Smokers smoke cigarettes for the sake of nicotine, but by doing so, they are putting their lives at risk. Over eight million people lose their lives yearly to illnesses caused by tobacco, causing an economic burden on health care of $1.4 trillion in addition to productivity loss.
Global organizations have long been teaming up with traditional nicotine replacement methodologies to organize various global awareness campaigns that aims to reduce the number of smokers. But alas, the number of smokers has remained over a billion since 2000. According to National Cancer Registry Program in India, the use of tobacco led to over 27 percent of cancer cases in the country in 2020, and the number is expected to increase by 12 percent by the year 2025.
Combustible cigarettes have been considered the most harmful products because more than 7000 chemicals are present in cigarette smoke, of which more than 70 are linked to cancer. Experts from several countries are working on a simple practical formula to provide a less harmful substitute for tobacco, thus helping individuals to quit smoking and build a smoke-free future. They are calling for the adoption of the approach that consumes alternatives like using e-cigarettes and devices that heat and not burn the tobacco, since eliminating smoking using traditional methods is nearly impossible.
The majority of smokers would have quit if it weren’t for the addictive nicotine, therefore, it has become an integral part of the solution, by offering it in smoke-free products to mitigate the harm. Among those products, emerged the IQOS that heats tobacco instead of burning it, which has become the most popular and most effective alternative to cigarettes and the first of its kind to be approved by the FDA to license its sale in USA. It is a pioneering innovation from Philip Morris, the world’s largest cigarette producer, which has joined forces with various smoke-reduction forces to strive for a smoke-free future.
Since smoking related diseases are caused by the process of burning tobacco and not due to nicotine, or in other terms from the smoke emitted from a cigarette, which contains more than 6,000 harmful chemicals, the company worked on creating an innovation that heats tobacco instead of burning it at a maximum temperature of 350 degrees Celsius instead of the 800 degrees found in conventional cigarettes. It emits nicotine-containing vapor instead of smoke and reduces the emission of harmful chemicals by 95 percent compared to cigarettes. However, It does not necessarily equal a 95% reduction in risk and is not risk free.
A recent clinical trial conducted in the UK showed that e-cigarettes are more effective than nicotine replacement treatments in achieving long-term smoking reduction and cessation. A survey undertaken in India found that after initiating e-cigarette use, 30 percent of participants quit smoking and 38.8 percent quit using smokeless tobacco products. Another 41 percent of participants reported reduced smoking while 30 percent reported that they reduced their smokeless tobacco use.
More than 11.7 million adult smokers have given up on conventional smoking, replacing them with the revolutionary tobacco heating device and Philip Morris expects this number exceed 40 million by 2025. By mid-2021, the company estimated that, out of 20.1 million total IQOS users, 14.7 million had switched to IQOS and stopped smoking. Of them, 4.3 million live in non-OECD countries.
In many developed countries, the large-scale implementation of smokeless tobacco has helped in replacing cigarettes and contributed to the decline in their sales, thus reducing the number of smokers.
Countries which have successfully embraced THR strategies have met their tobacco control goals. For example, the UK has taken a compassionate approach to safer alternatives and products with reduced risks – including groups with high smoking prevalence. Sweden, on the other hand, has the lowest rate of adult smoking found anywhere in the developed world (7 percent), due to the large-scale implementation of smokeless tobacco instead of smoking, while Japan saw an accelerated decline in cigarette numbers in the five last years, since the introduction of HnB products.
This product is not risk free and provides nicotine, which is addictive. Only for use by adults.
This article is brought to you by Philip Morris International