While the idea of heating tobacco (instead of burning it) has been around for more than two decades, it took years of research and development to create a product that is acceptable to adult consumers. Around 14 million consumers have already chosen to switch to this product: our tobacco heating system IQOS (THS), and stopped smoking.
At the heart of THS are sophisticated electronics that heat specially designed heated tobacco units. THS heats the tobacco just enough to release a nicotine-containing tobacco vapor but without burning the tobacco.
Here’s the key point: the tobacco in a cigarette burns at temperatures in excess of 600 °C, generating smoke that contains high levels of harmful chemicals. But THS heats tobacco to much lower temperatures, up to 350 °C, without combustion, fire, ash, or smoke. And because the tobacco is heated and not burned, the levels of harmful chemicals are significantly reduced compared to cigarette smoke. However, THS is not risk-free and delivers nicotine, which is addictive.
THS is a tobacco heating system available in two versions. The first has three main components—a heated tobacco unit (called HEETS or HeatSticks), a holder, and a charger. The second is an integrated product that combines the holder and charger and allows multiple uses without recharging the battery.
Both work in the same way: a consumer inserts the heated tobacco unit into the holder, which contains an electronically controlled heater.
The consumer pushes a button to turn on the heater, and then draws on the heated tobacco unit to inhale a nicotine-containing tobacco vapor. Once the heated tobacco unit is finished, the consumer removes it from the holder, and then it can be disposed of in a waste bin.
THS has been launched in key cities in Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Aruba, Austria, Belarus, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Canary Islands, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Curaçao, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Estonia, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, Italy, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Kuwait, La Réunion, Lebanon, Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia, the Maldives, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, the Netherlands, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Palestine, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the U.S., and in some Duty Free shops.
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There are important differences between heated tobacco products and e-cigarettes (also known as vapes and e-vapor products)