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WHAT IS IQOS? A Comprehensive Review of Design, Technology, and Market Impact

IQOS is a brand of heated tobacco products developed by Philip Morris International (PMI). Unlike traditional cigarettes that burn tobacco, IQOS devices heat specially designed tobacco sticks (HEETS, TEREA, or HeatSticks) to a temperature below combustion, producing an aerosol rather than smoke. This process is intended to deliver a similar experience to smoking with potentially reduced levels of harmful chemicals.

Here are some critical points about IQOS devices:

Technology: 

IQOS devices use a heating blade to warm the tobacco sticks to around 350°C, compared to the 600-900°C typical of traditional cigarettes. This heating method reduces the production of many toxic substances that result from combustion.

Accessories:

  • Holder: The primary device that heats the tobacco stick.
  • Charger: A portable device that charges the holder.
  • HEETS/TEREA/HeatSticks: Specially designed tobacco sticks for use with the IQOS device and Iluma Series.

Variants of Device:

IQOS 2.4/2.4 Plus:

This is the first widely available version, featuring Bluetooth connectivity for device monitoring and a longer battery life compared to earlier prototypes.

IQOS LIL Solid 2.0 : 

The models have basic functionality with some specific sticks.

IQOS 3/3 Multi: 

More advanced models with improved design and features. An all-in-one device allows up to 10 consecutive uses without recharge, offering greater convenience for users on the go.

IQOS ILUMA Series: 

The latest generation features induction heating technology for a cleaner experience and easier maintenance.

Health Impact: 

According to PMI, when IQOS is used instead of cigarette smoke, the amounts of hazardous and potentially harmful ingredients (HPHCs) are decreased. However, it still contains nicotine, which is addictive. The long-term health impacts of using IQOS are still being studied.

Reduced Harmful Chemicals

IQOS produces significantly lower levels of harmful chemicals by heating rather than burning tobacco. Independent studies and PMI's research indicate that IQOS emits 90-95% fewer harmful and potentially harmful constituents (HPHCs) compared to cigarette smoke.

No Smoke, Less Smell:

IQOS generates an aerosol rather than smoke, which results in less lingering odor on clothes, hair, and surroundings. This is a notable advantage for users who seek a more discreet and less intrusive smoking experience.

Regulatory Status: 

The regulatory status of IQOS varies in various countries. For example, the U.S. FDA authorized the sale of IQOS as a "modified risk tobacco product" (MRTP) in 2020, indicating that it could be marketed as a product that significantly reduces the production of harmful chemicals compared to conventional cigarettes.

Market Presence: 

IQOS is available in many countries worldwide and has been marketed as a product for adult smokers seeking an alternative to conventional smoking. As of 2023, IQOS is available in over 60 countries and has garnered millions of users. In the UAE, IQOS has seen a growing acceptance and presence. The country’s regulatory framework for tobacco alternatives has been supportive, allowing products like IQOS to be available to adult smokers seeking reduced-risk alternatives.

User Experience and Testimonials

User experiences with IQOS have mainly been positive, with many smokers reporting satisfaction with the taste, convenience, and overall experience. Commonly cited benefits include the absence of smoke and ash, reduced odor, and the device's modern design. Many users also appreciate the ritualistic aspect of using IQOS, which closely mimics the act of smoking a traditional cigarette.

However, some users have noted a learning curve when transitioning from smoking to using IQOS. The flavor and sensation differ slightly from conventional cigarettes, which may take adjusting time. Furthermore, some users may find the requirement for routine maintenance and cleaning to be a small annoyance.

In summary, IQOS is positioned as a less harmful alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes, though it is not risk-free and is intended only for adult smokers. Its advanced heating technology, modern design, and user-friendly interface have made it a widely known choice among adult smokers worldwide, including in the UAE.

myheets.ae has no affiliation with Philip Morris International (PMI). This is not the official website of PMI and IQOS in the UAE.