Heated-tobacco – Is IQOS Beneficial or Risky?

Heated Tobacco Product


IQOS looks like an e-cigarette but is not. E-cigs are battery-powered sleek and slender devices that vaporize e-liquid. The e-liquid comprises nicotine to copy conventional cigarette smoking. The user inhales from the e-cig mouthpiece to power up the device, which heats the liquid nicotine and produces vapes.

IQOS is also battery powered sleek and slender device but rather than vaporizing liquid nicotine it heats the natural tobacco. It is a heat-not-burn device that just heats the tobacco and does not burn.

The IQOS comprises three major components –

  1. Marlboro-branded tobacco unit [resembles mini cigarette]
  2. IQOS holder [looks like e-cig]
  3. Charger [emulates an iPod]

The tobacco unit is pushed inside the IQOS holder. A button is pressed to activate the battery-powered heater. Users can puff the vapor containing nicotine. The IQOS manufacturers claim that it offers real flavor of heated tobacco, which lasts for 14 puffs or 6 minutes. The tobacco unit is tossed away and the device is recharged. You can visit sticks.sale to gain more details about the IQOS models and devices.

Claimed USP for FDA approval

The USP [unique selling point] of IQOS products for seeking FDA approval to sell them as a safe alternative is ‘they are smokeless’. When a traditional cigarette is used the tobacco is burnt at 600°C but the IQOS device heats nicotine only up to 350°C. Manufacturers claim that the device offers smokers the same nicotine dose as a conventional cigarette. Besides, it even offers the same tobacco flavor but without combustion.

The theoretical concept behind the heat-not-burn device is that when something is burnt, it releases smoke that is loaded with toxic and carcinogens because of combustion but heating lessens the percentage of harmful chemicals. The claim is that a heat-not-burn device is less risky than smoking a cigarette. It does not say risk-free!

Evidence and studies

According to 11 studies, more than 2,600 participants found that heated-tobacco switching had lowered their exposure risk to carcinogens and toxic releases. Low exposure means lowering the risk of developing smoking-related diseases like respiratory disorders, heart disease, and cancer issues. However, the studies were for a short duration. It takes some time for people to develop smoking-related diseases.

We have loads of evidence of how dangerous tobacco smoking is. We even know about the armful cigarettes effects. It kills 50% of regular smokers because of inhaling toxic compounds from burning tobacco. Hated products don’t burn tobacco, so they are posed to be low risk. So, public health can benefit from heated tobacco products if the risk is reduced. It means smokers must stop smoking conventional cigarettes and non-smokers must not get attracted to them.

The tobacco industry has been launching so-called harmless products or low-risk products for more than seven decades. Light tar, filtered cigarettes, and different heated product versions. However, these new devices will hardly distract people unless they pull smokers away from nicotine addiction.

Even if FDA approval of IQOS products changes the US cigarette market it will never resolve the smoking issue. IQOS product proponents and makers claim that they will help tobacco smokers quit then they will be saving the lives of thousands every year.

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