The IQOS Myth Busters you need to know.

Thinking of making the switch from traditional smoking to heated tobacco products? You are not alone. To-date, almost 6 million people have stopped smoking and switched to IQOS heated tobacco products. But with any new technology, there are always myths that need to be sorted from reality.

Here, we bust the most popular myths around IQOS.

MYTH: IQOS burns tobacco
: IQOS heats tobacco; cigarettes burn tobacco. This is a crucial difference as it's the burning process in cigarettes that releases smoke containing high levels of harmful chemicals. By only heating tobacco, your exposure to toxicants is significantly reduced. But it is important to remember that IQOS is not risk-free. An e-cigarette is also an alternative to smoking but doesn’t contain tobacco at all. Instead, it uses a pre-filled, pre-sealed e-liquid cartridge that contains nicotine and flavors.

MYTH: IQOS produces smoke
TRUTH: IQOS devices are smoke-free. IQOS heats tobacco to produce a flavourful, nicotine-containing vapor that is different to the tobacco smoke released from cigarettes.

MYTH: HEETS don’t contain nicotine
TRUTH: HEETS contain tobacco and nicotine, which is naturally present in tobacco and is addictive. This product is not risk free and is addictive. Only for use by adults.

MYTH: IQOS is like vaping
TRUTH: IQOS is a heated tobacco product, not a vape product. It heats solid tobacco, whereas vape systems like Twisp heat an e-liquid that doesn't contain tobacco.

MYTH: I can use cigarettes in my IQOS
TRUTH: You can’t use cigarettes in your IQOS. Instead, you need to use HEETS tobacco sticks, which are specifically designed for heating, not smoking.

MYTH: IQOS isn't as satisfying as cigarettes
TRUTH: IQOS heated tobacco uses solid tobacco and has been designed to provide real tobacco taste and cigarette-like satisfaction.

MYTH: IQOS heated tobacco carries the same risks as cigarettes
TRUTH: IQOS heats tobacco instead of burning it. This means it releases far fewer harmful chemicals than cigarettes. In fact, studies show IQOS generates on average over 95% lower levels of harmful chemicals compared to cigarettes. It isn't risk-free, but it does offer a better choice to smokers who don't quit.

MYTH: IQOS heated tobacco is the same as an electronic cigarette (e-cigarette)
TRUTH: IQOS heated tobacco differs from e-cigarettes. IQOS products use real tobacco, whereas e-cigarettes like TWISP use an e-liquid. This e-liquid doesn't contain tobacco and may or may not contain nicotine.

MYTH: IQOS is a smoking cessation device
TRUTH: IQOS is not a smoking cessation device. Our heated tobacco products give adult smokers an acceptable alternative to cigarettes. By heating instead of burning tobacco, it releases lower levels of harmful chemicals. IQOS is a better choice for smokers who would otherwise continue to smoke.

MYTH: The plastic in Tobacco Sticks is dangerous
TRUTH: HEETS, or tobacco sticks, are made up of elements that include a tobacco plug, hollow acetate tube, polymer-film filter, cellulose-acetate mouthpiece filter, and outer and mouth-end papers. Now here comes the science part. The filter used in HEETS also contains several components – one of which is biopolymer film made of polylactic acid, derived from starch or sugar cane. This film serves an important role in cooling down the aerosol and does not melt, dissolve, or liquefy during use. This means when you turn your IQOS holder on, you draw tobacco vapor through the HEETS and simply discard the stick when done. No burning is involved.

MYTH: IQOS stands for 'I Quit Ordinary Smoking'
TRUTH: It doesn't. Instead, it's a brand name used to represent PMI's cutting-edge research and innovative technology in smoke-free alternatives to cigarettes.


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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