An up-and-coming smokeless cigarette currently under review by the Food and Drug Administration for sale in the U.S. may not be as harmless as the tobacco industry claims, according to a new study.
The cigarette, a heat-not-burn device called IQOS, works by heating tobacco rather than burning it. This process of heating the tobacco means combustion is avoided.
“The idea here is that without burning the material, you’re supposed to be able to avoid the harmful compounds from smoke,” explains Matthew Springer, Ph.D., senior investigator of the new federally funded study and a researcher at the University of California, San Francisco.
In traditional tobacco-burning cigarettes, combustion is blamed for many of the toxic chemicals that cause heart disease, lung cancer and other serious illnesses.
Springer, however, recently presented research showing that IQOS vapor reduces blood vessel function in rats nearly as much as cigarette smoke. Blood vessel function is the ability of a vessel to react and expand when parts of the body need more blood; studies have consistently shown this ability is impaired after smoking tobacco.
These results show that their is still evidence that this reaction to the IQOS could result in conditions that would make users prone to heart disease.
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