Back in 2017, there were about 25 % cigarette smokers in the Czech Republic. Although the number of smokers is successfully declining due to rising prices, life trends and various legislative restrictions, more than half of cigarette smokers are switching from conventional to electronic. Some, because it is cheaper for them, some cannot stop overnight, so they resort to compromise. Some believe that the electronic cigarette is healthier. Is e-cigarette smoking harmful? And how is the novelty on the market, the so-called IQOS cigarette?


Patent from China

Although the idea of creating a cigarette to inhale drugs originated at the beginning of the last century, it was not until 2006 that the Chinese Hon Lik patented a vacuum tube in the form we know today, and a new trend of smoking spread to the world. One classic cigarette lasts for about 5 minutes of smoking, you can smoke the tube for up to an hour at a time. So what are the pros and cons? 

Horrible aerosol 

Many smokers mistakenly think that electronic cigarettes are not so harmful to health, but as recent research has shown, the opposite is often true. If you are using nicotine-filled e-cigarettes. Electronic cigarettes convert nicotine and various chemical flavors by heating into an aerosol, which is then inhaled into the lungs. They are powered by a battery that heats the glow plug. So e-cigarette smokers do not inhale smoke, but aerosol. The researchers observed in experiments in mice that the mitochondria inside the lung cells react negatively when exposed to the aerosol and cluster into defensive groups, similar to a flock of sheep. If the influx of pollutants does not stop, as in the case of a notorious smoker, mitochondria die and are no longer replaced by new ones. In their place, a 30 % higher concentration of carcinogenic cells arises. 

Nicotine poisoning can occur

Compared to smoking regular cigarettes, when using "tubes" with liquid, about ten times more nicotine gets into the body at once, thanks to the process of aerosol formation, which in rare cases can also cause nicotine poisoning. This means that you are so sick that you no longer feel like smoking, so you usually do not get into a life-threatening condition. However, what exactly the smoker inhales with liquid into the body is often not even fully explained. Although the responsible manufacturer states the composition of the liquid, when heated by the body, unspecified pollutants may be released. It is certainly worth mentioning, for example, cadmium, toluene, ammonia, arsenic or methanol. Nevertheless, the world organization WHO recommends vacuum tubes due to the absence of tar, unlike conventional cigarettes. 

Positive e-cigarettes

However, in order not to be too skeptical, the electronic cigarette has (indisputably) one indisputable advantage that we should not forget - when smoking regular cigarettes, pollutants are released into the air, when even bystanders, even non-smokers, are exposed to secondhand smoke and all related negative effects. However, when using an electronic cigarette, the smoker releases only empty fumes into the air, which cannot harm the surroundings. Tests have also shown that smoking an electronic cigarette is less dependent than on a conventional cigarette because nicotine does not get into the body as effectively as with regular smoking due to the aerosol. And what if the chosen liquid does not contain any nicotine at all?

Damage that can be repaired 

Experts report that the electronic cigarette has no significant effect in relieving nicotine addiction. However, many claim that gradually reducing the nicotine content of the liquid helped them eventually get rid of their addiction completely. Sometimes, however, the amount of nicotine ingested is skewed. Ordinary cigarette smokers usually measure how many cigarettes they smoke a day, while vacuum tubes simply smoke until they have enough. However, the situation is completely different for tubes that do not contain any nicotine. If the user previously preferred conventional cigarettes, there is a chance with the tube that some lung cells will be restored and lung capacity will be maximized again. There is no dependence on nicotine and when heating the liquid, the user inhales different products of different nature, depending on the composition of the product. It becomes a stumbling block if the smoker does not take care of his vacuum tube, does not replace the necessary components and the e-cigarette is thus clogged with fumes.

However, security cannot be confirmed

Despite all the pros, scientists have not yet confirmed that e-cigarettes are safe. There are insufficient, long-term studies for this, due to the relatively short fame of electronic cigarettes. In addition, there have been several cases of gambling with electronic cigarette refills around the world, where users tried hand-mixed, low-quality liquids and then fell into a coma and died, which did not help the fame of the tubes. On the contrary, the popularity of e-cigarettes is boosted by famous influencers, who perform spectacular smoke tricks and shows on Internet videos. Aside from all this, a new favorite toy is coming out - IQOS. 

What about IQOS? 

The IQOS novelty is a kind of intermediate stage between a vacuum tube and a classic cigarette. This thing releases nicotine through heat, without fire, ash or harmful smoke. It is definitely a lesser evil than a classic cigarette. Smoking IQOS cigarettes inhales hot steam. Compared to conventional cigarettes, the use of the IQOS variant does not seem to result in such excessive formation of carcinogenic cells. Some cases even state that after switching from a classic cigarette to IQOS, the smoker coughed up tar for some time and then his lung condition improved significantly. The disadvantages of this type of smoking can be the feeling of dry lips and deteriorating skin quality, caused by the heating temperature of the filling, which dries out. Compared to cigarettes, IQOS gets about the same amount of nicotine from the body as from the strongest Sparta cigarettes. Many users are also discouraged by the smell or smell that is specific to smoking nicotine in this form. And the considerable purchase price is also higher. Compared to the amount the average smoker smokes per year, it is still a positive alternative for notorious smokers.

Don't get suffocated

A recent British study showed that if a smoker stopped smoking, the lung cells could regenerate on their own, although no one had yet found out where they came from. Thus, changes in the lungs are not irreversible. Try to walk in the fresh air in nature and evaluate how you actually breathe…


"Many smokers mistakenly think that electronic cigarettes are not so harmful to health"

"Despite all the pros, scientists have not yet confirmed that e-cigarettes are safe"

Photo: istock.com