The clouds created from our products during use are aerosols that are not smoke, even though they are sometimes wrongly referred to as smoke. There’s often confusion when it comes to differentiating between aerosols that are smoke, and those that aren’t. While smoke is an aerosol, not all aerosols are smoke.
What distinguishes smoke from the aerosols created by our products during use? Smoke is an aerosol containing both liquid and solid particles and is generally formed and emitted during combustion. In a lit cigarette, the tobacco burns at temperatures reaching above 800°C generating smoke. Our portfolio of smoke-free products do not burn tobacco, and produce aerosols that are not smoke; either by heating tobacco (THS), using a nicotine salt (Nicotine Salts Product or NSP), or by heating a nicotine-containing liquid (MESH Vaping System or MVS).
Why does this matter? Because during the burning of the tobacco, most of the harmful and potentially harmful constituents (HPHCs) found in cigarette smoke are released, and carbon-based solid particles are generated that can adversely affect your health when inhaled. While not being risk-free, our smoke-free products, which avoid combustion, have the potential to be less harmful alternatives for smokers who won’t quit.
These are two laboratory filter pads. The left shows collected cigarette smoke, while the right shows collected THS aerosol. Learn more about how these were created from our Aerosol Demo.
Emphasizing the differences between cigarette smoke and the aerosols generated by our products may seem like semantics, but there are scientifically substantiated differences between them that goes beyond wording.
We created an assessment program to track the scientific developments of all our products, and this program includes testing the composition of our aerosols. Our findings show how our aerosols are compositionally different from cigarette smoke.
A series of studies compared the composition of THS aerosol against cigarette smoke, covering 54 HPHCs. THS aerosol produced an average of 90-95% lower HPHC levels, compared to cigarette smoke.
To investigate whether or not carbon-based solid particles are present in our THS aerosol, we collected and analyzed mainstream smoke from a cigarette as well as the mainstream aerosol from THS. Scanning electron microscopy confirmed the absence of carbon-based solid particles in our THS aerosol, whereas over 1 trillion solid particles were detected in cigarette smoke.
Determining what is and isn’t in our aerosol only makes up a part of what we investigate. Knowing how the aerosols might affect the body and environment are also vital pieces of information. We’ve collected a few interesting findings and facts across most of our assessment program:
We’re always actively working on all of our products, constantly researching and testing everything from early development to post-launch and beyond. Our library contains almost 1000 publications, including research papers, conference posters and presentations, and more. To dig into more information, search through our library here.