacco vs Vaping: What is the difference?

Heated tobacco devices and electronic cigarettes are both alternatives to continue smoking. Learn about the differences between the two.
heated tobacco vs vaping
Kuumennettava tupakka vs. sähkösavukkeet

The first time you heard of heated tobacco devices, did you perhaps think that they were the same thing as electronic cigarettes? While both products are electronic, smoke-free alternatives for smokers who would otherwise continue to smoke or use other nicotine products, there are some differences to be aware of when making a choice between heated tobacco devices and e-cigarettes.

What are e-cigarettes or electronic cigarettes?

Electronic cigarettes are one type of alternative to continued smoking. They are handheld devices that come in various sizes, with customization options. Some e-cigarettes are disposable, while others can be reused. In general, e-cigarettes heat e-liquids in order to generate an aerosol, also called a vapor. Those who use e-cigarettes also use the e-liquids, which come in various flavors, and may contain nicotine.

Electronic cigarettes heat and vaporize e-liquids between a wide range of temperatures – it could be anywhere from 100 degrees C to 250 degrees C. The e-liquid is drawn from the tank of the e-cigarette and put into contact with a battery powered heating component. Heating the liquid makes it evaporate, and when that happens, the vapor can be drawn from the device through a mouthpiece.

What is heated tobacco?

Heating tobacco instead of burning it means that fewer harmful chemicals are released (as the heating temperature is controlled to not exceed a limit, such as 350 degrees C). Heat-not-burn devices often use tobacco sticks which, when heated, release tobacco flavor with no fire, no ash, and no smoke.

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Heated tobacco vs. e‑cigarettes

So, if you are a smoker who would otherwise continue to smoke or use other nicotine products looking for an alternative to cigarettes, how do you distinguish between heated tobacco and e-cigarettes? While they are both electronic alternatives to continued smoking, the key differentiator between the two is this: tobacco heating systems heats processed tobacco, while e-cigarettes vaporize an e-liquid.

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Frequently asked questions about e-cigarettes and vaping

E-cigarettes are divided into closed and open systems. A closed e-cigarette uses ready-made e-liquid capsules that are inserted into the e-cigarette, which is then ready to use. In the open system the e-liquid is bought in separate bottles. Users have to then mix liquids and fill the e-cigarettes by themselves.

E-cigarettes are also known as e-savuke, höyrystin and höyryke in Finnish. Vaping is translated in höyryttely, vapettaminen, vapottaminen and vapottelu.

E-cigarettes use e-liquid that usually consists of nicotine, flavorings, propylene glycol and glycerin. In Finland only tobacco flavored or flavorless e-liquids are allowed. There are also liquids without nicotine available for e-cigarettes.

E-cigarettes are smoke-free products. They heat the e-liquid that turns into vapor. There is no combustion or smoke in e-cigarettes, therefore, they do not produce tar or carbon monoxide. In cigarettes, there is combustion while tobacco is burnt and the temperature reaches more than 800°C. In the combustion more than 6000 different chemical substances are formed, of which around 100 are known to be harmful to people.

Parts of an e-cigarette include a pod for e-liquid, atomizer, battery, led-light and a button. The e-cigarette is activated when a person draws a puff.

Dry puff or dry hit is the result of a low level of e-liquid and the vapor weakening. It has a burnt taste, and it also increases the number of harmful constituents. E-cigarettes with advanced technology will detect low liquid level and prevent overheating.

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