Polish scientists are investigating whether heating tobacco instead of burning it – as in traditional cigarettes – may be less harmful to humans. Professor Joanna Szczepanowska emphasizes that people smoke and will smoke, so it is worth conducting research, thanks to which they may choose the less harmful form of smoking.
These are products in which tobacco is heated and not burned. In a traditional cigarette, the combustion process takes place at a temperature of about 800 degrees Celsius, in the case of “heat not burn” technology (eg IQOS), the aerosol is produced by heating tobacco to a temperature of about 280 degrees. This creates potentially less harmful substances than traditional cigarettes: vawoo
Research is conducted by the Institute of Experimental Biology.
– People have always smoked, today they smoke and will continue to smoke. If the Institute contributes to the fact that they choose a less harmful form of smoking, then it is worth conducting these tests. We are not going to prove that cigarettes are not harmful – told prof. Joanna Szczepanowska from the Institute.
Professor Mariusz Więckowski, who also works in this scientific unit, emphasizes that research is to provide an answer as to whether the use of this new technology – products in which tobacco is heated rather than burned – is less harmful to the body.
– Substances that are emitted during the combustion of traditional cigarettes, or substances emitted during the heating of tobacco are captured and dissolved in solvents. Cells are then treated with extracts of these substances. In this way, we can determine the impact of these substances on mitochondria and cell function.
He added that during research, information is collected about many parameters that describe the functioning of mitochondria.
– These parameters relate to the appearance of mitochondria, their structure, how they move, whether they are fragmented or not. They also describe their functioning, i.e. their ability to produce ATP. Mitochondria are the cells in the cell responsible for producing ATP, an energy molecule that is used in the cell for most processes, allowing the cell to survive at all, “he said.
– If we determine the effect of these substances on mitochondria and the entire cell, you can in a sense translate these results to the harmfulness of the substance for the entire smoker’s body. If it turns out that mitochondria function better than traditional cigarettes, then a smoker who uses new technology, i.e. heating tobacco, may be less exposed to the harmful effects of substance toxicity.