What is the advantage of light cigarettes

Is there a healthier way to smoke?


Light cigarettesLight cigarettes
Since 2003, a European Tobacco Product Directive has banned cigarettes with terms such as “Light”, “Leicht” or “Mild”, since the consumer is being misled about the ingredients that are actually harmful to health. Today such tobacco products often have name suffixes such as “Blue” or “Gentle”.
, E-cigarettes and heat sticks promise to be less harmful to health than conventional cigarettes. Some of the products actually do a little less harm than the classic tobacco products, but experts say they are not harmless.

They should look chic and also be significantly healthier than classic cigarettes: Heat sticks have also been available in Germany for some time. It is not the first time that tobacco companies have launched “healthier” alternatives for smokers. But are they really less harmful? An overview.

Light cigarettes

When the first studies showed a link between smoking and cancer, the industry looked for an answer. It read: light cigarettes. These products contain less tar and less nicotine. That sounds somehow healthier at first - but it isn't, says Martina Pötschke-Langer, chairwoman of the non-smoking alliance (ABNR). Several medical societies and health organizations have come together in this alliance. “Light cigarettes contain less nicotine-nicotine
There are several reasons that the addiction-inducing substance in cigarettes is nicotine:
* Nicotine penetrates the central nervous system (CNS) and is psychoactive.
* The physiological effects of smoking and injected nicotine are identical.
* Nicotine works as a "positive amplifier". Humans (and also animals) add nicotine to themselves in experiments.
* It is easier to get rid of the addictive substance (tobacco abstinence) if nicotine is administered (substituted, i.e. replaced) with medication.
* Smokers tend to adapt their smoking behavior to the different nicotine contents of tobacco products
and tar, but the smoke is easier to inhale, ”explains the expert. This allows it to be inhaled even deeper. "The pollutants are inhaled deeper and the addiction is fueled even more."


E-cigarettes usually contain a mixture of propylene glycol, glycerine, flavorings and nicotine. The liquid is evaporated. According to the Association of the e-cigarette trade, e-cigarettes are significantly less harmful than cigarettes. "These products are undoubtedly less dangerous than cigarettes," says Pötschke-Langer from the ABNR. However, they are still a health concern. Today we know that nicotine is not only addictive, it also promotes the development of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. More recent studies also give indications that it could be carcinogenic, explains the German Society for Pneumology and Respiratory Medicine (DGP) in a position paper. The flavors contained could also trigger allergies, adds Pötschke-Langer.

In addition, when the vapor is inhaled, tiny particles are deposited in the airways. They could also get into the bloodstream, emphasizes Pötschke-Langer: “In fact, nobody knows what consequences this has for health.” Too little is known about long-term effects to give the all-clear, explains the DGP.

Heat sticks

They are relatively new to the German market Heat sticks. Instead of a liquid, real tobacco is heated to around 300 degrees in the devices, but not burned. According to manufacturers, the new method reduces the concentration of harmful substances by 90 percent compared to a cigarette, but also Heat sticks in no way harmless or without risk.

According to Pötschke-Langer, the health burden is likely to result Heat sticks be somewhere between cigarette and e-cigarette. "Studies on these products are only available from manufacturers," she explains. There are no independent studies so far. Since the new products contain nicotine, one can expect an addictive effect similar to that of the tobacco cigarette.

Some smokers try to cope with their addiction by using or e-cigarettes Heat sticks to defeat. The German Society for Pneumology and Respiratory Medicine (DGP) points out, however, that the effect of conventional weaning programs has been demonstrated much better.

Source: dpa