Warning over health risks of ‘heated tobacco’ devices and vaping

A sign board indicates that visitors are only allowed to use vaping device Reuters
A sign board indicates that visitors are only allowed to use vaping device Reuters

Smokers who reach for an ‘alternative’ smoking device such as heat-not-burn tobacco gadgets – or even a vape – still risk damaging their lungs, experts have warned.

Researchers analysed the effects of smoking, heated tobacco and vapes on lung cells including epithelial cells, which ‘push’ foreign particles out of the lungs.

The researchers found that cigarette smoke and heated tobacco vapour were both toxic to lung cells – and so was e-cigarette vapour at high concentrations.

Dr. Sukhwinder Sohal of the University of Tasmania said, ‘Our results suggest that all three are toxic to the cells of our lungs.

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‘These new heated tobacco devices are as harmful as smoking traditional cigarettes.

‘We observed different levels of cellular toxicity with all forms of exposures in human lung cells. What came out clearly was that the newer products were in no way less toxic to cells than conventional cigarettes or e-cigarette vaping.

‘Heat not burn’ products have been marketed as tasting like ‘real’ cigarettes, but as less harmful.

Philip Morris launched its version – IQOS, pronounced ‘eye-koss’ – after widespread anti-smoking campaigns.

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