New statistics show that in January 2020, online sales of tea cigarettes reached 48.251 million yuan, an increase of 143% compared to February 2019, and the online transaction volume in one year exceeded 500 million yuan. Tea cigarette seems to have great potential to replace tobacco & e-cigarette consumption.
Cigarette-shaped tea smoking product
Open an e-commerce platform and search with “tea cigarette” as a keyword. The highest-selling tea cigarette is higher than 30,000 pieces per month, and other brands also sell thousands of pieces every month. There are also many types, which are often subdivided according to the tea varieties involved in tea cigarette, such as Pu’er, Golden Bud, Jasmine, and Longjing. Most tea cigarette products focus on slogans such as “good cigarette alternative”, “healthy gifts”, and “non-tobacco products”.
These slogans looks familar with e-cigarettes. When electronic cigarettes became popular all the time, these word were almost piled up. However, tea cigarette has a more attractive chip-no nicotine.
How is tea cigarette different from traditional cigarettes?
The reporter learned that e-cigarette is a product that allows users to inhale nicotine and other vapors by means of atomization. Tea cigarette replaces the shredded tobacco in traditional cigarettes with tea. After being lit, the tea is smoked and it has the shape of a traditional cigarette, but without tobacco. Tea cigarette is actually “smoking tea”.
“Traditional cigarettes are addictive mainly because of the nicotine content in the smoke. But in addition to nicotine, cigarette smoke also contains more than 60 harmful ingredients such as tar.” Recently, Zhang Jianshu, president of the Beijing Tobacco Control Association, Said in an interview with reporters from Science and Technology Daily.
As for e-cigarettes, “Classified by the principle of smoking, e-cigarettes include heating and non-combustion, e-liquid atomization, etc. Although some toxic substances such as tar and suspended particles are reduced to a certain extent, most e-cigarettes are still as addictive as nicotine. As the main component, compared to traditional cigarettes, it is only a simimar product. “Zhang Jianshu said.
Zhang Jianshu pointed out that merchants have tried to make tea cigarette an image of good tobacco products, using traditional tea with a long history as the focus of publicity, and using people’s inherent impression of tea’s health, to induce consumers pay for tea cigarette. In addition, the sudden outbreak of coronavirus this year has changed the habits and cognition of many smokers, which may be one of the reasons for the “rise” of tea cigarettes.
According to the statistics of the authority, the popular science related to this epidemic has further deepened the public’s attention to health issues, especially the lungs and other respiratory problems. The negative image of smoking has been further strengthened, and giving and sending cigarettes may bring more and more disgust.
Under the banner of “health” and “quit smoking”, Tea cigarettes made inroads, and the soar of its sales volume was inevitable.
Tea is not good for the human body after burning
However, is it true that many fans of tea cigarettes are healthy?
“Drinking tea is very different from smoking tea. Burning tea is not good for the human body.” Duan Yongchun, a researcher at the Rizhao Tea Science Research Institute, told the Science Daily reporter, “Drinking tea can make caffeine, tea polyphenols, amino acids, vitamins in tea. After being soaked in water, it is then absorbed by the human body. After the tea is burned, most of the caffeine in the tea is sublimated and lost. Tea polyphenols, amino acids, vitamins are decomposed or denatured, and most of the released carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and inhalable particulate matter. These are harmful substances in the human body. ”
Duan Yongchun made an image analogy-the burning of tea leaves is similar to the components released by the burning of ordinary plant straws, and the inhalation of tea cigarette is similar to the smoke produced by the burning of plant straws?
Zhang Jianshu also held similar views. In his opinion, tea drinking and tea smoking are different ways of taking and absorbing. Merchants can’t change the concept because tea drinking is good for health. They also pack tea into healthy products. “Just like the meat we usually eat, fried and fried are delicious, and meat is rich in nutrients, but not all meat products are good for health, and fried foods are listed by the World Health Organization as the top ten junk food, fried meat is the worst hit area of ’bad fat’. ”
Smokers don’t like the bad taste
In addition to “health” gimmicks, merchants also raised the banner of “no nicotine” and “quit smoking”. Can Tea cigarette really help smokers quit?
Zhang Jianshu pointed out that the taste of Tea cigarette is not good, which may make smokers unacceptable, and it’s difficult to become a substitute for traditional tobacco.
Mr. Yu, who has a 30-year smoking history, told the Science and Technology Daily that during the process of smoking a Tea cigarette, he felt a moldy straw smell and almost no tea aroma. Compared with ordinary cigarettes, Tea cigarette smells more stubborn and is more likely to cause respiratory discomfort. “This taste is very different from ordinary cigarettes. I couldn’t accept it for the first time, and I never smoked it again.”
Earlier, some media interviewed more than a dozen old smokers who had smoked the tea cigarette. They also did not recognize the taste of the tea cigarette, and even some could not accept it. An artist also shared that It’s stimulative. ”
“In addition, even if you smoke tea cigarettes, you cannot reduce the smokers’ inherent dependence on nicotine, so they cannot help smokers to quit smoking to a large extent.” Zhang Jianshu said, “In short, the beneficial effects of tea cigarettes have not been proven. Tea cigarettes are not encouraged to be used. ”
Production and sales fall into regulatory dilemma
What’s more noteworthy is that, like other emerging products, the production and sales of tea cigarettes have fallen into a difficult situation of regulation.
“The main raw material of heat not burn electronic cigarette cartridge is tobacco extract, so it belongs to the tobacco industry internationally. Regulatory agencies such as the Tobacco Monopoly Bureau have the right and obligation to regulate them. The main raw material of tea cigarette is tea, which has not yet been included in tobacco regulatory scope. “Zhang Jianshu said.
Tea for human consumption belongs to the category of food. The reporter logged into the official website of the State Administration of Market Supervision and Administration and found the relevant constituent indicators of traditional tea, but did not find entries about Tea cigarette. It can be seen that tea cigarette has not been included in the regulation of this sector.
Zhang Jianshu said that the regulation mechanism of tea cigarette is not clear, and the security is more difficult to guarantee. The specific issues of the supervision method, degree of supervision, and punishment of tea cigarettes need to be improved by the state at the legislative level.
In fact, smoking cessation is not something that can only be accomplished with alternatives such as tea cigarettes. There are many ways to quit smoking scientifically.
“More and more people realize that smoking is harmful, especially in the post-80s and post-90s period. They have a more rational understanding of smoking and will not easily ‘get into the pit.’ This is related to government departments and the society such as the CDC and the Tobacco Control Association. The results of the organization’s publicity over the years are inseparable. “Zhang Jianshu said that smokers with shorter smoking ages can call the 12320 National Health Hotline for a targeted smoking cessation plan. Smokers who are older and addicted to smoking, or smokers who have tried to quit but have relapsed, are advised to go to the smoking cessation clinic of a regular medical institution to consult a professional physician and effectively quit smoking.
Data show that during the epidemic period, smokers have objectively quit smoking because of the inconvenience of buying cigarettes, taking care of family health and personal hygiene. In Zhang Jianshu’s view, this is a good time to quit smoking. The spread of the virus is equivalent to creating a compulsory quitting environment for some smokers, which is a good start, but after the epidemic, it is equally important to quit smoking and resist relapse.
Quitting smoking is also a kind of “cultivation”, and self-control is especially important. If you want to choose a tobacco substitute to help you quit, you must keep your eyes open, and you must not fall into another trap in order to “get out of the pit.”