When a cigarette is lit, the tobacco inside it combusts (burns) to generate smoke, which contains thousands of chemicals. Once it has started, combustion is a self-sustaining process that will continue as long as there is enough tobacco (fuel) and oxygen available.
When burning takes place, the temperature in a cigarette can rise above 800 °C at the tip.
The high temperatures trigger the generation of more than 6000 different chemicals1,2, many of which are harmful or potentially harmful.
Public health authorities have classified several smoke constituents as the likely causes of smoking-related diseases, such as lung cancer, heart disease and emphysema.
A number of health authorities such as the US FDA, Health Canada and the WHO have developed priority lists detailing the chemicals that are considered to be Harmful and Potentially Harmful Constituents (HPHCs)3,4.
The PMI-58 list of harmful and potentially harmful constituents
In our tobacco-containing smoke-free products, we are able to precisely control temperatures. This ensures that the tobacco does not reach the temperature necessary for combustion to occur. By avoiding combustion, we reduce or eliminate the formation of HPHCs. It is still necessary to heat the tobacco to release nicotine and flavors from the tobacco.