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How IQOS, a heated tobacco device, works

How heated tobacco devices work

Heated tobacco devices are also called heat-not-burn devices because of the fact that they heat tobacco instead of burning it. Essentially, the two terms - heated tobacco and heat-not-burn - are interchangeable. What’s important is that heated tobacco products do not reach the high temperatures where tobacco is burnt, resulting in a tobacco experience with none of the fire, ash or smoke that cigarettes produce.

At the heart of our IQOS heated tobacco devices are sophisticated electronics that heat specially designed tobacco sticks called HEETS. Since IQOS devices are battery-powered, they need to be charged regularly, just like you would charge a smartphone. Once the IQOS device is charged and ready for use, a HEETS tobacco stick is inserted into the device holder. By pushing a button to begin the heating process, a specially designed blade heats the HEETS tobacco stick which produces an inhalable vapour. Once the experience is over, the used tobacco stick can be removed from the device and disposed of in a bin.

Since the tobacco is heated and not burned, IQOS emits 95% less harmful chemicals compared to cigarettes.* Important information: It does not necessarily equal a 95% reduction in risk. IQOS is not risk-free.

IQOS emits 95% less harmful chemicals compared to cigarettes.*

Important information: IQOS is not risk-free. It 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

The best of IQOS technology

From thought to reality, each element of IQOS is carefully designed. IQOS HeatControl™ Technology is one of the main components of the product. Designed in Switzerland, it is responsible for heating tobacco, without burning it, to precise temperatures up to 350⁰C. The ceramic sensor blade inside the IQOS holder heats the tobacco inside the HEETS tobacco stick in order for IQOS adult users to get the experience of the taste of real tobacco with no smoke, no ash and with less smell than cigarettes.

The tobacco taste

Providing IQOS legal age users with a high quality tobacco experience is our key focus and the way we prepare tobacco is what makes the difference. The tobacco inside every HEETS tobacco stick is specially prepared using a unique patented processing method called ‘cast leave process,’ necessary to optimize the tobacco for heating. In this process, tobacco leaves of the highest quality are grounded into powder and then reconstituted into tobacco sheets. These sheets are crimped and made into a tobacco plug. When combined with all the other parts, it creates a HEETS tobacco stick which when used with IQOS is able to provide a cigarette-like satisfaction**.

IQOS and HEETS were designed to provide IQOS legal age users with a tobacco experience and duration similar to that of cigarettes. Each HEETS tobacco stick can last up to 6 minutes or 14 puffs on average, whichever comes sooner. It’s important to note that longer and gentler puffs would extend the duration of your HEETS experience.

HEETS tobacco sticks which were designed for exclusive use with IQOS come in many different tobacco flavours ranging from rich to refined, including tobacco with menthol and new aromatic blends.
Find out more about IQOS heated tobacco devices and the technology behind them.
** Source: 3 month clinical studies conducted in US and Japan with 160 adult smokers each under real conditions (ambulatory).

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This website contains information about our smoke-free products and we need your age to make sure that you are an adult in South Africa who would otherwise continue to smoke or use nicotine products. Our nicotine and tobacco products are not an alternative to quitting and are not designed as cessation aids. They are not risk free. They contain nicotine, which is addictive. Only for use by adults. Please visit the Important Information page of this website for further risk information