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How do heated tobacco devices work?

From thought to reality, each element of IQOS is carefully crafted.

Tobacco heating devices heat tobacco instead of burning it. The result? A tobacco experience with none of the fire, ash or smoke that cigarettes produce.

All tobacco heating devices contain a heating source. Some, but not all products are electronic and the exact temperature the tobacco is heated to varies from product to product. What’s important is that heated tobacco products do not reach the high temperatures where tobacco is burnt.

What is the difference in heat-not-burn devices?

Tobacco heating 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.

At the heart of our IQOS tobacco heating devices are sophisticated electronics that heat specially designed tobacco sticks called HEETS. Since IQOS heat-not-burn devices are battery-powered, they need to be charged regularly, just like you would charge a smartphone. Once the IQOS heated tobacco device is ready, a HEETS tobacco stick is inserted into the device. By pushing a button to begin the heating process, an IQOS legal age user can then inhale the vapor that is released. 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 and due to the specifics of the technology, IQOS emits 95% less harmful substances compared to cigarettes.1

The best of IQOS technology

From thought to reality, each element of IQOS is carefully crafted.

IQOS HeatControlTM Technology is the heart of the product. Designed in Switzerland, it is responsible for heating tobacco, without burning it, to precise temperatures.

The ceramic blade inside IQOS, which has gold and platinum tracks, heats the tobacco inside the HEETS. So IQOS adult users get the experience of the real tobacco in the tobacco stick, 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 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 stick able to provide taste satisfaction close to a cigarette.2

IQOS and HEETS were designed to provide IQOS legal age users with a tobacco experience and duration similar to that of cigarettes. Each HEETS stick can last up to 6 minutes or 14 puffs on average. All you really need to know is that longer and gentler puffs would extend the duration of your HEETS experience.

HEETS tobacco sticks for IQOS heat-not-burn devices come in many different tobacco flavors ranging from rich to refined, including tobacco with menthol and new aromatic blends. We’re sure that among our HEETS selection each IQOS adult user will discover the HEETS flavor that matches their taste.

Find out more about IQOS heated tobacco devices and the technology behind them here


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

1 ”95% less” represents the average reductions in levels of a range of harmful substances (excluding nicotine) compared to the smoke of a reference cigarette (3R4F). See Important Information.

2Source։ 3 month clinical studies conducted in US and Japan with 160 adult smokers each under real conditions (ambulatory)

This product is not risk free and provides nicotine, which is addictive. Only for use by adults.