Electronic nicotine delivery systems(ENDS) have remained at an epidemic level in recent decades.
Being an alternative to combustible cigarettes, the ENDS has motivated a large number of smokers to move to a smoke-free future.
Today, we’re going to discuss something about ENDS and its latest innovation.
What are electronic nicotine delivery systems?
Electronic nicotine delivery systems(ENDS) are electronic (predominantly battery-powered ) devices that aerosolize nicotine and other formulations to create a vapor or aerosol that is inhaled by the user.
The ENDS are initially referred to as the early generation of e-cigarettes while following technological advances, and e-cigarettes have evolved into a variety of forms, making ENDS available in rich options.
Moreover, some newly-developed ENDS have emerged, such as heat-not-burn (HNB) products, which have grown in popularity in recent years.
Hence, nowadays, ENDS consist of a diverse category of products, such as e-cigarettes or e-cigs, e-cigars, e-pipes, vapes, hookah pens, vaporizers, vape pens, and heat-not-burn devices, among others.
In short words, ENDS include those nicotine delivery devices that are activated by electricity.
While their physical features like size, shape and design, as well as performance, may vary, such as cigar-likes that resemble conventional tobacco sticks, and pen-shaped or tank systems, the ENDS share a similar working mechanism, which is, as mentioned above, to use a heating element to generate nicotine-contained emission for users to suck in.
E-cigarettes and their variations are known as the most popular ENDS. In general, they are usually formulated with nicotine, a solvent like propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin and flavorings, which is called an “e-liquid”. The nicotine of e-cigarettes can be derived from tobacco or can be synthetic nicotine.
What are the differences between ENDS and traditional cigarettes?
While some ENDs replicate the look and feel of traditional cigarettes, like cigar-likes or heat-not-burn products, the two are distinctive from each other, especially when it comes to the science behind their nicotine delivery methods.
Traditional cigarettes are ignited with an open flame and burnt to an extremely high temperature, reaching around 900°C. During the combustion process, nicotine-contained tobacco smoke is produced for users to inhale.
Except for the high-additive nicotine, tobacco smoke is accompanied by its byproducts, such as ash, tar, and carbon monoxide. It is reported that tobacco smoke and its residues contain thousands of chemicals, among which 250 substances are known to be poisonous and 70 are carcinogens.
The toxic compounds associated with tobacco smoke represent the major risk factors that lead to tobacco-related diseases, such as lung cancer, chronic respiratory diseases, cerebrovascular disease, heart disease, stroke and other chronic diseases.
Unlike traditional cigarettes, ENDs usually deliver nicotine without using an open flame. Instead, they heat the raw materials with an electronic device to release an emission.
The heating temperatures of ENDs are generally not exceeding 350°C, depending on the types of devices or brands. For example, e-cigarettes remain at a temperature of around 250°C when they are in use, while HNB devices are heated to a temperature at about 350°C, a bit higher than e-cigarettes.
As the heating temperatures of ENDS are much lower than that of conventional cigarettes, they don’t involve combustion or burning. The emission released by ENDS during the heating process is considered as a vapor or an aerosol rather than smoke.
Therefore, when it comes to emissions, ENDS might have the potential to expose users to lower levels of toxicants associated with tobacco smoke, which is the reason why ENDS are usually promoted as a safer alternative to regular cigarettes.
Another feature that distinguishes ENDS from conventional cigarettes is that the nicotine strengths of ENDS can be controlled or customized according to individual needs, as ENDS products are usually available in varying nicotine strengths.
For instance, if you intend to quit nicotine gradually, you can choose ENDS that come with lower nicotine strengths so as to reduce the consumption of nicotine.
Keep in mind that some ENDS may cause rapid delivery of a similar volume of nicotine as a regular cigarette, leading to high addiction potentials.
Also, there are non-nicotine ENDS available to choose from. For example, some herbal heat stick brands like NEAFS have nicotine-free product lines to cater to people who are looking for something new.
HNB devices: innovative ENDS
Heat not burn (HNB) devices are the latest innovation of ENDS. Like e-cigarettes, HNB devices use electricity to power a heating element to create an aerosol that users breathe in. No combustion takes place when an HNB product is consumed.
Due to their similarity in operation, HNB products are usually referred to as e-cigarettes, but they are actually different categories of ENDS.
While e-cigarettes heat e-liquid to produce a vapor, HNB products heat a wide variety of materials, such as compressed tobacco leaves, natural herbs, tea leaves or other materials.
Generally, HNB products are categorized into two groups, which are heated tobacco products(HTPs) and heated tobacco alternatives.
Heated tobacco products heat, rather than burning compressed tobacco leaves to produce a nicotine-contained aerosol. This kind of ENDS replicates the look and feel of traditional cigarettes, enabling users to enjoy a nicotine hit and sensations similar to conventional cigarette smoking, though someone might consider they taste a bit lighter than regular cigarettes.
In regard to heated tobacco alternatives, at present, they mainly come in the form of herbal heat sticks and tea-based heat sticks. Since they don’t contain tobacco leaves, heated alternatives are free of harsh smells and unpleasant aftertastes.
Besides, heated alternatives are available in a rich range of flavors, such as coffee, lemon, blueberry, jasmine, mints and many more, offering users enjoyable experiences.
Some of the popular heated alternative brands include NEAFS, Genmist, CIGOO, Ccobato and others. NEAFS is the only one which passed the MHRA in the UK.
For example, NEAFS owns its TEO electronic heating devices as well as a full line of nicotine and non-nicotine heat sticks to meet everyone’s needs.
NEAFS sticks use a variety of tea leaves as base materials, which are blended with nicotine, natural herbs, mint, edible essence, vegetable glycerin, propylene glycol and flavorings to bring cigarette-like sensations, along with a touch of refreshing and exotic taste borne out of natural plants.
Tea-based heat sticks like NEAFS are suitable for those who want to reduce the consumption of regular cigarettes and nicotine or to try out something refreshing.
In short, heat-not-burn products offer smoking experiences close to regular cigarettes while keeping users away from toxic substances that are produced when a regular cigarette is ignited or burnt, which becomes one of their selling points.
By delivering nicotine to users without using tobacco or without burning, electronic nicotine delivery systems are marketed as an effective and safer substitute for traditional tobacco cigarettes.
E-cigarettes remain the predominant ENDS products, while with technological improvements, new innovations like HNB products have come into the market and have gained growing popularity.