Russian HNB Research

Posted 10th May 2018 by Mawsley
Russian academics at Kazan University have looked at the potential health risks from using a heat-not-burn product. They looked at the toxicity of products produced by heat-not-burn devices, but the information is limited to a university press release and a paper has not been published. It conflicts with other published findings.

The heat-not-burn (HNB) market is very restricted in Britain and looks set to remain so due to the popularity of vaping. Where tobacco companies got a foothold, Japan being a case in point, the technology took off; but sale volumes recently flat-lined and analysts are suggesting HNB might be coming to the end of a short product lifecycle.

A key to the future can be found in Philip Morris International’s application to sell iQOS in the United States. If successful it could prove a fillip to future markets. Consequently, the Russian paper seems to be a timely release … even if no actual study can be found.

Philip Morris claim the iQOS carries 10% of the risk of tobacco cigarettes, independent researchers say it’s more like 45-55%, and opponents to any form of harm reduction wibble on shouting the same nonsense they do for vaping.

Government of Russia academics at Kazan University’s Semashko National Scientific Research Institute of Public Health say they have carried out in-vitro studies and clinical trials on healthy people.

They state: “Biological activity of the electronic tobacco heating system (ETHS) was studied, as well as its potential to reduce detrimental and potentially detrimental influence on health compared to a standard cigarette, which was called 3R4F in this case.”

“Cytotoxicity of standard ETHS and menthol ETHS aerosol fractions was found to be lower than that of standard cigarette smoke. Furthermore, raw condensate of ETHS did not appear to be mutagenic. Genetic toxicity of the two abovementioned fractions was significantly lower than that of standard cigarette smoke.”

“Clinical trials were aimed at determining primary and secondary biomarkers in smokers' blood and urine for those individuals who transferred from standard cigarettes to ETHS in comparison with smokers of standard cigarettes and those who quit smoking for the duration of the research.”

They believe they discovered a marked decrease in carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide being transported in the blood, compared to the blood samples of a smoker. The university claims that levels were on par with someone who had quit smoking for a period of 5 days. Nicotine levels between smokers and HNB users remained roughly identical.

While the findings may or may not be true, they did not actually test for toxins or address the HNB objections and criticisms from studies like this one published in March (that found evidence of pyrolysis -- thermal decomposition in the absence of oxygen).

Unlike the case for vaping the one for HNB remains more mixed although experts do agree that both are safer than smoking.