E-cigarettes and tobacco heaters like IQOS are becoming increasingly popular among smokers and newcomers and are supposedly the healthier alternative to cigarettes. In our analysis, we want to take a closer look at the two products and clarify what the differences are between IQOS and e-cigarette. At the same time, we also want to find out which of the two nicotine products is less harmful and whether there are any other alternatives.
IQOS vs. e-cigarette/vapes: the most important facts at a glance
At first glance, both products look very similar, but there are a few differences in the structure and content of IQOS and e-cigarettes.
One of these differences lies in the structure of the two devices. The e-cigarette is equipped with an electric coil, which is responsible for heating the liquid containing nicotine and converting it into vapor. The first e-cigarettes were equipped with a container called a tank, which was filled directly with the liquid. Another alternative are the pod systems that you put into the device - so called closed systems.
Tobacco heaters, in contrast, have a heater. To fill the tobacco heaters, you can buy tobacco sticks, which are also inserted into the device and heated to over 200 degrees.
The biggest difference between IQOS and e-cigarettes or vapes lies in the ingredients: The tobacco sticks for IQOS and co. consist of dried tobacco, which has been mixed with glycerin and water. In pods or tanks of vapes, the nicotine comes in liquid form and has been extracted from the tobacco plant or produced synthetically. Together with the main ingredients glycerin and propylene glycol, which are widely used in the food industry, this liquid mixture is heated and imitates the smoking habit. The tobacco effect is achieved in both devices, as they both contain nicotine.
Summary IQOS vs. e-cigarette / vape
- E-cigarettes have a coil, IQOS a heater and battery.
- In tobacco heaters tobacco comes directly from the tobacco plant, in e-cigarettes it is added in liquid form.
- In e-cigarettes the liquid is heated to vapor, in tobacco heaters tobacco is heated.
IQOS or e-cigarette / vape: which is more harmful?
Since IQOS or e-cigarettes are widely used for smoking cessation, we should pay close attention to the harmfulness of the two devices. The greatest health risks are generated by the combustion process of the cigarette. Burning produces a great deal of carcinogenic substances, which cannot be detected in e-cigarettes and tobacco heaters because these two products deliberately avoid the combustion process. What many do not know: Nicotine as a chemical substance in itself is not carcinogenic, but by far the largest part of harmful effects on health only arise from the combustion process of tobacco.
The nicotine content of tobacco heaters is similar to that of normal cigarettes. With e-cigarettes, the nicotine content varies. Pods with little nicotine have a strength of 3 mg/ml, while strong products contain up to 18 mg/ml.
It can be stated that tobacco heaters and e-cigarettes or vapes are less harmful than cigarettes. Of course, they are still not without risks. Since both products contain nicotine, they can be addictive. In addition, e-cigarettes as well as IQOS have been found to contain aerosol, which disperses into the air when consumed and also affects non-users. They should therefore not be used in the presence of children and ideally should not be consumed at all - however, compared to cigarettes, both products are scientifically proven to be much less harmful.
Vaporizer or e-cigarette: which is better?
There are some studies on the health risks of the two devices. The question of which device is more suitable for quitting smoking should be answered with e-cigarettes. With e-cigarettes, the nicotine content can be selected by the user and slowly lowered. Thus, a gradual withdrawal succeeds better. In terms of taste, tobacco e-cigarettes come closer to cigarettes, but they cannot be selected arbitrarily according to their strength.
More smoke alternatives
Another alternative to smoking is snus. Since snus is neither heated nor burned, this alternative is considered even less harmful because there is not even a heating process involved in snus. Since snus is also free from pollutants that are produced when consuming cigarettes, IQOS and e-cigarettes, we recommend snus as the best option to quit smoking. Snus can also be purchased with varying levels of nicotine, mild varieties contain around 3 to 9 mg/g of nicotine.
Snus can be bought in different flavors and now there are also products that come completely without tobacco. These are called Nicotine Pouches or All White Snus. Here, the nicotine comes in liquid form in the mixture, similar to the e-cigarette. Snus can even be purchased without nicotine and is ideal for quitting smoking permanently.