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May 12, 2022

Myth and Reality: The IQOS Fact Check

Many myths surround nicotine and misinformation is widespread. We clarify the two biggest questions on the subject.



MYTH: Nicotine is the main cause of smoking-related diseases.


FACT: Burning tobacco is the leading cause of smoking-related disease. 



Nicotine is not the main cause of smoking-related disease. Instead, it is the released chemicals when tobacco is burned. Cigarette smoke consists of over 6,000 chemical substances that may be linked to smoking-related diseases.  



Tobacco sticks contain nicotine, a natural component of the tobacco plant. In comparison to regular cigarettes, IQOS heats tobacco instead of burning it. The aerosol produced when using IQOS contains on average a 95% lower concentration of harmful components compared to the conventional cigarette, which burns tobacco*.  






MYTH: IQOS produces smoke and exposes nonsmokers to passive smoke.


FACT: No smoke is produced when using IQOS - so the aerosol that IQOS produces is much less of a nuisance to those around you.




The "heat-not-burn" technology heats tobacco instead of burning it. The naturally contained nicotine in the tobacco leaf is released without causing smoke. This means that when using IQOS, your surroundings are not exposed to passive smoke as with a combustion cigarette, since it is not produced in the first place.



In order to scientifically prove that the use of IQOS is less harmful than smoking combustion cigarettes, an extensive testing program was conducted with 10 clinical studies as well as 18 non-clinical studies involving thousands of participants. The results show that switching completely from cigarettes to IQOS poses a significantly lower health risk, while not eliminating risks, than continuing to smoke combustion cigarettes.**  





Already over 17.9 million smokers*** worldwide have chosen IQOS as an alternative to smoking cigarettes. Could we convince you of the benefits too?  





You can read more about our studies and the findings from IQOS research here:


Learn more now






**”95% less” represents the average reductions in levels of a range of harmful chemicals (excluding nicotine) compared to the smoke of a reference cigarette (3R4F). It does not necessarily equal a 95% reduction in risk. IQOS is not risk-free. The tobacco used in this process contains nicotine, which is addictive.


**Based on the totality of data available for IQOS compared to continued cigarette smoking, including data regarding aerosol chemistry from 10 clinical trials conducted with thousands of participants in the U.S., Japan, and Poland, and data from 18 nonclinical studies.


***Estimated as of March 2022, based on the following PMI methodology: for markets where IQOS is the only tobacco heater, daily individual consumption of PMI heating tobacco units represents all of their daily tobacco use in the past seven days.