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IQOS: The History of Heated Tobacco Products

By IQOS Team

hands holding iqos devices

The History of IQOS

When thinking of Philip Morris International, most people probably think of “tobacco company” or “cigarette manufacturer”. However, over the last decade, we have evolved beyond only producing cigarettes.

In fact, we have made it our mission to replace cigarettes with smoke-free products as soon and fast as possible. There is no doubt never starting to smoke or quitting altogether is the best option. However, adult smokers who want to continue using tobacco should know that not all tobacco containing products are the same. We strongly believe that our smoke-free products are a better alternative than continued smoking for adults who would otherwise continue to smoke. And that is why we are transforming our company and building our future on replacing cigarettes with better alternatives.

How did heated tobacco products get started?

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 satisfying 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 world who do not quit smoking with better options than continued smoking. And that is how IQOS, our heated tobacco system, got started.

The first IQOS devices date back to 2014, when the innovative heat-not-burn alternative was launched in Japan and Italy. Gradually, IQOS rolled out to other countries and is available now in 58 markets.

However, the history of IQOS dates back to 2008, when Philip Morris International first started working towards providing better alternatives compared to cigarettes. Our commitment is the result of many years of careful deliberation, backed up by a substantial research and development program.

IQOS is part of our portfolio of smoke-free products, for which PMI invested over USD 7,2 billion and more than 12 years of research and product development. At the same time, more than 430 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 to make the decision for IQOS. It delivers the true taste of real tobacco without fire, ash and cigarette smoke smell.

You can find all of our heated tobacco devices online at or in any of our IQOS stores and in over 300 points of sales around Greece at the technology chain-stores of Public, MediaMarkt and Germanos and to selected resellers. To find an IQOS store near you, use the Store Locator on our website.


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

These products are not risk free and provide nicotine, which is addictive. Only for use by adults.