Free shipping on order above AED 200+ | Same day delivery in Dubai, Sharjah & Ajman | Delivery 7 days a week

IQOS vs. Vaping: What’s the Difference and Which is Better

The landscape of smoking alternatives has evolved significantly over the past decade, offering smokers a variety of options to reduce their dependency on traditional cigarettes. Among these alternatives, IQOS and vaping stand out as popular choices. Both methods aim to deliver nicotine without the harmful effects of burning tobacco, but they do so in fundamentally different ways. This article explores the differences between IQOS and vaping, evaluating their mechanisms, health implications, user experience, and overall effectiveness to help users decide which might be the better option for them.

What is IQOS

IQOS, developed by Philip Morris International, is a tobacco heating system. The name stands for "I Quit Ordinary Smoking." The IQOS system operates differently from conventional cigarettes in that it heats tobacco to a high temperature without igniting it. This process releases a nicotine-containing aerosol without producing smoke.

How IQOS Works:

  • Device Structure: Philip Morris IQOS consists of a holder and a charger. The holder is where you insert the HEETS (or HeatSticks), specially designed tobacco sticks.
  • Heating Mechanism: The holder heats the tobacco sticks using an electronically controlled heating blade or pin. The temperature typically reaches around 350°C, enough to release nicotine and flavors but not high enough to cause combustion.
  • Usage: Users draw on the heated tobacco stick much like a cigarette, inhaling the aerosol produced by the heat.

Understanding Vaping

Vaping is the practice of inhaling vapour through the use of vape pens or electronic cigarettes, sometimes known as e-cigarettes. Unlike IQOS, vaping does not use tobacco. Instead, it relies on e-liquids or vape juices that contain nicotine, propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, and flavorings.

How Vaping Works:

  • Device Structure: Vaping devices come in various forms, including vape pens, box mods, and pod systems. They all have a battery, a heating element (coil), and a reservoir for the e-liquid.
  • Heating Mechanism: The coil heats the e-liquid to a temperature that turns it into vapor, typically between 200°C and 250°C.
  • Usage: Users inhale the vapor produced by the heated e-liquid, which delivers nicotine and flavor.

Key Differences

1. Tobacco vs. E-Liquid:

  • IQOS: Uses real tobacco in the form of HEETS.
  • Vaping: Uses e-liquids, which may or may not contain nicotine, but do not use tobacco.

2. Combustion vs. Vaporization:

  • IQOS: Heats tobacco without burning it, producing an aerosol.
  • Vaping: Vaporizes e-liquid without involving any form of combustion.

3. Nicotine Delivery:

  • IQOS: Delivers nicotine through heated tobacco, which some users find closer to the experience of smoking a traditional cigarette.
  • Vaping: Delivers nicotine through vaporized e-liquid, offering a wide range of nicotine strengths and flavors.

4. Health Implications:

  • IQOS: By avoiding combustion, IQOS reduces the amount of harmful chemicals typically found in cigarette smoke, such as tar and carbon monoxide. However, it still involves inhaling nicotine and other chemicals from the tobacco.
  • Vaping: Generally considered less harmful than smoking because it avoids burning tobacco. However, the long-term health effects of inhaling vaporized e-liquids are still being studied. Concerns exist regarding potentially toxic substances like diacetyl and heavy metals in some e-liquids.

5. User Experience:

  • IQOS: Many users find IQOS to be closer to the experience of smoking traditional cigarettes due to the use of real tobacco. The ritual of inserting a HEETS stick and the familiar taste of tobacco can make the transition easier for some smokers.
  • Vaping: Offers a more customizable experience with various devices and e-liquids. Users can choose from numerous flavours and nicotine strengths, tailoring their vaping habits to their preferences.

Which is Better?

Better determination of IQOS and vaping depends on individual preferences and priorities. Here are some factors to consider:

1. Health Considerations:

  • If reducing exposure to harmful chemicals is the primary concern, both IQOS and vaping offer significant benefits over traditional cigarettes. However, vaping may have a slight edge due to the absence of tobacco.
  • For those particularly wary of the unknowns associated with e-liquids, IQOS is a safer bet since it uses real tobacco, albeit heated, not burned.

2. Nicotine Satisfaction:

  • IQOS may provide a nicotine experience more akin to traditional smoking, which can be crucial for those who struggle with completely switching to vaping.
  • Vaping offers greater flexibility in terms of nicotine strength, which can help users gradually reduce their nicotine intake if desired.

3. Flavor and Customization:

  • Vaping offers a broader range of flavours and the ability to mix and match e-liquids to create personalized experiences.
  • IQOS is also not limited in this regard, with many flavor options and mostly centered around different tobacco blends.

4. Convenience and Availability:

  • In contrast to the vast availability of vaping items, HEETS for IQOS may be more restricted in availability.
  • Vaping devices and e-liquids are widely available online and in physical stores, providing greater accessibility and variety.

Both IQOS and vaping represent a significant shift away from the dangers of traditional smoking, each with its unique advantages and considerations. IQOS appeals to those seeking a smoking-like experience with natural tobacco, while vaping offers greater flexibility and a wide range of flavors. Ultimately, the choice between IQOS and vaping comes down to personal preference, lifestyle, and health priorities. As always, consulting healthcare professionals and staying informed about the latest research is advisable for making the best decision for one's health and well-being. has no affiliation with Philip Morris International (PMI). This is not the official website of PMI and IQOS in the UAE.