The iQOS: How will this product affect the vape industry?

This is the iQOS, manufactured by the infamous Philip Morris International (PMI). Upon initial inspection, I have a lot questions that I feel need to be answered. First of all, what is it? How does it work? And is this product even a vaporizer?! Is the iQOS as effective as it claims to be? And what can this product mean to nicotine users worldwide? We’ve done our research on the iQOS and are excited to offer an early sneak peak at this potentially revolutionary product.

What is the iQOS?

via pmi.com

The iQOS is big tobacco’s first take on a harm reduction product intended to aid those who are looking to quit smoking. Like vaporizers, it does not use combustion to deliver the nicotine. Instead, a heating element confined within the device heats the tobacco substance to relinquish the user’s cigarette cravings.

How does the iQOS work?

The iQOS is a deceivingly curious device that takes tobacco, cigarettes, vaporizers and trasnforms them into an individual product. Let’s break it down. The iQOS utilizes a battery operated heating element to heat (but not burn) a specialized tobacco cartridge called a HeatStick. Similar to an Ego battery, you push the button and inhale the vaporized tobacco. Leaving you with a cleaner alternative combination of tobacco and nicotine.

Is the iQOS a vaporizer or a tobacco product?

To say that this product is a vaporizer is like saying a Prius is an electric car. It is, but it isn’t. In actuality it is more of a hybrid. Instead of using fuel and electricity to create torque and horsepower, the iQOS uses tobacco and electricity to create an enjoyable smoking experience! Although this is not new technology, the iQOS may be the most aesthetically pleasing tobacco based vaporizer.

Is the iQOS an effective device?

The iQOS has actually been around since 2014. However, PMI has never had an official US release as the iQOS is currently only available in select countries. Despite lack of outreach throughout different demographics, research on the product has shown positive feedback when compared to cigarettes. As mentioned above, the iQOS simply heats up tobacco sticks rather than lighting them on fire. The iQOS’s heating mechanism has a temperature limit around 350°C, compared to burning cigarettes at 400°C+.

Since the iQOS’s HeatSticks are not being burned, the user is exposed to less chemicals than traditional cigarettes. Because of the presented health benefits, this product has the potential to appeal to smokers everywhere seeking out a healthier alternative. Through my experience I’ve witnessed many smokers request tobacco and menthol flavored e-liquids to ease their way into vaping. The iQOS may be able to provide that bridge to vaping for smokers that do not enjoy flavors containing cheesecake or the ubiquitous blends of fruits and candy.

What is the significance of the iQOS to the vaping industry?

At this moment in time, the American market is unaffected by the lack of iQOS’s since it isn’t sold here. However, looking abroad it may have some impact. Smokers who are looking for vaporizers may cave into buying one of these devices, since it is closer to what they know. By purchasing an iQOS over an “actual” vape, users are supporting Big Tobacco. In this sense, the iQOS could actually have a negative impact on the vape industry. However, I believe this product has potential to lead smokers to vaping because of its hybrid technology.

On the political side of this story, we don’t know too much at the moment. In the American market, PMI is currently trying to use approved measures to bring the iQOS into stores nationwide. PMI has submitted a Pre-Market Tobacco Application to the FDA to allow sale of its smoking alternative product in perpetuity. Going through this process (along with the many other vape companies that have already submitted applications) will take some time. As someone who works in the vape industry, I am constantly worried that Big Tobacco companies will receive special treatment by the FDA for the passing of these applications. It is our duty to keep an eye on this as the story progresses to make sure that the FDA and Big Tobacco aren’t doing any shady business together.

What does the iQOS mean to nicotine users?

The iQOS is a seemingly great product manufactured by a tobacco company. It was created with the intention to reduce risks associated with tobacco use and to be used as a stepping stool to quit smoking. For those who are skeptical about using vaporizer products, I firmly believe that the iQOS has strong potential to help smokers reduce the harm they’re doing to their bodies. I hope to see more information come to light about this product and other similar products in the near future.

Nicotine users around the world have been blessed with a myriad of options to aid them in quitting smoking. With products like the iQOS smokers can now evaluate the various options available and find a device that suits their needs in the fight to rid tobacco.