What Are iQOS Cigarettes?

iQOS is a relatively new tobacco product that has gained attention in recent years. It falls into the category of heat-not-burn alternatives to traditional cigarettes. Unlike regular cigarettes that burn tobacco, iQOS uses a specialized paper-wrapped tobacco stick that is heated to release nicotine and other tobacco components. While marketed as a potentially reduced-risk option, it’s essential to understand the potential harms associated with iQOS.

The Harms of Smoking in General

Before delving into IQOS specifically, let’s revisit the broader context of smoking. Whether it’s traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes, or heat-not-burn products, all tobacco products pose significant risks to health. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Cancer Risk: Tobacco smoke contains carcinogens that increase the likelihood of developing various cancers, including oral cancer.
  2. Periodontal Disease: Smoking weakens the immune system, making it harder for your gums to fight off infections. This leads to gum disease (periodontitis) and tooth loss.
  3. Tooth Decay: Nicotine and other chemicals in tobacco contribute to tooth decay.
  4. Bad Breath: Smoking causes persistent bad breath and affects taste perception.
  5. Delayed Healing: Smokers experience slower healing after dental procedures.

iQOS & Dental Health

  1. Oral Cancer: The aerosol released by heated tobacco in iQOS contains cancer-causing chemicals. While the levels may vary, the risk remains significant1.
  2. Gum Health: iQOS can still lead to gum disease due to its impact on the immune system.
  3. Tooth Decay: Nicotine and other harmful substances affect tooth enamel, leading to cavities.
  4. Dry Mouth (Xerostomia): Smoking reduces saliva production, contributing to dry mouth, which increases the risk of cavities and gum disease2.
  5. Pre-Malignant Lesions: Regular check-ups are crucial. Smoking is associated with oral leukoplakia (white patches) that can progress to cancer.
  6. Malignant Lesions: Early detection of oral cancer is vital. Regular dental visits help identify suspicious lesions.

Quitting Smoking

Regular Check-Ups

Remember, your oral health impacts your general health. Quitting smoking is a powerful step toward a healthier life.