The future is smoke-free

Aug 19, 2022

The benefits of switching from cigarettes to smoke-free alternatives

Many adult smokers today explore smoke-free alternatives as an alternative to continue smoking. To understanding why helps to consider why smoking is harmful and what it means when you stop smoking and switch to a smoke-free alternative.  

Smoking involves lighting a cigarette and letting it burn, which produces cigarette smoke and releases approximately 6.000 harmful chemicals*. The high levels of harmful chemicals in the smoke of a burning cigarette are the primary cause of smoking-related disease. In general, smoke-free products should not burn tobacco and therefore have the potential to emit significantly fewer and lower levels of harmful and potentially harmful constituents compared to cigarette smoke. The lack of combustion and the reduction in the formation of harmful chemicals should be substantiated on a product category basis. Smoke-free products are not risk free and provide nicotine which is addictive.




What happens when you stop smoking cigarettes and switch to smoke-free alternatives?

Smoke-free alternatives are not equivalent to quitting tobacco and nicotine use altogether, so they are not cessation aids. As these products still contain nicotine, they are addictive. If you are a smoker, the best option to reduce the health risks, associated with the use of tobacco and nicotine products, is to quit tobacco and nicotine use . However, for those adults who would otherwise continue to smoke, switching completely to smoke-free alternatives could be a better choice than continuing to smoke cigarettes. We’ve outlined the main differences you are likely to notice when moving away from cigarettes to smoke-free options below.


An alternative to continued smoking 
Much of the harm from smoking comes from combustion or burning. The high temperatures created by the process of burning (combusting) tobacco causes the production of the majority and high levels of harmful chemicals detected in cigarette smoke. The cigarette smoke contains thousands of different chemicals, including about a hundred which are considered harmful and the primary cause of smoking-related diseases. There is no debate that smoking is harmful or that nicotine is addictive. Unlike cigarettes that burn tobacco, smoke-free alternatives in general do not rely on combustion. By eliminating this, and therefore the smoke, the levels of harmful and potentially harmful chemicals can be dramatically reduced, limiting exposure to some of the primary causes of smoking-related diseases. Of course, it is a matter of scientific assessment of each smoke-free product category to see if this is the case.

You will not impact those around you with smoke
As their name implies, smoke-free alternatives do not generate smoke. Alternatives like heated tobacco and vaping emit an aerosol, which may look like smoke to the untrained eye, but it is not at all the smoke emitted when a cigarette burns. As a result, there is no ash created and in general less smell than cigarettes. Those close to you will not inhale cigarette smoke, nor be subjected to ash and cigarette smoke smell on their hair, hands or clothes. For example, the use of IQOS has no negative impact on indoor air quality.** ***


Tips on switching to smoke-free alternatives
While the best option for all adult smokers is to quit tobacco and nicotine use altogether, switching to smoke-free alternatives from smoking cigarettes can be an alternative for those adults who would otherwise continue to smoke or use nicotine products. Here are some general tips to help an adult smoker successfully switch to a smoke-free product.




Which smoke-free alternatives are available for adult smokers?

Nowadays so many different smoke-free alternatives are available for adult smokers, making it possible to switch away from cigarettes.   


Nicotine Pouches
Nicotine pouches, also called All Whites or White Snus, are tobacco free nicotine pouches that usually come in can. It is placed in the adult user’s mouth, generally between the upper lip and gum.


E-cigarettes, or vapes, are battery-powered devices that work by heating a liquid consumable, called e liquid, that contain flavorings and nicotine. In the case of vapes a distinction is made between the open system, in which the tank is filled with ready-made or self-mixed liquids, and the closed system, in which the liquid is already filled ready for use and can’t be mixed by the consumer. When the e liquid heats up, it vaporizes, and creates an aerosol. The absence of combustion in e-cigarettes has the potential to significantly reduce the levels of harmful chemicals generated and inhaled, which should however be scientifically demonstrated on a case-by-case basis. E-cigarettes are not risk free.


Heated tobacco devices
Heated tobacco devices heat specially designed “tobacco sticks”, usually made of real, pressed tobacco, to precise temperatures, to ensure that the tobacco is not burned. Preventing the tobacco from burning also prevents the creation of smoke, which contains many harmful and potentially harmful chemicals, ash, or lingering smells, although heated tobacco products are not risk free.     

Learn more about the benefits of IQOS as a smoke-free alternative:


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This article is for general information and educational purposes. Some of the information in this article is based on external, third-party sources and we make no representations or warranties of any kind regarding the accuracy, validity or completeness of such information. 


**Source: PMI-Studie, durchgeführt unter ISO-Standards, die Szenarien der realen Welt simulieren und die auf Schwellenwerten von bestehende Richtlinien zur Luftqualität basieren.