hand holding IQOS 3 DUO holder

IQOS tobacco heating system vs e-cigarettes

IQOS vs E-Cigarettes: What’s the difference?

IQOS heated tobacco devices and e-cigarettes are both smoke-free alternatives to cigarettes for adults who would otherwise continue to smoke.

Both are electronic devices, and do not generate smoke like cigarettes. But there is one feature that distinguishes IQOS tobacco heating system from e-cigarettes. Contrary to vaporizing an e-liquid, IQOS heats real tobacco, producing tobacco vapor.

IQOS heated tobacco devices uses HEETS tobacco sticks that have real tobacco which is carefully selected, finely ground and compressed to ensure consistency in the taste delivery.

What are e-cigarettes?

E-cigarettes are electronic hand-held devices that are smoke-free alternative to cigarettes. In general, they are powered by a battery and heat e-liquids in order to generate an aerosol or what some users call vapor. The e-liquids may have various flavors and may contain nicotine.

How do E-Cigarettes work?

There are many types of e-cigarettes. They differ in size, power, customization options, and even their ability to be reusable or disposable. However, most of them work on the same principle and with similar components.


The principle:

E-cigarettes heat and vaporize e-liquids in a wide range of temperature from 100 ⁰C - 250 ⁰C. They achieve this by drawing the liquid from a tank and putting it in contact with a battery powered heating element. When the liquid is evaporated it is drawn from the device thorough a mouthpiece.


The components:

The battery- The energy source for the whole device. In most cases it is rechargeable and provides power to the heating element and electronic components.

The tank-The container that is used to store the liquid until it is taken to the heating element or chamber. Some e-cigarettes use capsules or pods that are disposable.

The e-liquid - The mixture that is vaporized inside the e-cigarette. While there are many variants of the liquids, they usually contain propylene glycol, glycerin, nicotine, flavorings and various additives.

The heater- The set of components that draw the liquid toward the heating element and heat to vaporize. Most e-cigarettes use a “wick and coil” system. The wick naturally soaks the liquid and puts it in contact with the metal coil which is the part that heats.

The sensors and electric components- Control the heating and operation of the device. They range from simple push to activate buttons, LEDs, battery Indicators or to advanced flow sensors.

The mouthpiece- The chamber or channel where the vaporized liquid drawn from the device.


What is IQOS?

IQOS is a heated tobacco device developed by Philip Morris International that uses an innovative tobacco heating system called HeatControl™ Technology. This type of tobacco heating technology is often called “heat-not-burn”, because it heats tobacco instead of burning it – which is what happens with cigarettes.

Tobacco sticks, called HEETS, are inserted onto a ceramic blade in the IQOS device, which heats the tobacco from the inside. The tobacco does not burn, as it does when smoking cigarettes. Rather, the tobacco heats to a maximum of 350⁰C – much lower than cigarettes, which can reach temperatures above 800⁰C.

While both e-cigarettes and IQOS are smoke-free alternatives, with IQOS, a legal-aged user gets a tobacco flavor and experience, with no fire, no ash and no smoke.

Currently, there are several options of IQOS devices to choose from – such as, IQOS 3 DUO, IQOS 3 MULTI, IQOS 2.4 PLUS. Some IQOS heated tobacco devices have a separate holder and charger, while others have those components integrated as an all-in-one device. These different options allow adult users to select IQOS heated tobacco device that best suits their lifestyle.

Compare all IQOS devices.

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