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A Device that Heats Tobacco But Doesn’t Burn It – Here’s what you need to know



IQOS is a new alternative to smoking that heats tobacco rather than burning it. It’s not a vape and not an e-cigarette, so what is IQOS?

IQOS is part of a new category of smoke-free products called heated tobacco products (HTPs) intended for adult smokers who would otherwise continue smoking. It heats specially designed tobacco sticks without burning them to release tobacco flavour with no fire, no ash, and no smoke.

Philip Morris International (PMI) has made it its mission to replace cigarettes with smoke-free products as soon and fast as possible. There is no doubt that quitting or never to start smoking is the best option but not all tobacco containing products are the same. PMI believes that new, potentially less harmful products are a better alternative for adult smokers. But a significant public health benefit can only be achieved when many people are aware of smoke-free products and switch to them.

“Through years of research and development, PMI have developed a new class of breakthrough products that do not rely on the principle of burning—and which we believe is a much better choice than smoking,” Says Zimbini Peffer, Head of Marketing and Digital at Philip Morris South Africa.

“There are approximately 12.5 million IQOS users globally with 70% of these users having quit cigarettes entirely and the balance in various stages of conversion,” adds Peffer. “IQOS is part of PMI’s vision to achieve a smoke-free future with a product that offers a better choice than smoking cigarettes to the 11-million adult smokers in South Africa.”

 Here’s what you need to know about the IQOS device:

How does IQOS work?

Heated tobacco, or “heat-not-burn” devices are a sophisticated piece of technology that contain specially designed and patented HeatControl™ Technology that monitors and controls the temperature of a ceramic heating blade inside the device.

IQOS utilizes real tobacco that is specially processed and formed into tobacco sticks branded HEETS. The tobacco stick is then inserted into the device that heats the tobacco to temperatures below 350 degrees C. As a result, the device releases the true tobacco flavour and a nicotine aerosol, containing no ash, no smoke and less smell. IQOS is not risk free. It contains nicotine, which is addictive.

A better alternative to cigarettes

While IQOS is not risk-free and nicotine is addictive, extensive research conducted by PMI has shown that IQOS generates on average 95% lower levels of a broad range of harmful chemicals (excluding nicotine) compared to the smoke of a reference cigarette. This does not necessarily equal a 95% reduction in risk.

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