Speaking at a news conference on smoking cessation last Tuesday, Professor Kim Dae-jin, said that HnB devices have become another stumbling block for smoking cessation. “Heat-not-burn cigarettes are similar to conventional ones in terms of nicotine addiction because they also deliver nicotine to the brain,” he said.
He added that nicotine consumption is a serious problem.“People must not think that nicotine is a relatively safe substance. Nicotine addiction is a brain disease. Also, smoking is a ‘chronic tobacco use disorder’ that causes nicotine dependence.” Kim emphasized that people who wish to quit smoking should get medical help as according to his research this increases the chances of cessation success to 17-26%, from only 4%.
Spreading inaccurate facts
Sadly, there are a number of flaws with the professor’s statements. Firstly, although nicotine addiction is real, research has indicated that it is not what keeps smokers hooked on smoking, if this were the case how would nicotine patches be any better? Research has indicated that there is a behavioural component to this addiction. Most smokers are mainly addicted to the action of smoking, and this is why, studies have found, e-cigarettes are the most effective smoking cessation tools to date, as they mimic this action.
Besides this, Dae-jin is missing an important point. Although nicotine is addictive, it is not toxic, other chemicals in cigarettes are. Research keeps indicating that switching from smoking to vaping or using other safer alternatives such as HnB devices, minimizes the level of toxicants that one inhales by over 90%. Therefore from a harm reduction and public health standpoint, people switching to using the devices from smoking combustible cigarettes, should be considered a major win.
Read Further: Korea Biomedical Review