• June 22, 2024

Heat not burn cigarettes: what are they?

If the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves Philip Morris’ IQOS (I-Quit-Ordinary-Smoking), a form of “heat-not-burn” tobacco product, a new kind of tobacco product may soon be available on American stores.

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Public health experts are worried that these products might be additional means of causing addiction in people, particularly children and young adults, and that they could encourage the use of several tobacco products concurrently, despite the tobacco industry’s assertions that they are less harmful than cigarettes. It’s also possible that the gadgets are an attempt to mainstream smoking, which has dropped to a record low 6 percent among teenagers.

What you should know about heat-not-burn products, the newest big thing from the tobacco industry.

What it is:

Instead of burning tobacco like regular cigarettes do, heat-not-burn tobacco products use electrical equipment to heat tobacco and create an inhalable aerosol. Because they employ actual tobacco rather than the flavored liquid nicotine found in e-cigarettes, heat-not-burn devices differ from e-cigarettes.

The idea behind heat-not-burn is to give consumers the appearance and tactile sensation of smoking a traditional cigarette without releasing smoke into the air. Because tobacco releases more than 7,000 chemicals when it burns, or combusts, which are present in cigarette smoke, tobacco firms argue that heat-not-burn products are less dangerous than cigarettes. Both smokers and non-smokers may be harmed by some of these substances.


There is currently a dearth of independent verification of the health benefits of heat-not-burn products, nor is there much study on the impacts of using or being exposed to them. Scientists from Philip Morris lead the majority of published research in the United States. They assert that, as compared to ordinary cigarettes, smoking IQOS results in lower levels of toxicity, dangerous and possibly harmful chemical concentrations, and little effect on lung or heart health (in animal tests).

Because tobacco firms have a history of distorting the health risks associated with their products, public health experts—such as Truth Initiative®—emphasize how crucial it is that independent studies or the FDA confirm the results of the industry.


Although they are not now accessible in the United States, heat-not-burn devices might soon be. The FDA must grant Philip Morris permission to market IQOS under the Marlboro brand.

The company applied to the FDA in March 2017 for a Pre-Market approval to market the product as a new tobacco product and in December 2016 for a Modified Risk Tobacco Product approval, which would allow it to be marketed as less harmful than other tobacco products. In addition to being tested in Switzerland and Japan, IQOS is presently accessible in 26 additional countries.

Heat-not Burn Tobacco Products

It is claimed that a heated tobacco product that doesn’t burn is safer than cigarettes. Be not misled into believing it to be innocuous! There isn’t a tobacco usage method that is safe.

In the US, these tobacco products that don’t burn were made legal in 2019. They are not the same as e-cigarettes, vape pens, or pod-based devices like JUUL.

What is IQOS?

A heated tobacco product brand called IQOS bills itself as “a better alternative to smoking.” The manufacturer asserts that the heated tobacco has less chemicals than burnt tobacco. The tobacco industry’s research serves as the exclusive foundation for these assertions. To further understand the health impacts of employing heat-not-burn devices, independent research are required.

A disposable tobacco unit known as a “HEET” or “HeatStick” packed with compressed ground tobacco is used with the IQOS heat-not-burn device. It is placed into an electronic holder. The nicotine content of each “HeatStick” is comparable to that of a single cigarette. The stick is warmed by an electronic heat element, which also emits an aerosol for the user to breathe in. ​

Facts regarding tobacco products that don’t burn:

They heat tobacco to create an aerosol that contains nicotine, chemicals, flavorings, and additives.

They have nearly the same nicotine content as regular cigarettes.

Convenience stores and specialist businesses carry them.

These items are not the same as e-cigarettes since e-cigarettes utilize a liquid to deliver nicotine, while these products use tobacco.

They release secondhand aerosol, which is dangerous to breathe in and resembles cigarettes.

Tobacco products that are heated are not safe!

Tobacco is present in heated tobacco products. There is no proof that heated tobacco products are safer than regular cigarettes, nor is there a safe amount or kind of tobacco usage.

Additionally, the FDA has classified a number of substances and components that they contain as hazardous, including:

Carbon Monoxide


heavy metals such as mercury, lead, and arsenic

(found in nail polish remover) Acetone

Ammonia, which is present in home cleansers and fertilizers

Gasoline contains benzoene.

This gadget has the potential to make teenagers lifetime smokers.

Manufacturers of e-cigarettes and vape pens assert that their products can assist smokers in giving up. However, data indicates that they encourage the usage of regular cigarettes and serve as a means for the tobacco business to draw in new clients.

Watch out for their selling to children. Heated tobacco products are slick, sophisticated gadgets that are promoted and developed in a way that appeals to young people. Despite the fact that 21 is the legal age to purchase tobacco goods, including IQOS, internet retailers don’t usually need identification.

Products made using heated tobacco are very addictive: Nicotine is an ingredient in IQOS and other heated tobacco products. Teens and young adults are susceptible to nicotine addiction. According to the US Surgeon General, it is dangerous for young people to consume nicotine in any form.

Teenagers are seduced by menthol flavors: The tobacco business has been luring adolescent users with tastes like menthol for decades. Cigarette smoke is made less unpleasant by menthol, which makes it easier to smoke and more difficult to give up. Compared to other age groups, youthful smokers are more likely to consume menthol cigarettes.