There are many alternatives to cigarettes out there today available for adult smokers, and each have different features and functions. Some adult smokers may have the tendency to wrongly group all smoking alternatives under one category: "e-cigarettes". However, did you know that e-cigarettes are actually only one type of smoking alternative, specifically referring to a type of smoke-free alternative that does not contain real tobacco? And did you also know that there are other types of smoking alternatives that exist beyond e-cigarettes, which contain real tobacco? Let’s take a look at these different options.
First things first. What are e-cigarettes?
Electronic cigarettes – also called e-cigarettes or vapes – are one type of alternative to smoking. The key thing to note about e-cigarettes is that they do not utilize real tobacco. Rather, they heat e-liquids (sometimes called vaping liquid), which evaporates, producing a vapor that is drawn from the device through a mouthpiece.
No combustion occurs when a legal-aged user draws from an e-cigarette, as nothing actually burns. While there is vapor, there is no smoke. This is why e-cigarettes are sometimes referred to as a smoke-free alternative to cigarettes.
In addition, the e-liquids utilized in e-cigarettes can come with or without nicotine, and generally come in various flavors, including tobacco flavor. So, while there may be e-liquids that produce a vapor that tastes like tobacco, e-cigarettes with real tobacco do not exist.
What types of smoking alternatives do contain tobacco
While you won’t be able to find “e-cigarette tobacco”, if you are an adult who would otherwise continue to smoke or use other nicotine products, there are smoke-free tobacco products that you can explore. Among these are chewing tobacco and heated tobacco (including tobacco sticks).
Heated tobacco, or heat-not-burn, is a type of smoke-free technology. Heated tobacco devices utilize real tobacco that is specially processed and formed into sticks. The tobacco sticks are then inserted into the device, where the tobacco is heated to very specific temperatures. This controlled heating ensures that the real tobacco does not burn; however, since there is heating involved, tobacco flavors are released, while smoke and ash are eliminated.
Chewing tobacco is coarsely cut tobacco in small portion bags that are chewed and placed behind the upper lip. The tobacco substances are released into the saliva and absorbed through the oral mucosa. Like heated tobacco, chewing tobacco belongs to the category of smokeless tobacco, as chewing tobacco does not release smoke.