The science behind IQOS.

The innovation behind a better choice than continuing to smoke

Stellar blue IQOS 3 DUO holder and charger in businessman's hand with HEETS stick inserted
IQOS DUO holder heats up to 350°C

Why Heating Tobacco is Better

When a cigarette is lit, the tobacco burns at temperatures of around 600°C. This burning process generates smoke and ash; when a smoker takes a puff, the temperature rises above 800°C at the burning tip.


Cigarette smoke is a complex mixture of over 6,000 chemical substances, around 100 of which have been linked to smoking-related diseases by public health authorities.


IQOS HeatControl™ Technology heats tobacco to a lower temperature (less than 350°C), ensuring that combustion does not occur. Because there is no combustion, IQOS does not produce smoke. It generates a tobacco vapour that brings you a high-quality tobacco taste experience with 95% less* harmful chemicals compared to cigarettes.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Although IQOS does not produce tar, IQOS is not risk free, and delivers nicotine which is addictive.

* “95% less” represents the average reductions in levels of a range of harmful chemicals (excluding nicotine) compared to the smoke of a reference cigarette (3R4F). See Important Information on IQOS.com

Cigarette burns at 800°C

Cigarettes produce tar, IQOS doesn't

“Tar” is the residue from smoke after a cigarette has burned. IQOS does not produce tar because it heats tobacco instead of burning it. It generates an aerosol residue that is fundamentally different from “Tar” and consists of significantly lower levels of harmful chemicals.* Switching completely to IQOS is less harmful than continuing to smoke.**

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Although IQOS does not produce tar, IQOS is not risk free, and delivers nicotine which is addictive.
* Average reductions in the levels of a range of harmful chemicals (excluding nicotine) compared to cigarette smoke.

** Source: Based on the totality of evidence available for IQOS in comparison with continuing to smoke.
Cigarette filter with brown combustion stains compared to IQOS HEETS stick in IQOS 3 DUO holder with no equivalent stain

IQOS emits less harmful chemicals than cigarettes

Cigarettes burn tobacco, which produces high amounts of carbon monoxide. IQOS doesn’t burn tobacco, producing on average 98% less carbon monoxide (CO) and significantly lower levels of other harmful chemicals compared to cigarettes.*

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This does not mean a 98% reduction in risk. IQOS is not risk-free, and delivers nicotine which is addictive.
*Source: We measured the levels of certain harmful chemicals prioritised for reporting by renowned public health organisations, and these are reduced on average by 95% compared to the smoke of a cigarette (nicotine excluded).
Lit cigarette end compared to IQOS HEETS stick in IQOS 3 DUO holder.

Science machine

Did you know we’ve created a machine to show the significant differences between smoke produced by burning tobacco in a cigarette compared with the tobacco vapour generated when tobacco is heated in IQOS? Watch the science machine video to see more.

Representation of three filters, one pristine and the two others contaminated
Stellar blue and white IQOS 3 DUO holders

Switching to IQOS.

Our studies show that the satisfaction of those who switched completely to IQOS is comparable to that of those who continued to smoke cigarettes.* Discover more about our scientific assessment journey.

Discover the studies

IQOS is not risk-free and delivers nicotine, which is addictive. The best decision any smoker can make is to quit tobacco and nicotine use altogether.

* 3-month clinical study conducted in US and Japan with 160 adult smokers each, under near real-world conditions.

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