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In response to overwhelming evidence of harmful effects of cigarette smoking, the tobacco industry launched heat-not-burn cigarettes (HNBC), a hybrid between traditional combustion cigarettes (TCCs) and electronic vaping devices. They marketed HNBC as a less harmful alternative to TCC due to absence of specific toxicants released by burning the tobacco. However, similar to TCC smoke, aerosols released by heating the tobacco (up to 350°C) in HNBC contain nicotine and harmful elements generated by incomplete combustion (pyrolysis) and thermogenic degradation of tobacco. The claims that these by-products are present in amounts too small to be harmful suggest that a threshold concentration for the toxic effects of heated tobacco by-products exists. This assertion requires further elucidation, due to a …
Contributors IP and EdB wrote and edited this article.
Funding This study was funded by National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (HL144396).
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.