News Light HD

Stay informed, stay ahead with

Lifestyle Tech

E-cigarettes and other tobacco alternatives: are they safe?

There are more and more products on the market that are sold as an alternative to tobacco and are promoted as safe. We tell you what they are and why they are not harmless to health as they suggest

There are more and more products on the market that are sold as an alternative to tobacco and are promoted as safe. We tell you what they are and why they are not harmless to health as they suggest

The tobacco industry has evolved in the development of alternative products to maintain consumption and attract new customers. Surely you have heard of some of them, but do you know them? Do you think they are less harmful than a traditional cigarette? In this article, we review each one and tell you everything you need to know to take care of your respiratory health.

Conventional cigarettes, that is, those that burn, in addition to tobacco, contain added chemical substances, a filter and a paper cover. People who smoke are exposed to more than 7,000 chemicals when they inhale cigarette smoke and expose those around them to this smoke.

The nicotine contained in tobacco is a highly addictive substance, and tobacco use is one of the main risk factors for cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, as well as more than 20 types or subtypes of cancer and other diseases.

Also, it’s not just a deadly habit for smokers, it can be deadly for people exposed to tobacco smoke as well. Passive smoking, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), annually causes 1.2 million deaths. Every year 65,000 children die from being exposed to this smoke, and tobacco use during pregnancy can cause permanent health problems for babies.

The new ways of consuming tobacco

Tobacco consumption has a very high economic cost in terms of health expenses and loss of productivity. However, new forms and devices of consumption do not stop emerging. There are more and more products that we find on the market as an alternative to tobacco that are sold as harmless, but nothing is further from the truth. Let’s talk about some of them.

Light’ or hand-rolled cigarettes

  • Some people believe that because they are light or low in tar they are less harmful to health, but this has not been proven.
  • Rolling tobacco has not been proven to be safer either, and it even appears to increase the risk of laryngeal, esophagus, mouth, and pharyngeal cancer.

Menthol cigarettes

  • Menthol cigarettes are also no safer than unflavoured ones.
  • The fact that the smoke is easier to inhale, due to the cooling effect of the menthol, makes you inhale more deeply and the smoke stays inside for a longer time , which is very dangerous.

Cigars or small cigars

  • In this case, just one cigar can have the same amount of tobacco as a full pack of cigarettes .
  • Cigars, regardless of size, are tobacco, and the smoke they produce contains the same harmful substances as cigarette smoke.

Electronic cigarettes

  • Its use is referred to as vaping or vaping and there are infinite shapes, sizes and models in which we can find them (vaporizers, e-cigs , tank systems, JUUL…). In all of them, the liquid that is put in its tank is heated until it creates an aerosol that is usually called “steam”.
  • This “vapor”, not really being “water vapour”, is not harmless . The main component of this spray is flavored propylene glycol , which can be dangerous. In addition, it contains nicotine and other addictive substances that can lead to cardiopulmonary diseases and many types of cancer.
  • Although more research is needed to know the long-term effects, there are studies that speak of serious lung diseases in people who use these devices, even leading to death.
  • In different settings they are being sold as a smoking cessation device, but there is not enough evidence to tell us that this is the case.

Clove’ cigarettes (‘kreteks’)

  • They are cigarettes imported from Indonesia that contain, in addition to tobacco, ground cloves, clove oil and other additives.
  • Clove or kreteks cigarettes are consumed mainly by young people causing them to become addicted to nicotine.
  • In the absence of further research, people who smoke these types of cigarettes have a 20 times greater risk of lung problems than those who do not.

‘Bidis’ or ‘beedies’

  • They are flavored cigarettes from India and other Southeast Asian countries. Its high nicotine content produces greater toxicity in people who smoke it.
  • Although beedies contain less tobacco than a regular cigarette, they provide 3 to 5 times more nicotine, as well as tar and carbon dioxide .
  • Bidis produce the same ill health effects as regular cigarettes by increasing the addiction.

Water pipes or ‘hookahs’

  • They originate from Asia and the Middle East. A pipe is used for the combustion of tobacco that is mixed with different flavors. The flavored smoke is inhaled through a long hose. The tobacco mixture ( shisha ) is heated with charcoal, which itself already produces carbon monoxide and other toxins.
  • The smoke from these pipes contains toxins such as carbon monoxide, nicotine, tar, and heavy metals in concentrations that are as high or higher than those found in cigarette smoke.
  • Various types of cancer, including lung cancer, have been linked to its consumption, as well as heart disease, bronchitis, and emphysema . There is also a risk of disease transmission from sharing pipes.
  • They also produce secondhand smoke, both from tobacco and from the coal used for combustion, so it can cause problems for those around you.


  • It is a relatively new device that heats tobacco without burning it, which is why it is sold as a safer product than tobacco, since the chemicals created during heating are fewer than those formed when burning.
  • The device has a disposable tobacco unit called a heet that contains the ground and compressed tobacco and is inserted into the electronic support. Each heet has about the same nicotine as a cigarette, and releases an aerosol that is inhaled by the user and also affects people around them.
  • This aerosol contains nicotine , chemicals , additives , and flavorings .

What kind of tobacco is healthier?

As the American Cancer Society says: “ There is no tobacco product that is safe. Not using any type of tobacco is the best way to stay healthy.”

Don’t be fooled by misleading advertisements and stay as far away from tobacco as possible. In the event that you smoke and want to quit, consult your trusted doctor or professionals specialized in respiratory health. On the Lovexair website, you will find further information on this subject and a Guide to Quitting Smoking.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *