The history of IQOS heated tobacco products

Nov 5, 2020

The history of IQOS heated tobacco products

The history of heated tobacco products dates back decades. The idea of heating tobacco instead of burning it has been around since the 1980’s. However, the first heated tobacco brands, along with their heated tobacco products, failed to offer a suitable alternative for adult smokers.


How did IQOS get started as a heated tobacco brand?

At Philip Morris International, we want to provide over a billion adult smokers all over the with better options than continued smoking. And that is how IQOS, our heated tobacco device, got started.
The first IQOS devices date back to November 2014, when the innovative Heat-Not-Burn techonlogy was launched in Japan and Italy. Gradually, IQOS rolled out to other countries and is available now in 61 countries.
However, the history of IQOS dates back to 2008, when Philip Morris International first started working towards providing alternatives for smoking. Our commitment is the result of many years of careful deliberation, backed up by a substantial research and development program.


Over USD 7 billion invested in research, science and development.

IQOS is part of our portfolio of smoke-free products, for which PMI invested over USD 7 billion and more than 10 years of research and product development. At the same time, more than 400 scientists and engineers collaborated on the development and assessment of smoke-free products.
So far, more than 11 million adult smokers have chosen to switch to IQOS and leave cigarettes behind*. And it’s no wonder! There are many reasons for adults who would otherwise continue to smoke or use other nicotine products to make the decision for IQOS. It delivers real tobacco without fire, ash and cigarette smoke smell. IQOS also emits 95% less harmful chemicals compared to cigarettes**.

Important information: It does not necessarily equal a 95% reduction in risk. IQOS is not risk-free. All these benefits are what ultimately make IQOS a better choice than continued smoking. /em>

There are currently three IQOS Heat-Not-Burn devices you can choose from:

You can find all of our heated tobacco devices online at or at any of our IQOS Retail Partners. To find an IQOS Retail Partner near you, use the Store Finder on our website.




* Source: PMI Financials or estimates, IQOS user panels and PMI Market Research. Status as of March 2020. IQOS users who have completely quit cigarettes and for whom tobacco sticks represent more than 70% of their past 7-day tobacco consumption.

** Average reduction in the concentration of individual harmful substances (9 out of the so-called "priority toxicants“ identified by the WHO) in IQOS compared to the smoke of a representative selection of cigarettes (3R4F); recorded with the Intense Smoking Regime of Health Canada without taking nicotine into account.