06/07/2023

IQOS vs. Cigarettes: What’s the Difference?

When people first find out about IQOS , they often wonder, what is the difference between heated tobacco and cigarettes? Whilst IQOS differs from cigarettes in a few ways, IQOS can give smokers a similar experience to what they are familiar with, whilst being a better alternative than continued smoking.


Find out how using IQOS compares to smoking below:


Both HEETS and cigarettes contain tobacco


When people are trying to move to less harmful alternatives, they often miss the tobacco taste that comes with cigarettes. Unlike e-cigarettes, HEETS contain real tobacco.


Both HEETS and cigarettes contain nicotine


Both cigarettes and HEETS contain naturally occurring nicotine found in tobacco.


Similar ritual


From the weight of the IQOS holder, to the time taken to use each HEETS tobacco stick and the feel of the filter in your mouth – all of these considerations have been specially designed to give you a familiar experience.


How IQOS is different from smoking


Heating versus burning


Heating tobacco rather than burning is what sets IQOS apart from traditional cigarettes, representing a better alternative than continuing to smoke. In heating rather than burning tobacco, IQOS emits on average 95% lower levels of harmful chemicals compared to cigarettes.1 The majority of smokers who switch to IQOS completely quit cigarettes.2


Less impact on others


No smoke


Unlike cigarettes, HEETS do not produce smoke when used with IQOS. This is because the tobacco is not burned. Instead, it is heated to a controlled temperature by a specially designed heating blade. This heating process emits a vapor, contrary to cigarettes there’s no second-hand smoke produced or negative impact that results on indoor air quality.3


No ash


As IQOS doesn’t burn the tobacco there is no ash to dispose of during your experience or afterwards. Once you’ve finished your usage, simply remove the HEETS tobacco stick from the device.


Less smell


IQOS leaves less lingering smell on hands, hair and clothes than cigarettes. It also does not smell like cigarette smoke and has significantly less effect on the air around you and others than cigarettes.4


Less teeth staining


IQOS leaves significantly less stains on your teeth5 than cigarettes. This is one of the advantages that makes IQOS a better alternative to continued smoking.


Learn more about the science behind IQOS here:





1 Important Information: It does not necessarily equal a 95% reduction in risk. IQOS is not risk-free.


”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.


2 Source: PMI Financials or estimates, IQOS user panels and PMI Market Research.


3 Source: PMI study conducted under ISO standards simulating real-world scenarios and based on threshold limits established by existing air quality guidelines.


4 Important information: IQOS is not risk-free for you or others around you.


5 Important information: If teeth are already stained, switching to IQOS will not reverse the colour of those stains.


Source: non clinical laboratory study conducted in Switzerland with human teeth and the most widely used dental composites. Contrary to real world conditions, teeth were not exposed to other staining substances such as coffee, tea or wine, which may influence the results.

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