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The Hype About the Marlboro IQOS

The Hype About the Marlboro IQOS



If there is any device that’s been making waves in the vape forums, it’s the Marlboro IQOS. Maybe you’ve heard of it already, maybe you haven’t.

Philip Morris International (PMI) launched the Marlboro IQOS with the purpose of creating a smoking alternative that is essentially a hybrid between analog and e-cigarettes.

What is the Marlboro IQOS Exactly?

This hybrid is being lumped in with other vape devices, but really the IQOS is something different altogether. The Marlboro IQOS can be broken down into three components: a charger, the device itself, and the “heets” or heat sticks.

The heat sticks consist of real leaf tobacco, along with nicotine, flavorings, and PG to assist in vaporizing. These are heated up—not burned like cigarettes—to produce a tobacco flavored vapor, hence the moniker of “heat, not burn” technology. A smokeless cigarette that uses real tobacco instead of vaporizers’ traditional e-liquids could appealing to some people looking to quit cigarettes. By taking the smoke out of smoking, but still using real tobacco in their heat sticks, this might be an enticing alternative to smokers who haven’t yet turned to vaping.

What’s the Controversy, Then?

At issue is that the IQOS still uses real tobacco, causing some to argue that it could be just as dangerous as traditional cigarettes. However, PMI’s purpose was to remove some of the harm of smoking, and even submitted an application to the FDA to accept the IQOS as a “modified-risk tobacco product”. What does this mean for vaping? Or even the tobacco industry?



PMI argues that the IQOS takes much of the harmful chemicals out of the tobacco, considering it is not lit on fire, so there is no smoke or tar produced.

At its core, the IQOS may not be a bad idea for those who are looking to quit smoking. It’s an innovative device that could potentially assist people in quitting; one that they might turn to because of the fact that it feels more familiar than a vape mod does.

However, there is also worry in the vaping industry that Big Tobacco could use its influence to replace vaping as we know it with this alternative, tobacco-dependent device.

Still No IQOS in America

The Marlboro IQOS has seen a good run in several countries so far, one of the largest being Japan. However, the Marlboro IQOS is still unavailable in America. PMI and Altria Group Inc., the U.S. split of the company, require approval from the FDA due to the strict regulations placed on tobacco products and the vaping industry. Even though vaping is generally considered to be less harmful than cigarettes, the FDA has not approved it as a legitimate smoking cessation tool, and there are still strict regulations that all tobacco products must adhere to. Since these FDA deeming regulations came down last year, Philip Morris is the first major company seeking approval to market a tobacco product under a “harm reduction” derivative.

If the device passes these regulations, it could be expected to have a significant impact within the United States market, especially appealing to those who want a cigarette alternative, but prefer tobacco instead of e-liquids.