Myths and Reality about IQOS and Cigarette alternatives

IQOS is a popular tobacco heating device.

If a couple of years ago it could only be seen in the hands of celebrities, now you see IQOS everywhere: in business centers, in numerous IQOS friendly establishments.

However, the information space is full of conflicting and sometimes mutually exclusive rumors about IQOS. So we decided to take the issue seriously: we collected 6 of the most common myths about IQOS and, having rummaged through official documents and research, found refutations or confirmations.

Myth 1: IQOS will help you quit smoking

No, will not help. This is a very common myth. Many people buy IQOS as a way to quit smoking. Former smokers often say that after switching to IQOS, they eventually gave up cigarettes completely. But such stories have not been confirmed by any statistical and scientific data. The smoking addiction has two aspects: physical and psychological. Physical dependence is caused by addiction to nicotine. While nicotine is not the most harmful ingredient in cigarettes, it is the source of addiction. Sticks for IQOS contain approximately the same amount of nicotine as regular cigarettes. Psychological addiction is formed around the smoking ritual. For many smokers, a cigarette is a way to relieve stress, distract, and take a break. Although IQOS is a significantly less harmful alternative to cigarettes, it does not eliminate any of the components of addiction. IQOS is intended exclusively for those who smoke and intend to continue but would like to replace cigarettes with something less harmful.

Myth 2: Nicotine is the most harmful thing in tobacco use

No, it’s not the most harmful. Nicotine is definitely not a beneficial substance for the human body. Yes, it is addictive. Also, at high concentrations, it can be toxic. Nicotine is naturally produced by many plants, not just tobacco. It is found in eggplant, potato leaves, tomato, green pepper. Nicotine becomes really dangerous with an overdose or with individual susceptibility. Disease and death are mainly caused by toxins and carcinogens in cigarette smoke, not nicotine. The main source of harm for smokers is combustion products containing carcinogenic tar and carbon monoxide, which blocks the supply of oxygen to the blood.

Myth 3: IQOS is more harmful than regular cigarettes

Science has proven the opposite. IQOS aerosol is less harmful than cigarette smoke. When regular cigarette burns, over 6,000 different chemical compounds are released. At least 1% of them are considered hazardous to health. The rating of the most harmful substances entering the smoker's body is headed by combustion products - carcinogenic tar, carbon monoxide, ammonia. The principle of operation and the main value of IQOS are built precisely around the absence of combustion. IQOS heats tobacco to a temperature of 300-3500C. At this temperature, an aerosol saturated with aroma and nicotine begins to evaporate from the tobacco soaked in glycerin. There are no combustion products, smoke, ash and burnt aftertaste. In total, tobacco heating technology can reduce the amount of harmful substances emitted by 90-95% compared to conventional cigarettes. The FDA's Tobacco Product Scientific Advisory Committee has confirmed that the IQOS tobacco heating system emits significantly fewer harmful substances compared to conventional cigarettes.

Myth 4: There is not real tobacco in sticks for IQOS

It’s the real one. If we break the HEETS stick for IQOS, we will see that the tobacco inside does not look like a cigarette. There is shredded and compressed tobacco inside the sticks. The highest quality tobacco leaves are selected for them. According to the manufacturer, only 13% of world tobacco production meets the requirements for HEETS. Only the pulp is cut from the selected leaves, without veins and twigs. Otherwise, it will not be possible to grind the tobacco evenly, without solid particles, because of which the stick may heat up unevenly and give an unstable taste. Shredded tobacco is moistened with glycerin and propylene glycol.

Myth 5: IQOS sticks have less tobacco than cigarettes

This is not true. This myth arose due to the fact that sticks for IQOS are one and a half times shorter than ordinary cigarettes. At the same time, there is approximately an equal amount of tobacco. Due to the fact that the tobacco for sticks is crushed and tightly compressed, it takes up less volume. Moreover, IQOS provides high efficiency, and tobacco sticks are used more efficiently. In a cigarette, more than half of the tobacco in the course of the combustion reaction is simply converted into heat energy, soot and smoke. IQOS does not ignite tobacco, therefore 100% of the taste and smell goes to the user, and is not scattered by the ashes in the wind.

Myth 6: There is no smell from IQOS

This is not true. There is a smell. In IQOS, the tobacco stick does not burn, so there is no smoke. When using IQOS, an aerosol is released - the result of the evaporation of glycerin, which is impregnated with tobacco. The aerosol has an odor. Not as strong and harsh as cigarette smoke, but still distinctly audible. But unlike cigarette smoke, the smell of IQOS aerosol dissipates and disappears very quickly, and does not remain on clothes, hair or upholstery.

Moreover, IQOS aerosol does not affect indoor air quality and does not lead to secondhand smoke. That is why IQOS can be used without going outside, at home, in the office, in the car, in establishments.