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INNOVATIONS FOR A BETTER FUTURE

IQOS Technologie
PMI Research Center

Achieving an alternative to cigarettes through science

We believe that we can change the lives of 1.1 billion smokers through our research. That is why we have been developing products for over 10 years now that are less harmful than conventional cigarettes. Like the IQOS tobacco heating system. IQOS is an innovative cigarette replacement which does contain tobacco (and therefore nicotine), yet heats it instead of burning it. Numerous studies show how switching to IQOS translates to lower risks than when continuing to smoke – although IQOS is not risk-free.

Heat not burn

With patented technologies and scientific research, we have succeeded in developing a better alternative to smoking. The combustion of tobacco that takes place during smoking releases very high levels of harmful chemicals. In contrast, IQOS uses IQOS Heat Control™ technology to heat tobacco under 350°C instead of burning it at over 800°C. Thus, the quantity and volume of harmful chemicals are significantly lowered compared to cigarette smoke.



Cigarette smoke is a complex mixture of more than 6,000 chemical substances. More than 100 of them are considered to be harmful or potentially harmful. The IQOS tobacco heating system does not produce smoke, but rather a tobacco vapor. In order to be certain that the tobacco vapor from IQOS is less harmful than cigarette smoke, we measure the volume of those harmful and potentially harmful chemicals in line with the definitions put forth by the WHO, the FDA, and Health Canada. Studies done both by us and by independent third parties demonstrate how, compared to cigarettes, IQOS releases around 95% lower levels of harmful chemicals on average.*

* Average reduction in concentration (weight per tobacco stick) for a broad spectrum of harmful and potentially harmful substances in IQOS versus the smoke from a representative selection of more than 1,600 cigarette brands available in more than 40 countries (including Germany) (measured between 2008 and 2017); evaluation using the Intense Smoking Regime from Health Canada without accounting for nicotine. This does not necessarily mean a 95% reduction in risk, nor that IQOS is risk-free.

IQOS Temperatur Vergleich
IQOS keine Verbrenunung

Is IQOS less harmful?

Do lower levels of chemicals in IQOS tobacco vapor also mean fewer harmful chemicals in the body? Is IQOS really less harmful? While it sounds logical, what really matters are scientific studies. That is why we’ve measured a series of those harmful chemicals in a clinical study involving hundreds of smokers and IQOS users. After switching to the IQOS tobacco heating system, the body showed fewer signs of contact with harmful chemicals – almost in the same manner as smokers who had quit smoking normal cigarettes. (We’d like to note here how quitting is the best option, and that IQOS is not an alternative to quitting.)

Our studies additionally demonstrate that completely switching to IQOS leads to improvements in a series of risk markers associated with diseases caused by smoking. Study participants who had switched to IQOS additionally reported that IQOS delivers similar levels of satisfaction as a conventional cigarette. For us, IQOS has the potential to be a real alternative for adult smokers who would otherwise continue to smoke. Based on all of the scientific findings, we are confident that switching to IQOS is less harmful than continuing to smoke conventional cigarettes.

IQOS Studien
IQOS Lifestyle
IQOS Farbvariante

Whom is IQOS right for – and whom not?

We also studied which groups of people are interested in consuming IQOS. The results show: non-smokers and people who have quit smoking take little or zero interest in IQOS. However, current adult smokers who participated in these studies did show strong interest in IQOS as an alternative to cigarettes and were prepared to switch. That means: smokers who aren’t going to quit can make a better choice and choose an alternative to cigarettes.

IQOS and nicotine

Since IQOS uses tobacco, IQOS also contains nicotine. Nicotine is addictive and is not risk-free. However, it is not the primary cause for the diseases induced by smoking. The primary reason for those diseases is associated with the harmful chemicals released from the combustion of tobacco in a cigarette. Since IQOS is an alternative to smoking that works without combustion, it has an enormous advantage: it produces fewer of those harmful chemicals.

IQOS Farbvarianten
IQOS City

What effects does
IQOS have? We’re looking closely.

We will continue to investigate the degree to which IQOS is less harmful. 7 million people have already switched to IQOS. That is why we are concentrating on how and by whom the product is being consumed to supplement the findings from our pre-market studies. We are doing our best to hinder unwanted consumption. Of course, we are also observing the health effects: long-term studies will help us to understand what the specific risks for disease are in connection with IQOS consumption.

IQOS Blau

Does IQOS contain tar?

“Tar” describes the total weight of the residue from cigarette smoking, absent nicotine and water. The term “tar” is traditionally used in connection with cigarette smoking and does not entirely apply to IQOS tobacco vapor. Water and glycerin constitute 90% of the weight in IQOS tobacco vapor. IQOS tobacco vapor contains no solids, and really is not comparable to the smoke from cigarettes because cigarettes fundamentally have a different composition. It is essential to measure composition and not merely the total weight of residue (“tar”) from cigarette smoking compared to IQOS tobacco vapor.¹ It is important to understand that IQOS does not contain tar as is it generally known from cigarette smoking. Compared to cigarettes, IQOS is a better option. Important information: IQOS is not risk-free.

Teer Pads

¹ Health authorities like the WHO declare that “tar need not be measured, as it is not a sound basis for regulation, and the levels can be misleading” [Source: Report on the Scientific Basis of Tobacco Product Regulation: Fifth Report of a WHO Study Group, 2015]. Further leading government authorities have made similar statements.

IQOS – the innovative cigarette replacement

Our summary: IQOS is a better alternative to cigarettes. IQOS offers real flavor and genuine tobacco free from smoke, ash, or cigarette odor. According to the scientific findings attained thus far, completely switching to IQOS represents a better option for smokers over continuing to smoke cigarettes.

IQOS Gold
This website has information about tobacco products, which are for adults who would otherwise continue to smoke or use other nicotine products in Germany. PMI’s products are not an alternative to quitting and are not designed as cessation aids.
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