The researchers also looked at the carbonyls released by vaping, reporting the results as the quantity for every 12 puffs inhaled to enable comparison. The study shows that the reduction in carbonyl exposure from vaping is even bigger than for iQOS, at a massive reduction in exposure of between 97 to over 99%.
Getting to the numbers, while vaping released 0.5 to 1 μg (1 μg = 1,000 mg) of formaldehyde for 12 puffs, one iQOS stick released 5 to 6.4 μg. For acetaldehyde the figures are 0.8 to 1.5 μg for e-cigarettes and a huge 144 to 168 μg, and for acrolein the vaping device emitted 0.3 to 0.4 μg, whereas the heat not burning device released 10.4 to 10.8 μg. The researchers couldn’t compare the others because they weren’t even detected in e-cigarette vapor.
People should use any approach that works for them to quit smoking, but these results do confirm a suspicion most have had all along: while heat not burning appears much safer than smoking as well, it will probably be more dangerous to your health than vaping over the long term. That isn’t to say you shouldn’t use heat not burning, but the differences in quantities are still quite substantial.