The History of IQOS Heated Tobacco Products

When thinking of Philip Morris International, most people probably think of “tobacco company” or “cigarette manufacturer”. However, over the last decade, we have evolved beyond only producing cigarettes. 
 We have made it our mission to replace our cigarette portfolio with smoke-free products as soon and as fast as possible. There is no doubt never starting to smoke or quitting altogether is the best option. However, adult smokers who want to continue using tobacco should know that not all tobacco-containing products are the same. We strongly believe that our smoke-free products are a better alternative than continued smoking for adults who would otherwise continue to smoke or use other nicotine products. And that is why we are transforming our company and building our future on replacing cigarettes with smoke-free alternatives. 

How did heated tobacco products get started?

The history of heated tobacco products dates back to decades. The idea of heating tobacco instead of burning it has been around since the 1980s.

How did IQOS get started as a heated tobacco brand?

At Philip Morris International, we want to provide over a billion adult smokers all over the world, who choose to continue using tobacco, with alternatives to cigarettes.
The first IQOS devices dates back to 2014, when the innovative heat-not-burn product was launched in Japan and Italy. Gradually, IQOS rolled out to other countries and is available now in 53 countries.
 The history of IQOS dates back to 2008, when Philip Morris International (“PMI”) first started working towards providing alternatives for smoking. PMI’s vision to create a smoke-free future is the result of many years of careful deliberation, backed up by a substantial research and development program.
 The IQOS heat-not-burn product is part of our portfolio of smoke-free products, for which PMI invested over USD 7.2 billion and more than 10 years of research and product development. At the same time, more than 400 scientists and engineers collaborated on the development and assessment of smoke-free products.  
 So far on a global level, more than 10 million adult smokers have chosen to switch to IQOS and leave cigarettes behind*. IOQS delivers the true taste of real tobacco without fire, ash, and cigarette smoke smell. IQOS also emits 95% less harmful chemicals compared to cigarettes**.

Important information: IQOS is not risk-free. It delivers nicotine, which is addictive

All these benefits, amongst other things, are what make IQOS a better choice than continued smoking.
Important information: IQOS is not risk-free.
Learn more about our IQOS heat-not-burn devices which are available in South Africa: IQOS 3 DUO, IQOS 3 Multi, and IQOS 2.4 Plus.
 * Source: PMI Financials or estimates, IQOS user panels, and PMI Market Research. Status as of March 2020. IQOS users who have completely quit cigarettes and for whom HeatSticks represent more than 70% of their past 7-day tobacco consumption.
**”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


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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