Does Heated Tobacco Have Risks?

Is heated tobacco better than continuing to smoke? Generally, the answer is yes - heated tobacco is typically better and may provide less of a risk than continuing to smoke cigarettes. Of course, it is a matter of scientific assessment of each particular heated tobacco product to see if this is actually the case. Through heating tobacco, these products might emit less harmful chemicals than cigarettes, and you can learn more about one of these substances – carbon monoxide - with our article on Carbon Monoxide in Cigarettes vs Heated Tobacco. However, the reduction in formation of harmful chemicals should be substantiated on a product-by-product basis.


Removing the need for burning, some heated tobacco products could present a reduction in risk when compared to cigarettes. However, it is important to know that heated tobacco products are not risk-free and they still provide nicotine which is addictive. 


The presence of nicotine and other chemicals means that heated tobacco products are addictive and not risk-free. However, contrary to common belief, nicotine is not the primary cause of smoking-related diseases. Rather, the harmful substances produced by burning are the biggest cause for concern. That means, for adult smokers who would otherwise continue to smoke, innovative tobacco heating systems could be a better choice when switching from cigarettes. Furthermore, it is less likely that they bother people around you, especially in the case of a high-quality device like IQOS. IQOS is the #1 tobacco heating system.*


* PMI global estimate of total In-Market Sales of Heated Tobacco Units as of September 2023. (excluding Russia and Ukraine).


IQOS versus 1mg and Low Tar Cigarettes


1mg/low “tar” cigarettes carry serious health risks, like all cigarettes. A better choice than smoking is to switch to IQOS. Did you know that the burning of tobacco in any cigarette, including a 1mg cigarette, generates harmful chemicals? IQOS tobacco vapour contains on average 95% lower levels of harmful chemicals than a reference cigarette.* IQOS: a better choice than continuing to smoke cigarettes for you and all adult smokers.


Important information: It does not necessarily equal a 95% reduction in risk. IQOS is not risk-free.


* “95% less” represents the average reduction in levels of the 9 chemicals recommended for reduction in cigarette smoke by the World Health Organization, which do not include nicotine. See important information


What More Can I Expect From IQOS?


Unlike cigarettes, IQOS does not burn tobacco and therefore produces no smoke. As IQOS produces less smell than cigarettes it is less likely to bother people around you. IQOS is an option for adult smokers looking to switch from smoking. Find IQOS heated tobacco devices in the online store.


IQOS provides cigarette-like satisfaction.* It uses special tobacco sticks, and these slot inside an IQOS device. These tobacco sticks are available in a variety of options with different flavours. Discover a tobacco blend with crisp menthol cooling and zesty aroma notes. Or, find a malty aroma with a bold taste. No matter the preference, there is something for every taste. IQOS tobacco sticks are not risk-free as they contain nicotine, which is addictive.


* 3 month clinical studies conducted in US and Japan with 160 adult smokers each under real conditions (ambulatory).


For the latest in smoke-free technology, the IQOS ILUMA is our new heated tobacco device and features the IQOS ILUMA SMARTCORE INDUCTION SYSTEM™. IQOS ILUMA uses induction heating technology, heating tobacco from the inside, providing a clean and consistent experience. As an adult smoker switching from cigarettes, there might be concern about using a device that requires frequent charging. In this regard, the IQOS ILUMA battery will last for a full day*. IQOS ILUMA provides more taste variety compared to previous generations of IQOS. IQOS ILUMA provides variety of tastes that go beyond familiar tobacco tastes. Shop online for the IQOS ILUMA. And do not forget the tobacco sticks - our brand-new tobacco sticks have been designed specifically for IQOS ILUMA. Tobacco sticks are not risk-free as they contain nicotine, which is addictive.


*Depends on personal consumption. Battery performance may vary over time.


IQOS is not risk-free and provides nicotine, which is addictive. The best decision any adult smoker can make is to quit tobacco and nicotine use altogether. IQOS are not alternatives to quitting and are not designed as cessation aids.


This article is for general information and educational purposes. Some of the information in this article is based on external, third-party sources and we make no representations or warranties of any kind regarding the accuracy, validity or completeness of such information.

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This product is not risk-free and delivers nicotine, which is addictive. For adult use only.​