For a while, tobacco companies have been working hard to create products that replicate the act of smoking but without all the harmful effects of cigarettes. One of the best-known is IQOS, a heated tobacco product, sometimes called a heat-not-burn tobacco product.
The IQOS device has been developed by Philip Morris International, a company based in Switzerland. The device, which has been available for purchase since 2014, has successfully converted large numbers of smokers to heated tobacco products.
The company behind IQOS has humble beginnings and started as a single shop in London’s Bond Street in 1847. The shop was opened by Mr. Philip Morris who sold his customers ready-made cigarettes.
In 1908, the company established its most famous brand Marlboro and registered it as a trademark. In 1919, Philip Morris was acquired in the United States where it was incorporated in Virginia. The operations head center moved from Rye Brook, NY to Lausanne in Switzerland in 2001.
Philip Morris International first started taking steps into the field of heated tobacco products as early as 1990 when the company presented its first prototype. This prototype heated tobacco without burning it. The predecessors of IQOS included “Accord” and “Heatbar”.
IQOS is Launched
Philip Morris released the first version of the heated tobacco product IQOS in November 2014. It was first marketed in Japan and Italy and then gradually released in other countries. Since 2016, Philip Morris has focused on the promotion of a smoke-free future with IQOS as their flagship product.
Philip Morris International in Figures
The company had 69,600 employees across the globe in December 2022, including over 980 research and development technicians, engineers, and scientists focused on developing smoke-free products.
Philip Morris has two research facilities that focus on researching smoke-free alternatives. These facilities are located in Switzerland and Singapore. The company also has 39 production facilities across the globe.
The company sells its products, which include five of the fifteen top cigarette brands, in 180 markets, while its smoke-free products are sold in 73 markets. Philip Morris products are purchased by 150 million consumers and the company’s net revenue was USD 31.8 billion in 2022. So far, 17.8 million consumers have quit smoking in favor of IQOS products.
The share of smoke-free products in the company’s global revenue has grown rapidly since they first launched alternatives to traditional smoking products. In 2019, the share was 20% and by 2021 it had grown to 30%.
Philip Morris Products S.A.
Avenue de Rhodanie 50,
Telephone: +41 58 242 00 00
Customers can also contact the IQOS support teams in various countries. The information can be found on this page.
The IQOS products work with battery power. The tobacco, which is in a cigarette-like tube and treated with vegetable glycerin, is heated, but not combusted, using the power from the batteries. This reaction creates a visible vapor. While this is not smoking, it is not the same as vaping either. It is often referred to as a product that fills the gap between smoking and vaping.
The IQOS device has three parts which are the device itself, a pocket charger, and the HeatSticks, also called HEETS. The HeatSticks come in packs of 20, similar to normal cigarettes. These disposable sticks are designed to give users an experience akin to smoking a real cigarette and contain flavorings as well as tobacco and vegetable glycerin.
The device, referred to as the holder by PMI, requires users to charge them between uses. Once the device is charged, the user inserts the HeatStick into the device and it will light up and vibrate after twenty seconds. Users then have six minutes or fourteen drags to consume the HeatStick.
The IQOS holder needs to be cleaned after approximately twenty uses, or after a pack of HeatSticks, to maintain the best performance of its ceramic heating elements. The lithium batteries, like any battery, will lose capacity over time and need replacing.
IQOS Prices and Models
Since launching its first heated tobacco product in 2014, IQOS has expanded its selection to give users a range of options.
1. IQOS 2.4 and 2.4 Plus Price & Details ($85.00 – $160.00)
The IQOS 2.4 and IQOS 2.4 Plus are older models from IQOS and can be used with HEETS AND Marlboro for IQOS.
- IQOS 2.4 – $85.00 USD
- IQOS 2.4 Plus – $160.00 USD
Both versions of the IQOS 2.4 have two parts, which are the holder and the pocket charger. The holder, while it cannot be used to heat consecutive HEETS, charges quickly in 3 minutes and 15 seconds. The pocket charger will give the user 36 successive charges before it needs recharging. To fully charge the pocket charger takes about 2 hours and 10 minutes.
The 2.4 Plus comes with an LED screen that displays the device’s status and a vibrating sensor informing the user about the level of the HEET stick. Its Bluetooth module allows users to connect with the IQOS app, which helps users to manage the status of their device.
2. IQOS 3.0 and IQOS 3 DUO Price & Details ($105.00 – $120.00)
IQOS 3 DUO, while similar in design to the IQOS 3.0 has some advantages over the older design. Both are used with HEETS or Marlboro for IQOS. The design of the DUO is the same as the 3.0 with some new color and finish options. Accessories for the 3.0 are compatible with the DUO.
- IQOS 3.0 – $105.00 USD
- IQOS 3 DUO- $120.00 USD
While the IQOS 3.0 can only be used to heat one HEET stick before recharging, the IQOS 3 DUO can be used to heat two sticks before you need to recharge the holder. The charge time of the DUO, at 4 minutes 30 seconds, is slightly longer than for the 3.0 but it requires charging less often, meaning the pocket charger lasts longer before its battery is worn out.
3. IQOS 3 Multi Price & Details ($95.00)
The integrated design of the IQOS 3 Multi makes it unique among the other IQOS 3 designs. Rather than coming in two parts, this device that works with HEETS and Marlboro for IQOS comes as one compact design.
- IQOS 3 Multi, available in a range of colors – from $95.00 USD
Because the IQOS 3 Multi is an all-in-one design, it gives users more consecutive uses than the 2.4, or the 3.0 or 3 DUO. You can expect to heat at least ten consecutive sticks before recharging. Some users have got as many as fourteen consecutive uses from the 3 Multi.
Because of the integrated design, the IQOS 3 Multi looks different from other IQOS models. The shape is rectangular, and it has a swivel top. It has two LED indicator lights but no self-cleaning function.
4. ILUMA Price & Details ($99.00 – $349.00)
The IQOS ILUMA is available in three models. While the ILUMA One is an integrated model, the other two come in two parts. The ILUMA series cannot be used with the HEETS or Marlboro for IQOS. Instead, users need to purchase heat sticks called TEREA or Sentia.
- ILUMA One – $99.00 – $189.00 USD
- ILUMA – $149.00 – $249.00 USD
- ILUMA Prime – $199.00 – $349.00 USD for a limited edition
The ILUMA One, the cheapest design in this range, is also the only integrated ILUMA model available at the moment. It can be used twenty consecutive times and to fully charge the device only takes an hour and a half.
ILUMA is the standard model and ILUMA Prime is the high-end product in this series. While there is little difference in the specification, the finish sets the Primer apart from the standard design. Both devices give the users two consecutive uses and the pocket charger takes 2 hours and 15 minutes to charge fully.
Best IQOS Flavors
Between the HEETS and TEREA sticks, users can choose from a wide range of flavors and levels of tobacco taste. Below, you will find the five most popular flavors for both HEETS and TEREA sticks.
- Amber selection – one of the most robust HEET flavors available. It has nutty and woody aromas and users can notice the tobacco clearly.
- Yellow selection – a balanced taste of tobacco with some herbal notes. Less intense than the flavors in the amber selection.
- Turquoise selection – one of the HEET classics with a medium level of tobacco. It is refreshing and cool with a blend of menthol.
- Purple selection – has a pleasing aroma with a strong smell of mint and berries. A good choice for those looking for a sweet stick where the flavor of tobacco is not strong.
- Green selection – comes with a distinct citrus taste achieved with a blend of citrus fruit and herbs. A rich flavor with a somewhat sour aftertaste.
- Balanced Regular – has a smoky aroma that is reminiscent of smoking regular cigarettes. It has notes of vanilla, nut, and fruit and tastes slightly sweet.
- Black Menthol – intense menthol flavor, which is invigorating. It has a smooth taste with some fruity notes.
- Bright Menthol – another minty-flavored TEREA stick. The Bright Menthol combines tobacco with light mint and citrus flavors.
- Fusion Menthol – this flavor option combines fragrances of tea with minty and floral flavors. It is a subtle balance of sweet and fresh.
- Menthol – as the name suggests, menthol is the dominant flavor in this blend. It is an identical blend to the one used in Marlboro Menthol cigarettes.
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- IQOS 2.4
- IQOS 2.4 Plus
- IQOS 3.0
- IQOS 3
- IQOS 3 Multi
- ILUMA One
- ILUMA Prime
If you are looking to buy IQOS products wholesale, you can contact the official distributor in your country or region to inquire about wholesale pricing and policies. It is important to purchase IQOS products from authorized resellers or wholesalers only to ensure the quality of the product and the safety of the customers.
If you are interested in becoming a supplier, you can find out more on the Philip Morris Supplier site.
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IQOS Frequently Asked Questions
Can IQOS heated tobacco products be used anywhere?
Users of heated tobacco products need to adhere to the local laws relating to the products since there is no global rule on where smoke-free products like the IQOS range can be used. You should also pay attention to the specific rules of public buildings as they may differ.
If there are no rules or laws, IQOS users should use their common sense regarding whether they should use their devices. For example, you should avoid using them inside closed spaces when children are present.
Why can’t HEET sticks be used with IQOS ILUMA devices?
The HEET sticks are not suitable for ILUMA devices because the ILUMA uses different technology from the devices compatible with HEETS. ILUMA devices use a SMARTCORE INDUCTION SYSTEM, which is designed to heat the tobacco from within. The ILUMA devices still create a vapor containing nicotine and release a taste of tobacco.
Is the name IQOS an acronym?
Even though some people have attributed meanings such as “I quit ordinary smoking” to the name IQOS, Philip Morris International says the name is not an acronym. Instead, they created the name to denote the new, innovative technology used in the company’s heated tobacco products.
What company owns IQOS?
IQOS is part of the Philip Morris International company which produces traditional smoking products and one of their most-known brands is Marlboro cigarettes. However, the company is dedicating a lot of resources to developing smoke-free alternatives and in 2021, made 30% of its global revenue from smoke-free products such as IQOS devices and heat sticks.
Is IQOS a vaping product?
While many people equate IQOS devices with vaping, they are not the same thing. While both heated tobacco and vaping devices are electronic and better than smoking traditional cigarettes, their methods are different. Heated tobacco devices use real tobacco, whereas vaping devices, known as e-cigarettes, use a liquid.