IQOS, which stands for “I Quit Ordinary Smoking,” is a revolutionary tobacco heating system developed by Philip Morris International (PMI). As an alternative to traditional cigarettes, IQOS uses innovative heat-not-burn technology to provide adult smokers with a less harmful option. This article delves into the history of IQOS and how this groundbreaking technology works.
The History of IQOS: Pioneering the Heat-Not-Burn Technology
The development of IQOS began in the early 2000s when PMI started researching alternative tobacco products that would reduce the harm associated with smoking. Their goal was to create a product that would appeal to adult smokers while significantly decreasing their exposure to harmful chemicals.
After years of research and development, PMI unveiled the first IQOS device in 2014, initially launching it in Nagoya, Japan, and Milan, Italy. The product quickly gained traction among adult smokers, leading to its introduction in over 60 countries by 2021.
The success of IQOS has been a significant factor in PMI’s commitment to creating a smoke-free future, as they continue to invest in research and development to improve their heat-not-burn technology and expand their product offerings.
How IQOS Works: The Science Behind Heat-Not-Burn Technology
IQOS uses a unique heat-not-burn technology that sets it apart from traditional cigarettes. Instead of burning tobacco, IQOS heats it to produce an inhalable nicotine-containing aerosol.
Here’s a step-by-step explanation of how the IQOS system works:
Tobacco-filled sticks, called “Heets” or “HeatSticks,” are inserted into the IQOS Holder.
The heating blade within the holder penetrates the tobacco stick and heats it to a temperature of up to 350°C (662°F) without combustion.
The heating process generates a nicotine-containing aerosol that users inhale through the mouthpiece of the holder.
The aerosol delivers nicotine and flavor to the user, mimicking the experience of smoking without producing smoke, ash, or fire.
Why Heat-Not-Burn Technology is a Safer Alternative
Traditional cigarettes combust tobacco, producing harmful smoke containing thousands of toxic chemicals, many of which are known to be carcinogenic. By heating tobacco instead of burning it, IQOS significantly reduces the production of these harmful and potentially harmful chemicals.
Numerous independent and PMI-funded scientific studies have demonstrated that IQOS exposes users to significantly fewer toxicants than traditional cigarettes. While IQOS is not risk-free, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized its sale as a Modified Risk Tobacco Product (MRTP), indicating that it is a less harmful alternative for adult smokers who would otherwise continue to smoke.
Explore: The Battle of Tobacco Technology: IQOS vs RELX
The history of IQOS and its innovative heat-not-burn technology represents a significant milestone in the tobacco industry’s efforts to reduce the harm associated with smoking. By providing adult smokers with a less harmful alternative, IQOS is at the forefront of tobacco harm reduction strategies. As research and development continue, it is expected that IQOS and similar products will play an increasingly important role in improving public health and transitioning smokers away from traditional cigarettes.