Heat-not-Burn is called a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes, but is it really? On this page we will explore common questions about Heat-not-Burn and its effect on your health.
Why is Heat-not-Burn considered safer?
Is it actually safer?
Unfortunately, because Heat-not-Burn is such new technology there are not enough long-term studies to conclusively determine that Heat-not-Burn is less harmful – but let’s look at the facts; Traditional cigarettes, when burned, release chemicals like carbon dioxide (toxic), arsenic (toxic), hydrogen cyanide (toxic), lead (toxic), and benzene (toxic). And that short list of chemicals is just scratching the surface of what’s in cigarette smoke – the smoke that you inhale.
Heat-not-Burn is processed differently so that when heated – not burned – it releases a flavorful vapor instead of smoke. Even the FDA has found data that supports the claim that Heat-not-Burn products reduce exposure to toxins compared to traditional cigarettes. The FDA stated that “[they] found that the aerosol produced by the IQOS Tobacco Heating System contains fewer toxic chemicals than cigarette smoke, and many of the toxins identified are present at lower levels than in cigarette smoke.”
Are there still risks associated with Heat-not-Burn?
Yes, there are still risks, but less risks than traditional smoking.
What are the risks?
- tobacco related diseases, such as cancer
What are the chemicals in Heat-not-Burn HeatSticks vs. traditional cigarettes?
Each brand of is different as is each flavor. Here is a variety of chemicals you can find in Heat-not-Burn vs. traditional cigarettes.
|Propylene Glycol||Propylene Glycol|
|And up to 9000 other chemicals…|
How safe are Heat-not-Burn Heatsticks?
To analyse the safety of HeatSticks we’ve broken a HeatStick down into two parts; the tobacco plug ingredients and the material (filters, paper, etc.).
Tobacco Plug Ingredients & Flavorings:*
|Tobacco||Tobacco is a natural substance that contains nicotine. Much of the danger associated with tobacco only apply when it is burnt. When tobacco burns it’s chemical make-up transforms which results in the creation of over 70 carcinogenic chemicals. Heat-not-Burn does not burn tobacco|
|Nicotine in Tobacco||If ingested in low doses, nicotine is safe. The idea that nicotine is dangerous has largely developed out of the fact that nicotine is addictive and is the reason people get hooked on smoking|
|Glycerol||Glycerol is a natural substance that comes from mixing vegetable oils and animal fats. It is generally recognized as safe by the FDA|
|Glycerin||The commercialized form of glycerol – for a product to be called ‘glycerin’ it must contain 95% glycerol. It is generally recognized as safe by the FDA|
|Propylene Glycol||Propylene glycol is a synthetic substance made by mixing glycerin and hydrogen. It is generally recognized as safe by the FDA|
|Cellulose||Cellulose is an organic substance that is derived from plants. It is generally recognized as safe by the FDA|
|Guar Gum||Guar gum is a natural substance that comes from guar beans. It is generally recognized as safe by the FDA|
Sugar is considered safe
|Lemon Oil & Lime Oil||Safe|
|Polylactic Resin/ Polylactic Acid (PLA)||Polylactic resin/ PLA is one of the main components of a polymer filter. It is safe enough to be used in medical implants, however it can be dangerous if heated to the point of melting, as it is toxic when inhaled|
|Cellulose Acetate||Cellulose acetate is a synthetic substance that comes from plant cells. Much like polylactic resin/PLA, cellulose acetate is generally not dangerous but can be if inhaled or ingested|
|Triacetin/ Glyceryl Triacetate||Triacetin/ Glyceryl Triacetate is created when glycerin is mixed with other substances. It is generally recognized as safe by the FDA|
|Tipping Paper and Wrapper|
|Cellulose||Cellulose is an organic compound derived from plant cells. In general, it is considered safe|
|Calcium Carbonate||Calcium carbonate is a natural ingredient. It is safe but experts warn against ingesting it in excess|
|Aluminium Foil||In general aluminum foil is safe. There is a risk of aluminum leaking into the contents at high temperatures, however the exposure would be very minimal|
|Carboxymethylcellulose/ sodium salt||It is generally considered a non-hazardous material, however it can cause bowel inflammation if ingested in excess|
|Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate (EVA) Copolymer||Ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) copolymer, sometimes called Polyethylene-vinyl acetate, is considered not hazardous. It is actually a safer alternative to the previously used polyvinyl chloride, because ethylene-vinyl acetate does not contain chlorine|
NOTE*: Unfortunately we can’t fit every ingredient and material, from every HeatStick brand on these charts so we’ve included only the most notable – generally anything that comprises 0.5% of HeatStick composition or higher.
For a full listing of ingredients and materials in HEETS, click here. For a full list listing of all other HeatStick brands, check the ingredients listed on your HeatStick package and/or contact the manufacturer.
Are nicotine-free HeatSticks safer than HeatSticks with nicotine?
How safe are Heat-not-Burn devices?
|Body of Device|
|Aluminum||Under high temperatures aluminum can begin to seep into surrounding objects, however most aluminums are treated by the process of anodization. This helps prevent pyrolysis and makes the metal safe to use under high temperatures. The risk of pyrolysis with a Heat-not-Burn device is very minimal|
|Aluminum Alloy||Just like aluminum, aluminum alloy is almost always treated and so is safe. The risk of pyrolysis with a Heat-not-Burn device is very minimal|
|Stainless steel||Much like aluminum and aluminium alloys, stainless steel can leach nickel into surrounding objects under high temperatures, however most stainless steels are treated to prevent this. The risk of pyrolysis with a Heat-not-Burn device is very minimal|
|Polycarbonate (PC)||Polycarbonate is a type of organic heat resistant plastic. It is generally quite safe|
|Polyphenylsulfone (PPSU) (PPSF)||Polyphenylsulfone (PPSU) (PPSF) is a type of heat resistant plastic, frequently used in baby bottles. It is generally quite safe|
|Polyether Ether Ketone (PEEK)||Polyether ether ketone is a type of organic, high-performance thermoplastic. It is generally quite safe|
|Lithium-ion||Lithium-ion batteries are on the most common batteries available. They can be found in everyday devices such as cell phones, cameras, and HnB devices. Lithium-ion batteries get a bit of a bad name seeing as they are classified as ‘dangerous and prohibited items’ by mail carriers and airlines. However, they are one of the safest batteries on the market, providing that they are handled properly. There is some concern over the fact that they can explode without warning, however these instances are rare. Lithium-ion battery technology is constantly improving and becoming safer|
NOTE*: We’ve included only the most notable materials – generally anything that comprises 0.5% of device composition or higher.
I heard that polymer filters in HeatSticks can be toxic, is that true?
Is Heat-not-Burn safer than vaping?
Do you feel better using Heat-not-Burn?
- Increased energy
- Clearer lungs and airways/no longer breathless
- More restful sleeping
- Improved taste for food
- Regulated heartbeat
- Less mucus
Can IQOS cause liver damage (hepatotoxicity)?
Did the FDA approve IQOS?
Can we trust the studies?
What is pyrolysis and how does it effect my health?
Can you improve on this content? We are willing to pay every time someone finds quality information to add or replace on this page