Farsalinos on Heat-Not-Burn

Posted 17th July 2017 by Dave Cross
Doctor Konstantinos Farsalinos led a team looking at the new Heat-Not-Burn technology. The study’s purpose was to measure nicotine levels produced by tobacco cigarettes, the levels emitted to the aerosol of a heat-not-burn product, and the levels emitted to the aerosol of electronic cigarettes.

The team state: “Electronic cigarettes (ECs) are currently the most popular harm reduction products, but still not all smokers find them effective or satisfactory enough in fully substituting smoking. This could be related, at least in part and for less advanced products, to insufficient nicotine delivery compared to tobacco cigarettes.”

Farsalinos highlights that feedback from vapers states that high nicotine liquids are used to help the transition from smoking to vaping. Moreover, ecigs are poor vectors for nicotine delivery due to the low levels found in vapour and the variation between different devices.

Heat-Not-Burn products were first introduced, unsuccessfully, in the 1980s. Despite delivering acceptable levels of nicotine, users found they had an “unpleasant flavour” and were difficult to use on a daily basis.

The new product, the IQOS, operates in a similar fashion, as ‘it says on the tin’ it heats the tobacco to 350 °C, instead of burning at 900 °C in a traditional cigarette. Consequently, there is no combustion – so there are no by-products of combustion.

“Studies perform by the manufacturer of the product have shown reduced emissions of toxic chemicals, lower in vitro adverse effects in animals and lower human exposure to harmful and potentially harmful chemicals, findings that are probably related to the low working temperature of the product.”


They found that the IQOS “contains nicotine at concentration (per gram of tobacco) similar to tobacco cigarettes. With the puffing regimes tested herein, the delivery of nicotine to the aerosol was lower than a tobacco cigarette, higher than electronic cigarettes at low puff duration and lower than eGo style and variable wattage electronic cigarettes at longer puff duration.”

Farsalinos talked about this research during his attendance at the recent Global Forum for Nicotine conference. You can watch it on the video below:

 Dave Cross
Article by Dave Cross
Freelance writer, physicist, karateka, motorbikes, and dog walker
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