Heat-Not-Burn: Vaping or Smoking?


A common question we are asked is ‘What is HnB? Is it vaping? Is it smoking?’


Is HnB Vaping or Smoking?

HnB is not vaping or smoking.

Vaping: HnB does share some similarities to vaping;

  1. Both vaping and HnB are classified as ENDS (electronic nicotine delivery systems)
  2. Both contain glycerin
  3. Both create vapor when heated

But HnB is not vaping. Vaping uses liquidized nicotine compounds, called e-liquids or e-juice, which are inserted into heating chamber and heated. HnB does not use e-liquid. Rather HnB heats real tobacco. The reason why the tobacco creates vapor is because it is soaked in glycerin. It’s the glycerin that creates vapor when heated.


Smoking: HnB is also shares similarities to traditional smoking;

  1. Both contain real tobacco leaves
  2. HnB HeatStick looks and feels like a traditional cigarette

But HnB is not smoking. Even though both smoking and HnB use real tobacco, smoking needs to burn the tobacco, whereas HnB only heats it.


Even though there are similarities between HnB and vaping or HnB and smoking, the science behind all of them are completely different. This means that HnB is kind of in it’s own unique category.

Think of HnB as a combination of smoking and vaping.


3 Responses

  1. A 2018 Public Health England report states that the evidence indicates that heat-not-burn tobacco products may be much safer than traditional cigarettes but less safe than e-cigarettes. The aerosol contains levels of nicotine and cancer-causing chemicals comparable to regular cigarettes. I must say this, if you get time can visit irresistiblevapehouse.co.nz for ideas on this topic.

  2. Kurt says:

    Hi,
    I’d like to comment on this. I’ve been a heavy Marlboro red smoker for more than 30 years and switched to vaping 5+ years ago. I changed my habit from one day to the other. My experience, which I seem to share with the majority of vapers I have contact with, is that even after so long you still have the urge to have a classic cigarette every now and then. Your addiction memory (if this translates correctly as I am not a native speaker) is still alive. This is when HnB comes into play as it seem to satisfy this urge. Me personally had already a box of cigarettes in my pocket after I had this “one cigarette only” with a friend after some beers. Then just another after a heavy meal… Austria, the country I live in has no possibility to get HnB legally as it is not on sale and online trade is illegal. So I took the chance when I was on vacation in Moskow to buy an IQOS and some heets to test it. What a releave ! It took some days and I was over the cigarette (again). It is not so easy to get the heets and devices but since a similar problem exists with vapes, I am used to find work arounds ๐Ÿ™‚ I still vape and love to vape, but I also enjoy HnB in my leasure time. It is the perfect combination.

    • Casey says:

      One thing to note is if you are vaping for nicotine sensation and were a heavy smoker prior, ejuice with nicotine salts 35mg – 50mg is ideal. Standard ejuice can’t go that high using freebase nicotine being too harsh at those dosages (higher alkalinity), whereas nicotine salt does not produce that harshness. Also, you wouldn’t need to get huge hits of vapor to feel the nicotine effects immediately. I still haven’t been able to kick cigarettes entirely but I’d feel a lot better with one of these cigarette “heat not burn” devices. I envy your travels, wish I could visit those countries some day!

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